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Shane Wahl
08-26-2012, 06:32 PM
You can view the page at http://www.twinsdaily.com/content.php?966-Blind-faith-vs-evidence-and-reason

Alex
08-26-2012, 07:09 PM
Great article, and I was just about to post a shorter version in the game thread. It's less about a guy like Gray being horrible than it is about the concern this puts in the Twins ability or method of evaluating players.

People who were paying attention to the evidence early on haven't been surprised that Willingham has done well (maybe even better) or that that Doumit has been a successful signing. However, there was a ton of concern about Marquis, Dozier being ready, and Jeff Gray. The only person who has defied the evidence has been Deduno.

nokomismod
08-26-2012, 07:10 PM
Shanewahl, thank you for posting this. I have almost forgotten about Slama, but there must be something keeping this guy from getting a legitimate shot. Why not this season??

greengoblinrulz
08-26-2012, 07:20 PM
it is one of the more mind boggling (non) decisions this organization has made.
All they have to do is give him a full month of 10gms (10/12innings) to silence the Slama-ites or for him to prove the evaluators wrong

IdahoPilgrim
08-26-2012, 07:28 PM
This is basically the whole moneyball argument again - what should we trust more, raw statistics or evaluation by those who (theoretically) have the experience and knowledge of the game to "separate the wheat from the chaff."

Perhaps neither is infallible, and both have to be involved. I fully admit that sometimes raw numbers can force us to face unpleasant truths about ourselves or our abilities (I am made woefully aware of this every time I step on the bathroom scale:)), but statistics themselves also can be deceptive, and I would never make a decision solely on them.

Seth Stohs
08-26-2012, 07:47 PM
Shanewahl, thank you for posting this. I have almost forgotten about Slama, but there must be something keeping this guy from getting a legitimate shot. Why not this season??

Well, he did miss 2 months this year with a broken leg, suffered on a hard ground ball back at him by Miguel Tejada. I have to believe that if he was healthy, he would have got a legitimate 2-3 month look. He's been good again and should be up.

I've never understood it... Based on his K-Rates, I'd say that big league hitters should be made to prove that they can hit him at this point. Enough guys who don't put up Slama numbers get chances because of "stuff", but Slama can't get a real chance despite unbelievable numbers in AAA? Makes no sense whatsoever. Maybe the Twins will prove to be right in this case too. But he's earned a chance.

Scary thing is that because of when he signed, he can't become a minor league free agent until AFTER the 2013 season. Poor guy!

Alex
08-26-2012, 08:27 PM
This is basically the whole moneyball argument again - what should we trust more, raw statistics or evaluation by those who (theoretically) have the experience and knowledge of the game to "separate the wheat from the chaff."

Perhaps neither is infallible, and both have to be involved. I fully admit that sometimes raw numbers can force us to face unpleasant truths about ourselves or our abilities (I am made woefully aware of this every time I step on the bathroom scale:)), but statistics themselves also can be deceptive, and I would never make a decision solely on them.

Statistics can also tell you exactly what we see, and that's part of the point of the article. If we believe that the Twins are right in trotting out a player like Gray while Slama rots in Rochester, we have blind faith. I've no problem trusting scouting if it turns out to be correct, but in the Twins case, I think we can see that it's not going very well.

Lonestar
08-26-2012, 08:31 PM
At first they viewed Slama as a ROOGY. Now they view him as a One-Inning Only guy.

COtwin
08-26-2012, 08:37 PM
Sheer obstinacy. I just watched today's game and I logged in to see if Gray was DFAd. He is still getting chances after nine home runs given up. Free Slama! Although we are probably what is keeping him down. Can't have the possability that the unwashed masses might be right on this :).

greengoblinrulz
08-26-2012, 08:38 PM
if they dont bring him up in Sept, wonder if he'd ask for his release

Jim H
08-26-2012, 08:44 PM
If you are going to write articles like this, it is only fair to note that Slama has missed large chunks of both this year and last year. I suspect the Twins do indeed view him as a one inning guy. Max effort, uses a lot pitches per inning, been hurt a lot, has control issues. If you run him out there for 3 innings, he is likely unavailable for nearly a week. Those factors help explain why Waltrip was called up instead of Slama.

It is also fair to note that when he was dropped from the 40 man roster, nobody claimed him. He isn't a top prospect. That doesn't mean he can't succeed in the majors, and I hope he does. I just think that no great injustice is being done here.

Jim H
08-26-2012, 08:51 PM
Sorry for misspelling Waldrop.

