FanPost

Analyzing Ryan's chat

Much of the debate on this site centers on speculation of what Terry Ryan was thinking as he made the moves he made this off season.

I thought it would be valuable to start a new discussion on what he actually said in an online video chat over at Twinsbaseball.com:

http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/index.jsp?c_id=min

  1. He likes Rondell White because he is a good right-handed hitter who hits pitchers from both sides of the mound. Other candidates, such as Jeromy Burnitz, would hinder the Twins against left-handed pitchers.
  2. He is reluctant to use too many young players at the back of the rotation, which is one reason he wants to hold onto Lohse.
  3. He believes Lohse is the right choice for the number 4 starter spot. Before he trades him, he wants to see a track record from either Baker of Liriano. This he's said elsewhere.
He doesn't want to trade Lohse just to trade him. He will trade anyone if it's a good fit, but so far that opportunity has not come around.
  1. There are two open competitions, one in right field (Kubel, Ford, Cuddyer) and one at shortstop (Bartlett, Castro, and Punto). He expects Bartlett and Kubel to win those jobs, but they have to play better than their competitors in spring traiing to do so.
  2. He said he wants to honor his commitment to Batista, which is one reason he didn't want to acquire Koskie. He also cited Koskie's option, his injury history, a desire to have some payroll flexibility for possible moves during the year, and the fact that Glenn Williams is ready to contribute, as he did last year, and the hope that Tiffee can take another step forward as reasons not to make the deal.
  3. He said if things don't go well with Batista in spring training, he would consider acquiring someone at that time. But he wants to give Batista the opportunity to prove it.
  4. He's shown some interest in Russell Branyan, whom he thinks he could get for a minor league contract with an invite. He's less inclined to do this because of Williams and Tiffee and Branyan's problems in situational hitting. Ultimately, he likes his in-house options better.
  5. He expects Morneau to make the next step and become one of the better hitters in the league. It's only a matter of time before he makes the adjustments and starts taking better at bats.
  6. He's not concerned about Crain's lack of strikeouts as long as he continues to be as effective as he has been the last two years.
  7. He has no interest in Mays, "We exhausted all options, let's move on and let Baker, and Liriano, and Bonsor, and Guerrier an opportunity to start fo us." Note that he mentioned Bonsor and Guerrier in the mix for the fifth starter spot.
  8. They pursued Rondell White because they didn't want to be left out in the DH hunt. They liked White better than Frank Thomas or any other option.
  9. Economics played a role in the decision to let Jones go, but also they want to find out if Kubel is a guy they can count on. Economics had less to do with it than the fact that there are good in-house alternatives.
  10. One reason they don't want to anoint anyone as the starter is it didn't work out when they anointed Castro. He expects Bartlett to win the job though, considering that this is the second time around and often that's the time when guys shine.
  11. Garrett Jones had a suspect year at Rochester last year. But he saw him in the Fall League and he considers Jones a legitimate first base prospect and he expects him to push Morneau some.
  12. He blames the young line-up on the poor situational hitting last year. Adding experienced hitters and having guys with a year of additional experience should help, along with the addition of Joe Vavra.
  13. Bartlett has done everything at AAA that you can ask him to do. This is his time. But he has to do better in situational hitting.
  14. He collaborates with Gardy about personnel decisions, but he never talks to Gardy about the line-up or about playing time.
  15. Newman's departure was a "touchy situation". While it was Al's decision to take the scouting job, Ryan admits it might have been time for a change on the major league staff.
  16. He's not interested in Piazza as a "mentor" for Mauer. Joe doesn't need mentoring. But Redmond can help and they can always bring in Steinbach if the need to. And they prefer White to Piazza as a DH.
  17. There is a little money for a late move. But he won't say it's $2 million. In fact he denies that it's $2 million.
  18. He sees Gassner not as a situational guy, but he could fill in for Mulholland as the long guy. He was disappointed in Gassner's year, with the exception of the Cleveland game.
  19. Glen Perkins is in camp just for exposure but there's no chance he'll make the team. he expects him to start at New Britain, and if he does well there, he could go to Rochester in the middle of the year. He's very high on him.
  20.  Batista is the biggest question mark of any guy that he brought in from outside. His career average in home runs and RBI would have led the team last year. Considering the price, that's a bargain. He's not happy with the OBP, but he said you have to take the good with the bad. As for his defense, he said Batista's lateral range is a concern, but the Twins would use Castro or Punto late in the game as a defensive replacement.
  21. He hopes Jason Pridie makes the decision tough on the Twins. He said, "If he's any good at all, we're going to keep him."
  22. The best prospects from the last two drafts: Garza, Swarzak, Kelly (he hears the most on him from the scouts), Thomson, Rainville, and Perkins, who's on the fast track.
  23. He never had any interest in LeCroy after he released him. He let LeCroy go to give him a better chance to catch on with another team. He expects that soon. White is better than LeCroy, so there wouldn't be any room for him if they brought him back.
  24. he's most concerned about the WBC not giving the guys the reps they need at that point in the spring.
Obviously, the above is condensed. But there's plenty of fodder for discussion here. So, let's get some comments going! I'd like to see a few new entries every day, if we can manage it.
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