Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Notes, quotes and comment

I'll celebrate Monday's offday by offloading my views on some recent news that I've ignored in the past week:

The Twins moved 1/1 pick Royce Lewis up to low A Cedar Rapids. As it happens, I already have my tickets and reservations for next weekend's annual jaunt to the Twins' Midwest League affiliate. So expect my analysis of young Lewis either here or in the Monday print column, and more likely the latter.

What's noteworthy about this move is that it, at least temporarily, moves Lewis ahead of fellow shortstop prospect Wander Javier. Javier has spent the summer at Elizabethton.

These are perhaps the most important minor leaguers in the organization, certainly the most important below Double A (current level of Stephen Gonsalves, Nick Gordon and Fernando Romero). And they are both, as of now, 18-year-old shortstops.

Obviously, they won't both play short in the majors for the Twins. One, maybe both, will move to another position, or get traded, or even fail utterly. But both should be playing shortstop on an everyday basis until its obvious that something's not working at that position. The Twins need to have Lewis and Javier uncoupled, this year and next, at least.

The front office turnover continues with the dismissal of Wayne Krivsky. Krivsky was Terry Ryan's No. 2 until he left after the 2005 season to be the general manager of the Cincinnati Reds. He didn't last long there; the Reds' principal owner, previously a minority shareholder in the St. Louis Cardinals, dumped Krivsky in April 2008 for Walt Jocketty, who lost his job in St. Louis for being analytic resistant. (Confused yet?)

One thing I've often wondered about since 2008 was what would have happened in Minnesota had Krivsky not taken the Cincinnati job. Ryan stepped aside after 2007, and Bill Smith, who followed Krivsky as assistant general manager, moved into the top job. Presumably, had Krivsky remained, it would have been his job.

Anyway: Krivsky, after stints with the Mets and Orioles, returned to Minnesota in 2011 as a special assistant to the general manager, a title that can mean just about anything. Under the new regime, he lost the special assistant title and was assigned scouting duties; he got the ax on Thursday.

Baseball America's annual "Best Tools" issue is out.

Highlights for Twins fans:

For the American League, Joe Mauer is No. 1 for strike zone judgment, Byron Buxton No. 1 for fastest baserunner and No. 3 for best defensive outfielder, and Miguel Sano is No. 3 for best power and best infield arm.

No Twins prospects made BA's list for the International League (Triple A).

Southern League (Double A): LaMonte Wade for best strike zone judgment, Nick Gordon as best defensive shortstop, Jake Mauer as best managerial prospect.

Florida State League (High A): Brian Navaretto as best defensive catcher, Tanner English as best defensive outfielder.

Midwest League (Low A): Jermaine Palacios as best defensive shortstop.

(Note: for the majors, BA lists the top three in each category in both leagues; in the minors, just the top name in each league.)

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