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View Full Version : Article: Comparing Strasburg and Gibson; What to Do?



Seth Stohs
09-08-2012, 12:44 PM
You can view the page at http://www.twinsdaily.com/content.php?1020-Comparing-Strasburg-and-Gibson-What-to-Do

Jeremy Nygaard
09-08-2012, 02:46 PM
Regardless of how this is spun, the Nationals messed up their handling of Strasburg. The team with the best record is shutting down arguably one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball in the middle of September. That's the reality.

I would like to see the Twins bring him along slowly (start in Rochester on a strict innings/pitch limit until the middle of May). He should come to Minnesota with about 40 innings under his belt. Then I would like to see the Twins pencil him in every Friday night for the rest of the season. That's about 20 weeks and about 100 more innings pitched, maybe less.

I realize this messes up a traditional rotation, but the Twins aren't in a position to jog five starters out all year and call it good anyway. They'll juggle just like they did this year. What's it matter if you add another ball in the air?

glunn
09-08-2012, 02:53 PM
It seems like next year is going to be another non-contending season for the Twins, so I would recommend being very conservative.

TonyWiseau
09-08-2012, 02:55 PM
I think that the most important thing for the Twins to do will be to keep whatever decision they make in-house. That way, they won't have anything approaching this media circus Washington has right now.

My biggest beef with the Nationals isn't that they're shutting Strasburg down, it's that they're shutting him down when he's seemingly healthy, and showing no signs of trouble. I think you let Gibson pitch as a normal starter, while using caution when problems like soreness and dead arm occur. The only right way to do this is to be as fluid as possible and tell the local media the situation will be dependent on Gibson's health.

greengoblinrulz
09-08-2012, 03:55 PM
the last MLB starter for MN that had TJ surgery was Liriano. They let him get to 200 combined innings between AAA/Twins. Curious to see if they've changed their philosiphy.
Difference between Kyle/Stras is many (myself for sure) thought Wash was a serious contender this year to start the season & could've handled Strad differently if they believed in the innings reduction. MN will have no shot to compete next year, so it wont be as important on the innings for him.
I believe MN will keep Kyle in AAA regardless of his spring training (where they will say he 'could' earn a spot) and bring him up in mid May/June to monitor his innings/service time & also give a nondeserving pitcher (Deduno/Walters/Blackburn, etc) the first 6/8 wks (after saying they earned it).
Also, how will MN handle Scot Baker next yr (Im 90% sure they will resign him also) as he just had the surgery in late April/early May. If guys begin pitching 10 months after surgery...Baker will have all of spring training as his rehab time & also be ready to go fulltime by beginning of May(???).

mike wants wins
09-08-2012, 04:26 PM
They'll keep him in AAA "to earn a spot", which is code for keeping him down to reduce his service time and save money. Let's be honest, this team is about making money first, winning second. Right now, he's probably the 2nd best pitcher in this system, which says a lot.

Washington f'd this up big time. They are a great team, unlike the Twins, and should have made sure he was available for the playoffs. OTOH, would they make the playoffs if he is rested? Not sure.

If it was me, I'd not worry about it. From what I read on line, there is no evidence an innings limit after TJ surgery helps at all. Every player is an individual, and I'd play it by ear during the season.

Thrylos
09-08-2012, 04:50 PM
There are a few variables here:
- The Nationals have the best record in baseball and are lined up for a post-season run (not sure where the Twins will be in 2013, hope they are there)
- Strasburg was a proven top of the order stater in the majors before his surgery. I feel that Gibson has not had eye popping numbers above high A. (Career AAA: 4.72 ERA, 1.402 WHIP, 8.4 K/9, 3.33 K/BB (23 GS); AA: 3.68 ERA, 1.215 WHIP, 7.5 K/9 and 3.5 K/BB (16 GS) - Cole De Vries type of numbers...)

So we really cannot compare them and the situations the Nats and the Twins are facing.

jimbo92107
09-08-2012, 05:20 PM
Irregardless of Washington's handling of its Strasberg situation, I shall continue to monitor Gibson's progress sporadically, with a casual disregard for medical advise and sports expertise. Come spring I shall render an ill-informed opinion that the Twins organization will be wise to ignore.

old nurse
09-08-2012, 05:28 PM
There are a few variables here:
-. I feel that Gibson has not had eye popping numbers above high A. (Career AAA: 4.72 ERA, 1.402 WHIP, 8.4 K/9, 3.33 K/BB (23 GS); AA: 3.68 ERA, 1.215 WHIP, 7.5 K/9 and 3.5 K/BB (16 GS) - Cole De Vries type of numbers...)
.
Look at all the numbers you want to spin what you want, but you have to consider the conditions in which the numbers were generated. If in 2011 Gibson was playing slightly injured to total wreck, then any statistics about him for that year are worthless. 2012 is about rehab. 3 starts in 2010 is not a large enough sample size.

