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Hey, is there a game tonight? Game thread 9/25/18

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:35 PM
Nice job by Moya pitching around the Adrianza error. And once again worth remembering, yes Detroit is this bad.
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Game Thread: Detroit at Minnesota, 09/25/2018, already in...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:35 PM
Game thread opener, in case anyone is interested.
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Article: Final Week Of The Mauer Era? Let's Enjoy It

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:15 PM
Starting tonight, the Minnesota Twins will play seven games over the next six days at Target Field to conclude their 2018 season.Is it po...
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Article: First-Round Flops or Unfinished Projects?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:31 PM
As a rebuilding team in desperate need of pitching, you can't really afford to miss on arms with two top-10 picks in the draft in three y...
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Mike Berardino Moving On

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:48 PM
One of the better beat reporters for the Twins. Gonna miss him.
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Recent Blogs


Arms Race: Will the Twins Front Office Regret Losing High-Impact Arms?

In echoing the thoughts of others throughout the winter, it’s extremely difficult to be disappointed as a Twins fan this off-season. The team has added six pitchers, including a necessary starting pitching addition in Jake Odorizzi. Minnesota has added established bullpen arms (Reed) and others with either upside (Rodney), or bounce back potential (Duke).

While we can bemoan the Twins inability to land a marquee arm like Yu Darvish, the Twins have established themselves a platform for being competitive in a weak division. Solid rotation, good bullpen, excellent lineup.
Image courtesy of Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
The Falvey and Levine regime, let’s call them The Falvgime, deserves credit for the rapidity of their organizational overhaul. After a year of assessment and modest additions in 2017, they have added exciting, progressive coaching voices such as James Rowson and Garvin Alston. They have beefed up their research and analytics department both quantitatively and qualitatively, adding reputable names such as Josh Kalk, John Manuel and Daniel Adler. (If you haven’t listened to Adler’s recent appearance on Ben Lindbergh’s Effectively Wild podcast, you’re doing yourself an injustice).

It’s easy to be swept up into The Falvgime hype train, but what are the mistakes they have made along the way so far? Are there any opportunities missed which may end up as organizational regrets?

Let’s rewind a few years to June 4th 2012. The 2012 amateur player draft will forever be remembered by Twins fans as the draft that landed them Byron Buxton and Jose Berrios. If both Buxton and Berrios continue their respective careers at their current trajectories, this draft would be remembered as monumentally successful.

The 2012 Draft also marked a trend of the Twins drafting an increasing number of high velocity arms, adding Luke Bard with the 42nd pick, Mason Melotakis with the 63rd pick, and J.T. Chargois with the 72nd pick. More on those three shortly. The 2012 draft also netted the Twins Tyler Duffey at 160th overall, and Taylor Rogers at 340th overall, both of whom have become significant role players in the Twins’ bullpen.

Of the three 2012 draft arms, only Melotakis remains. The 27-year-old Bard was claimed by the Angels in the Rule 5 draft, after amassing a 2.76 ERA over 65 innings between Chattanooga and Rochester in 2017. Bard managed a 13.6 SO/9 in those innings. Chargois was claimed by the 104-win LA Dodgers last week after being placed on waivers to make extra space available on the Twins 40-man roster. Chargois, also 27, has been plagued by injuries, but is intriguing as the Twins former top relief prospect and one of only five Twins pitchers to throw a pitch 99mph or higher since 2008.

Reaction to Chargois being claimed has been mixed, with most cautioning against a snap reaction until the Twins fill the final spot on their 40-man roster. Thad Levine indicated some regret in the Twins’ loss, telling Twin Cities’ media "we were 29/30ths of the way there." The Dodgers are certainly an interesting team to claim Chargois, having put together the fourth best bullpen ERA in 2017, the third best strikeout total, and the second best batting average against in MLB.

Melotakis successfully passed through waivers during the 2017, much to the ire of Twins fans, who struggled to understand the rationale of placing a former top (left-handed) relief pitching product who was having an excellent season at risk. All three of the Bard, Melo, and Chargois triumvirate had struggled throughout their minor league careers with injuries, and that may well be a decisive factor in the front office’s decision-making process. It does, however, seem that the organization has let significant arm talent slip from its grasp in Bard and Chargois, right when they appeared ready to make a more significant major league contribution.