Jim H
08-26-2012, 08:59 PM
As a side note, I don't care for this style of writing. It reminds of Aaron Gleeman. There are clear reasons why the Twins have not promoted Slama. Now you don't have to agree with them, but when you don't address them or even acknowledge that they are there, you reduce the credibility of your post.

mike wants wins
08-26-2012, 09:10 PM
So a one inning guy that pitches only 45 innings in the 9th is worth millions, but a one inning guy that can get guys out in the 7th or 8th (unlike Gray and others, who, ya, can pitch more than one inning but can't get people out when they do) isn't worth anything? Mind boggling. Give the guy a chance, and see if his success can translate or not. What the heck do they have to lose, exactly? The clear reasons for not promoting him are clearly stated, they think the stats are lying, and he's not good enough to get out MLB pitchers because his pitches don't move enough, despite the fact that he has succeeded at every level.

Top Gun
08-26-2012, 09:11 PM
It's clear to see that the Twins don't know what there are doing.

righty8383
08-26-2012, 09:20 PM
Slama gave up a hit and struck out only 1 of the 7 batters he faced today. I think he's losing it.:p

Andrew Bryz-Gornia
08-26-2012, 10:03 PM
It seems pretty clear that the Twins don't trust Slama's stuff. From what I've heard, he has 3 pitches: a straight, low-90s fastball, a pretty slow slurve, and a splitter. It also sounds like his success has come from a little deception in his delivery, and the Twins seem to think that this deception will not help him any more in the majors. Also, while it's been in very little time, he seems to have the makings of an extreme flyball pitcher. In other words, he could become homer-prone.

However, the Twins have been bad for nearly 2 years now, and this is the perfect time to give someone like Slama a shot. His presence is not going to cost the team a playoff spot, and someone like Jeff Gray is merely filling a roster spot for the remainder of the season. Even Gray's one thing he did fairly well - induce grounders - has deserted him this year.

I disagree with the idea that the Twins are afraid of being wrong, however. I'm sure if Slama succeeded, they would be thrilled. As I mentioned before, I'm sure the issue is that they think Slama has no chance of being a successful pitcher in the majors, and as someone else mentioned, it's pretty clear other teams feel the same way as Slama cleared waivers when he was removed from the 40-man roster last offseason.

greengoblinrulz
08-26-2012, 10:20 PM
It seems pretty clear that the Twins don't trust Slama's stuff. From what I've heard, he has 3 pitches: a straight, low-90s fastball, a pretty slow slurve, and a splitter. It also sounds like his success has come from a little deception in his delivery, and the Twins seem to think that this deception will not help him any more in the majors. Also, while it's been in very little time, he seems to have the makings of an extreme flyball pitcher. In other words, he could become homer-prone.

However, the Twins have been bad for nearly 2 years now, and this is the perfect time to give someone like Slama a shot. His presence is not going to cost the team a playoff spot, and someone like Jeff Gray is merely filling a roster spot for the remainder of the season. Even Gray's one thing he did fairly well - induce grounders - has deserted him this year.

I disagree with the idea that the Twins are afraid of being wrong, however. I'm sure if Slama succeeded, they would be thrilled. As I mentioned before, I'm sure the issue is that they think Slama has no chance of being a successful pitcher in the majors, and as someone else mentioned, it's pretty clear other teams feel the same way as Slama cleared waivers when he was removed from the 40-man roster last offseason.
part of the problem is also THEY think/thought that Jeff Gray could be a successful pitcher. Pretty much they should KNOW that answer by now.
As a fan, I would like to KNOW if Slama can get MLB hitters out instead of being told he cant.

beckmt
08-26-2012, 10:26 PM
Slama is not regarded by the Twins brass as a major league pitcher. He will have to prove himself in another origanization. If he does the 'free Slama' brigade can say 'I told you so'. Until that time comes, can we drop this topic, it's a waste of time and breath.

Rosterman
08-26-2012, 10:47 PM
No, no, no...not a waste of time and breath. Never give up...hope.

OldManWinter
08-26-2012, 10:57 PM
Question the competence of the scouting staff and decision makers for leaving Slama in Rochester ... but it makes no sense to me that any MLB team would leave a guy in the minors who could actually help our weak pitching staff.

So I can't accept the conspiracy theory.

Besides, peoples jobs depend upon smart and correct decisions that turn into W's.

Would anyone posting here be so foolish as to refuse to stock a roster with the best available players if it was their decision? I do not think so.

Shane Wahl
08-26-2012, 11:46 PM
As a side note, I don't care for this style of writing. It reminds of Aaron Gleeman. There are clear reasons why the Twins have not promoted Slama. Now you don't have to agree with them, but when you don't address them or even acknowledge that they are there, you reduce the credibility of your post.

Slama was dominant for a large stretch of this season before the injury and he is healthy again. And he hasn't been merely a one-inning guy in AAA this year (see, you know, today). And even if he were, so what? Taking care of the 7th or 8th inning seems pretty valuable.

