March 27, 2012

“Gleeman and The Geek” #34: Schmoes, Schlubs, and Schmucks

This week's episode of "Gleeman and The Geek" was recorded at Bunny's in St. Louis Park and we had multiple beers of choice. Topics included the outfield realignment and Ben Revere's role, what Chris Parmelee means for Justin Morneau, returning Rule 5 pick Terry Doyle to the White Sox, why grandparents hate Drew Butera, schmoes vs. schlubs vs. schmucks, drugs of abuse, Delmon Young's claims, The Hunger Games, and the folly of spring training numbers.

Gleeman and The Geek: Episode 34

In addition to the direct download link above you can also subscribe to the podcast via iTunes.


  1. I think Aaron had some good points on the Twins front office decision making process, but he is forgetting a couple key points. First, Parmalee is primarily a first baseman. With Morneau DH’ing more often combined with Mauer getting innings behind the plate, Parmalee represents the best 1st base defense. Him having flexibility to also play some right field is ultimately what is going to get him on the club. Him having 90 good at bats in front of the skipper only helps.

    I don’t ever remember Revere being anointed the left fielder, only hints at such a conclusion. As the roster is coming together, I am seeing very few players pigeon-holed at one position. Valencia at 3rd and Willingham in left are the only two.

    Span- center & all outfield postions
    Carroll- SS & 2nd
    Mauer-catcher & first
    Morneau-DH & first
    Doumit-catcher, DH, right field, first
    Cassilla- 2nd & SS
    Revere- all outfield postions
    Plouffe- Left field, right field, SS
    Parmalee-first, right field
    Hughes- 2nd, 3rd, first, outfield, SS

    In other words, they are building a roster that is young and flexible. You can plug in any of those guys, at any number of positions, and you won’t see any major drop off in production, with the exception of some 3rd catcher.

    The Twins 25 man roster most likely won’t produce a championship in 2012, but it represents an opportunity for players to define their roles moving forward. It is a year to see what they can expect moving forward with Morneau. They will potentially be able to shop some outfield depth they have at mid-season. With all things considered from the Billy SMith era, I am happy with how things are shaping up, as we look towards 2013 and beyond.

    Comment by spoofbonser — March 27, 2012 @ 8:19 am

  2. The above is the most optimistic commentary on the Twins I’ve seen this year. I wanna believe.

    Comment by funoka — March 27, 2012 @ 9:30 am

  3. Man, Aaron really let loose on poor ol’ John during the Rule 5 / bullpen debate.

    Both you guys had some solid points, though. I learned a good deal about the Rule 5 process, too.

    Keep up the good work, guys. And be easy on the Geek, Gleeman!

    Comment by Joe C. — March 27, 2012 @ 9:31 am

  4. In other words, they are building a roster that is young and flexible.

    Age as of midnight on June 30th, 2012:

    Mauer – 29
    Morneau – 31
    Willingham – 33
    Pavano – 36
    Span – 28
    Baker – 30
    Blackburn – 30
    Perkins – 29
    Capps – 28
    Liriano – 29
    Nishioka – 27
    Carroll – 38
    Doumit – 31
    Marquis -33
    Casilla – 27
    Duensing – 29
    Butera – 28
    Tolbert – 30
    Manship – 27
    Valencia – 27
    Revere – 24
    Plouffe – 26
    Hughes – 27
    Tosoni – 25
    Parmelee – 24
    Benson – 24

    I’m sure I’ve missed a player or two here and there, but I don’t agree that the above is a particularly young roster. A lot of the above are into their peak years.

    Comment by Zim — March 27, 2012 @ 11:37 am

  5. I think it’s short-sighted to look at Rule V draft picks made prior to the protection rule change. I’ve read Keith Law and others talk about how much that change diminished the likelihood of getting value out of that draft. I’d be more interested in seeing the success rate of picks 1-5 (10? 15? All picks?) since the rule change. I’d guess it’s abysmal.

    Regarding Terry Doyle, I completely agree with Aaron that the Twins are overrating spring training stats, which mean next to nothing. However, the stats aren’t the only thing coming out of spring training. Maybe they didn’t like his work ethic or approach. Maybe he looks hurt. Or maybe he kicked Gardy’s dog. Who knows. Regardless, I think most everyone agrees they shouldn’t have made that pick in the first place, and at least this year they didn’t throw good money after bad.

    Comment by JS — March 27, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

  6. Cite your sources, Gleeman! πŸ˜‰

    Me @ 1:37 pm Monday on Twins Daily:
    “Watching people overreact to a tiny sample of Parmelee is getting farcical. Is there a non-zero possibility that he’s turned some sort of corner and is the sort of hitter he was in 88 PAs last year married to (I’m guessing here) 40 PAs in Spring Freaking Training? Sure. Is it significant? No.”