Rewind again to 2014. Nick Gordon was selected fifth overall by the Twins. Minnesota proceeded to select an entire bullpen after him, including several more high velocity arms such as Nick Burdi (second round), Jake Reed (fifth round) and John Curtiss (sixth round). It’s easy to pretend as if the old Twins regime did nothing about the teams’ bullpen struggles year after year, but it was a problem which was recognized and drafted toward several years before Derrick Falvey and Thad Levine took over the organization.

Burdi fits the familiar pattern of the Twins 2012 drafted relief pitchers. He has a massive arm with the ability to hit triple digits. In 104 MiLB innings, he has managed 142 K's. Burdi seemed to be putting it all together at AA in 2017, giving up just one earned run in 17 IP until Tommy John surgery derailed his season. Burdi was selected by the Phillies in the Rule 5 draft before being traded to the Pirates.

John Curtiss and Jake Reed are the two remaining arms from the 2014 draft who have made the steadiest progress towards the major league team, Curtiss making, and struggling in, his MLB debut last year. Curtiss dominated minor league competition to the tune of 68 K's in 48.1 IP and a miserly .135 avg. Reed spent 2017 split between Chattanooga and Rochester, turning it up at AAA and giving up a 2.05 ERA whilst striking out 25 in 30 innings. Both are strong contenders to contribute at the major league level this year.

Looking through the Twins current top 30 prospects as a whole (MLB Pipeline list), there’s still some depth at reliever. The names featured are Tyler Jay (8th), John Curtiss (20th), and Jake Reed (26th). The recently departed Chargois was listed at 21. While this may be in no way indicative of how much help the Twins bullpen may receive from the minor leagues in 2018, it raises an interesting question. Did "The Falvgime" completely press the reset button on Twins relief pitching prospects when they took over the organization? While this seems counter-intuitive the front office has certainly been more aggressive at exposing relief pitching options via waivers and the Rule 5 draft than we might have expected.

The common denominator surrounding high-end relief pitching prospects the Twins have lost is a history of significant injuries. It seems likely that on a team with several necessary areas of improvement (between the rotation and the bullpen) Falvey and Levine have been careful not to pin their hopes to prospects who have struggled to stay healthy, perhaps recognizing that they are entering a window of contention with the Tigers and Royals entering rebuilds and the White Sox in the midst of one. They have taken some gambles with exposing these players, some seemingly paying off, others have not.

What do y’all think? Has "The Falvgime" made mistakes in how they have handled Twins’ relief pitching prospects? Do you think they should have prioritized keeping Bard and Burdi? Will they regret losing Chargois?


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27 Comments

The new regime puts more on 'spin factor'.That may or may not work as well in relief roles as in starting.I was not happy with the losses, but will have to wait and see how it all works out.There does not seem to be much faith from the new regime to the 2 lefties as they have added Duke to the mix, who would seem to block at least one of them from progressing. Other factor is that players are getting used to higher levels of speed and can dial it up to hit the 100 MPH fastball as long is it is straight.Late movement seems to be more important to this group. I cannot say that is an error.  

Other factor here is the change back to multi-inning relievers who can be effective over 2-3 inning stretches when needed.The pitchers we lost were not of the typical multi-inning types so that could be a factor.With the shorter starts and analytics showing the third time through the batting order usually helps the hitters to solve starters, you will need 3 - 4 multi inning types to pitch in innings 6 - 7 regularly so that limits the number of 1 inning pitchers you need.You still may need the LOOGY for late inning situations, but may only need to carry one of these.  

    • Cris E, jimbo92107, sploorp and 1 other like this

I don't know exactly what the FO see's and I really can only follow box scores and second hand reports to get my information.So I don't get to see the whole or big picture.That being said I still have my opinion.

 

I agree that when they need roster space they seem to have weeded out guys that are older, injury prone and with fewer options.I get that it makes sense to some degree but to me that doesn't make losing them any easier.

 

Bard seemed to be coming around and all indications were he had good stuff.It was tough to lose him but thing is we could only keep so many relievers on the 40 man so risks needed to be taken.Same with Burdi, who given how Atlanta viewed him was a long shot to recover and stay healthy.Clearing space is necessary. I get it and I was fundamentally OK with those moves until the Rule V draft and the Kinley selection.

 

I get that Kinley appeared to have found himself but given how smitten the FO was with Haley last year and how that turned out I didn't like the pick.Also tying up a 25 man spot with the risk involved quite frankly seemed reckless to me.My thinking is they are going to tie themselves to someone who cannot be moved up and down to AAA who has had literally no success in the upper levels and they are getting rid of relievers in the system who have had decent success in the upper levels but may be running out of time?The risk reward factor never sat well with me.