Twins Twerp
09-08-2012, 05:54 PM
I think they should keep him down in AAA until mid June and shut him down around 160 innings. This is the new way of doing things. I don't care if we are contending or not, we have a lot of invested in Kyle and we need him in the future. Our situation is much easier than Washington's because we will not compete.


Now if we spend some money and bring in an Ace type pitcher, or at least spend some big money on a pitcher, I change my philosophy. If you think you are going to compete, have him up early in the season. Put him in the bullpen until mid June or early July and THEN start him. His innings will be good low and he should be able to pitch in the playoffs (in the off chance we actually make it).

If we do not spend big or trade for some descent pitching, then you punt on next season as well. There is no reason to bring him up and waste a year of service/big league money on him. We should already be 2 years into rebuilding mode, which is another story for another thread.

P.S. Isn't it poopie that we will have the same conversation next year about Alex Wimmers (our other first round tommy j hurler). My guess is we draft Appel with the 3-4th pick next spring...he throws well and then...needs tommy j surgery too because Stanford abuses pitchers. Sigh, at least we will have the best outfield in the majors for the rest of time. Go Twins!!

eddie
09-08-2012, 06:34 PM
The comparison suggests that Gibson and Strasburg would be or could be equals. The success of Strasburg is considerably greater than Gibson. We dont even know that Gibson will pitch in the majors.

mlhouse
09-08-2012, 06:47 PM
They need to limit his innings to under 180 no matter what. That should not be a controversy for the Twins. It isn't as if we will be in a playoff run or anything. How the Twins do it is almost immaterial. My guess is that if he is on the Twins roster it might be somewhat clever to use short stints on the DL across the season. Then the Twins can add another starter to take Gibson's place in the rotation and can have him continue with the team for rehabilitation.

No matter what, Gibson needs to be in the Twins rotation. I don't care if he is "ready". The Twins need to get him to the major league level and have him start to learn how to pitch to the highest level hitters. If he has a 5+ ERA, who cares. Gibson will be 25 years old next season, Frank Viola had 5+ ERAs in 1982 and 83 as 22/23 year old and he turned out alright. There simply isn't any more time for Gibson to be spending in the minors.

Thrylos
09-08-2012, 08:17 PM
There are a few variables here:
-. I feel that Gibson has not had eye popping numbers above high A. (Career AAA: 4.72 ERA, 1.402 WHIP, 8.4 K/9, 3.33 K/BB (23 GS); AA: 3.68 ERA, 1.215 WHIP, 7.5 K/9 and 3.5 K/BB (16 GS) - Cole De Vries type of numbers...)
.
Look at all the numbers you want to spin what you want, but you have to consider the conditions in which the numbers were generated. If in 2011 Gibson was playing slightly injured to total wreck, then any statistics about him for that year are worthless. 2012 is about rehab. 3 starts in 2010 is not a large enough sample size.

Whatever :)
really. Check his pure healthy AA numbers. As far as other Twins' pitchers go, his success in the minors has been very limited. Here (http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=slowey001kev)are Kevin Slowey's MiLB numbers, here (http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=perkin001gle)are Glen Perkins', here (http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=blackb002rob)are Nick Blackburn's. Compare those with Gibson's. (http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=gibson002kyl)

We all know how all those 3 turned out as starters in the majors. And Slowey's numbers were hideous in the minors. Gibson's are at the Blackburn scale.

just sayin'

SpiritofVodkaDave
09-08-2012, 09:18 PM
Doesn't Strasburg throw a lot harder/more violently then Gibson?

I think that makes a large difference, no?

Seth Stohs
09-08-2012, 09:36 PM
I don't think anybody who wrote this article made any mention of the two being the same pitcher. Strasburg threw 99 before surgery and he's throwing 99-100 after surgery. Gibson threw 92 before surgery and he's throwing 92-94 after surgery. The point isn't to say they're the same pitcher or that the TWins will be in the same situation next year that the Nats are this year. However, how the Twins handle Gibson in 2013 (or Wimmers in 2014, or Baker in 2013) is very important to the Twins organization. Will they limit innings or pitches, and how will they choose to do that?

