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Minnesota Twins (78-72) at New York Yankees (83-67) -- Yankee Stadium   Season Series -- Tied at 2   Last time out -- Yankees 2...
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http://m.startribune...?section=sports   Bummer. He sounds pretty pissed about it. Best of luck to him in the future.
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Let's remember some "Twins guys" thread

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On Lack of Pitching Youth, Eddie Rosario's Progress and Other Notes

There has been a reshuffling of the Twins roster, but the pitching staff still isn’t getting any younger. Per Baseball-Reference, the Twins have trotted out the fourth-oldest pitching staff in baseball with a weighted average age of 30.2.

The 2016 Twins pitching staff had an average age right at league average, which was 28.3. So after 103 losses, they got older and are continuing to do so. Justin Haley is the youngest pitcher on the active roster, he turns 26 in a little over a month. Taylor Rogers and Tyler Duffey are the only other Twins hurlers currently on the 25-man roster who were born in the 1990s.
Image courtesy of Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
The Rockies, who have the second-best record in the NL, have the youngest pitching staff in baseball. They have three pitchers younger than Haley ... in their rotation.

Among the numerous roster moves made the past few weeks included the additions of Nick Tepesch (28) and Drew Rucinski (28) to the roster. Wednesday evening, the team optioned Rucinski back to Triple A to make room for 29-year-old Adam Wilk.

As the 250-plus comments (and counting) on Seth’s writeup of the Wilk addition suggest, it was a bit of a controversial and puzzling move. It sounds like Wilk is likely to pitch out of the pen, alleviating some of the Jose Berrios outrage, but having a 29-year-old with little or no upside in the bullpen doesn’t make much sense either, especially considering the other options.

***UPDATE***
Berrios is starting Saturday, woooooooooo!!!


Obviously, the 22-year-old Berrios and 23-year-old Adalbert Mejia would represent a youth movement in the rotation, but there are a number of bullpen guys the Twins have pitching well in the minors who are already in their mid-20s.

Relievers Trevor Hildenberger, D.J. Baxendale, Alan Busenitz and Luke Bard are all 26-years-old. Mason Melotakis is 25 and both John Curtiss and Nick Burdi are 24. I’m not saying all seven of those guys are ready for The Show, but I gotta believe at least one of them deserves a look in a low-leverage role over a guy like Wilk.

But hey, what do I know? The Twins entered the evening with a 16-14 record, which is pretty remarkable. As I noted a while back, the last 24 teams who lost 100 averaged another 95 losses the next year. Only two of those teams bounced back with a winning record. And there doesn’t seem to be any fan apathy either, as the paid attendance eclipsed 90,000 for last weekend’s series against the Red Sox.

I guess some people (me) will always have an ax to grind.

Rosario Off to a Rosie Start

On the flip side, the Twins have the second-youngest hitters by average age this season at 27.1. One of the young hitters who doesn't seem to be getting much attention is Eddie Rosario. The 25-year-old entered this year with a strikeout rate of 25.2 percent, but he has managed to cut that to 17.7 so far this year.

Attached Image: RosarioGraph.png
Rosario is still swinging at as many balls as ever, he's just hitting them more often. His contact rate on balls out of the zone is up from 65.5 percent in 2016 to 70.6 so far this season.

Attached Image: RosarioOContact.png
Rosario also leads all of baseball in making medium contact, with a rate of 62.9 percent. While that's not a particularly great accomplishment, it does correlate to a nice drop in his frequency of making bad contact. His soft contact rate is 11.2 percent, which puts him is inside the top 20 among 184 qualified hitters.

Attached Image: RosarioSoftContact.png
Rosario is also among the top 20 percent of hitters in hitting the ball the other way. His rate of going to the opposite field has increased from 24.1 percent in 2016 to 29.2 this year.

Attached Image: RosarioOppo.png
ADDITIONAL NOTES

-I typically like to include some notes about the expected pitching matchups over the weekend, but the Twins have yet to officially announce who will be starting Saturday or Sunday. But we do know the bats will dodge a bullet in Cleveland, facing Josh Tomlin, Mike Clevinger and Trevor Bauer. No disrespect to those guys, but it’s nice to miss Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar.