 

Then they try and sneak Chargios through and fail.That is the one that finally set me off.I think if he can stay healthy he is a difference maker in any bullpen.He has an option left for this year and they could move him up and down if needed.A much better situation than the Kinley situation and IMO just as good an arm with a more proven track record.Personally I think they failed on that one.

 

Kinley did pitch extremely well his first shot in spring training so maybe I get to eat some crow this year but if he falters and they have to let him go and Chargios goes on to a great career then I am not going to be afraid to say I told you so.

 

Every decision is a gamble and I get that but I personally think they are going to lose this one.If Kinley makes it through the year with decent numbers I will take my helping of crow.If not I reserve the right to throw crow at the FO.

    • diehardtwinsfan, mikelink45, sploorp and 1 other like this
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Old Twins Cap
Feb 24 2018 10:16 PM

I quibble with "high impact" arms, unless you mean the sound made when a baseball strikes the mitt thrown by these arms.Even then, I would go with "loud impact" arms.

 

These are MiLB pitchers, guys who have not made it to MLB, despite years as professionals.

 

So "high impact" is related to what exactly?Having made an impact in AA or AAA? They aren't, by definition, high impact arms in MLB.Do they have potential?Maybe.

 

So, maybe potential high impact arms.After many years.

 

Let some other team sort that out.

 

We need to be playing winning baseball not hoping for bullpen pieces who have a decent Minor League record that we somehow project to dominate in MLB, despite their obvious flaws.

 

Eyes on the prize.

 

 

 

    • Seth Stohs, bdodge22, USNMCPO and 5 others like this
The Dodgers saw enough in Chargois to add him to the 40-man. That visit could be short-lived. Watch the Dodgers to pass him thru waivers and send him to the minors considering 27 other teams passed on Chargois.
    • blindeke likes this

The change in drafting philosophy happened in 08 when Deron Johnson took over. He drafted flame throwers instead of control pitchers. Radcliff had more imput on the 12 class.

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terrydactyls1947
Feb 24 2018 10:46 PM

The Dodgers saw enough in Chargois to add him to the 40-man. That visit could be short-lived. Watch the Dodgers to pass him thru waivers and send him to the minors considering 27 other teams passed on Chargois.


If the Dodgers put him on waivers, can the Twins claim him?
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ashburyjohn
Feb 24 2018 11:41 PM

The Dodgers saw enough in Chargois to add him to the 40-man. That visit could be short-lived. Watch the Dodgers to pass him thru waivers and send him to the minors considering 27 other teams passed on Chargois.

The Twins currently have 39 players on their roster... :)

 

I quibble with "high impact" arms, unless you mean the sound made when a baseball strikes the mitt thrown by these arms.Even then, I would go with "loud impact" arms.

 

These are MiLB pitchers, guys who have not made it to MLB, despite years as professionals.

 

So "high impact" is related to what exactly?Having made an impact in AA or AAA? They aren't, by definition, high impact arms in MLB.Do they have potential?Maybe.

 

So, maybe potential high impact arms.After many years.

 

Let some other team sort that out.

 

We need to be playing winning baseball not hoping for bullpen pieces who have a decent Minor League record that we somehow project to dominate in MLB, despite their obvious flaws.

 

Eyes on the prize.

 

While I agree that possibly none of these flame throwers might make it I fail to see how we are keeping our eyes on the "prize" when picking up a 27 year old ne're do well pitcher and sticking him on 25 man.

    • mikelink45 and Platoon like this

Recommend beckmt's comment. I'm not a stat guy, so maybe somebody here can tell me about the history of pitchers that had arm trouble in the minors making it in the majors. Is early arm trouble usually the kiss of death for a young pitcher? And then what about guys that have arm trouble twice or more? I have a feeling the success chart takes a steep dive, especially after two or more problems.

Honestly I'm not too upset about losing JT Chargois. Have you forgotten what the Twins added to their bullpen this year? Fernando Rodney, Jake Reed, and Zach Duke? Those guys are real MLB relievers. They actually can pitch, have a proven track record, and have tons of experience.

 

I know we Twins fans are not used to having a bullpen of real MLB pitchers. We've been so mentally beat down over the years that we freak out over losing JT Chargois - a guy who didn't even pitch last year due to injury! C'mon people, lighten up! We lost an injury-prone prospect but we got three big names! Get used to it, this could be a pattern.

