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View Full Version : Trevor May beginning to get it (article)



jokin
04-25-2013, 02:43 AM
May pitched a complete game shutout and gave a lot of interesting quotes after the game (Cats' May tosses three-hit shutout | MiLB.com News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball (http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130424&content_id=45722296&fext=.jsp&vkey=news_milb%29:)

"My focus wasn't where it needed to be and I fell behind hitters," said May, who threw 63 of 104 pitches for strikes. "Getting out of [the first inning] was a big thing for me. I had a problem with stranding runners on base last year, and that's something I need to do."

"I need to be able to get out of innings with one pitch, rather than pitching around guys. I'm making huge strides staying with my plan rather than worrying about who's on base or how many outs there are."

"I felt like the three walks today were three too many, but as opposed to the past, my walks were more under control. They were smaller misses, a couple inches," May said. "I feel like my mind-set is there. Once I get in a routine, the walks will go down."


"All of the home runs have been solo home runs and I think all of them have led off innings. I would much rather give up a home run in the first couple of pitches rather than with the bases loaded for a grand slam. I'd be in more trouble then."

Very encouraging insights of a maturing pitcher who seems to understand he needs to be more focused on a consistent basis, and comes off as motivated to do the things needed to get to the next level quickly, and all things considered, a strong performance against a strong hitting team, where he appeared to have a conscious plan to be more of a "pitcher" than a strike out machine hoping for the best. New Hampshire is 4th in the Eastern League in BA and 2nd in OBP.

Given that May was way ahead of Meyer in professional experience, 5 years to only 1 for Meyer, if May can keep this up, he may get the first promotion from New Britain. Perhaps when/if Gibson/Deduno/DeVries/Hendriks are sent up to the Twins (which may be sooner rather than later if Pelfrey needs to be sent down).

Brock Beauchamp
04-25-2013, 08:43 AM
People like to bash how the Twins draft and handle pitchers but I truly believe that guys like May can really benefit from being in the Twins system. He has all the raw stuff to succeed, now it's just a matter of getting him to throw strikes and show consistency.

Of course, it didn't help Liriano much so who knows for sure...

stringer bell
04-25-2013, 09:31 AM
May, Meyer, Gibson--the start of a good, young rotation, or the frontline of a pretty good amateur basketball team. Trevor needs to back up his nice start with another, then another, and perhaps he will get to move up to Rochester.

drivlikejehu
04-25-2013, 10:08 AM
He's a flyball pitcher who walks a lot of guys. There's a reason the Phillies gave him up - he profiles better in the bullpen.

kab21
04-25-2013, 11:43 AM
Right now I'm down on May for the reasons drivlikejehu lists. But you can't teach velocity and it's possible that he matures as a pitcher and becomes a A.J. Burnett style pitcher (not as good though). As a downside I think he can make the move into the bullpen and be a really good 7th/8th/9th inning guy.

Brock Beauchamp
04-25-2013, 12:08 PM
Right now I'm down on May for the reasons drivlikejehu lists. But you can't teach velocity and it's possible that he matures as a pitcher and becomes a A.J. Burnett style pitcher (not as good though). As a downside I think he can make the move into the bullpen and be a really good 7th/8th/9th inning guy.

And either way, it makes the Revere trade a complete lop-sided win for the Twins.

Personally, I expect May to remain a starter for some time. I think he'll start for the Twins at some point and whether he bombs out at that point is very much up for debate.

I see the team giving him every opportunity to succeed as a starter before sending him to the pen.

Brock Beauchamp
04-25-2013, 12:08 PM
May, Meyer, Gibson--the start of a good, young rotation, or the frontline of a pretty good amateur basketball team.

It never occurred to me how tall all three of them are... May is the ShortRound of the group, coming in at a measly 6'5".

Brock Beauchamp
04-25-2013, 12:10 PM
He's a flyball pitcher who walks a lot of guys. There's a reason the Phillies gave him up - he profiles better in the bullpen.

Which is understandable, considering that the Phillies play in Citizen's Bank Park. Flyball/walk-prone pitchers would be absolutely crucified in that park.

In Target Field, he has a better chance of surviving if he can slim down walks allowed.

stringer bell
04-25-2013, 12:13 PM
It never occurred to me how tall all three of them are... May is the ShortRound of the group, coming in at a measly 6'5".And Pelfrey could come off the bench at 6'7".

nicksaviking
04-25-2013, 12:13 PM
The myth of the groundball pitcher has been exposed. Though I'm sure the Twins front office doesn't read much Bill James, he's lately been making the case that flyball pitchers are historically better and much less injury prone.

kab21
04-25-2013, 12:18 PM
And either way, it makes the Revere trade a complete lop-sided win for the Twins.

Personally, I expect May to remain a starter for some time. I think he'll start for the Twins at some point and whether he bombs out at that point is very much up for debate.

I see the team giving him every opportunity to succeed as a starter before sending him to the pen.

He will definitely get every chance as a starter but I have my doubts and I can see him being the out of options guy that has to stick in the bullpen in 2016 if he isn't in the bullpen sooner.