-The Twins staff is still dead last in swinging-strike rate at 8.2%. They also have the third-worst K/9 (6.98) and K% (17.9). They've also allowed highest contact percent at 82.5, which is two points higher than the next team.

-Miguel Sano has the lowest soft contact rate at 1.7 percent. That's 5.5 percent better than any other qualified hitter.

-Only the Reds have a higher rating in Defensive Runs Above Average than the Twins. The Twins lead the league in outfield arm runs. Yes, that is a real stat (ARM on Fangraphs). But curiously, the Twins have been the second-worst team at GIDP rate. This is calculated by dividing double plays turned by the number of PAs against with a runner on first and less than two outs.

-Daniel Palka (.240/.301/.423) has cooled off some after a hot start, but he has been doing a great job in cutting down on the Ks. After striking out in 38.6 percent of his at-bats for Rochester in 2016, he’s cut that rate to 23.9 so far this season.

-LaMonte Wade (.937) and Nick Gordon (.880) both rank in the top 10 in OPS among Southern League hitters.

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37 Comments

Great stuff Tom.

    • BigSkyTwinsFan likes this

This is all good stuff... nice work, Tom...

 

I'm less worried about the age of the starting staff, and I would guess that by season's end, they'll be closer to league average. 

    • brvama and howieramone2 like this

You justify my continuing criticism of our new think FO.  Scrap heap vets do not improve our situation.  The Minor league arms need to be used, get over your need to show that you can find the hidden gems - that was what TR was fired for doing.  Move on. Get young, get the arms in the MLB.  Berrios is the starter and the relievers have a long list.  Move on. 

 

    • Mike Sixel, Highabove, Oldgoat_MN and 3 others like this
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HitInAPinch
May 12 2017 02:48 AM

Among all the things happening this year, the Eddie Rosario story has been pretty well ignored.  To me,  he's just damn fun to watch!

 

If they're good, the age of the pitching staff is meaning less.  Then there's the other side :-)  I'm concerned about the ages of the MiLB pitchers?  Should I be?  At 26, I would have expected one of them to have at least a moment in the MLB, instead of retreads from other teams.  Please tell me if there's really a plan.

 

There's a lot of good things to say about the current team and the advances from last year.  Personally, I'd like to see more.  Greedy? 

    • brvama likes this
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Brock Beauchamp
May 12 2017 07:05 AM

Going into the season, the pitching staff getting older in April and May was a risk. It's one of the reasons why I wanted at least one good free agent reliever. We've been to this rodeo too many times in recent years; the young flamethrowing relievers sputter out and the Twins are forced to go with scrapheap guys far too early in the season.

 

On the flipside of that coin, some of the relievers are nearing a promotion. Burdi has been good so that's one guy. Melotakis isn't lighting the world on fire but may only be a month or two away. This *should* be a temporary situation but we've been here too many times to say that with certainty.

 

As for starters, Berrios is here and it's almost inevitable that Mejia will be back before the break. This pitching staff should only get younger from this point forward.

    • birdwatcher and howieramone2 like this
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FlauerPauer
May 12 2017 07:20 AM

I wonder what the resistance is to bringing up guys like Baxendale and Hildenberger?  They have had success in the minors.  Why not give them a chance?

    • Oldgoat_MN likes this
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Brock Beauchamp
May 12 2017 07:23 AM

 

I wonder what the resistance is to bringing up guys like Baxendale and Hildenberger?  They have had success in the minors.  Why not give them a chance?

Neither is on the 40-man. That could be the reasoning but I hope it isn't. I hope it's a performance issue, as weird as that is to say.

Have to agree that the age of the staff is going to be dropping as we go along. Berrios is a big start. (Pun somewhat intended). I am not happy with the retread approach in the pen, but I really think a lot of it is mix and match to buy time for Chargois and Reed to be healthy and get it going again, as well as gaining time for the great group of bullpen arms in Chattanooga. I think...in addition to when one/some of them come up, is do you reach down to AA for one/two arms?
    • brvama, tarheeltwinsfan and howieramone2 like this

 

Neither is on the 40-man. That could be the reasoning but I hope it isn't. I hope it's a performance issue, as weird as that is to say.

