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Seth Stohs
10-28-2013, 12:36 PM
According to Angels beat reporter Mike DiGiovanna, Jerry Dipoto's Assistant GM, Larry Corrigan, has left the Angels and will return to the Twins organization.

https://twitter.com/MikeDiGiovanna/status/394892640539262976

Will be interesting to see what his role might be, maybe similar to Wayne Krivsky?

JB_Iowa
10-28-2013, 01:01 PM
I am not saying anything bad about Larry Corrigan here -- he is probably a fine scout.

But I do question Ryan's constant "back to the future" moves:


http://www.examiner.com/article/corrigan-is-first-hire-for-dipoto-s-staff
November 1, 2011

For anyone who didn't believe what Jerry DiPoto (http://www.examiner.com/topic/jerry-dipoto/articles) said about balancing the modern schools of sabermetrics with traditional scouting, the new Angels GM just backed that up by hiring Larry Corrigan on Tuesday as his special assistant.

Corrigan, who has spent the past three years as the special assistant to Pitttsburgh Pirates GM Neal Huntington, is as old school as they get. The former scout and college head coach is widely credited with the discovery of current Angels outfielder Torii Hunter back during his days as the Twins' director of scouting.


I realize that Corrigan is near the tail end of his career and probably will have a role somewhat like Krivsky. I'd just like to see someone "new school" brought in at the same level of prominence.

mike wants wins
10-28-2013, 01:17 PM
Back to the Future was my first thought also, but only from a humor perspective. I have no idea what his role is, or if he's fit for it.

We've beaten the other topic to death, and Ryan has made it clear in his interview(s?) that he's not interested in bringing in people from other orgs. He's just going to copy them, somehow.

gunnarthor
10-28-2013, 01:31 PM
Not sure there's much to get angry about here. Corrigan is a long time scout who happened to previously work here and is very good at his job.

Special-assignment scouts Larry Corrigan and Tim Schmidt crucial to Angels' success | angels.com: News (http://losangeles.angels.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120127&content_id=26486656&vkey=news_ana&c_id=ana)

I have no idea what his job will be here but it almost certainly will be involved in scouting. A few years ago the Twins decided they weren't scouting the southwest well enough so they put former GM Ryan in charge of that area and hired longtime scout Jack Powell who had just left the Rays. That led to Goodrum and Buxton fairly quickly. Don't think it makes much sense to say that we can't have someone work here if he used to work here. There's nothing that suggests he's bad at his job and he has proven capable of working with the current FO. Those are usually positive attributes when hiring someone.

JB_Iowa
10-28-2013, 01:42 PM
Not angry, just weary.

Badsmerf
10-28-2013, 03:15 PM
Because the Angels organization is one the Twins should be stealing people from...

old nurse
10-28-2013, 03:25 PM
Maybe I have a different opinion because I work in a field that is ever changing, and also practice is evidenced based. Does a single one of you have any idea on how Corrigan assess talent? There is no way you can say what school he is. When you want to be successful you look for all means to do so. The GM who brought the idea of sabermetrics to a front office is now 65. He was A GM starting in 83. The difference between that person and the Twins FO is he talks about how he does what he does.

mike wants wins
10-28-2013, 03:27 PM
The assistant GM did not know what FIP was last year, this isn't just "not talking about". I get that they might be more into it than we know, but let's not pretend they are on the cutting edge here. Is that fair?

old nurse
10-28-2013, 03:51 PM
The assistant GM did not know what FIP was last year, this isn't just "not talking about". I get that they might be more into it than we know, but let's not pretend they are on the cutting edge here. Is that fair?Was the assistant GM asked if they rank pitching performances on a ratio based on home runs and walks given up as well as how many strikeouts the pitcher has? An assistant GM has no reason to go to fangraphs or any other internet statistics site. The more important issue than is how do they assess pitching. They aren't going to tell the fans what measures they use. I really doubt it is just w/l. Somewhere research had to have been done to come up with the philosophy of not walking hitters and be ahead in the count ( G.D. someone forgot to tell them about strike three ((silly icon here))). Can't remember where I saw it, but Wacha said that getting ahead of the hitters and not walking batters was the Cardinal way of pitching. Someone did some some research as the Twins are favoring taller pitchers.

gunnarthor
10-28-2013, 05:22 PM
The assistant GM did not know what FIP was last year, this isn't just "not talking about". I get that they might be more into it than we know, but let's not pretend they are on the cutting edge here. Is that fair?