SpiritofVodkaDave
09-08-2012, 09:38 PM
I don't think anybody who wrote this article made any mention of the two being the same pitcher. Strasburg threw 99 before surgery and he's throwing 99-100 after surgery. Gibson threw 92 before surgery and he's throwing 92-94 after surgery. The point isn't to say they're the same pitcher or that the TWins will be in the same situation next year that the Nats are this year. However, how the Twins handle Gibson in 2013 (or Wimmers in 2014, or Baker in 2013) is very important to the Twins organization. Will they limit innings or pitches, and how will they choose to do that?

I wasn't implying that you said they were the same pitcher (or anything close). I was just stating that maybe you can give a non power pitcher more innings since there is less potential stress on the arm?

Seth Stohs
09-08-2012, 10:31 PM
Jim Kaat's Open Letter to Stephen Strasburg:

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=24563497&c_id=was

old nurse
09-08-2012, 10:34 PM
There are a few variables here:
-. I feel that Gibson has not had eye popping numbers above high A. (Career AAA: 4.72 ERA, 1.402 WHIP, 8.4 K/9, 3.33 K/BB (23 GS); AA: 3.68 ERA, 1.215 WHIP, 7.5 K/9 and 3.5 K/BB (16 GS) - Cole De Vries type of numbers...)
.
Look at all the numbers you want to spin what you want, but you have to consider the conditions in which the numbers were generated. If in 2011 Gibson was playing slightly injured to total wreck, then any statistics about him for that year are worthless. 2012 is about rehab. 3 starts in 2010 is not a large enough sample size.

Whatever :)
really. Check his pure healthy AA numbers. As far as other Twins' pitchers go, his success in the minors has been very limited. Here (http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=slowey001kev)are Kevin Slowey's MiLB numbers, here (http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=perkin001gle)are Glen Perkins', here (http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=blackb002rob)are Nick Blackburn's. Compare those with Gibson's. (http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=gibson002kyl)

We all know how all those 3 turned out as starters in the majors. And Slowey's numbers were hideous in the minors. Gibson's are at the Blackburn scale.

just sayin'

Gibson is reported to have a little bit faster fastball than Slowey or Blackburn. A little better movement, too. Again, arguments with numbers. Is a 16 game, 51 inning season at AA a large enough sample size to determine ability at that level to compare it to others?

Here is a former Twin's A season in a minor league. Statistically much worse than Slowey at a comparable level. Younger than Slowey by a year for the same level, but close enough.






W
L
W-L%
ERA
G
GS
GF
CG
SHO
SV
IP
H
R
ER
HR
BB
IBB
SO
HBP
BK
WP
BF

WHIP
H/9
HR/9
BB/9
SO/9
SO/BB

















































8
8
.500
4.14
27
26
0
1
0
0
160.1
162
94
83
14
55
0
150
10
1
10
688
1.315
9.1
0.8
3.1
8.4
2.73












The next year this pitcher was in the major leagues. Pretty much stayed there, too. It isn't the numbers per se, it is the talent. Perkins for his talent is better suited as a reliever. What is Gibson's talent going to be? We don't know. Development in baseball isn't always reflected in their minor league statistics. If Gibson can go on and have a better career than the former Twin, that would be great, but not likely.

Thrylos
09-08-2012, 10:37 PM
However, how the Twins handle Gibson in 2013 (or Wimmers in 2014, or Baker in 2013) is very important to the Twins organization.

I beg to differ. Gibson has the upside of a number 2 (and he never reached that upside in the minors btw). And we are talking about 1 of the 5 potential starters (maybe) in 2013. Methinks that a team that hit rock bottom 2 years in a row should have bigger (and older) fish to fry (prospect lists not withstanding)

Twins Twerp
09-08-2012, 10:40 PM
I heard Burt Blylevin on ESPN earlier this season blasting the Nationals and MLB in general about how much these kids (major league pitchers) are getting babied in the minors. He hypothesizes that these kids should be put into a 4 man rotation to build their arm strength up. Maybe that is what we should do with our other pitchers in the minors. Obviously, the guys coming off TJ surgery wouldn't go through this, but it is some food for thought.

greengoblinrulz
09-08-2012, 10:54 PM
on ESPN Boros is talkin about info he & team have on young pitchers & the innings they pitch at early ages. He cites clients Alex Fernandez/Steve Avery as 2 players who's arm didnt recover from early 20s abuse & why they need to limit innings (prolonging paychecks for him, of course).
Found it funny that he didnt use another one of his clients, Greg Maddux, who debuted at age 20, pitched 5000 innings & never had an arm problem.
There is nothing that you can do to limit arm problems.....most will get em, some wont. No doctor alive can predict who will/wont & when

