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Cleveland MLB team reportedly considering name change

Other Baseball Today, 12:25 AM
This is an AP article I lifted from the StarTribune web site.   https://www.startrib...sure/571623572/
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Take Landis Name off the MVP Award

Other Baseball Yesterday, 09:04 PM
Barry Larkin, former MVP, has been calling for removing the Kenesaw Mountain Landis name from MVP awards.Personally, until I read the art...
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Virtual Twins Baseball Megathread

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 09:27 AM
Moving forward this will house every game-thread in the comments below until real baseball hopefully comes back. I should have done this...
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Twins remove Calvin Griffith statue

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 07:53 PM
because TEAR EVERYTHING DOWN!
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Neal: Twins Radio Broadcast Team Will Not Travel

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 04:52 AM
https://www.startrib...ason/571529672/   LaVelle Neal also wrote that the Twins radio broadcast crew (including Cory Provus and Dan...
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Twins All-Decade Team, the '80s (The Pitchers)

Yesterday, we reviewed the top Minnesota Twins hitters from the decade of the 1980s. That group was impressive. Today, we will discuss the top Twins pitchers during the 1980s.
Image courtesy of Daniel Mick
Some of the Twins teams in the early '80s were really bad. However, it was a time for some development, and one of the players developed turned into one of the bettter pitchers in team history. There is no question that Frank Viola was the team's top pitcher of the 1980s, and he helped lead the 1987 Twins to a World Series title before the end of the decade.

However, there is a big drop-off after Viola, and after reading today's article, you probably won't be surprised that the Twins had questions regarding a third starter even on a World Series team. Question marks in the pitching staff may have been an understatement in the early '80s.

So, read my all-decade pitchers below and then discuss the pitchers. Did I leave someone out? What surprised you?

Don't forget that on Thursday night, I'll be posting another podcast in which I talk about the Twins decade with a beat reporter who covered the team during the decade. It's a ton of fun and I really think you'll enjoy it... In fact, the writer actually convinced me to make one change in the bullpen below, the first time that has happened during this series.


SP - Frank Viola (1982-1989)
260 games, 259 starts, 112-93 with 3.86 ERA in 1,772 2/3 innings. 1,214 K. 521 BB.

Viola was the Twins second -round pick in 1981 out of St. Johns. Just over a year later, he made his debut for the Twins. In the early years, he was working innings for a struggling team, but as he got better, the Twins got better. He won 18 games in both 1984 and 1985. He won 17 games and posted a 2.90 ERA in 1987. That season ended with him named the MVP of the World Series. In 1988, he went 24-7 with a 2.64 ERA and won the AL Cy Young Award. 1988 was his lone All-Star appearance with the Twins. He was traded to the Mets during the 1989 season. He pitched more than twice as many innings as any other pitcher for the Twins during the decade.

SP - Bert Blyleven (1985-1988)
120 games, 120 starts, 50-48 with 4.22 ERA in 860 innings. 633 K. 236 BB.

Blyleven was easily the Twins top pitcher during the decade of the 1970s. He was traded to Texas, won a World Series with the 1979 Pirates, and pitched for Cleveland. He was traded back to the Twins in the middle of the 1985 season. While he was no longer the same pitcher as in his first stint with the Twins, he still provided solid pitching and innings for the Twins. He posted a 4.01 ERA in both 1986 and 1987. He was the second reliable starter on the 1987 World Series team as well.

SP - Allan Anderson (1986-1989)
88 games, 75 starts, 37-35 with 3.72 ERA in 495 2/3 innings. 206 K. 130 BB.
Anderson was the Twins second-round pick in 1982 out of high school in Ohio. He moved up the ladder and debuted in June of 1986. He pitched in 21 games that summer and then another four games in 1987. In 1988, he made 30 starts and went 16-9 with a league-leading 2.45 ERA. The following season, he made 33 starts and went 17-10 with a 3.80 ERA. During those seasons, he struck out just 3.7 and 3.2 batters, respectively, per nine innings. However, he also had elite control and command which made him good for a couple of seasons.

SP - Albert Williams (1980-1984)
120 games, 97 starts, 35-38 with 4.24 ERA in 642 2/3 innings. 262 K. 227 BB.