 

Wilk wasn't on the 40 man either.....

    • USAFChief, nicksaviking, Oldgoat_MN and 2 others like this
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Brock Beauchamp
May 12 2017 08:09 AM

 

Wilk wasn't on the 40 man either.....

No, but he's a journeyman that carries little to no weight in the organization. As I said when he was acquired, I don't understand why the front office went this route but I'll reserve judgment on Wilk's usage before getting upset about it.

 

We often complained how the old front office would not only call up guys like Albers but keep them on the roster for months at a time. And that was a just complaint. If this front office uses guys like Wilk as the fungible assets they are, that's pretty normal for a modern front office. Pick up a guy to hold down a spot for 10 days and then dump him the moment you have a better option available.

    • luckylager, Loosey and Taildragger8791 like this

 

No, but he's a journeyman that carries little to no weight in the organization. As I said when he was acquired, I don't understand why the front office went this route but I'll reserve judgment on Wilk's usage before getting upset about it.

 

We often complained how the old front office would not only call up guys like Albers but keep them on the roster for months at a time. And that was a just complaint. If this front office uses guys like Wilk as the fungible assets they are, that's pretty normal for a modern front office.

 

I prefer what Baltimore and Pittsburgh are doing, having 4-7 guys with options that can be used, sent down to rest, and called back up, to retreads that the team shouldn't even have on the roster. The Twins have no flexibility in this bullpen right now because they are signing guys in their 30s. 

 

Have the Twins done that? Have they sent guys up and down (Breslow, Belisle are still here.....). Which guys have they called up as fungible assets?

    • nicksaviking likes this

Lots of good stuff here. Only quibble I notice, is the "and there doesn’t seem to be any fan apathy either, as the paid attendance eclipsed 90,000 for last weekend’s series against the Red Sox."

 

90,000 people came because #RedSox.

 

Take that number off their total, and for the other 15 home games, they've averaged just over 21,000, which is 3,000+ lower than their overall average attendance last year... (far better team so far, worse attendance...)

 

There is definitely fan apathy.

    • USAFChief, Mike Sixel, Highabove and 3 others like this
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nicksaviking
May 12 2017 08:23 AM

 

This is all good stuff... nice work, Tom...

 

I'm less worried about the age of the starting staff, and I would guess that by season's end, they'll be closer to league average. 

 

If the Twins were going to be below average in anything, it should be this.

    • Mike Sixel likes this
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Brock Beauchamp
May 12 2017 08:31 AM

 

I prefer what Baltimore and Pittsburgh are doing, having 4-7 guys with options that can be used, sent down to rest, and called back up, to retreads that the team shouldn't even have on the roster. The Twins have no flexibility in this bullpen right now because they are signing guys in their 30s. 

 

Have the Twins done that? Have they sent guys up and down (Breslow, Belisle are still here.....). Which guys have they called up as fungible assets?

They're not the moves I would have preferred to see but the team has been more than willing to bounce guys up and down the 25 man over the past few weeks. There has been a lot of roster action, it's just roster action that I don't really understand in the here and now.

 

Remember how the old front office used to hang on to guys well past their expiration date in previous seasons. In 2014, the Twins gave a total of 19 starts to Deduno, Swarzak, Darnell, and Johnson. In 2013, they gave a whopping 30 starts to the likes of Samuel Deduno and Pedro-freakin-Hernandez. They gave another 28 starts to Albers, Hendriks, PJ Walters, and Cole De Vries. 58 starts, over 1/3 of a season, to those freakin' guys.

 

My god, 2013 was unwatchable.

 

By comparison, a spot start here and there to guys I don't want to watch pitch is like Christmas.

    • Mike Sixel and Taildragger8791 like this
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Brock Beauchamp
May 12 2017 08:38 AM

As an addendum, it's important to realize this:

 

The Twins have given 30 starts to Santana, Hughes, Santiago, Mejia, and Gibson. That's pretty reasonable given the roster going into the season. Now Berrios will be added to that group tomorrow.