YourHouseIsMyHouse
09-09-2012, 12:24 AM
+1 for Same as Strasburg

old nurse
09-09-2012, 12:26 AM
on ESPN Boros is talkin about info he & team have on young pitchers & the innings they pitch at early ages. He cites clients Alex Fernandez/Steve Avery as 2 players who's arm didnt recover from early 20s abuse & why they need to limit innings (prolonging paychecks for him, of course).
Found it funny that he didnt use another one of his clients, Greg Maddux, who debuted at age 20, pitched 5000 innings & never had an arm problem.
There is nothing that you can do to limit arm problems.....most will get em, some wont. No doctor alive can predict who will/wont & when

Greg Maddux, Cole DeVries, and Luis Perdomo are all listed as the same size and throw right handed. They all throw the same baseball with very different results. If someone knew the why of it they could make a lot of money being a coach.

Top Gun
09-09-2012, 03:06 AM
Boros is all about the money. Don't care about winning.

Don't Feed the Greed Guy
09-09-2012, 05:10 AM
The Twins philosophy has always been conservative. They don't rush their players through the minors. They keep their pitchers on a 100 pitch count. I would expect the same with Kyle Gibson. We will all be counting innings in 2013.

To that end, would anyone here be DISAPPOINTED if Gibson ends up throwing 160 innings for the parent club in 2013?

Buck Nasty
09-09-2012, 05:59 AM
I don't know.....you can't really put it on the player to say if he's pitching or not. That's why you pay your medical staff. Players are an investment beyond one season. There should be some sort of plan in place to limit the risk of injuries. My advice....The Nats should ask the Twins medical staff what they'd do and then do the exact opposite.

diehardtwinsfan
09-09-2012, 08:31 AM
if the Twins want to limit Gibson's innings (which isn't a bad idea I'd add), it would be wise to shut him down the first month of spring training, then build up his strength in EST and send him to Rochester... that way he can finish out the season normally.

notoriousgod71
09-09-2012, 09:37 AM
I heard Burt Blylevin on ESPN earlier this season blasting the Nationals and MLB in general about how much these kids (major league pitchers) are getting babied in the minors. He hypothesizes that these kids should be put into a 4 man rotation to build their arm strength up. Maybe that is what we should do with our other pitchers in the minors. Obviously, the guys coming off TJ surgery wouldn't go through this, but it is some food for thought.

As long as it's not a 4 man rotation with a 75 pitch count per day.

Having watched that Kaat video the most distressing thing was to hear Boras try to take claim of "putting this team together".

notoriousgod71
09-09-2012, 09:40 AM
Regardless of how this is spun, the Nationals messed up their handling of Strasburg. The team with the best record is shutting down arguably one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball in the middle of September. That's the reality.

I would like to see the Twins bring him along slowly (start in Rochester on a strict innings/pitch limit until the middle of May). He should come to Minnesota with about 40 innings under his belt. Then I would like to see the Twins pencil him in every Friday night for the rest of the season. That's about 20 weeks and about 100 more innings pitched, maybe less.

I realize this messes up a traditional rotation, but the Twins aren't in a position to jog five starters out all year and call it good anyway. They'll juggle just like they did this year. What's it matter if you add another ball in the air?

So you want him to pitch less than five innings per start?

StormJH1
09-09-2012, 09:50 AM
I don't think anyone has any scientific evidence when they talk about post-TJ workloads. Can anyone even name a pitcher that needed Tommy John twice? There are a few rare exceptions, but it's not like these guys are having surgery and then having the procedure failing on them 2 yrs later. It almost doesn't happen.

Still, this is a non-issue for the Twins next year because I would be fairly surprised if we're in a pennant race AND Gibson is a big reason we're in it.

People forget that the Nationals WERE babying Strasburg's arm before he got hurt, and it still happened. I'm not a big fan of 100+ pitch counts on a regular basis, but there does come a point where healthy pitchers just need to pitch. But if there's nothing for the team to gain in 2013, sure, limit his innings if it makes you feel better.

DAM DC Twins Fans
09-09-2012, 03:24 PM
I wish I could find the link--but with all the commentary on Strasberg--there is one person who should know. That is somebody who was abused and overworked and lost a long career--like a Steve Avery mentioned above. A month ago I read an interview with the Os version of Strasberg 15 or 20 years ago--Ben McDonald--he was as hyped then as Strasberg is now. He said--no choice--Strasberg has to be shut down--no questions asked--he wishes the Os had done it for him all those years ago. Again I wish I could find the link.