I think part of this might just be polarization by what fans hear. We don't have insights into any FO so we just generally go along with the sources we do have - BA, Fangraphs, ESPN etc. So at draft time, someone invariably will say that Team X reached to grab Player A with the #35 pick b/c BA had him ranked #49.

The Twins for years used to harp about defense and were pretty consistently mocked about it. Tom Kelly was ripped for suggesting that Todd Walker's defense was negating his offensive contributions. Eventually, outside sources started to agree that defense was pretty important (and agreed that Walker's defense really hurt his overall value). The Twins, in that example, clearly knew some way of judging player's value that wasn't available to us and ended up being proven right. So I'm not sure I'd care if the Assistant GM didn't know what a fangraphs created stat was (or even if the Assistant GM has input on scouting and free agency or if his job is market based or contracts or vendors).

gunnarthor
10-28-2013, 05:25 PM
Was the assistant GM asked if they rank pitching performances on a ratio based on home run Someone did some some research as the Twins are favoring taller pitchers.

Yeah, that was based on former pitching coach/roving instructor Rick Knapp. He thought taller pitchers would have an easier time with creating "plane at the plate" stuff that Blyleven is always harping on about. .

old nurse
10-28-2013, 08:53 PM
The assistant GM did not know what FIP was last year, this isn't just "not talking about". I get that they might be more into it than we know, but let's not pretend they are on the cutting edge here. Is that fair?
FIP and the like are mostly macro type stats. There is a ton of data available to teams on exactly what pitchers throw and outcomes. There is data on what pitches hitters hit and outcomes. From all of that there should be a norm on what is to be expected based on what any player is capable of doing. That is the level from which they start punching numbers. Fans get interested in the macro numbers as their way of judging talent. I think the FO judge individual skills and project results from that.

USAFChief
10-28-2013, 09:20 PM
FIP and the like are mostly macro type stats. There is a ton of data available to teams on exactly what pitchers throw and outcomes. There is data on what pitches hitters hit and outcomes. From all of that there should be a norm on what is to be expected based on what any player is capable of doing. That is the level from which they start punching numbers. Fans get interested in the macro numbers as their way of judging talent. I think the FO judge individual skills and project results from that.
How would a front office know something like FIP isn't useful to them if they don't know what it is?

Frozented9
10-28-2013, 09:33 PM
How would a front office know something like FIP isn't useful to them if they don't know what it is?

They just know, they are all wise and all knowing because they have been around the game their whole life. [/sarcasm]

drivlikejehu
10-29-2013, 05:50 AM
It's interesting logic, to say the least, that Twins management doesn't know what FIP is because they are too advanced. I mean, if that's the best you can do, don't bother.

Joe A. Preusser
10-29-2013, 06:11 AM
... they might be more into it than we know, but let's not pretend they are on the cutting edge here. Is that fair?

To me the entire argument can be summed up in this phrase. The ORG is most certainly aware of any possible statistic out there and could/would use those stats if it suited them. But no, their use is probably not cutting edge as a whole.

big dog
10-29-2013, 07:20 AM
Because the Angels organization is one the Twins should be stealing people from...