The back story of Albert Williams, whether it is true or embellished, is fascinating, but the right-hander from Nicaragua had a couple of mediocre seasons for the Twins during the decade. That qualifies him as a Top 5 starter of the decade. He spent parts of five seasons with the Twins, mostly as a starter. In the three seasons in which he threw 150 or more innings, he had ERA+ of 97, 101 and 103. In those seasons, his strikeout rate dropped from 4.6 to 3.6 to 3.2. In 1984, it was just 2.9, and he was let go.

SP - Mike Smithson (1984-1987)
128 games, 126 starts, 47-48 with 4.46 ERA in 816 innings. 438 K. 227 BB.

Smithson came to the Twins with John Butcher from the Rangers after the 1983 season for Gary Ward. He made a good first impression when he won 15 games and posted a 3.68 ERA in 252 innings over 36 starts in 1984. He won 15 games again in 1985, though his ERA rose to 4.34 (exactly league average) in 257 innings. He went 13-14 with a 4.77 ERA in 1986, and he was 4-7 with a 5.94 ERA in 1987 before losing his job and being left off of the Twins postseason roster. Oh, and his 438 strikeouts for the Twins was third-highest among Twins starters in the decade.

RP - Doug Corbett (1980-1982)
137 games, 0 starts, 10-14 with 43 saves and a 2.49 ERA in 246 innings. 164 K. 86 BB.

Corbett made his MLB debut at the beginning of the 1980 season as a 27-year-old for the Twins. He posted a 1.98 ERA over 136 1/3 innings in 73 games. He went 8-6 with 23 saves. He finished second in Rookie of the Year voting. The following year, he went 2-6 with 17 saves and a 2.57 ERA in a league-leading 54 games and 87 2/3 innings. No truth to any rumors that his right arm sent a thank you note to those involved in the strike. After just ten games in 1982, the Twins traded him to the Angels in a deal that brought Tom Brunansky.

RP - Juan Berenguer (1987-1989)
160 games, 7 starts, 25-8 with 9 saves and a 3.79 ERA in 318 innings. 302 K. 155 BB.

When Berenguer came to the Twins as a free agent in 1987, he had already pitched in parts of nine MLB seasons. While he hadn’t been a great starter, Tom Kelly used him a lot in his four seasons with the Twins. In 1987, he went 8-1 with four saves in 47 games and 112 innings. He worked over 100 innings all four years. Unlike most pitchers of the decade, Berenguer actually had a fastball that reached up to 93 or even 94 mph. He averaged just shy of a strikeout per inning during his time with the Twins. That is now just below league average, but at that time, it was very strong. Berenguer became a popular Twins player thanks to the Berenguer Boogie, along with very strong pitching.

RP - Jeff Reardon (1987-1989)
191 games, 0 starts, 15-16 with 104 saves and a 3.70 ERA in 226 1/3 innings. 185 K. 55 BB.

Reardon came to the Twins before the 1987 season. He had been an All-Star in 1985 and 1986. His biggest attribute to Twins fans was that he was not Ron Davis. However, he got off to a slow start early in his Twins career. After that, however, he became quite reliable. Despite an 8-8 record and 31 saves, his 1987 ERA was just 4.48. However, he received both MVP and Cy Young Award votes. His 104 saves was second in the organization during the decade. In 1988 ,he posted a 2.47 ERA in 74 innings and was an All-Star.

RP - Ron Davis (1982-1986)
286 games, 0 starts, 19-40 with 108 saves and a 4.51 ERA in 381 1/3 innings. 349 K. 185 BB.

After a couple of great years in the Yankees bullpen, Davis came to the Twins before the 1982 season with Greg Gagne for Roy Smalley. Goose Gossage was the Yankees closer, so Davis would get an opportunity in that role with the Twns that he did not get with the Yankees. While Davis has unfortunately become almost a punch line for Twins fans, and at times he really did struggle mightily, most of the time he did get the job done. He finished the games he came into 87% of the time. It isn’t impressive relative to today’s closers, but when he was going two or more innings most times, it was good. That said, when he was dealt to the Cubs in 1986, it was understandably welcomed.


RP - Keith Atherton (1986-1988)
155 games, 0 starts, 19-18 with 15 saves and a 3.91 ERA in 235 innings. 153 K. 87 BB.