I think the Twins need to be careful with Gibson--yes 160IP max between majors and minors--keep him in AAA till mid may--pitch him here in June (assuming he is ready)--DL him in July around the AS break (the Nats should have done that with Strasberg)--pitch him here from July 20--till he reaches 160IP total. He will have a long career--the Twins will be contending (hopefully) in 2014 and he should be ready to go...

Dilligaf69
09-09-2012, 06:13 PM
I just think you wait and see... . See how he gets thru AFL and what he looks like in ST. Maybe keep him in extended ST til the weather warms up but I don't think any specific pitch limit should be thrown out there just yet, way too early right now. I don't see him throwing 200 innigs obviously but once a week as someone suggested makes NO sense for anybody.

IdahoPilgrim
09-09-2012, 07:16 PM
Is this really going to be an issue? What are the odds he gets beyond 180 innings even without a limit?

kab21
09-09-2012, 08:46 PM
I think it's pretty simple. start Gibson slowly in spring training and then hold him back in instructionals for a few weeks before sending him to AAA. I don't know exactly what the Braves did with Medlen this year but it looks like it is working. If the Twins did bring back Baker then I would do the same. It might be a rough start to the season but the Twins could have a halfway decent rotation by the end of the season.

Conveniently it would delay his FA by one year and possibly super 2.

70charger
09-10-2012, 01:31 PM
I don't think anyone has any scientific evidence when they talk about post-TJ workloads. Can anyone even name a pitcher that needed Tommy John twice? There are a few rare exceptions, but it's not like these guys are having surgery and then having the procedure failing on them 2 yrs later. It almost doesn't happen.

Still, this is a non-issue for the Twins next year because I would be fairly surprised if we're in a pennant race AND Gibson is a big reason we're in it.

People forget that the Nationals WERE babying Strasburg's arm before he got hurt, and it still happened. I'm not a big fan of 100+ pitch counts on a regular basis, but there does come a point where healthy pitchers just need to pitch. But if there's nothing for the team to gain in 2013, sure, limit his innings if it makes you feel better.


Brian Wilson.

But you're absolutely correct on the rest of it (and honestly, I was just showing off that I could name someone). There is no science that supports these one-size-fits-all policies on pitchers. Every human is unique. Pitchers should attune themselves to their own bodies and communicate with their managers. It should be their responsibility and no one else's. Likewise, there is no way of knowing whether a Steve Avery type wouldn't have broken down at the same time (or even earlier!) if he had been shut down when younger.

Thinking probabalistically, we have to acknowledge that mistakes are made before we judge the outcomes. Shutting pitchers down on a one-size-fits-all system is a mistake. For those pitchers who don't break down, it likely had nothing to do with the workload. For those who do break down, it likely had nothing to do with the workload. People are discounting things like pitching mechanics, frame size, arm strength, genetic proclivities towards ligament strength or weakness, and most importantly of all, blind luck.

Boom Boom
09-10-2012, 02:32 PM
I agree that the one-size-fits-all approach is not optimal for managing a pitcher's workload. Things like 100 pitch counts, no more than 20% IP workload increase per year, etc. still don't seem to be working well enough for any team, let alone the Twins or the Nationals.

I think the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of protecting pitchers to the point where limiting how and when they pitch, and what pitches they throw can backfire. If you condition a pitcher to throw less and fewer innings then it's possible that their bodies aren't prepared for and can't handle the overexertion that occurs on the mound all the time and frequently with each pitch.

As for Gibson, if he's going to pitch a certain number of innings then I'd just as soon have him start with the big club if he shows he's ready. I wouldn't have him pitch over the offseason at all.

Jack Torse
09-10-2012, 05:44 PM
First lets see if he can get MLB hitters out and then worry about his innings. He's going to be 25 so its about time to get on with it. The Twins starters are terrible and they aren't likely to contend in 2013. If he's healthy and can't make this team as a starter out of ST you have to wonder. He has had a decent statistical minor league track record but not anything too mind blowing.

h2oface
09-13-2012, 04:05 AM
i don't think that any comparison is really valid with strasburg. dates of the year. ok. so they both had the same type of surgery. so i ride a motor cycle. that doesn't make me comparable to all the others that ride. and to think the twins took gibson.......... and could have taken mike trout.