 

The Twins have given one start to Nick Tepesch. One.

 

Maybe Gibson should have gotten the axe a start or two earlier but when you really examine this rotation, the front office hasn't been handing away starts to junk pitchers off the waiver wire.

    • birdwatcher, Twins33, Danchat and 3 others like this

 

As an addendum, it's important to realize this:

 

The Twins have given 30 starts to Santana, Hughes, Santiago, Mejia, and Gibson. That's pretty reasonable given the roster going into the season. Now Berrios will be added to that group tomorrow.

 

The Twins have given one start to Nick Tepesch. One.

 

Maybe Gibson should have gotten the axe a start or two earlier but when you really examine this rotation, the front office hasn't been handing away starts to junk pitchers off the waiver wire.

 

I thought my post was about RPs.....

 

And yes, so far, I'm thrilled that they have not held onto SPs too long....assuming Hughes isn't what he was last night, and it's not too long already (which I don't think it is, yet).

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Brock Beauchamp
May 12 2017 09:02 AM

 

I thought my post was about RPs.....

 

And yes, so far, I'm thrilled that they have not held onto SPs too long....assuming Hughes isn't what he was last night, and it's not too long already (which I don't think it is, yet).

Yeah, Hughes is skating the line but the Twins are 6-1 in games he has started.

 

You keep a close eye on that guy but if the team is winning despite his scuffling, he's not hurting anything... yet.

    • howieramone2 likes this
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Tom Froemming
May 12 2017 09:03 AM

 

I wonder what the resistance is to bringing up guys like Baxendale and Hildenberger?  They have had success in the minors.  Why not give them a chance?

I'm especially high on Hildy, with his delivery I think he could be a dominant right-handed specialist. Last season, RHers hit .168/.192/.240 off him. They have an OPS of .655 off him so far this year, but it's mainly that high because he's already given up a HR. In 25 PAs vs. RHB he has nine strikeouts (36 K%).

 

90,000 people came because #RedSox.

That's a fair point, I did see quite a few Boston jerseys at the park on Friday. Even saw a Jason Bay and a Rusney Castillo.

 

I prefer what Baltimore and Pittsburgh are doing, having 4-7 guys with options that can be used, sent down to rest, and called back up, to retreads that the team shouldn't even have on the roster. The Twins have no flexibility in this bullpen right now because they are signing guys in their 30s. 

 

Have the Twins done that? Have they sent guys up and down (Breslow, Belisle are still here.....). Which guys have they called up as fungible assets?

That's how they're using Buddy Boshers, and basically what they did with Rucinski too. But yeah, the Belisles and Breslows get in the way of expanding that philosophy, and I'd much rather see a Hildenberger or Melotakis used in that capacity.

    • Mike Sixel, nicksaviking and Oldgoat_MN like this

 

I'm especially high on Hildy, with his delivery I think he could be a dominant right-handed specialist. Last season, RHers hit .168/.192/.240 off him. They have an OPS of .655 off him so far this year, but it's mainly that high because he's already given up a HR. In 25 PAs vs. RHB he has nine strikeouts (36 K%).

 

Love Hildenberger. Reminds me a lot of Pat Neshek. And his numbers in the minors are better than Neshek's were.

    • Oldgoat_MN and Tom Froemming like this

 

Lots of good stuff here. Only quibble I notice, is the "and there doesn’t seem to be any fan apathy either, as the paid attendance eclipsed 90,000 for last weekend’s series against the Red Sox."

 

90,000 people came because #RedSox.

 

Take that number off their total, and for the other 15 home games, they've averaged just over 21,000, which is 3,000+ lower than their overall average attendance last year... (far better team so far, worse attendance...)

 

There is definitely fan apathy.

I just read something somewhere that for some odd reason attendance is usually on a one year lag.  So attendance this year is due the awfulness of last year.  And last year attendance (at least through the first few months) was up from 2015 because 2015 was the year the team made a run at 2nd wild card.  I would assume if the winning continues into the summer when school is out, attendance will climb too.  But it is weird to me.