Corrigan was only with the Angels for two years. He spent the previous four years working for the Pirates.
Minnesota Twinsights: Top scout Larry Corrigan reportedly returning to Twins Twins Now (http://blogs.twincities.com/twins/2013/10/29/minnesota-twinsights-top-scout-larry-corrigan-reportedly-returning-to-twins/)

Seth Stohs
10-29-2013, 07:49 AM
I think people make far too big of a deal about this stats stuff. Obviously they know what it is, and they know how to use it. It isn't Terry Ryan's or Rob Antony's job to dive headlong into the numbers, they just need to understand them, and they are getting that information. And yes, it is just one piece to the decision-making matrix, but it's not a piece that is overlooked. Scouting and Stats both matter.

I just think people worry too much about what is said publicly when we know that they know and are doing much more internally (and keeping it internal) than we know. What benefit is it for them to start spouting off about what stats they like and dislike and what specifics go into it. Yes, I want to know as a fan, but I wouldn't want that information out if I was the GM!

mike wants wins
10-29-2013, 08:06 AM
It's interesting logic, to say the least, that Twins management doesn't know what FIP is because they are too advanced. I mean, if that's the best you can do, don't bother.

Rob Antony was interviewed, and admitted he did not know what it was. I don't just make stuff up. Here is Rob Neyer's thoughts on the subject from back then. Looks like I was off by a year or so....:

Twins thrive without sabermetrics - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN (http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/3040/twins-thrive-without-sabermetrics)

gunnarthor
10-29-2013, 08:26 AM
One other point, which I've mentioned before, is that the Twins are insanely tight lipped. We never get leaks from them - we got a few more in the Smith years but Ryan simply doesn't let stuff leak. Last year, for example, mlbtraderumors reported that Denard Span might be traded based on "speculation" by Ken Rosenthal but no Twins sources were used. The first time mlbtraderumors linked to a Twins source that Span might be traded was Nov 28, when Wolfson quoted someone in the Twins FO saying that the winter meetings could be active and then Wolfson made the connection to Span ("There's a belief that Span could be traded"). Span was traded the next day.

Same with Revere - on Dec 3, mlbtraderumors noted that teams had "approached" the Twins about Revere. On Dec 5, Paul Morosi tweeted that Revere's name had surfaced as a possible trade chip but he didn't have any information from the Twins - he guessed that they'd want a CFer in return. He was traded the next day.

I'm not sure if being this tight lipped is useful (I don't think it hurts them) but clearly Ryan does. He turned down the chance to be the subject of a book.

gunnarthor
10-29-2013, 08:29 AM
Rob Antony was interviewed, and admitted he did not know what it was. I don't just make stuff up. Here is Rob Neyer's thoughts on the subject from back then. Looks like I was off by a year or so....:

Twins thrive without sabermetrics - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN (http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/3040/twins-thrive-without-sabermetrics)

I love that you linked to a story written by a stat guy that finished with this: "And also because Ron Gardenhire is one damn fine manager."

drivlikejehu
10-29-2013, 08:33 AM
Rob Antony was interviewed, and admitted he did not know what it was. I don't just make stuff up. Here is Rob Neyer's thoughts on the subject from back then. Looks like I was off by a year or so....:

Twins thrive without sabermetrics - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN (http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/3040/twins-thrive-without-sabermetrics)

I think you misread my post - I wasn't being literal.

mike wants wins
10-29-2013, 08:43 AM
I love that you linked to a story written by a stat guy that finished with this: "And also because Ron Gardenhire is one damn fine manager."

Lots of people think he's a fine manager, good manager, great manager. Even "stats guys".

nicksaviking
10-29-2013, 08:48 AM
Rob Antony was interviewed, and admitted he did not know what it was. I don't just make stuff up. Here is Rob Neyer's thoughts on the subject from back then. Looks like I was off by a year or so....:

Twins thrive without sabermetrics - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN (http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/3040/twins-thrive-without-sabermetrics)

You'll probably get hammered because it's a couple years old but good link. At the end Neyer predicted the Twins would win the division yet his analysis (of the lack of analysis) may have instead predicted the Twins collapse.

TheLeviathan
10-29-2013, 10:28 AM
I think people make far too big of a deal about this stats stuff. Obviously they know what it is, and they know how to use it.