    “What is lost by sending him to AAA? You remove a massive risk of non-production at a key position and of lost or even regressed development for Parmelee. And 6-8 weeks of tearing it up in Rochester (because that’s what he’s likely to do if his bat is truly ready to carry first base or an outfield corner) will tell you if he has somehow hit the developmental lottery.”

    Gleeman, hours later:
    “People are getting so caught up in 60 at bats in September and 35 at bats in March as opposed to six years of mediocrity…. My point is just: What’s the downside of sending him to AAA for six weeks, let him destroy AAA
    and force it on ’em….

    “I’m amazed that people are convinced based on less than 100 plate appearances…. If you wanna believe he’s turned the corner off 100 at bats, more power to you and then obviously he should be playing in the majors…. Let him go kill Triple A if he’s truly turned the corner and he’s now a monster.”

    Tiny minds…

    Comment by toby — March 27, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

  7. Manship – 27
    Valencia – 27
    Revere – 24
    Plouffe – 26
    Hughes – 27
    Tosoni – 25
    Parmelee – 24
    Benson – 24
    Casilla – 27
    Duensing – 29
    Span – 28
    Baker – 30
    Blackburn – 30
    Perkins – 29
    Capps – 28
    Liriano – 29
    Nishioka – 27
    Mauer – 29

    these are the guys I am talking about, throw in Dozier-25, Levi Michael and you have a core around into 2013-2014. Also, about the same time Rosario, Sano, Hicks, Arcacia and others will be knocking on the door. Not stellar, but not as bad as last year.

    Also, see Tolbert, long gone. thats worth something

    Comment by spoof bonser — March 27, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

  8. spoof, that still doesn’t look young. Peak years are 25-29 or so. So I don’t get the young part at all. That roster is not built for the future, a roster built for the future would have a lot more guys 22-23 years old on it. There are three guys under 25 or younger on your list that are legit MLB players (I’m not counting Tosoni in that list). The rest of those guys are in their prime right now.

    Comment by mike wants wins — March 27, 2012 @ 2:44 pm

  9. We just disagree I guess and at some point are splitting hairs. If prime years are 27-29, and I agree they are (in the case of position players, pitchers a bit higher), but a team built for the future is full of 22 year olds as you suggest, you are talking about 2017. I was pretty specific about 2013.

    In 2013 and 2014 they will have plenty of guys in their prime or just either side of it.

    Comment by spoof bonser — March 27, 2012 @ 3:02 pm

  10. Aaron, you are indubitably correct that the Twins can’t have it both ways re: throwing arm in the OF.

    However, the takeaway should be: “Michael Cuddyer was a less than stellar defensive outfielder”, not “Revere will on the whole be a defensive liability in RF [or CF] because of his arm.”

    The above links to Juan Pierre’s UZR numbers.

    His single WORST year for throwing the ball from CF his arm cost only 8 runs. Across his young seasons he was easily a significant asset in CF on aggregate.

    There are more flyballs (to be turned into outs) hit to right than anywhere else. Extremely good/poor range saves/costs more runs than does an extreme arm. Revere’s range vs. the average right fielder is going to save even more runs than he will vs. the average CF.

    BTW, when the Twins decision making processes become sufficiently aggravating I invite you to the black and gold side of actual small market baseball. Becoming a Pirates fan over the past 4 years has saved my baseball sanity.

    Comment by toby — March 27, 2012 @ 3:34 pm

  11. Sorry spoof, I missed that part about which years….fair enough.

    toby, I think I agree. The key is making outs, and you make more outs with range than with arm. Even if Revere’s arm costs 20 extra guys moving onto third, how many of those guys will even score? I want a guy that can get to and catch balls, more than a guy with an arm that gives up a bunch of doubles and singles.

    Comment by mike wants wins — March 27, 2012 @ 3:56 pm

  12. I am, to put it mildly, troubled by the idea that a 30-year old Nick Blackburn is part of a “young and flexible” roster.

    All the polish in the world won’t shine up that turd.

    Comment by Pedro Munoz — March 27, 2012 @ 4:03 pm

  13. right on pedro, right on.

    Comment by spoofbonser — March 27, 2012 @ 7:02 pm

  14. Aaron you really go overboard with Delmon Young sometimes. In 168 at bats he hit 8HRs and drove in 32 with Detroit. I don’t care what you say that is not ‘mediocre’. It’s pretty damn solid. Then when you factor in the 5 HRs during the playoffs he hit 13HRs and drove in 38 RBI with Detroit in just 202 at bats you have some pretty good slugging numbers–nevermind the fact he hit just .267 there. Contrast that with what he did with the Twins last year and what you have is yet another example of how the Twins overbearing hitting philosophy suffocated a young hitter. That isn’t enough evidence for you, though? Come on man.

    Don’t let the Delmon-hate cloud your ability to draw logical conclusions.