After three-plus seasons in Oakland, Atherton came to the Twins in a May 1986 trade and became a generally reliable relief option for the Twins for the next three seasons. He was the #3 most used reliever in 1987 behind Berenguer and Reardon. As we saw at the back end of the starting group, Atherton was simply solid for three seasons with the Twins and that put him in my top five.


What do you think?


Previous Installments
Twins All-Decade Team, the '60s (The Hitters)
Twins All-Decade Team, the '60s (The Pitchers)
Episode 15: Get t o Know the 1960s Twins (with Dave Mona)
Twins All-Decade Team, the '70s (The Hitters)
Twins All-Decade Team, the '70s (The Pitchers)
Episode 16: Get to Know the 1970s Twins (with Patrick Reusse)
Twins All-Decade Team: the '80s (The Hitters)
Twins All-Decade Team: the '80s (The Pitchers)
Episode 17: Get to know the 1980s Twins (with TBD)


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20 Comments

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VivaBomboRivera!
Apr 23 2020 08:02 AM

The silence here thus far speaks volumes...

    • Seth Stohs and Nine of twelve like this

Fascinating look back.Some crazy names for the top ranks other than Viola.I may be the only person who looks at Blyleven's career as not a HOF pitcher, but it does not matter, he is in, still in this stint his figures should have made him #3 or #4 in the rotation.I believe with this reflection I would have thought of the pre-1900s and just gone with two pitchers (do you hear that Old Hoss Radbourne?).  

 

I know Koosman had only one good season with us, but I think it is enough to drop Albert or Mike.  

 

I would probably move Reardon to the top of the relievers and Berenguer was so much fun he also needs to be where you put him at #2.I have to add that I am one who never wants to see Ron Davis name again so someone has to replace him, but I cannot figure out who it would be. 

 

Final thought - so far the rank for the decades

  • 60s
  • 70s
  • 80s (despite their world series)

 

Ron Davis has the most win shares (38.0) for Twin's relievers in the 80's, yikes.

 

Davis - - - - - - 38.0

Reardon - - - - 36.2

Corbett - - - - - 35.9

Berenguer - - - 27.1

Filson - - - - - - 23.0

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Nine of twelve
Apr 23 2020 09:23 AM

 

 I may be the only person who looks at Blyleven's career as not a HOF pitcher, 

 

This is a hot-button issue for me, so I'll repeat what I've said before in an effort to change your mind. When Blyleven retired he was third all-time in strikeouts behind only Nolan Ryan and Steve Carlton. (He's now fifth.) Moreover, Ryan and Carlton are first and second in career walks. Blyleven is 29th. Not electing him to the HOF would be analogous to not electing a player who was third all-time in home runs. He should have been a first-ballot inductee.

    • DocBauer, Hawkeye12, rdehring and 1 other like this
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Twins_Fan_For_Life
Apr 23 2020 09:41 AM
Per baseballreference.com, Bert Blyleven's career WAR, 7-year peak, and JAWS all surpass average HOF starting pitchers. Look at his career WAR! An easy HOF choice.

JAWS
Starting Pitcher (16th):
94.5 career WAR / 50.3 7yr-peak WAR / 72.4 JAWS
Average HOF P (out of 65):
73.3 career WAR / 50.0 7yr-peak WAR / 61.6 JAWS
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theBOMisthebomb
Apr 23 2020 12:18 PM
Not much for starters after Bert and Frankie V.
I still have nightmares from the Ron Davis (RD) Experience in the 1980s.
    • Nine of twelve likes this

 

 

I know Koosman had only one good season with us, but I think it is enough to drop Albert or Mike.  

 

 

 

That good season was in 1979. 

    • Nine of twelve and VivaBomboRivera! like this
Not going to lie, I had forgotten about Al Williams. Maybe that was deliberate on my part, lol. The 80's left a lot to desire on the mound.

If Butcher had had a little better 2nd season I think I would have selected him over Williams even with only 2yrs Twins time.

Nice to see Atherton mentioned. Guy wasn't great but he was solid.
    • mikelink45 and Nine of twelve like this

I might put Roger Erickson in there in place of Williams based on his 80s numbers, better ERA and Ks.Although his 14 win season came as a rookie in '78, so his W-L record wasn't too great for the 80s.