I don't think that's remotely obvious at all. Especially without any evidence or trends in their player acquisitions to indicate they are using these stats behind the scenes. This isn't just that these things aren't being said publicly, it's that the Twins are still doing things the same as they were 15-20 years ago when these stats were less common. Neither the action nor the rhetoric reflects these things are taken seriously, used, or even understood.

gunnarthor
10-29-2013, 12:01 PM
I don't think that's remotely obvious at all. Especially without any evidence or trends in their player acquisitions to indicate they are using these stats behind the scenes. This isn't just that these things aren't being said publicly, it's that the Twins are still doing things the same as they were 15-20 years ago when these stats were less common. Neither the action nor the rhetoric reflects these things are taken seriously, used, or even understood.

What moves has Ryan done that you think show he doesn't know what he's doing? What moves should he have done? Shouldn't that be the barometer instead of him using language you like?

I mean, the main gripe with him seems to be not spending big on free agents. We had entire threads about the pitchers we didn't get and it looked like Ryan ended up pretty good in that regard. Are we concerned that he's being outfoxed in trades? Are the Twins promoting prospects too slowly? Has he made good waiver claims or rule v picks?

Nick Nelson
10-29-2013, 12:17 PM
I mean, the main gripe with him seems to be not spending big on free agents.
I don't think this is necessarily accurate. I think it's more that he constantly pursues the wrong free agents. If you're not going to spend big, go for risk/reward guys with upside, not proven mediocrities who fall into the same pitch-to-contact category as what you already have. There were plenty of guys who signed for a similar amount (or less) to Correia/Pelfrey last year that would've made a lot more sense.

gunnarthor
10-29-2013, 12:33 PM
I don't think this is necessarily accurate. I think it's more that he constantly pursues the wrong free agents. If you're not going to spend big, go for risk/reward guys with upside, not proven mediocrities who fall into the same pitch-to-contact category as what you already have. There were plenty of guys who signed for a similar amount (or less) to Correia/Pelfrey last year that would've made a lot more sense.

OK, here are most of the pitchers that were in that group. I might have missed one or two. John Lannan? Anyhow, other than Feldman and Correia, not a lot was gotten in that price range. I think the Cubs signed Villanueva to a similar deal but he spent most of the time in the bullpen (although I know some Twins fans talked him up). Anyhow, which high risk/reward guys was I missing? I guess Liriano?

Scott Feldman - Cubs - 1/6m, 12-12 105 ERA+, 181.2ip, 1.6 WAR
Kevin Correia 2/10m 9-13, 97 ERA+, 185.1ip, 1.6 WAR
Brandon McCarthy - DBacks - 2/15.5m - 5-11 84 ERA+, 135ip -0.2 WAR
Dan Haren - Nats - 1/13m - 10-14 81 ERA+, 169.2ip -0.1 WAR
Ryan Dempster - Bos -2/26.5m 8-9 89 ERA+, 171.1ip, -0.2 WAR
Joe Saunders - Seattle - 1/6.5m - 11-16, 70 ERA+, 183ip -0.3 WAR
Mike Pelfrey 1/4m 5-13, 78 ERA+, 152.2ip, -0.3 WAR
Shawn Marcum - Mets - 1/4m - 1-10 67 ERA+, 78.1ip -1.0 WAR
Joe Blanton Angels - 2/15m - 2-14 62 ERA+, 132.2ip -2.0 WAR
Scott Baker - Cubs - 1/5.5m 3 starts, 15ip. Missed most season w/injury

(This is bWAR but fWAR can be very different - according to them, Pelfrey was a 2 WAR pitcher this year).

nicksaviking
10-29-2013, 12:44 PM
OK, here are most of the pitchers that were in that group. I might have missed one or two. John Lannan? Anyhow, other than Feldman and Correia, not a lot was gotten in that price range. I think the Cubs signed Villanueva to a similar deal but he spent most of the time in the bullpen (although I know some Twins fans talked him up). Anyhow, which high risk/reward guys was I missing? I guess Liriano?