Brock Beauchamp
04-25-2013, 12:23 PM
The myth of the groundball pitcher has been exposed. Though I'm sure the Twins front office doesn't read much Bill James, he's lately been making the case that flyball pitchers are historically better and much less injury prone.

Link? I'd love to read it... A few months back while watching Burns' documentary for the third time, I started rattling off the best pitchers of all time and noticed that most of them did not dominate with groundballs.

drivlikejehu
04-25-2013, 12:35 PM
The myth of the groundball pitcher has been exposed. Though I'm sure the Twins front office doesn't read much Bill James, he's lately been making the case that flyball pitchers are historically better and much less injury prone.

False. James was talking only about historically great pitchers and off-the-cuff speculated that elite groundball pitchers are more injury prone. He produced nothing to support the assertion and other top analysts don't seem to agree.

The key point is that dominant, hard-throwing pitchers tend to work up in the zone. But because they get so many strikeouts, the flyballs aren't much of a problem (high strikeout pitchers also typically induce weaker contact on balls in play).

For an ordinary pitcher, there is zero question groundballs are preferable. The only exception would be a perfect storm of an extreme pitcher's park and terrible infield defense/good outfield defense.

diehardtwinsfan
04-25-2013, 03:51 PM
Santana was like that. He was a fly ball pitcher.

birdwatcher
04-25-2013, 05:49 PM
Thanks for a very good thread, jokin. His quotes indicate awareness and maturity. It's nice to have a few more pitchers around that are critical of themselves to some degree. Pelfrey may be struggling, but at least he's not making excuses, and you have to like May's attitude.

jokin
04-25-2013, 07:09 PM
Thanks for a very good thread, jokin. His quotes indicate awareness and maturity. It's nice to have a few more pitchers around that are critical of themselves to some degree. Pelfrey may be struggling, but at least he's not making excuses, and you have to like May's attitude.

It's refreshing to come together in literal full agreement on issues without being coerced to do so. I still think it's at best 50-50 that May ends up being a career SP, but this most recent performance coupled with May's post-game quotes give me encouragement that the change of teams was a good shot in the arm for Trevor, his comments indicate a developing "major-league" maturity level, and that Twins management and NB to this point are taking the right approach to resuming the trajectory aimed at May reaching his ceiling-level potential.

If May ends up becoming an effective starter for the Twins over his prime years, it will end up being one of Ryan's best deals ever, even if it has hurt in the short-term in leaving the CF depth chart so barren.

I liked Pelfrey at New York and I like his candor in the media and "Big Horse" leadership role that he willingly embraces. How his season has played out thus far reflects my biggest criticism of the deal- the vast uncertainty in signing him to a one-year deal and going in with the expectation that he would do what no other pitcher coming back from TJ has done- namely, somehow be immediately and consistently effective only some 11 months after the surgery. I have a feeling he will be a lot better next season, but will he still be a Twin in 2014?

jorgenswest
04-25-2013, 07:40 PM
Groundball pitcher study links.

Rob Neyer has some excerpts

Bill James on overrating ground-ball pitchers - Baseball Nation (http://www.baseballnation.com/2013/3/21/4132110/groundball-pitchers-analysis-projecting-injuries)

this one from fangraphs

Is Bill James Right about Ground Ball Pitchers and Injuries? | FanGraphs Baseball (http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/is-bill-james-right-about-ground-ball-pitchers-and-injuries/)

kab21
04-25-2013, 08:44 PM
Groundballs are nice but strikeouts and walks to a lesser extent are the dominant factors in pitcher's effectiveness. I remember an analysis from several years ago. I definitely don't have a link since I considered the analysis incomplete (didn't look at multiple seasons) and it was done on a new startup site (lack of track record). However I thought the project started out well and agreed with the weighting that they assigned to the 3 outcomes studied. The weightings that they found were 1 for K's, 0.5 for BB's and 0.12 for GB's. That means that K's are 8 times more important than GB's. And if you are going to be a low K pitcher then you better be very good at limiting walks and flyballs if you are going to survive.

drjim
04-26-2013, 04:49 PM
FBs are converted to outs more often than GBs but obviously ocvasionally lead to HRs.

A dominant pitcher is probably a high k low bb guy which is less contact and fewer extra baserunners. That combo for elite pitchers would seem to mitigate the damage of slightly higher hr rate but converting (lower amounts of) contact into more outs and making hrs have lower run expectation because of fewer baserunners. Would need the combo of high k and low bb rates to really make this work. Fb pitchers with higher bb rates could be a little dangerous.

drjim
04-26-2013, 04:51 PM
Santana was like that. He was a fly ball pitcher.

The high k and low bb rates were much more significant for his success.

diehardtwinsfan
04-27-2013, 06:54 AM
The high k and low bb rates were much more significant for his success.

I realize that... I was just making an observation... Interestingly enough, Liriano was more a ground ball pitcher...

jokin
05-10-2013, 08:30 PM
Trevor May bounces back from his last outing with a complete game, 2-hit shutout against the very good Red Sox affiliate, Portland.

I'm thinking he can turn the corner here and get a September call-up.