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How about a postseason game thread? Any MLB postseason discussion can just go here.
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Article: AFL Report - Week 1: Outfielders Come Up Big

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The AFL season’s first week was a little lacking on opportunities for Twins pitchers and the well-known name among their position players...
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Trevor May Presents A Planning Paradox For Twins

The Twins need to improve their pitching this offseason. That is their top priority, and arguably their only priority.

While it's easy enough to say, 'Go sign and trade for a bunch of new arms,' there are roster realities that will make adding multiple guaranteed contracts on the staff a somewhat complicated proposition.

Trevor May is one pitcher who will prove difficult to plan around.
Image courtesy of John Rieger, USA Today
When I was in Ft. Myers in March for spring training, May was one of the best performers on the mound I had a chance to watch. I wasn't alone in my sentiment. There was significant buzz around the big right-hander, who had worked hard in the lead-up to camp after getting the go-ahead to prepare as a starter.

He was in great shape. His pitches were buzzing. He was amped up and ready to go.

That May's stuff was among the best in the organization was no secret, and he had it all working in the Grapefruit League. He was electric on the mound in what turned out to be his final appearance of 2017, facing an all-star laden Team USA squad in early March. His sterling performance against premium hitters represented a big step toward locking up a spot in the rotation.

And then, just a couple days later, it was all over. Shockingly, May had suffered a torn ACL in the middle of that outing, despite reporting no issues postgame. He underwent Tommy John surgery on March 22nd, and then spent his summer rehabbing.

TJ recovery can sometimes take more than a year, but the timetable is growing shorter as methods improve. These days, pitchers frequently return to the mound after 10 or 11 months.

There's reason to believe May will be ready to roll around the start of spring training if not shortly thereafter. As he noted at the time, the 28-year-old has never had a remotely serious arm injury in the past. GM Thad Levine pointed out that the UCL tear was "an acute injury" and that the cumulative impact was minimal. In other words, May's elbow was otherwise quite healthy, improving his odds for a quicker recovery.

May has been throwing for a while now and reported on Twitter that he was starting to touch the mid-80s already in early October, less than seven months removed from the surgery.

If by the end of camp next year he's looking like he did this spring before going down, May could be a high-impact addition, either in the rotation or bullpen. But in either capacity, how do you account for him if you're in charge of constructing the team this winter?

The rotation already figures to have four members more or less locked in: Ervin Santana, Jose Berrios, Kyle Gibson and Adalberto Mejia. If you sign or trade for a starter, suddenly May is crowded out of the picture, though he could obviously push someone like Gibson or Mejia for a job, or stand by as the ready reinforcement.

Sending May back to the bullpen is a less appealing option, in my mind. He showed upside as a full-time reliever in 2016, striking out 60 in 43 innings, but was altogether inconsistent and deserves a real shot at starting anyway. Besides, the pen has its share of question marks as is – Ryan Pressly, Tyler Duffey, Alan Busenitz, JT Chargois, etc. Adding May would further cloud a situation already lacking much clarity.

On the bright side, the Twins do have the luxury of taking their time, in a sense. There's nothing wrong with getting to Ft. Myers next February, allowing May to rev it up on the mound, and assessing from there. He has options left, so they'll even be able to start him in Rochester if they deem it necessary.

But the front office's moves to improve the team in the coming months will need to factor in what they already have on hand, and May – more than most – is a difficult one to project with any kind of certainty.

If he makes a full recovery and is ready to roll by Opening Day – and currently there's little reason to think this won't be the case – he should be part of the plan. Maybe a big part.

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72 Comments

I think that May should not be counted-on to be on the staff in any capacity.If per chance Trevor demonstrates the results of "his potential"--Great! I suspect even if May does perform above expectations that he will be kept in the minors anyway for at least a month. We saw this past season how frequent pitchers are moved up (and down) so there should be no concern that May won't "get his chance" if he pitches to a high standard.

    • Thrylos, gunnarthor, Twins33 and 4 others like this

Get Cobb.Rotation of Santana, Berrios, Gibson, Cobb.Let ST be the competition between Mejia and May with the loser waiting in the wings as a starter in the minors along with Gonsalves.Starting rotation at beginning of the year is rarely the one in June.

    • Major Leauge Ready and RaoulDuke like this
I legitimately would forget May was on the roster from time to time this year, then remember, and feel a little better about things. Bullpen or not, I think he's going to be a piece next year.
    • bluechipper, Taildragger8791, sploorp and 1 other like this

 

I think that May should not be counted-on to be on the staff in any capacity.If per chance Trevor demonstrates the results of "his potential"--Great! I suspect even if May does perform above expectations that he will be kept in the minors anyway for at least a month. We saw this past season how frequent pitchers are moved up (and down) so there should be no concern that May won't "get his chance" if he pitches to a high standard.

