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View Full Version : 13 - A lucky number of pitchers?



ashburyjohn
07-06-2012, 11:35 AM
The transactions of the last few days boil down to Blackburn being replaced by Deduno, and Parmelee being replaced by... Fien? So, we're back to a roster of 13 pitchers and 3 catchers. Very little scope for pinch-hitting and pinch-running. I guess this has been hashed to death, but it still seems weird to me. Wasn't so long ago that 11 pitchers were enough for a staff. And I think it detracts from the enjoyment of the tactical game - instead of managers having to anticipate opposing moves and countering them, it's just a matter of running wave after wave of fresh arms out there to throw heat for an inning.

gmarais66
07-06-2012, 01:49 PM
They have 13 pitchers, because three starters in a row couldn't make it past the fifth inning and the bullpen has had to pitch half of each game.... They are way overworked... Not to mention, two of the starters were sent to Rochester.... It's not a change in organizational philosophy.... It's simply a case of some powerful bad starting pitching and an injury (BD)....

CDog
07-06-2012, 02:19 PM
They have 13 pitchers, because three starters in a row couldn't make it past the fifth inning and the bullpen has had to pitch half of each game.... They are way overworked... Not to mention, two of the starters were sent to Rochester.... It's not a change in organizational philosophy.... It's simply a case of some powerful bad starting pitching and an injury (BD)....

And throw in a trip to Texas to face their lineup for the weekend AND the fact that the position players are such that in-game substitutions are pretty rare.

IdahoPilgrim
07-06-2012, 03:11 PM
My guess is they go back to 12 pitchers after the all-star break, with hopefully Walters ready to go, and Capps just about ready. They've got to make room on the roster for a 13th position player so they can bring Parmelee back up here. They need him to keep the seats on the bench warm for the other players.

lecroy24fan
07-07-2012, 12:37 AM
I prefer to leave Parmelee down there so he can play everyday. Why not bring up Matt Carson for a little bench pop? I really don't see anybody in AAA that would be able to sit on the bench up here and be able to be a valuable PH. Maybe they should trade someone for a MLB PH? Maybe a Lyle Overbay type? I mean, Dozier is really the only one of the "A" lineup you'd consider a PH for with who we have on the bench anyways.

I just do not understand the fuss over carrying 3 catchers right now. The lack of options at AAA make it reasonable, and Butera can handle being on the bench for days at a time.

IdahoPilgrim
07-07-2012, 07:22 AM
I just do not understand the fuss over carrying 3 catchers right now. The lack of options at AAA make it reasonable, and Butera can handle being on the bench for days at a time.

I think it has less to do with carrying 3 catchers (although that is a bit unusual) and more that people here just don't like Butera because of his inability at the plate the previous 2 years. Personally I think he's done OK this year - solid defensively and his hitting has improved, although still needs to be better.

VATwinsFan
07-07-2012, 10:34 AM
Call me old, but I don't understand the need for so many pitchers. Way back when in the Dark Ages i.e. the late 60s, the Twins basically got along fine with 10-11 pitchers with as few as 9 throwing pratically all the innings. I don't ever recall them having more than 10 pitchers on the roster other than after the September call ups. In 1967 Twins pitchers had 58 complete games and 4 pitchers with over 200 innings--and this was without the designated hitter. (There were also three position players who played at least 160 games). In 1969 the Twins got 46 complete games from their pitchers. Closers routinely pitched more than one inning on consecutive days. Even in 1987 and 1991 the staff pretty much consisted of 9 or 10 pitchers with a few extra innings thrown in here and there from retreads and call ups.

With all the supposed improvements in sports medicine, computer analysis, better training techniques etc, you would think today's pitchers would simply outclass those of 20-30-40-years ago, at least in terms of physical conditioning, yet from what I can tell, with very few exceptions, they don't. Injuries are common and managers are, in my opinion, way too hung up lefty-lefty, righty-righty matchups.

If a team can't get along with 11 pitchers it seems to me something is seriously wrong in several different areas.

I rather have those extra pinch runners and pinch hitters.

My two cents worth.

Rosterman
07-07-2012, 11:04 AM
The Twins do have two long men: Duensing and Swarzak. If the Twins would keep these guys there and not throw them into the starting mix, it looks pretty darn good. Burnett and Gray CAN go a couple innings at times. Burton and Perkins and Capps are all specifically one-inning guys at the moment, although if Capps comes back as the closer, then Burton can finish an inning and complete another.

I'm hoping the Twins do jump the gun predicting the Walters and Capps return and send Fien (who hasn't pitched) and Robertson back to the minors. That leaves a rotation of P.J., Diamond, DeVries, Liriano. DeDuno.

If Duensing and Swarxak are your one-time thru the order plus mopup guys, you are doing well with a measly 12 pitchers.

spideyo
07-07-2012, 11:53 AM
If we had Butera and any other non-Mauer catcher we've had in the last few years as our #2 and #3 catchers, I'd understand the incredible irritation at carrying three catchers. But we have Doumit, who can DH as well as anyone on the team, and can also cover RF and 1b in a pinch. That gives us a whole lot more flexibility, and having Butera up here lets Gardy keep both Mauer and Doumit in the lineup without risking losing the DH spot if the starting catcher gets nailed with a bad foul tip or a hard collision at the plate. I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing Butera is a far better hitter than Gray/Burton/Burnett/Perkins/Capps/Swarzak/Duensing.