Scott Feldman - Cubs - 1/6m, 12-12 105 ERA+, 181.2ip, 1.6 WAR
Kevin Correia 2/10m 9-13, 97 ERA+, 185.1ip, 1.6 WAR
Brandon McCarthy - DBacks - 2/15.5m - 5-11 84 ERA+, 135ip -0.2 WAR
Dan Haren - Nats - 1/13m - 10-14 81 ERA+, 169.2ip -0.1 WAR
Ryan Dempster - Bos -2/26.5m 8-9 89 ERA+, 171.1ip, -0.2 WAR
Joe Saunders - Seattle - 1/6.5m - 11-16, 70 ERA+, 183ip -0.3 WAR
Mike Pelfrey 1/4m 5-13, 78 ERA+, 152.2ip, -0.3 WAR
Shawn Marcum - Mets - 1/4m - 1-10 67 ERA+, 78.1ip -1.0 WAR
Joe Blanton Angels - 2/15m - 2-14 62 ERA+, 132.2ip -2.0 WAR
Scott Baker - Cubs - 1/5.5m 3 starts, 15ip. Missed most season w/injury

(This is bWAR but fWAR can be very different - according to them, Pelfrey was a 2 WAR pitcher this year).

But this is not the debate, it is not about the results of these pitchers, it is about whether Ryan was targeting pitchers that statistical analysis favors. He did not appear to. Ryan's method may or may not have gotten good results from his free agents, but that is not what was at question.

Good results would be a check mark in favor of his "Old School/Scouting" approach, but it does not prove that he has embraced statistical analysis.

spycake
10-29-2013, 12:51 PM
I mean, the main gripe with him seems to be not spending big on free agents. We had entire threads about the pitchers we didn't get and it looked like Ryan ended up pretty good in that regard. Are we concerned that he's being outfoxed in trades? Are the Twins promoting prospects too slowly? Has he made good waiver claims or rule v picks?

For me, it's that TR has thus far refused to bid on good talent, anytime, anywhere. The only acquisitions he ever makes are either explicitly capped in spending, or involve modest interest at best (Correia, Pelfrey, etc.).

Sometimes that's a good play, when you don't think the talent or value is there, but as a hard and fast rule? At the top level of a sport where talent is scarce? Even if you're really good at all of the other aspects of your job, it almost guarantees a slow rebuild (5-6 seasons?) at best, and quite possibly an unsuccessful rebuild if a particular player or draft doesn't pan out as expected.

Fortunately for TR, the draft and most international signings are explicitly capped now -- one could argue that's the only reason we have Buxton and a few other of our top prospects. But I would love to see TR and his team put their baseball and scouting acumen to work on the domestic and Cuban/Asian free agent markets -- not necessarily to sign mega-contracts or get into bidding wars, but to target good investments and occasionally snag one. Right now they essentially sit those markets out, on principle.

EDIT: Sorry I drifted away from the stats debate...

gunnarthor
10-29-2013, 12:52 PM
Good results would be a check mark in favor of his "Old School/Scouting" approach, but it does not prove that he has embraced statistical analysis.

Well, Correia pitched how Ryan thought he would and he specifically mentioned Goin when talking about signing Correia, so I do think it shows the Twins have some analysis based on stats. Probably not the same ones that fangraphs use. (But clearly they are also scout heavy).

Remember, Joe Posnanski wrote that the A's internal WAR calculator had Cabrera ahead of Trout last year. ML teams have more info than we (fans) give them credit for.

IdahoPilgrim
10-29-2013, 12:58 PM
But this is not the debate, it is not about the results of these pitchers, it is about whether Ryan was targeting pitchers that statistical analysis favors. He did not appear to. Ryan's method may or may not have gotten good results from his free agents, but that is not what was at question.

Good results would be a check mark in favor of his "Old School/Scouting" approach, but it does not prove that he has embraced statistical analysis.