 

I just read something somewhere that for some odd reason attendance is usually on a one year lag.  So attendance this year is due the awfulness of last year.  And last year attendance (at least through the first few months) was up from 2015 because 2015 was the year the team made a run at 2nd wild card.  I would assume if the winning continues into the summer when school is out, attendance will climb too.  But it is weird to me.

 

Why would that be odd? Most people don't know what the future holds for a team, and a lot of the ticket numbers are based on season ticket sales which happen before the season starts. I would think it would be odd if ticket sales weren't driven on last year's performance. Most fans don't come here, or even read the sports' pages....

    • Oldgoat_MN likes this

 

Why would that be odd? Most people don't know what the future holds for a team, and a lot of the ticket numbers are based on season ticket sales which happen before the season starts. I would think it would be odd if ticket sales weren't driven on last year's performance. Most fans don't come here, or even read the sports' pages....

I can see that for the first part of the season, but like I said if the team continues to win into June and July and attendance stays down, that seems odd.  But I get your point.

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LA VIkes Fan
May 12 2017 09:42 AM

I agree that Breslow and Belisle are fillers in the bullpen. I think they were both signed with the idea that they could be traded in July to a "contender" needing bullpen help. I don't agree that they are holding anyone back yet. You have to give a couple of months play to the AAA and AA bullpen to make sure you know what you have before bringing guys up - nothing kills a team worse than a bullpen blowing late inning leads. The funny thing is that between Breslow and Belisle you would think Belisle would be the guy to give you a decent return at the deadline but based on performance to date but he's not - it looks like Breslow was the find. Who would have guessed that?   

    • birdwatcher and howieramone2 like this
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birdwatcher
May 12 2017 10:05 AM

 

Going into the season, the pitching staff getting older in April and May was a risk. It's one of the reasons why I wanted at least one good free agent reliever. We've been to this rodeo too many times in recent years; the young flamethrowing relievers sputter out and the Twins are forced to go with scrapheap guys far too early in the season.

 

On the flipside of that coin, some of the relievers are nearing a promotion. Burdi has been good so that's one guy. Melotakis isn't lighting the world on fire but may only be a month or two away. This *should* be a temporary situation but we've been here too many times to say that with certainty.

 

As for starters, Berrios is here and it's almost inevitable that Mejia will be back before the break. This pitching staff should only get younger from this point forward.

 

I absolutely agree that the Twins have been serial criminals in failing to bring in that one elite relief arm in the off-season. Unsurprisingly, it has resulted in a scramble for a band-aid every season, and that's because the relief prospects they thought they might be able to count on were unavailable due to injury stifling their progress or because of other hiccups in their progress. They can be blamed for failing to bring in that elite reliever. They've been very unlucky when it comes to injuries to practically every relief prospect being mentioned now as languishing unnecessarily in the minors. Burdi, Chargois, Melotakis, Reed, Jones, Jay, Bard, Baxendale, Wimmers, Rosario, Cedaroth, Booser, Jorge. I believe every one of these guys has missed significant development time due to injury, many missing an entire season or more, all missing months at a time.

 

So, we can argue that a number of these guys appear to finally be ready, and that's good. But I will cut them a little slack for being a bit more patient than I am, and I reject the argument that there's been a misguided and deliberate pattern of moving these prospects along too slowly. Well, okay, maybe just a little too slowly...

 

I absolutely agree that the Twins have been serial criminals in failing to bring in that one elite relief arm in the off-season. Unsurprisingly, it has resulted in a scramble for a band-aid every season, and that's because the relief .....

 

So, we can argue that a number of these guys appear to finally be ready, and that's good. But I will cut them a little slack for being a bit more patient than I am, and I reject the argument that there's been a misguided and deliberate pattern of moving these prospects along too slowly. Well, okay, maybe just a little too slowly...

 

clipped since we don't need the whole quote......

 

Agreed, they have not had good luck at all with injuries.

 

I'd just like to see Burdi and Melo in AAA now, as a sign.....I mean, I'd prefer Burdi was here now, but at least promote them.

    • birdwatcher and DocBauer like this

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