Clearly you cannot contend that there are better "clear reasons" to keep Jeff Gray on the roster instead of Slama?

acrozelle
08-27-2012, 12:27 AM
The Twins unwillingness to call up Slama is simply unfair. He consistently puts up the numbers in Rochester, what more can you ask from the guy? I don't think anyone here thinks Slama is going to be our next Joe Nathan or Matt Guerrier, but still, it's not like the Twins have anything to lose at this point. If they continue to refuse to call him up and give him a fair chance in the majors the Twins should at least do Slama justice and trade him to a club that will give him a fair opportunity to succeed. But, I'm sure they would be too scared seeing him excel for another team and proving the front office wrong. I hope he eventually gets the chance he deserves, I feel for the guy.

Montecore
08-27-2012, 03:28 AM
Relying on Gardenhire's analytical skills is illogical. He doesn't know the difference between dung and poundcake

old nurse
08-27-2012, 05:50 AM
Perhaps Gardenhire remembers the Slama of 2010 he saw for 5 games where he put up Gray type numbers. If the complaint is that there is no movement on the fastball then where are the facts that dispute it? See Liam Hendricks major league versus minor league numbers. Are we to accept on blind faith that because Slama's numbers are good that the fastball is of major league level and not AAAA?

twinswon1991
08-27-2012, 06:59 AM
If Slama focused more on battling his tail off instead of striking guys out he would be up by now. Gardy and Andy love the Capps/Gray type battlers on their staff.

Alex
08-27-2012, 07:19 AM
Perhaps Gardenhire remembers the Slama of 2010 he saw for 5 games where he put up Gray type numbers. If the complaint is that there is no movement on the fastball then where are the facts that dispute it? See Liam Hendricks major league versus minor league numbers. Are we to accept on blind faith that because Slama's numbers are good that the fastball is of major league level and not AAAA?

If we judged every player on his first five games (and in Slama's case that would be seven innings) we'd have very few major leaguers. There's no reason the Twins can't give him 20-40 innings between now and the start of next year of years to see if they're opinion is wrong.

The guy costs nothing and he's going to be able to walk after this season unless they move him to the 40-man roster. It just doesn't make sense.

Shane Wahl
08-27-2012, 07:24 AM
Perhaps Gardenhire remembers the Slama of 2010 he saw for 5 games where he put up Gray type numbers. If the complaint is that there is no movement on the fastball then where are the facts that dispute it? See Liam Hendricks major league versus minor league numbers. Are we to accept on blind faith that because Slama's numbers are good that the fastball is of major league level and not AAAA?

But it isn't accepting anything on blind faith, because there isn't any MLB evidence either way (besides a total of 7 innings). That's the main point of the article . . . that accepting things on faith and ignoring or not even bothering with evidence is a pathetic way to evaluate something.

mike wants wins
08-27-2012, 08:28 AM
For me, I have no idea if Slama will be good or not. But, these are the facts:

1. Gray is not good.
2. Slama is cheaper, and is from their system, and has had success in the minors.
3. Slama has not proven if he's good in the majors or not.

logicial conclusion, dfa Gray, give Slama a legit audition.

Seth Stohs
08-27-2012, 08:33 AM
[QUOTE=old nurse;49818]The guy costs nothing and he's going to be able to walk after this season unless they move him to the 40-man roster. It just doesn't make sense.

No, he can't become a 6 year minor league free agent until after the 2013 season, which makes me feel even more horrible for him. he was drafted in 2006, but he didn't sign until early in the 2007 season, after his senior season of college (final year of draft-n-follows). if they don't put him on the 40 man roster (or if they do for September and then take him back off again), he would be eligible for the Rule 5 draft. But then again, when the Twins took him off the 40 man last November, no one claimed him. Hard for me to understand this one. In 8-9 years of following the Twins farm system pretty closely, nothing has confused me more than the Slama Situation.

MarcusE
08-27-2012, 10:35 AM
Does anyone know if Slama is funny and/or smart? It seems like whenever the Twins do something mind-boggling like this, it turns out that "his personality doesn't fit in the Twins Clubhouse."

ashburyjohn
08-27-2012, 11:53 AM
1. Gray is not good.
2. Slama is cheaper, and is from their system, and has had success in the minors.
3. Slama has not proven if he's good in the majors or not.

logicial conclusion, dfa Gray, give Slama a legit audition.

We're not talking about millions here, but I don't think the Twins get to stop paying Gray if they DFA him; even if they poisoned his Gatorade, they'd still have to pay Gray's estate for the rest of the season. So, it seems that the Twins must believe that Slama would be no better than Gray, and thus they'd be paying twice for the same caliber of performance.

They seem to really have faith in their scouting conclusions, that somehow his strikeouts won't translate to the major league level, and the high level of walks will do him in. You could envision, for instance, AAA batters getting themselves out on 2-2 pitches in the dirt that major leaguers won't swing at.

All that said, I'm with most here, in wanting to see him get the chance anyway.

ashburyjohn
08-27-2012, 12:05 PM
The only person who has defied the evidence has been Deduno.