As far as the 13 pitchers, it works ok right now because everybody gets time off next week so we don't need to worry so much about wearing out our position guys, and it keeps us from having to let Blackburn, Hendricks, or Swarzak start another game.

Sometime in the next few weeks Capps and Walters should be back from the DL, eventually Pavano probably will, and Blackburn and Hendricks still could possibly turn things in around in AAA (y'never know, stranger things have happened). Either way, adding Capps back to the BP in some role and giving us a few more starting pitching options will make it far easier to trim back down to 12 guys. Honestly, I'd rather see a righty who can cover 1b (or 3b and slide plouffe to 1b) than Parmelee come up. We don't really need another left handed bat, what we need is a good pinch hitting option to cover for Morneau in those clutch situations vs LHP. Of course, none of the guys who could potentially fill that spot (Valencia, Chang, Hollimon, Bates) are actually hitting very well right now, so..yeah. It'll probably be Parm again, unless someone pops up on the waiver wire.

IdahoPilgrim
07-07-2012, 12:47 PM
Call me old, but I don't understand the need for so many pitchers. Way back when in the Dark Ages i.e. the late 60s, the Twins basically got along fine with 10-11 pitchers with as few as 9 throwing pratically all the innings. I don't ever recall them having more than 10 pitchers on the roster other than after the September call ups. In 1967 Twins pitchers had 58 complete games and 4 pitchers with over 200 innings--and this was without the designated hitter. (There were also three position players who played at least 160 games). In 1969 the Twins got 46 complete games from their pitchers. Closers routinely pitched more than one inning on consecutive days. Even in 1987 and 1991 the staff pretty much consisted of 9 or 10 pitchers with a few extra innings thrown in here and there from retreads and call ups.

With all the supposed improvements in sports medicine, computer analysis, better training techniques etc, you would think today's pitchers would simply outclass those of 20-30-40-years ago, at least in terms of physical conditioning, yet from what I can tell, with very few exceptions, they don't. Injuries are common and managers are, in my opinion, way too hung up lefty-lefty, righty-righty matchups.

If a team can't get along with 11 pitchers it seems to me something is seriously wrong in several different areas.

I rather have those extra pinch runners and pinch hitters.

My two cents worth.

I hear what you're saying, and I remember those days too, but the game has changed. 4-man rotations have become 5-man rotations; pitching has become more specialized (closer, lefthanded setup, righthanded setup, 7th inning guy, LOOGY, etc.) There is also greater emphasis on how hard you throw, which wears out an arm quicker. Add in the DH in the American League and having bench subs available became less important. I don't think any of this is going to change - teams started doing it because it helped them win ballgames. Any team going back to the old school probably won't be competitive, not over the course of a whole season.

spideyo
07-07-2012, 01:49 PM
I hear what you're saying, and I remember those days too, but the game has changed. 4-man rotations have become 5-man rotations; pitching has become more specialized (closer, lefthanded setup, righthanded setup, 7th inning guy, LOOGY, etc.) There is also greater emphasis on how hard you throw, which wears out an arm quicker. Add in the DH in the American League and having bench subs available became less important. I don't think any of this is going to change - teams started doing it because it helped them win ballgames. Any team going back to the old school probably won't be competitive, not over the course of a whole season.


The increasing specialization of players at younger and younger ages, means there probably aren't many pitchers at any level who are capable of throwing 8-9 innings, batting, running the bases, and doing it all on 3-4 days rest. The fundamental mindset has changed.

On top of that, the Player's union LOVES specialized pitchers and the DH. Pinch hitters and pinch runners don't get nearly as big a contract as a dedicated LOOGY, Closer, or "big old guy who can still hit homers but can barely run".

ashburyjohn
07-07-2012, 07:40 PM
I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing Butera is a far better hitter than Gray/Burton/Burnett/Perkins/Capps/Swarzak/Duensing.

A better pitcher too, just going by the record.

lecroy24fan
07-07-2012, 09:36 PM
The Twins do have two long men: Duensing and Swarzak. If the Twins would keep these guys there and not throw them into the starting mix, it looks pretty darn good. Burnett and Gray CAN go a couple innings at times. Burton and Perkins and Capps are all specifically one-inning guys at the moment, although if Capps comes back as the closer, then Burton can finish an inning and complete another.

I'm hoping the Twins do jump the gun predicting the Walters and Capps return and send Fien (who hasn't pitched) and Robertson back to the minors. That leaves a rotation of P.J., Diamond, DeVries, Liriano. DeDuno.

If Duensing and Swarxak are your one-time thru the order plus mopup guys, you are doing well with a measly 12 pitchers.
I prefer Duensing as the 2nd lefty in the pen. But he looked good last time out as SP so I say leave him there for the time being.