    • TNTwinsFan, sploorp, Vanimal46 and 2 others like this

 

 

 

Then they try and sneak Chargios through and fail.That is the one that finally set me off.I think if he can stay healthy he is a difference maker in any bullpen.He has an option left for this year and they could move him up and down if needed.A much better situation than the Kinley situation and IMO just as good an arm with a more proven track record.Personally I think they failed on that one.

 

 

 

Kind of hard to be a difference maker in a bullpen when you're sitting on the DL, which is where Chargois has basically spent his entire professional career. Wouldn't be surprised if he ends up on the DL again this year.

    • sploorp, howieramone2, Broker and 1 other like this

Time will tell whether the Burdi and Chargpis decisions were wise or not.I like to think that the Front Office knows a lot more than an average fan like me, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise.Until then, the jury is out, and if Burdi and Chargois do indeed prosper I have a feeling there'll be more than 12 Angry Men.

    • Dman likes this
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diehardtwinsfan
Feb 25 2018 07:45 AM

 

If the Dodgers put him on waivers, can the Twins claim him?

 

I believe the answer is yes (as can every other major league team).

    • ashburyjohn likes this
I mean, how long were we supposed to wait for these guys to become high impact arms? Melotakis, Bard, and Chargois are all 26/27 years old. Burdi is 25. I don't blame them for wanting to move on to other pitchers.
    • mikelink45, howieramone2, Tomj14 and 1 other like this

 

 


What do y’all think? Has "The Falvgime" made mistakes in how they have handled Twins’ relief pitching prospects? Do you think they should have prioritized keeping Bard and Burdi? Will they regret losing Chargois?

 

 

You need 5 years or so of further data to answer this question ;)

 

On the other hand, here is how the 6 top relievers of the Astros and the Dodgers last season were acquired:

 

Astros:

 

Trade, Trade, Free Agent, International Free Agent, Waivers, Trade

 

Dodgers:

International Free Agent, Drafted as a starter & converted, International Free Agent, Trade, Trade, Free Agent

 

So methinks that there are better ways of building a World Series bullpen than spending high draft picks on College relievers.Terry Ryan / Deron Johnson mistake number 1.

 

Also, if you draft college relievers wasting their arms in the minors is horrible.Burdi and Jay could have helped the Twins the seasons they were drafted.Teams that draft high end college relievers have them up that same or the next season the latest.They do not try to convert them to starters.Terry Ryan / Brad Steil mistake number 2.

 

What this front office is trying to do is not make mistakes, but correct the mistakes of the past...

    • Tomj14 and BJames like this

 

You need 5 years or so of further data to answer this question ;)

 

On the other hand, here is how the 6 top relievers of the Astros and the Dodgers last season were acquired:

 

Astros:

 

Trade, Trade, Free Agent, International Free Agent, Waivers, Trade

 

Dodgers:

International Free Agent, Drafted as a starter & converted, International Free Agent, Trade, Trade, Free Agent

 

So methinks that there are better ways of building a World Series bullpen than spending high draft picks on College relievers.Terry Ryan / Deron Johnson mistake number 1.

 

Also, if you draft college relievers wasting their arms in the minors is horrible.Burdi and Jay could have helped the Twins the seasons they were drafted.Teams that draft high end college relievers have them up that same or the next season the latest.They do not try to convert them to starters.Terry Ryan / Brad Steil mistake number 2.

 

What this front office is trying to do is not make mistakes, but correct the mistakes of the past...

I really like your point about using them when they are young and their arms are alive.Get them throwing before the inevitable injury happens.Relief pitchers need two pitches they do not need to develop like starters do.We seem to have mishandled these quality arms.Relief pitchers are also quite erratic and their amount of use - the daily warming up, etc. means that one or two good years are often followed by a bad year.I would rather see one of our young arms in the BP than a Haley or Kinley. 

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Original Whizzinator
Feb 25 2018 10:04 AM
Nice article. Personally the oft repeated Falvine takes the cake. Just rolls off the tongue. You have to double check when your reading cause it's so subtle. Pure genius.
Anyway first off we don't really know how healthy these guys are so that's a starting point. I really liked Chargois had high hopes but he's gotta pitch. The thing that does stick in my craw is the rule 5. Isn't this a leveling device and as such when a team reaches the upper realm of the league wouldn't their roster be too good to add from the fringes of others? Then your clogging the 25. So far they're 0 for 1 so we'll see. I did just check the 40 and it is a much better crew than last year. Who are you going to give up Slegers, Curtiss or Sanchez? Can't do that to Sanchez so no. Slegers has back of the rotation potential and has been healthy so no. Then Curtiss? Similar and healthier so no. For me the only possible choice is the rule 5 and of course Chargois' health factor.