Casey Fien so far hasn't looked like a guy who should have put up 4+ ERA numbers in AAA the past two years.

Dilligaf69
08-27-2012, 12:27 PM
I got no problem with Slama replacing Gray....maybe there is something else going on but I do not believe the Twins are afraid of ANYONE succeeding cuz it may make them look bad, that seems ridiculous in itself. I would have to think Slama will be up in Sept.

mlhouse
08-27-2012, 03:47 PM
The Slama "problem" is just a small piece of the problem with the organization: They did not realistically evaluate their chances this year, so instead of rebuilding they pretended "we are a contender". THey should have ripped this roster apart and played players like Dozier, Benson, and Slama from day 1. The pieces that failed, failed. The pieces that worked, worked. Then move on from there.

But, rebuilding means discarding Gardenhire and his staff because it is clear that this staff cannot work with young players and develop them, and it also means dropping the slow train to the big leagues that our minor league practices now.

It worked in 1982, the worst year in Twins history. But, in 1987, much of that lineup was the core of a World Series winning team. But, to pretend that stop gap measures like Jamey Carrol are going to make any difference is ridiculous. I would rather lose 100 games with Dozier at SS (Lenny Faedo was our SS in 1982) and find out if he could cut it (Faedo could not and was replaced by Gagne) or not. Instead, we have prolonged the rebuilding process another year.

70charger
08-27-2012, 04:07 PM
Slama is not regarded by the Twins brass as a major league pitcher. He will have to prove himself in another origanization. If he does the 'free Slama' brigade can say 'I told you so'. Until that time comes, can we drop this topic, it's a waste of time and breath.

I get your frustration with the topic; I get frustrated with the proliferation of Fire Gardenhire posts. But I don't think it's something that should just be dropped. After all, it is a developing situation. As Slama's ERA drops from 1 to .9 to .8 to .7 to .6 to .59, and Jeff Gray's home runs allowed go from 7 to 8 to 9 to 10, I think it's absolutely true that the issue must be revisited.

Although perhaps this is less about Anthony Slama per se than it is about Jeff Gray...

PopRiveter
08-27-2012, 04:36 PM
I'll be upset if he doesn't get a Sept call-up, but he's just gaining steam post-injury. For most of the time since the pitching staff v 1.0 fell apart, calling him up hasn't even been an option.
However, it's my hope they are willing to rethink their projected, predetermined conclusion. I'll call it "The Deduno Factor." Try-out some guys who shouldn't succeed. Maybe some will play over their heads. Worked with Parmelee last year.
Anyone else recall Neshek getting called up despite similar nay-saying within the organization? I seem to remember a real lack of team confidence in his brand of deception-based success. When given a shot, he dominated.

IdahoPilgrim
08-27-2012, 04:57 PM
You know, it would be worth it to call him up just to end this freaking debate once and for all. I am skeptical of AAA numbers (think Hendriks, Parmelee) and probably trust the organization's ability to evaluate talent more than most on this site, but this has been a topic of discussion for over three months now. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. If he does well, great! If he sucks, this time release him. Either way the debate is over (unless he is marginally competent, in which case we can do this again next year).

I do disagree, though, with the final thought expressed in the article. I don't buy the idea that the Twins are afraid they'll be proven wrong. My guess is that they genuinely don't believe Slama has the stuff to transition from Triple-A to MLB. They may be wrong in that assertion, but I don't buy the idea that they're just trying to avoid embarassment.

crarko
08-27-2012, 05:12 PM
You know, it would be worth it to call him up just to end this freaking debate once and for all.

Yes, please. Knowing is better than endless speculation.

ashburyjohn
08-27-2012, 06:59 PM
As Slama's ERA drops from 1 to .9 to .8 to .7 to .6 to .59

The brain trust will bring him up when it reaches zero.

Willihammer
08-27-2012, 07:19 PM
According to pitch f/x, Slama's 4 seem fastball in 2010 moved 6.7 inches of tailing action and 6.9 inches of rise. Joel Peralta had the best 4 seam fastball among relievers, and his tailed an average of 3.7 inches and rose 11.0 inches. The worst 4 seamer among relievers was owned by Tampa's Lance Cormier, his averaged 2.8 inces of tail and 8.7 rising.

I am guessing that Slama's fastball movement was near the periphery of Pitch f/x's boundary where it distinguishes between two seemers, and 4 seamers (and then cutters). I would not be surprised if he was in fact throwing the 2 seamer as per the "pitch to contact." And that was the pitch good for a 25% hr/fb rate in his short time with the club.

Does anyone know if Slama is allowed to throw the 4 seamer in Rochester, that is actually the pitch he's succeeding with?

For comparison, PitchFX tells us that Peralta didn't throw a single 2 seamer (nor did Cormier). This would be the norm for relievers who have an eye to getting a strikeout when they come into the game.