If the results are good, does it really matter what approach he takes?

And on the topic at hand, has it been statistically proven that the statistical analysis method is substantially better? Aside from cherry-picked anecdotal evidence (which can always be found for all sides of any issues) I would like to see some sort of statistical analysis about the relationship of statistical analysis to baseball success. I'm not sure how you would measure that - size of statistical analysis budget, number of analysts, a quantitative score based on percentage of weight statistical analysis carries when making personnel moves, number of times mentioned (or not mentioned) in a GM interview - but take that quantitative measure of adoption of statistical analysis and then correlate that with wins per season and playoff series wins and see what it looks like. Would the use of statistics actually be statistically significant?

gunnarthor
10-29-2013, 12:59 PM
For me, it's that TR has thus far refused to bid on good talent, anytime, anywhere. The only acquisitions he ever makes are either explicitly capped in spending, or involve modest interest at best (Correia, Pelfrey, etc.).
.

I'm not going to disagree with you but I'm also not sure you're right. In fairness to Ryan, when he was GM through 07, he did lock up a lot of talent on extensions, which was significant, but he didn't really have the means to bid on top talent.

After he left, we did see the Twins have a top 10 payroll for one year, with some real smart FA pickups (Pavano, Thome, Hudson) that helped them to a great season.

When Ryan came back, the team wasn't in a position where free agency was going to help, esp with a bunch of young guys needing to come up. The Willingham, Doumit, Correia, Burton finds were ok for a rebuilding team.

I'm still willing to give Ryan the benefit of the doubt and think he can spend more but he won't use FA as a crutch, he'll use it to help polish a nearly finished project like they did in 2010. And these last two years, there really wasn't a high end talent that anyone could realistically think the Twins could have gotten. They weren't going to win a bidding match against the Dodgers. Sanchez wasn't going to come here when Detroit was backing up the truck for him. The Twins weren't going to win a bidding on Hamilton or Pujols.

mike wants wins
10-29-2013, 01:14 PM
McPhail never had trouble signing guys to huge deals, some of the biggest in the majors at the tnme, and he operated under the same constraints.

And, we totally disagree that FA "would not help" the last three years. 100% disagree.

Also, judging decisions after the fact is not really a good way to judge decisions. If you drive drunk, and live, was it a good idea to drive drunk? Should you do it again?

I tire of this "debate". No one on the stats side is saying it is the only way. that's a straw man. No one on the FA side is saying it is the one true way, and they should not still draft and develop players. It is a straw man. No one is saying they don't use stats at all. That is a straw man. I hope I'm strong enough to just stop answering these kinds of posts someday.

What we are asking for, is to use every available means to get better.

gunnarthor
10-29-2013, 01:23 PM
McPhail never had trouble signing guys to huge deals, some of the biggest in the majors at the tnme, and he operated under the same constraints.

And, we totally disagree that FA "would not help" the last three years. 100% disagree.

Also, judging decisions after the fact is not really a good way to judge decisions. If you drive drunk, and live, was it a good idea to drive drunk? Should you do it again?

I tire of this "debate". No one on the stats side is saying it is the only way. that's a straw man. No one on the FA side is saying it is the one true way, and they should not still draft and develop players. It is a straw man. No one is saying they don't use stats at all. That is a straw man. I hope I'm strong enough to just stop answering these kinds of posts someday.

What we are asking for, is to use every available means to get better.

McPhail didn't have the same economic problems that Ryan faced. It's an apples/oranges comparison.

Yep, we disagree on FA. But please tell me what path the Twins should've taken. What FA should they have signed?

I'm comfortable with Ryan and the FO getting the team right. They have the history and they've made a number of moves that suggests that the game hasn't passed them by. I'm not going to get upset if they don't seem to be going things the "fangraphs" way or if they keep thins close to the vest.

Jim Crikket
10-29-2013, 01:41 PM
Because the Angels organization is one the Twins should be stealing people from...

Bringing the topic back around to Corrigan's hiring, I just thought I'd respond to this comment.