 

This is a hot-button issue for me, so I'll repeat what I've said before in an effort to change your mind. When Blyleven retired he was third all-time in strikeouts behind only Nolan Ryan and Steve Carlton. (He's now fifth.) Moreover, Ryan and Carlton are first and second in career walks. Blyleven is 29th. Not electing him to the HOF would be analogous to not electing a player who was third all-time in home runs. He should have been a first-ballot inductee.

I knew I would be controversial, but it is fun to be quoted.Good stats, but he is still borderline for me.

 

 

That good season was in 1979. 

In 1980 he was 16 - 13 4.03 era, 243 innings and compared to the others on the list, that is a good year.But I understand and have no argument with your choice 

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Nine of twelve
Apr 23 2020 04:47 PM

 

I knew I would be controversial, but it is fun to be quoted.Good stats, but he is still borderline for me.

No problem. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. Even when it's wrong. ;)

Funny how memory works. For years now I had forgotten Allan Anderson had TWO really good years, a mediocre one and then a poor 4th. I kept thinking he only had the one really good year. I had such high hopes for him and what might have been. Unfortunately, to long time followers of the system, the 80's are as much about ML pitching struggles as well as further what might have been in regard to the milb system. I can't recall top 100 lists or anything of that nature, but the Twins had half a dozen highly regarded young arms with velocity that were really expected to augment that very good lineup. There was a time when the foundation of that '87 team was expected to contend yet again when a couple of those young arms rose up. Sadly, most never even sniffed the majors.

 

No problem. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. Even when it's wrong. ;)

Or right - I love it

 

    • Nine of twelve likes this
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Nine of twelve
Apr 23 2020 05:08 PM

 

Funny how memory works. For years now I had forgotten Allan Anderson had TWO really good years, a mediocre one and then a poor 4th. I kept thinking he only had the one really good year. I had such high hopes for him and what might have been. Unfortunately, to long time followers of the system, the 80's are as much about ML pitching struggles as well as further what might have been in regard to the milb system. I can't recall top 100 lists or anything of that nature, but the Twins had half a dozen highly regarded young arms with velocity that were really expected to augment that very good lineup. There was a time when the foundation of that '87 team was expected to contend yet again when a couple of those young arms rose up. Sadly, most never even sniffed the majors.

I was a student at Ohio State during the early 1980's and knew a guy from Anderson's home town, Lancaster, OH. Apparently he was touching the 90's in high school before having an elbow incident. Still made himself into a very good pitcher, albeit for a short time.

    • mikelink45 and DocBauer like this
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mickeymental
Apr 23 2020 05:45 PM
allan anderson skipped his last start to win the ’88 era title — not exactly a profile in courage.
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Nine of twelve
Apr 24 2020 08:43 AM

 

allan anderson skipped his last start to win the ’88 era title — not exactly a profile in courage.

Tom Kelly took responsibility for that decision publicly. I don't know what the private conversation was between the two of them or who brought it up first, but TK didn't usually let players off the hook if he felt a player did anything that ran contrary to his ideas about how baseball should be played.

    • mikelink45 and mickeymental like this
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mickeymental
Apr 24 2020 10:01 AM

 

Tom Kelly took responsibility for that decision publicly. I don't know what the private conversation was between the two of them or who brought it up first, but TK didn't usually let players off the hook if he felt a player did anything that ran contrary to his ideas about how baseball should be played.

maybe so (and not saying i would have done differently in allan's shoes). but, according to legend, ted williams faced a similar choice and insisted on playing instead of sitting on his .400 and backing into the batting title. uninspiring versus very cool. just sayin.

    • Nine of twelve likes this
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Nine of twelve
Apr 24 2020 02:02 PM

 

maybe so (and not saying i would have done differently in allan's shoes). but, according to legend, ted williams faced a similar choice and insisted on playing instead of sitting on his .400 and backing into the batting title. uninspiring versus very cool. just sayin.

I'm pretty sure the Ted Williams story is not just a legend. He was a hard-nosed competitor, and he went 6-for-8 in a doubleheader on the last day of the 1941 season. .3996 going in, .4057 coming out. This was in Philadelphia and with the Athletics in last place I wonder if their pitchers really tried their best to get him out.

    • mickeymental likes this

Funny how, when looking at an extended time period likethis, Innings Pitched tends to be as good as any other metric for grading starting pitching.Bottom line, over an extended period, if you ain't good you don't eat innings.

 

    • Nine of twelve likes this

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