 

Agree 100%.Build the team like May/ Chargois/ rookies that should break out don't exist.If/when they push there way onto the roster you only get stronger. 

    • birdwatcher, Twins33, Winston Smith and 5 others like this
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Louie Schuth
Nov 01 2017 12:57 AM

Too much pitching is not a problem the Twins have ever had, and I don't think the possibility that May will force his way into their plans should keep the team from going after a potentially better option.

    • Twins33, beckmt, Winston Smith and 5 others like this

Gibson and Mejia throw too many 4 inning games to be considered locks to make the rotation. I would not be surprised if one of them is dealt

    • messed up, mikelink45, sploorp and 3 others like this

I am curious - how many years has TD been praising May and expecting great things? I would love to see him be the stud that everyone has writtena about, but I am a Skeptic. Some players tease their entire year and never get it done - like Meyer.Good luck May, I just would not plan on you for any of our open roles. 

    • sploorp and Vanimal46 like this
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clutterheart
Nov 01 2017 07:29 AM
If by the end of camp next year he's looking like he did this spring before going down, May could be a high-impact addition, either in the rotation or bullpen. But in either capacity, how do you account for him if you're in charge of constructing the team this winter?

 

 

I would be shocked if May is in the starting rotation with any regularity this year - especially at the start of the year.No matter how he looks in spring, keep it simple and plan for May to start in the minors on a rehab assignment, and see how it goes.

 

An organization that plans for a pitcher to effective 12 months after TJ surgery is a stupid organization. 

    • KGB, Taildragger8791, sploorp and 3 others like this
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Cory Engelhardt
Nov 01 2017 07:35 AM

Hopefully May can be healthy and hold down a starting rotation spot. Frankly, even when all pitchers are healthy most teams use 8 starters in a year anyway. May will have a chance to start, and if he is healthy he will take it.

    • sploorp and dbminn like this

 

I am curious - how many years has TD been praising May and expecting great things? I would love to see him be the stud that everyone has writtena about, but I am a Skeptic. Some players tease their entire year and never get it done - like Meyer.Good luck May, I just would not plan on you for any of our open roles. 

 

It would be nice if he made 30 starts in a season before we got too excited. (Admittedly, not his fault how he was used in 2015).

 

I echo the other thoughts that it is very unlikely he is ready for opening day, and that the Twins should plan on receiving nothing from him this season. There is no planning paradox, only a potential nice bonus if he fully recovers and can contribute at some point this season.

    • mikelink45, Taildragger8791 and sploorp like this

1. Can't have too many pitchers.

2. I don't think Mejia is the lock you say he is.

3. If the Twins think he is a potential major league starter this year they can potentially trade Gibson this offseason.

4. Can't have too many pitchers.

5. Twins should still look to acquire another starter this offseason.

    • LA VIkes Fan, sploorp and lukeduke1980 like this

 

1. Can't have too many pitchers.

2. I don't think Mejia is the lock you say he is.

3. If the Twins think he is a potential major league starter this year they can potentially trade Gibson this offseason.

4. Can't have too many pitchers.

5. Twins should still look to acquire another starter this offseason.

 

Yes

Yes, nowhere near a lock

Don't think they get anything to make it worth it

Yes

Absolutely, malpractice to not acquire someone

    • Taildragger8791, sploorp, CUtomorrownight and 2 others like this
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ashburyjohn
Nov 01 2017 08:18 AM

Given that May has minor league options remaining, this is a non-problem. He's more than good enough to deserve a 40-man spot, even in preference to a few prospects who now need to be added, and even if a top veteran starter is signed. As for the 25-man aspect five months from now, from either the team's standpoint or May's: the team can stash him in Rochester if he doesn't make his case during the Spring, and the pitcher knows it's up to himself to make that case after a career-threatening injury. May has demonstrated that kind of maturity in interviews at least. So, non-problem: you hang onto him and continue to invest in him, but you don't count on him nor plan around him.

 

If by chance the 40-man becomes an issue, it's not a Trevor May issue. The de-cluttering needs to continue anyway.

    • Blake, markos, lsh and 1 other like this
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Nick Nelson
Nov 01 2017 08:44 AM

 

I am curious - how many years has TD been praising May and expecting great things? I would love to see him be the stud that everyone has writtena about, but I am a Skeptic. Some players tease their entire year and never get it done - like Meyer.Good luck May, I just would not plan on you for any of our open roles. 

He does have a 3.71 FIP and 9.5 K/9 rate in 200 MLB innings...

 

May has been quite unlucky with the injuries thus far but when he's been on the field, he has performed. 