Alex
08-27-2012, 07:58 PM
The guy costs nothing and he's going to be able to walk after this season unless they move him to the 40-man roster. It just doesn't make sense.

No, he can't become a 6 year minor league free agent until after the 2013 season, which makes me feel even more horrible for him. he was drafted in 2006, but he didn't sign until early in the 2007 season, after his senior season of college (final year of draft-n-follows). if they don't put him on the 40 man roster (or if they do for September and then take him back off again), he would be eligible for the Rule 5 draft. But then again, when the Twins took him off the 40 man last November, no one claimed him. Hard for me to understand this one. In 8-9 years of following the Twins farm system pretty closely, nothing has confused me more than the Slama Situation.

Thanks for clarifying (originally my post but I think getting rid of the double quote caused the error). It sounds like he could still be gone for nothing.

For those that believe we should trust the Twins scouts, how have they done lately? If you look at how poorly they've done with them, it's arguable that they should probably abandon that approach and that those who have followed just the stats (because that's all we can) have been a bit more accurate this year, unfortunately.

silverslugger
08-27-2012, 08:01 PM
[QUOTE=old nurse;49818]The guy costs nothing and he's going to be able to walk after this season unless they move him to the 40-man roster. It just doesn't make sense.

No, he can't become a 6 year minor league free agent until after the 2013 season, which makes me feel even more horrible for him. he was drafted in 2006, but he didn't sign until early in the 2007 season, after his senior season of college (final year of draft-n-follows). if they don't put him on the 40 man roster (or if they do for September and then take him back off again), he would be eligible for the Rule 5 draft. But then again, when the Twins took him off the 40 man last November, no one claimed him. Hard for me to understand this one. In 8-9 years of following the Twins farm system pretty closely, nothing has confused me more than the Slama Situation.

Well, this explains alot. Obviously, there's no trust because he's a college guy and most likely one with a degree if he stuck it out through his senior season. No reason to have free thinkers on our roster. Free Slama! Out of curiosity, do the Twins have any college grads on the 40 man?

Thrylos
08-27-2012, 08:38 PM
"Blind faith vs. evidence and reason"

love that title. Can probably transport us like a good 500 years ago when Little Nicky Koppernigk used mathematical formulas to show that, heck, the earth moves around the sun. Indeed. But the powers of being back then did not trust numbers... All their scouts were waking up every morning looking up at the sun moving around the earth and that is what it was. Sue them. Same thing is happening right now to Slama. Unfortunately.

Jim H
08-27-2012, 09:10 PM
Actually, it seems to me that the original post and many of the following posts are less about Slama, and more about an opportunity to bash the Twins organization. I wish Slama well and hope he gets an opportunity to prove himself, but there is no conspiracy to keep him out of the majors.

Keep in mind that when he was pitching well early in the season nearly everyone(including Gray) was pitching well in the Twins bullpen. Then Slama was hurt for 2 months. I would guess he needs to prove he can remain healthy and effective, especially since he is not on the 40 man roster. I have heard this kind of complaint before concerning many minor leaguers in the midst of a hot streak. Generally they get their opportunity. Sometimes they do well, many times they do not.

It is a little difficult to understand all the fire and brimstone over what is a pretty marginal prospect. Right now he would be the 12th or rather the 13th man on the pitching staff. I hope he does well when/if he gets promoted, but lets temper some of the over the top crap, I mean level headed analysis going on here.

drjim
08-27-2012, 09:43 PM
I commend your ability to read numbers from a boxscore. I also find it a little ironic that you consider the evaluation of those that watch Slama every day as "blind faith" but your ability to read a boxscore as "evidence and reason". Seems a little backwards.

I think the reason the Twins have Gray up right now instead of Slama is not all that complicated. As has been mentioned, Slama has missed about two months this season with injury and he pretty much is a one inning max guy (and probably also dicey against LH hitters in general). With the Twins rotation as shaky as it is, it makes sense to have a guy like Gray who can go multiple innings and also have the ability to blow through him with minimal regard for his future. Gray is basically there to soak up innings so the younger and/or more valuable arms don't have to. If Slama had been on the roster instead of Gray many of those extra innings would had to have been pitched by someone else other than Slama, if he was only more or less able to pitch one inning.

I am thinking that once September 1 rolls around we will see Slama and perhaps another arm or two get called up and the amount of appearances by Gray will decrease significantly, though he will still be around to mop up a few extraneous innings if a starter gets shelled. I'm no big fan of Gray, but he did his job fine this year, eating innings and protecting other arms.

snepp
08-27-2012, 09:51 PM
He did his job fine? His job being one of the worst relievers in the game?

TheLeviathan
08-27-2012, 09:59 PM
He did his job fine? His job being one of the worst relievers in the game?

Yeah, it's pretty sad when your "success" is having a pulse on the mound and a willingness to be publicly awful at what you do.

ashburyjohn
08-27-2012, 10:01 PM
It is a little difficult to understand all the fire and brimstone over what is a pretty marginal prospect.

