Fire Gardy

Mismanaging games since 2002

Span the favorite?

Denard Span, the former first round draft pick and heir apparent to Torii, claims he has what it takes to be the starting center fielder.  He doesn’t.  Of the three candidates competing, Gomez, Pridie, and Span, Span is by far the worst.  None of the three are major league ready in my opinion.  So when you are significantly worse than your below average competition, you should just shut up.  I appreciate that he is going to give 110% and all the jazz, but was he not trying to make the big club in years past?  Could he not beat out Lew Ford and Jason Tyner for the 4th outfielder spot the past few year?  Did the likes of Darnell McDonald and Garrett Jones deserve late season call-ups more than Span? Yes they did.  Span has not once played at the Major League level.  The twins have recently had a severe lack of position player depth in the minors and Span couldn’t even compete with these scrubs for a late season roster spot.  When Hunter got hurt in 2005 and missed most of the second half, Span’s name wasn’t even whispered to be called up for a look.  I just don’t think he has what it takes, and he needs to be written off as a bust. 

11 comments

11 Comments so far

  1. sirsean February 21st, 2008 9:19 am

    I agree in general, but I think it’s too early to write him off as a bust. (Wait six weeks.)

    Span might be a guy that has to go slowly, and would be hurt by being rushed. The Twins are usually really good about recognizing and respecting that.

    There’s no reason to call him up to sit on the bench behind Torii, even for a month. McDonald was a crappy veteran, so we knew what we were getting. Jones at least might have had some power off the bench. We already had a pinch runner in Tyner.

    We’ll see what Span’s got. It doesn’t appear to be much … but not everyone can be a superstar. Torii wasn’t when he got to the majors.

  2. FunBobby February 21st, 2008 9:30 am

    I know Hunter was brought along slowly, but seeing Span overmatched at almost every level just flat out worries me. Maybe something will click now that his path to the majors isn’t blocked by Hunter. But he has to be down to his last chance to prove his worth as a legit major leaguer. I just don’t know how someone who never deserved a september call-up, even to play a few times after the minor league season was over, can become a major league starter. Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t the minor leaguers done with their season by the time september call-ups come around? I don’t see the downside of at least letting him play a few games when Hunter was resting.

  3. sirsean February 21st, 2008 9:40 am

    It might have something to do with service time. The Twins are very conscious of that.

    And we had Tyner and Ford. They were obviously going to get playing time before Span … they lived with Gardy. (I’m assuming that, because he’s the only manager in America who could possibly bring himself to playing them, and there must be a reason for it.)

    Maybe something clicked for Span. Maybe it didn’t. We’re not going to be able to tell because of his minor league statistical history (which shows a marked improvement in the second half of last season in AAA).

    I just want the best decision to be made at the end of spring. Taking into account the fact that Gomez has the highest upside and has spent the least time in AAA, and could therefore use at least half a season there. The decision doesn’t have to be made now.

  4. Texas February 21st, 2008 11:15 am

    Great points, the fact remains that save for the second half of last season Span has underperformed and underwhelemed at every professional level. Combine that with the fact that he is at best the 8th best OF on the Twins roster and he is going to have show me a lot of upside to even consider breaking camp with him. Plus, if I remember correctly the big club has some issues with Span’s attitude/ disillusionment with being a mediocre prospect in a poor hitting farm system!

  5. sirsean February 21st, 2008 11:25 am

    This spring will be a good chance for Span to put himself back on the map, then. His attitude seems to have turned around. Unfortunately for him, Gomez seems to have a great attitude too, in addition to his superior skills and talent.

    I think the best thing that could happen is for Span to look absolutely great, break with the club, ride on fumes for a few months, and get us something good in a midseason trade before crashing back to earth.

    I don’t see that happening, but I still think Span has a reasonable chance to break camp with the team, if only to keep Gomez at AAA for a few months.

  6. FunBobby February 21st, 2008 12:28 pm

    I really hope they don’t set the bar too high for Gomez. I can totally see them turning a blind eye to some of his weaknesses and say “he can pick that skill up as he goes along”. I don’t want him in the majors until he is 100% major league ready. I don’t really care as much if we mishandle Pridie or Span. Although no mishandling whatsoever would be nice, but Gomez should be most protected.

  7. MeanGene February 21st, 2008 12:52 pm

    I think the only option the Twins have is to go out and find a guy way past his prime and sign him to a deal. Someone like Kenny Lofton (we could have had Juan Gone but the Cards beat us to him). If Otis Nixon was our “filler” in 1998, then Lofton is more than capable of being our guy.

    The Twins love to go out and sign a guy that was good in the mid 80’s because he has a name people recognize (anyone remember Rueben Sierra). I don’t want it to happen, but I can see it very easily going down.

    If this doesn’t get anyone’s interest, give Span a try and when his inevitable failure happens let Punto run around out there. Maybe then he can run into something that will end his career and I’ll never have to hear his name again.

  8. sirsean February 21st, 2008 12:58 pm

    I … don’t think Juan Gone is a viable CF. Kubel would be a better defensive option out there, and he’s about 94th (out of 25) on the list.

    My preferred CF options: 1) Lofton (traded at midseason in favor of Gomez) 2) Pridie (becoming a 5th OF at midseason in favor of Gomez) 3) Span (traded at midseason in favor of Gomez) 4) Monroe (becoming a 4th OF at midseason in favor of Gomez) 5) Gomez (is it possible that all 4 of those guys die before the season starts?) 6) Punto (God forbid we suffer five deaths in the OF)

  9. sirsean February 21st, 2008 3:54 pm

    Here’s a little something from BP that might throw something of a wrench into the CF competition.

    Turns out Pridie is either the 1st or 2nd best defensive outfielder in all of the minor leagues, based on various weird statistics mixed with scouting reports.

    (Interestingly, the best infielder in the minors is Twins’ prospect Deibinson Romero. It’s good to hear that we at least still have the top defenders, even if they can’t hit.)

  10. Texas February 21st, 2008 5:05 pm

    Of course we got all the gloves in our system. Unfortunately, even if there all up in the show each of those eight potential gold gloves combined increase our wins to the tune of 4-5 games. Say we are a 500 team all things being equal we pick up 5 games due to those gloves and say we pick up a meager 5 games with our bats that still only puts us at 91 wins, which sad to say my friends is getting us nowhere near baseball promise land

  11. sirsean February 22nd, 2008 9:02 am

    91 wins is a pretty good season. Take a 91 win team and give it a couple breaks in the last month or two of the season, and that team has a shot at a championship.

    Not everyone can have the luxury of being the paper-champion at the beginning of the season.

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