    Comment by ewen21 — March 27, 2012 @ 7:08 pm

  15. Don’t let the Delmon-hate cloud your ability to draw logical conclusions.

    Delmon Young with the Twins: 103 OPS+
    Delmon Young with the Tigers: 103 OPS+

    Comment by Craiggers — March 27, 2012 @ 7:19 pm

  16. Spoof: Define “primarily”. Parmalee is an OF that was converted into a 1B.

    Comment by ML — March 28, 2012 @ 8:11 am

  17. Aaron, you are an excellent writer, and part of that is because you think through carefully what you write and what you say. However, when you say “what I meant to say was…” or “a better way to say it is….”, maybe you don’t realize this but the listener is waiting for you to realize that you made your point twenty minutes ago. The Geek was incredibly patient during the half hour when you were arguing with yourself trying to make your point in the strongest possible way. You were not discussing with the Geek. This was not for the audience. It sounded like self-pleasure. That said, I appreciate what you do and have listened to every podcast.

    Comment by David — March 28, 2012 @ 1:21 pm

  18. ML: define “was”

    Comment by spoof bonser — March 28, 2012 @ 2:56 pm

  19. Yes, let’s use a single sabermetric stat to break this down. If you want to play that game his OPS+ was 20 points higher in Detroit after the trade last season. ANd it was a brutal trade at that.

    You don’t need dervatives to know he drove in the same amount of runs and hit twice and many HRs in a little more than half the at bats when he went to Detroit during the regular season. Nevermind the fact that he rose to the occassion in the playoffs hitting five home runs. If you watched him when he was with Detroit he seemed so much more confident and comfortable.

    I happen to think the Twins did a very poor job with Young. Leyland will get more out of him. Time will tell who is right on this one.

    Comment by ewen21 — March 28, 2012 @ 5:09 pm

  20. I am sure Craiggers could have written a long, detailed response to your Delmon Young comments, but the fact he completely demolished your arguments with a “single sabermetric stat” is what made his comment so good.

    Seriously Dude, you just got completely owned. Stop digging.

    Comment by Pedro Munoz — March 29, 2012 @ 9:36 am

  21. Re: Delmon. Factor in the playoff PAs – which are undoubtedly real PAs against if anything superior pitching – and his performance in Detroit was significantly better. I’m not saying two month and two weeks is a big enough sample to demonstrate a breakout or anything, just that ignoring his playoff performance makes no sense if you’re trying to accurately evaluate his performance for the Tigers.

    I hated when the Twins dumped Delmon – he was one of my favorites and I believed the upside was still there and the chance for a REAL breakout season (forget about RBIs, obviously) was worth the arb. price. Then again, if the Twins really were messing with his stance/approach/etc. in a detrimental way, it would never have happened.

    Comment by toby — March 29, 2012 @ 12:34 pm

  22. Delmon Young being someone’s favorite player makes me cry inside.

    Comment by spoofbonser — March 29, 2012 @ 6:30 pm

  23. Crimson Ghost Tattoo, the end.

    Comment by toby — March 30, 2012 @ 3:41 pm

  24. Digging, huh? Using HRs and RBIs is digging? Did he not hit 13 HRs in 202 at bats with Detroit? Was this not his biggest display of power we’ve seen? You tell me

    Again, we shall see what happens going forward. We can agree to disagree

    Comment by ewen21 — March 30, 2012 @ 4:16 pm

  25. Someone using RBIs in an argument on this site makes me cry inside.

    Comment by Pedro Munoz — March 30, 2012 @ 7:33 pm

  26. Pedro Munoz,
    Your tone is disappointing (as always). I would agree that RBI is not a predictive stat, but it does, however, say what a player did. Yes, I agree that other players need to be on base for another player to accumulate RBI. Nevertheless, driving in runs is important. Blatant ignorance of the importance of driving in runs is laughable. Young was tasked with solidifying the middle of a struggling Tigers lineup and he did more than what was expected. What is so bad about giving credit where it is due? He’s not a great player. He’s not necessarily an above average player. But, he has value.

    Comment by Heathcliff — March 31, 2012 @ 5:01 am

  27. Heathcliff, While I, as stated, love me the Delmon, RBIs aren’t even good for “saying what a player did”, really. They tell you as at least as much about what other players did in front of a guy. It’s important that a team score runs, obviously, and they will ultimately do so if their players are productive at the plate. What if Delmon’s PAs had somehow flukily only come with the bases empty? Would that be his fault somehow? Should he get credit because they didn’t? Talking about RBIs is like saying he had a great BA with RISP. Does that help them? Sure. Should he get actual CREDIT for doing something over which he exercises no real control (like that)?

    It’s the combined regular and post-season numbers in the metrics that are always meaningful that are interesting to me.

    Comment by toby — March 31, 2012 @ 11:32 am

  28. Getting lectured about my tone by someone who accuses me of “blatant ignorance” makes me cry inside.

    Comment by Pedro Munoz — April 1, 2012 @ 9:28 pm

Leave a comment