I suppose the converse difficulty is seeing a guy who consistently strikes out more than one per inning, and keeps his ERA under 3, called marginal.

Alex
08-27-2012, 10:34 PM
I mean level headed analysis going on here.

It's true that numbers don't always translate and that Slama could just have figured out AAA hitters. He still posts a lot of walks and that may be a concern.

But conversely, if a hitter was hitting, say .344/.463/.661 in AAA, you'd be wanting to see what he could do in the majors, right? Even if it was only sixty games and his recent few opportunities in the majors were relatively poor.

It's also true that Slama has become somewhat of a lightning rod for the Twins talent evaluation, possibly past the point of reason, but how effective has that talent evaluation and their methods of doing so been in the last couple of years?

Alex
08-27-2012, 11:12 PM
Things the box score tells me:

Of 182 pitchers with 30 or more innings, Jeff Gray's 5.71 ERA is not the worst. He is 171st.

Jeff Gray has 49 Appearences and 52 IP. 7 outings have gone 2 IP or more. Slama has 27 G and 30 IP, but I couldn't access data. Either way those ratios are very similar in terms of how much they help the rest of the pen in terms of fatigue.

righty8383
08-27-2012, 11:18 PM
I mean level headed analysis going on here.

It's true that numbers don't always translate and that Slama could just have figured out AAA hitters. He still posts a lot of walks and that may be a concern.

But conversely, if a hitter was hitting, say .344/.463/.661 in AAA, you'd be wanting to see what he could do in the majors, right? Even if it was only sixty games and his recent few opportunities in the majors were relatively poor.

It's also true that Slama has become somewhat of a lightning rod for the Twins talent evaluation, possibly past the point of reason, but how effective has that talent evaluation and their methods of doing so been in the last couple of years?

When you say Parmelee's recent few opportunities in the majors was reletively poor, I think that was the wrong choice of words. He was not very good this year in 108 AB's. He was very good in his shorter stint last year as a September call up. Also, while Parmelee does deserve to play in the bigs, its widely understood that he is currently being blocked and would not get many AB's up here, therefore he stays in Rochester. As for Slama, he is being blocked by...Jeff Gray.:banghead:

jokin
08-27-2012, 11:34 PM
I mean level headed analysis going on here.

It's true that numbers don't always translate and that Slama could just have figured out AAA hitters. He still posts a lot of walks and that may be a concern.

But conversely, if a hitter was hitting, say .344/.463/.661 in AAA, you'd be wanting to see what he could do in the majors, right? Even if it was only sixty games and his recent few opportunities in the majors were relatively poor.

It's also true that Slama has become somewhat of a lightning rod for the Twins talent evaluation, possibly past the point of reason, but how effective has that talent evaluation and their methods of doing so been in the last couple of years?




What a terrible example, Alex......Now, if only the Twins had somebody even close to that good in AAA.........???




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I'm still trying to figure out why Revere was sent down in favor of Komatsu, Thomas and Mastroianni.

Shane Wahl
08-28-2012, 12:20 AM
"Blind faith vs. evidence and reason"

love that title. Can probably transport us like a good 500 years ago when Little Nicky Koppernigk used mathematical formulas to show that, heck, the earth moves around the sun. Indeed. But the powers of being back then did not trust numbers... All their scouts were waking up every morning looking up at the sun moving around the earth and that is what it was. Sue them. Same thing is happening right now to Slama. Unfortunately.

Yes, that was one point of the article. I write from my background sometimes . . .

I do think the Twins need a Copernicus, that is, a radical shift in thinking about players.

Shane Wahl
08-28-2012, 12:29 AM
Actually, it seems to me that the original post and many of the following posts are less about Slama, and more about an opportunity to bash the Twins organization. I wish Slama well and hope he gets an opportunity to prove himself, but there is no conspiracy to keep him out of the majors.

It's not about bashing the organization. It is about questioning how they evaluate players and how statistics actually matter (evidence). It is not that there is a conspiracy to keep him out of the majors, rather, there is simply no reason to keep him out of the majors.




Keep in mind that when he was pitching well early in the season nearly everyone(including Gray) was pitching well in the Twins bullpen. Then Slama was hurt for 2 months. I would guess he needs to prove he can remain healthy and effective, especially since he is not on the 40 man roster. I have heard this kind of complaint before concerning many minor leaguers in the midst of a hot streak. Generally they get their opportunity. Sometimes they do well, many times they do not.

Jeff Gray was miraculously pitching well enough. But he has been bad in the majors (90 innings worth) and had been up and down in the minors. That is, given the EVIDENCE provided, one could quite reasonably suspect that he would turn out a 5.00ish ERA this year and generally suck.


It is a little difficult to understand all the fire and brimstone over what is a pretty marginal prospect. Right now he would be the 12th or rather the 13th man on the pitching staff. I hope he does well when/if he gets promoted, but lets temper some of the over the top crap, I mean level headed analysis going on here.