 

The Dodgers saw enough in Chargois to add him to the 40-man. That visit could be short-lived. Watch the Dodgers to pass him thru waivers and send him to the minors considering 27 other teams passed on Chargois.

From what I've read by Dodger fans after Chargois was claimed, the Dodgers have a reputation of doing just that - claiming waivers, then putting them back on waivers within a few weeks of picking them up.One of the posters even posted a list of about a dozen names where the team had done just that.If the Dodgers do decide to waiver Chargois, is it possible the Twins can get him back and just send him to the minors, or would they have to waiver him again?

    • blindeke and Original Whizzinator like this
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ashburyjohn
Feb 25 2018 11:54 AM

If the Dodgers do decide to waiver Chargois, is it possible the Twins can get him back and just send him to the minors, or would they have to waiver him again?

It's a fresh waiver, so they would need to add him to the 40-man like any other team. He has a minor league option remaining, so if they simply want to put him in AAA they can. But, if they want to again remove him from the 40-man, they would need to put him on waivers again, and I think doing it* a second time has additional ramifications such as allowing him to choose free agency. Which, if he was fed up enough, he just might. :)

 

* Actually, Designated For Assignment, which is closely tied, but this note has become too long already

    • bighat likes this
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KirbyDome89
Feb 25 2018 03:13 PM

A solid rotation?

"Thad Levine indicated some regret in the Twins’ loss, telling Twin Cities’ media "we were 29/30ths of the way there."

 

I also read in some article, and not sure if it was Falvey or Levine, but I think it was Falvey... comment, that he was surprised that he wasn't claimed way earlier, and he expected he would be. So I don't know that I buy the spin that they thought they could sneak the shaggy one through, now.

    • Cris E likes this
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ashburyjohn
Feb 25 2018 06:01 PM

"Thad Levine indicated some regret in the Twins’ loss, telling Twin Cities’ media "we were 29/30ths of the way there."

 

I also read in some article, and not sure if it was Falvey or Levine, but I think it was Falvey... comment, that he was surprised that he wasn't claimed way earlier, and he expected he would be. So I don't know that I buy the spin that they thought they could sneak the shaggy one through, now.

So maybe there was some mild disagreement within the brain trust. They are not a monolith. Maybe both agreed that Shaggy was the one to remove, in favor of the upcoming FA signing, but they had a friendly side bet over whether the pitcher would make it through waivers or not. Maybe the loss Levine regrets is the price of two steak dinners. :)

    • nicksaviking and Dman like this
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nicksaviking
Feb 25 2018 06:31 PM

So maybe there was some mild disagreement within the brain trust. They are not a monolith. Maybe both agreed that Shaggy was the one to remove, in favor of the upcoming FA signing, but they had a friendly side bet over whether the pitcher would make it through waivers or not. Maybe the loss Levine regrets is the price of two steak dinners. :)


I think I've seen that movie, the bet was one dollar. It'll all work out though. Chargois and LoMo are going to band together and stick it to Falvine with the help of Jamie Lee Curtis and the dean from Indiana Jones' university.

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    • Carole Keller and ashburyjohn like this

 

I think I've seen that movie, the bet was one dollar. It'll all work out though. Chargois and LoMo are going to band together and stick it to Falvine with the help of Jamie Lee Curtis and the dean from Indiana Jones' university.

Is that the right movie, or did they let Chargois go because he has an ugly girlfriend? (No confidence.) 

 

It's a fresh waiver, so they would need to add him to the 40-man like any other team. He has a minor league option remaining, so if they simply want to put him in AAA they can. But, if they want to again remove him from the 40-man, they would need to put him on waivers again, and I think doing it* a second time has additional ramifications such as allowing him to choose free agency. Which, if he was fed up enough, he just might. :)

 

* Actually, Designated For Assignment, which is closely tied, but this note has become too long already

Second time requesting waivers doesn't have any additional ramifications. Only the second time outrighting him off the 40-man roster, which hasn't happened yet -- so the next time will be Chargois' first.

    • ashburyjohn likes this

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