Ok, Matt Guerrier is back with the Twins. Whatever. He's old, he's not very good but he did play here once and that seems to be enough for Ron Gardenhire and the Twins' front office. I just read Mike Berardino's article on the Guerrier promotion and a quote from Ron Gardenhire stood out enough that I just couldn't resist presenting my thoughts. Here's the quote:
“Tough to do. We like what we saw,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Darnell. “He understands it’s just something we have to do to take Matty Guerrier up here and see what happens. The guy has worked very hard. He’s got good stuff. We’ll see how he fits in our bullpen, and we’ll work our way from there.”
Ok. The fact that Logan Darnell got sent back to AAA doesn't break my heart. He was fine in very limited duty. He's been fine at AAA. He probably deserves to be on the Twins more than Guerrier, but this isn't a travesty.
That quote is a travesty because it's complete nonsense. He might as well have said: "Well, we had to send Darnelly down to AAA because I'm starting a crash diet and I need extra spinach. The spinach will taste really great, but it's going to be hard giving up pizza. When we go out to the movies, we'll probably get an extra seat for our coats. If that happens, we will pay for an extra ticket. It's only fair. My kids haven't called lately, but then, I haven't called them either. I found someone's watch on the credenza today. If I knew who left it there, I'd return it. I once saw a goat who was giving this weird look to a bird and we'll work our way from there."
As far as I'm concerned, that fake quote was just as logical as what Gardenhire said. I understand that he doesn't get time to craft clever answers, but my goodness, his quote is just a collection of words that add up to, "I like Matty."
In addition almost all of the information from the quote it is false. He doesn't have good stuff, at least not anymore. He doesn't fit in the bullpen. He doesn't need to be "up here." If you like what you saw from Darnell, why not just keep him? Guerrier probably did work hard, so I'll allow that.
On what planet does a rebuilding team need to make room for a reliever who is 35, has an ERA over 4 in his past three seasons and will be joining an already overstaffed bullpen? Ignoring Guerrier as the specific player, this team just started Eduardo Escobar in left field and immediately paid for it. Why add another arm? I understand that Guerrier had an opt-out deadline, but I have a fairly simple solution to that problem: let him opt out! There's literally no harm in letting him go. He's most certainly the worst reliever on the team right now and he's probably not as good as other guys at AAA.
That said, Gardenhire calls him "Matty" and that's pretty much all you need to know. Managers have their guys and Gardenhire isn't the only one but he does manage my favorite team and he hasn't managed it well recently. That's why this move actually bothers me, and little about baseball actually bothers me. When Guerrier isn't as good as he used to be, will the team have the heart to pull the plug?
I'm about as ardent of a Twins defender as there is, but sometimes they do things that completely justify the perception that many of their fans have about them. It's pretty hard to think that Guerrier's deal didn't come out of that "scholarship" fund that we often joke about. It frustrates me when the team does things that makes them look so out of touch because I do defend them so often. I can't defend this move.
The real issue comes in a few days when the Twins actually promote an outfielder. Michael Tonkin will almost certainly be sent to Rochester and that will be a pretty big travesty (as big as a travesty can be in the baseball world). Tonkin has earned his way onto this team and he's younger and better than Guerrier. Tonkin gives the Twins a better chance to win games right now and he could be a useful piece when the Twins are actually ready to start winning a lot of games. Matt Guerrier will probably be retired within a couple years.
This isn't a move that is really worth getting worked up over, but I can't help myself. If someone can give me one logical reason why Matt Guerrier needs to be on the Twins, I'd love to hear it. Nothing personal against Guerrier. He was a fine reliever for the Twins in the past. He just doesn't make sense on this roster. Keith Atherton once did a nice job for the Twins, I wonder what he's up to?