    • Blake, nicksaviking, bluechipper and 7 others like this

Seems to me a no-brainer to make May a starter again, and hope he fulfills his destiny, even if that's as our #3.During the offseason, go sign a couple quality relievers (including a closer). 

 

If/when the Twins are competing for the division in June, and IF there's a glaring hole in the rotation, go get a quality starter. 

 

He does have a 3.71 FIP and 9.5 K/9 rate in 200 MLB innings...

 

May has been quite unlucky with the injuries thus far but when he's been on the field, he has performed. 

And basically 0 WAR in 200 innings to go with a 79 ERA+. I like him a lot, actually, but fip isn't a perfect stat and doesn't tell the whole story either. He's no longer a young prospect and really hasn't done much yet. I think he can be a pretty good starter in the long run but the Twins would be nuts to expect much from him. Make him be a pleasant surprise this year.He'll start in AAA and force his way up by results.

    • KGB, Taildragger8791, sploorp and 2 others like this
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LimestoneBaggy
Nov 01 2017 09:09 AM

This is what I want our roster of quality starting pitchers too look like (am I asking to much?)

 

img_0638.png?w=474&h=321

    • ashburyjohn, Taildragger8791, sploorp and 2 others like this

There are many who remain bullish on May, I'm not one of them. In fact I guess you could say I never expected anything out of either May or Meyer. If it were me, I would base his Twins future on how he performs in spring training and toss him into any trade talks until then. In other words, his chance to stay on the team would be slim.

But it's not me, and I realize it's likely he's with the team next year. In that regard, I hope he surprises me and turns a corner, remains healthy, and learns how to be consistent.

Gibson is a lock to make the team next year?  He finished with almost indentical stats to 2016.  I know he pitched well for a couple of months, but man this guy has been mostly terrible and is 30.  Experiment should be over.

 

I believe May has the stuff, but we certainly cannot count on him and agree with others, that we hopefully bring someone else in, better than a Jamie Garcia to bolster the starting pitching.

    • Vanimal46, lukeduke1980 and KirbyDome89 like this

I don't see this as an issue tbh. I think it is another example of why the Twins should go strong after one very good starter and then let Mejia and Gibson (cheap one year arb contract) try to hold off the AAA talent and May. The Twins actually have many very good options that should be up at some point next season.

 

I think the bigger factor as to what his role will next season is when he is given the green light to pitch w/o limitations. There might be a few pitchers that successfully come back in 12 months or less but I think the norm for being back at full strength is still 15+ months. If May is coming back mid-season then you have time to assess the current MLB needs at that point and plan his rehab around that role. As a default plan on him rehabbing as a starter though since it is easier to switch later on that way.

    • ThejacKmp, markos, Doomtints and 2 others like this

I agree that May should not be given an automatic pass.I also feel that Gibson should be dealt if possible (do not think that will happen).You can never have too much pitching (if you feel you do bundle and trade for an upgrade to the rotation).

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Winston Smith
Nov 01 2017 11:23 AM

 

1. Can't have too many pitchers.

2. I don't think Mejia is the lock you say he is.

3. If the Twins think he is a potential major league starter this year they can potentially trade Gibson this offseason.

4. Can't have too many pitchers.

5. Twins should still look to acquire another starter this offseason.

I would change this a little;

1. Can't have too many ​good ​pitchers.

2. Can't have too many good pitchers.

3. Can't have too many good pitchers.

4. Can't have too many good pitchers.

5. Can't have too many good pitchers.

    • Sconnie, sploorp and spinowner like this
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ashburyjohn
Nov 01 2017 11:33 AM

I also feel that Gibson should be dealt if possible (do not think that will happen). 

What's the minimum you would take in return for him? He can be non-tendered, if you feel he is simply in the way.

 

I would change this a little;

1. Can't have too many ​good ​pitchers.

2. Can't have too many good pitchers.

3. Can't have too many good pitchers.

4. Can't have too many good pitchers.

5. Can't have too many good pitchers.

Keep in mind, MLB is short of good pitchers. Look at the teams right behind us in the Wild Card race. A lot of them would have liked to have Kyle Gibson.

 

If you made a list of all starters last year in the majors (218 pitched at least 30 innings), Gibson is probably in the 90-100 range (I looked at fWAR and it has him at 108 by WAR and 87 by xFIP (above Berrios). Obviously, having 5 pitchers better than that would be ideal but it's not realistic.

    • Blake, sploorp, SF Twins Fan and 3 others like this

 

What's the minimum you would take in return for him? He can be non-tendered, if you feel he is simply in the way.

I would use him as part of a package with prospects to get a better pitcher or a good prospect from a pitching rich club that needs other holes filled.  

I trust the front office can handle this.

 


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