You didn't read the full post, then. I believe that this team needs to improve at every roster spot when it can. Sorry. Also, I mentioned the sense of justice based on actual merit and opportunity. This is not simply a matter of how the Twins do, but of giving someone a chance that they deserve. It's a way to make a living and given A: that minor leaguers don't make much and B: that Slama has been a minor leaguer for far too long, it bothers my sense of justice. He deserves a chance. Jeff Gray deserved another chance as well, but he has proven that he is not good and has no future in baseball. Slama is the opposite.

Shane Wahl
08-28-2012, 12:36 AM
A perhaps final point--it is clear that the bullpen is not the worst part of the Twins roster right now, but there still are questions. Jeff Gray provides no value whatsoever to that bullpen. Give Slama a chance--if he is bad, the Twins' evaluators "win" in their seeing-eye scouting. If he is good, then the Twins have a solid back four for the Bullpen with situational Slama and Duensing, then Burton and Perkins. This would also put less pressure on the likes of Guerra, Robertson, and Oliveros next year.

kab21
08-28-2012, 03:19 AM
Things the box score tells me:

Of 182 pitchers with 30 or more innings, Jeff Gray's 5.71 ERA is not the worst. He is 171st.

Jeff Gray has 49 Appearences and 52 IP. 7 outings have gone 2 IP or more. Slama has 27 G and 30 IP, but I couldn't access data. Either way those ratios are very similar in terms of how much they help the rest of the pen in terms of fatigue.

Wow! You have a way of twisting numbers until they appear good. A 5.71 ERA doesn't help anyone. the Twins have a 7 man pen and there are other pitchers like Burnett that can go 2+ innings.

Buck Nasty
08-28-2012, 05:39 AM
It seems like everyone is making this a “Slama vs. Gray” debate. It’s not. Slama was removed from the 40 man last year – long before Gray came along. Any team could have claimed Slama last year. None did. Why do you think that is? Does anyone really believe that all of MLB is part of a conspiracy to keep Anthony Slama out of majors? Come on. Slama has put up some good numbers in the minors. But he’s put up some bad ones too. Specifically, he’s averaging over 4 walks per 9 innings. Add that to the fact that his fastball couldn’t break a pane of glass and you probably have your reason why he’s not highly regarded. His 7 walks in 7 innings/1.86 WHIP during his brief stint in the majors only reinforced that concern.

Regarding Gray – he has a decent arm with a fastball averaging about 93 mph per Fangraphs. This is the 5th year in the row he’s pitched in the majors and with 3rd team. So again – to make it sound like the Twins are the only people in the world who think this guy could be ok is incorrect. In a year where injuries have again taken a toll on this team, Gray has been healthy/available. He’s had moments when he’s been ok – especially at Target Field (27.1 IP, 18Ks, 1.28 WHIP, .245 BAA). He’s also had moments when he’s been horrible. But unfortunately, that’spretty consistent with the entire team. Bottomline, cutting Gray at this point would be the equivalent of throwing a deckchair off the Titanic to stop it from sinking. It wouldn’t matter.

Again – this should not be “Slama vs. Gray”. If the Twins wanted to see Slama this year,they could have called him up. Here is a list of guys who got the nod ahead of Slama: Jeff Manship, Lester Oliveros, Tyler Robertson, Kyle Waldrop, Casey Fien and Luis Perdomo. That's six guys who they called up ahead of him! And I'm going to guess that Vasquez will be #7.

BD57
08-28-2012, 06:43 AM
"Third .... it's not like you've been very good at evaluating pitching talent lately ..."

Alex
08-28-2012, 07:08 AM
Wow! You have a way of twisting numbers until they appear good. A 5.71 ERA doesn't help anyone. the Twins have a 7 man pen and there are other pitchers like Burnett that can go 2+ innings.

I hope you caught my sarcasm and I just missed yours...Obviously, the point was that as you say a 5.71 helps no one. If he's pitched multiple innings occasionally it's helped no one because he's essentially left the game early other times.

Alex
08-28-2012, 07:10 AM
It seems like everyone is making this a “Slama vs. Gray” debate. It’s not. Slama was removed from the 40 man last year – long before Gray came along. Any team could have claimed Slama last year. None did. Why do you think that is? Does anyone really believe that all of MLB is part of a conspiracy to keep Anthony Slama out of majors? Come on. Slama has put up some good numbers in the minors. But he’s put up some bad ones too. Specifically, he’s averaging over 4 walks per 9 innings. Add that to the fact that his fastball couldn’t break a pane of glass and you probably have your reason why he’s not highly regarded. His 7 walks in 7 innings/1.86 WHIP during his brief stint in the majors only reinforced that concern.

