Thursday, August 25, 2016

Paul Molitor and Twins Do In Berrios

Jose Berrios made his major league debut on April 27, 2016. He now has made nine starts for the Twins, the latest of which came today against the Detroit Tigers. As has been the case more often than not, he wasn't good. This time though, it resulted in Jose Berrios being demoted to Triple-A Rochester.

This is the second time Berrios has been demoted by the Twins this season. The latest occurrence though highlights a culture of ineptitude at the big league level. Everyone from Paul Molitor on down seems absolutely clueless when it comes to not only Berrios, but the majority of the young prospects supposedly tasked with revitalizing the organization.

On the season, Berrios owns a 9.24 ERA and is 2-4 across his nine big league starts. He owns a poor 35/23 K/BB ratio, and his pitches have been all over the strike zone. In hoping to fix that, Minnesota has recently gone with a committee approach. Molitor, pitching coach Neil Allen, pen coach Eddie Guardado, starter Ervin Santana, and even Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven have taken to observing the young Puerto Rican. The collective brain trust has failed, and done so miserably.

The issue I have with how things went down following Berrios' latest poor start is that the Twins come out looking clueless in the whole mess. A young 22 year old top pitching prospect just got shelled. It's not the first time, and his struggles haven't been consistently getting better either. Instead of letting him continue to work through it under the best coaches the organization should have, the big league club (and staff) simply washes their hands of him.

While with the Twins in his latest stint, Berrios was given direction by seemingly everyone with a mouth and the ability to walk to the Target Field pen. No doubt reeling with the amount of information and tweaks he was trying to make to his game, the process was absolutely experiencing more negativity than anything else. Rather than realize that this club is destined for 100 losses though, and Berrios continuing to work through things against the only competition he hasn't mastered, Minnesota gave up.

Earlier this season, Jorge Polanco was sent back and forth between Triple-A and the big leagues despite no reason for Minnesota to do so. Paul Molitor was clueless when it came to intitially utilizing Max Kepler. Heck, Byron Buxton is so wrecked that prominent national analyst Keith Law has suggested Buxton stay at Triple-A until he's traded to an organization that "knows how to develop him as a hitter" or Molitor and his staff is gone. The collective coaching staff at the highest level for the Twins is arguably a larger laughing stock than that of the clubs 48-79 record.

Don't worry though, Jim Pohlad has suggested that Paul Molitor will be the first thing inherited by his newly hired General Manager.

At this point, you can't help but to feel for the likes of Jose Berrios and Byron Buxton before him. Berrios doesn't have a good outing or two to spare him. Thankfully Kepler has 15 home runs, and Polanco has a solid average, otherwise the likelihood of Molitor continuing to mismanage them would remain high as well.

Going into 2017, there's nothing more important than Jose Berrios and Byron Buxton getting right at the major league level. The problem is, the Minnesota Twins don't have organization pieces in place to allow that to happen. Unfortunately, we got to see that on full display yet again.

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