Regarding Gray – he has a decent arm with a fastball averaging about 93 mph per Fangraphs. This is the 5th year in the row he’s pitched in the majors and with 3rd team. So again – to make it sound like the Twins are the only people in the world who think this guy could be ok is incorrect. In a year where injuries have again taken a toll on this team, Gray has been healthy/available. He’s had moments when he’s been ok – especially at Target Field (27.1 IP, 18Ks, 1.28 WHIP, .245 BAA). He’s also had moments when he’s been horrible. But unfortunately, that’spretty consistent with the entire team. Bottomline, cutting Gray at this point would be the equivalent of throwing a deckchair off the Titanic to stop it from sinking. It wouldn’t matter.

Again – this should not be “Slama vs. Gray”. If the Twins wanted to see Slama this year,they could have called him up. Here is a list of guys who got the nod ahead of Slama: Jeff Manship, Lester Oliveros, Tyler Robertson, Kyle Waldrop, Casey Fien and Luis Perdomo. That's six guys who they called up ahead of him! And I'm going to guess that Vasquez will be #7.

And how have most of those guys worked out? Yep, Slama had a bad seven innings in the majors but since then he pitched well. I assume that if you're ready to make a judgement on Slama after that, you'd also like to keep Dozier where he's at?

Buck Nasty
08-28-2012, 07:40 AM
And how have most of those guys worked out? Yep, Slama had a bad seven innings in the majors but since then he pitched well. I assume that if you're ready to make a judgement on Slama after that, you'd also like to keep Dozier where he's at?

You gotta let it go man. Slama does not appear to be part of their plans. Some of the other guys mentioned have done fine. Fien has actually been very good. Robertson has been a great situational guy on lefties. Manship had his moments as a long man - i.e. his last game here. Oliveros looked good before he got hurt. I doubt Slama would have added anything beyond what they got from those guys.

freightmaster
08-28-2012, 08:12 AM
Question the competence of the scouting staff and decision makers for leaving Slama in Rochester ... but it makes no sense to me that any MLB team would leave a guy in the minors who could actually help our weak pitching staff.

So I can't accept the conspiracy theory.

Besides, peoples jobs depend upon smart and correct decisions that turn into W's.

Would anyone posting here be so foolish as to refuse to stock a roster with the best available players if it was their decision? I do not think so.

1-Slama was completely lost with the Twins, seemingly justifying their evalution, AND...if he is such a great prospect, why arent other teams trying to pry him away from the Twins? Seems an ideal trade chip, but I dont think his name comes up very often

Shane Wahl
08-28-2012, 08:31 AM
Question the competence of the scouting staff and decision makers for leaving Slama in Rochester ... but it makes no sense to me that any MLB team would leave a guy in the minors who could actually help our weak pitching staff.

So I can't accept the conspiracy theory.

Besides, peoples jobs depend upon smart and correct decisions that turn into W's.

Would anyone posting here be so foolish as to refuse to stock a roster with the best available players if it was their decision? I do not think so.

1-Slama was completely lost with the Twins, seemingly justifying their evalution, AND...if he is such a great prospect, why arent other teams trying to pry him away from the Twins? Seems an ideal trade chip, but I dont think his name comes up very often

He pitched 7 innings over two seasons for the Twins.

Jim H
08-28-2012, 10:16 PM
One last post on this topic. Slama missed 2 months of this season due to injury. He missed a similar amount last season. At least part of the reason he hasn't gotten big league opportunities is because he has been unavailable for at least 1/3 of the last 2 minor league seasons. You can't pitch in the majors if you can't pitch in the minors.

I have not paid much attention to the Slama/Gray discussion because I really don't think Gray has anything to do with Slama not pitching in the majors. But if you have to compare the two, well they have similar control(control being the major problem for Gray). Gray throws harder and is said to have better stuff, which having watched both only on TV, it seems likely or at least it looks that way on TV. Slama has managed better strikeout rates in the minors, but has a similar home run rate. Slama's deceptive delivery may help him but I really don't see any huge likelyhood that he is going to be a lot more effective than Gray. It could happen and really it would be good for the Twins if he was, but it really isn't all that likely.


If Slama is going to be effective in the majors, his control has to be much better than it has been in the past. Otherwise he is Jeff Gray, more or less. Now he may "deserve" an opportunity, and if he can stay healthy, he will likely get another one. Again and finally, he isn't any victim of a conspiracy, he isn't being held back because someone doesn't like him, he isn't a victim of faulty evaluation.

To pitch in the majors, since he is unlikely to improve either his velocity or his stuff, he must stay healthy and demonstrate improved control. That's it.

Fatt Crapps
08-29-2012, 02:33 AM
I'm no big fan of Gray, but he did his job fine this year, eating innings and protecting other arms.

Actually, Gardy has used him multiple times when the game was tied. He's done a fine job by being the worst reliever in the majors? He's this years Dusty Hughes, but for some reason is still on the roster.