I don't think the problem with the Angels' organization has necessarily been their scouting. They gave away so many top draft picks chasing protected FAs the last couple years that it would be pretty amazing scouting to pick up anyone with significant promise. That FO has had to be a pretty frustrating place to work for good scouts lately. Now, you add in a lack of any job security because the GM himself could be shoved to the curb any time and you take any road out of town that you can find.

Unless Corrigan is the guy who told the LAAA brass to go get Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols without regard to costs in $ and draft picks, I'm not going to worry too much about the fact that he spent the last 2 years with the Angels.

EDIT: By the way, after finishing at or near the bottom of both rookie leagues a couple of years ago, both of the Angels' rookie league teams were above .500 in 2013. I have no idea if Corrigan influenced that or not, but having been a follower of the Angels' former MWL affiliate, I can tell you that's a significant improvement over the kind of talent they'd been sending up through the ranks previously.

old nurse
10-29-2013, 02:34 PM
How would a front office know something like FIP isn't useful to them if they don't know what it is?

My thinking is that they are more concerned with how they get to the endpoint of a season stat than a season stat for a player. FIP may tell you that they pitched better or worse than their ERA says they did. FIP may tell you if you have a good pitcher. Paying Might even be useful in saying if they are a good pitcher or not. Paying closer attention to what happens when they throw the ball would be a better indicator. Does what they throw produce a GB % that can be sustained? Does what they throw lead to a lot of right field line drives which could lead to more HR at Target Field. That sort of situation and numerical ssesments are a lot more important than FIP.

nicksaviking
10-29-2013, 02:37 PM
Well, Correia pitched how Ryan thought he would and he specifically mentioned Goin when talking about signing Correia, so I do think it shows the Twins have some analysis based on stats. Probably not the same ones that fangraphs use. (But clearly they are also scout heavy).


You'll have to find that one because I don't remember any reference to Goin when it came to signing Correia, quite the opposite in fact. I do remeber Ryan saying his SCOUTS came back and said he was better then what his numbers:

Mackey: Low-risk or not, Twins are taking philosophical gambles | 1500 ESPN Twin Cities ? Minnesota Sports News & Opinion (Twins, Vikings, Wolves, Wild, Gophers) | Sportswire: Minnesota Twins (http://www.1500espn.com/sportswire/Mackey_How_will_Twins_philosophical_pitching_gambl es_pay_off012213)

nicksaviking
10-29-2013, 02:48 PM
If the results are good, does it really matter what approach he takes?

Perhaps not, but then the people defending Ryan need to stop saying that BECAUSE he didn't make a bad free agent signing, he MUST have been using statistical analysis.

The Wise One
10-29-2013, 03:59 PM
Perhaps not, but then the people defending Ryan need to stop saying that BECAUSE he didn't make a bad free agent signing, he MUST have been using statistical analysis.

There is plenty of evidence they have a statistical analysis department. Is it so hard to believe they could be right?

The Wise One
10-29-2013, 04:00 PM
You'll have to find that one because I don't remember any reference to Goin when it came to signing Correia, quite the opposite in fact. I do remeber Ryan saying his SCOUTS came back and said he was better then what his numbers:

Mackey: Low-risk or not, Twins are taking philosophical gambles | 1500 ESPN Twin Cities ? Minnesota Sports News & Opinion (Twins, Vikings, Wolves, Wild, Gophers) | Sportswire: Minnesota Twins (http://www.1500espn.com/sportswire/Mackey_How_will_Twins_philosophical_pitching_gambl es_pay_off012213)

Ryan also said that his scouts know statistics.

drivlikejehu
10-29-2013, 04:46 PM
Ryan also said that his scouts know statistics.

There is no evidence that his scouts understand statistics beyond the old-time basics. Over and over again reflexive Twins/TR defenders demand 'proof' of this or that observation regarding how old school the Twins are (even though this is readily apparent and openly acknowledged by the organization).

But when TR says "my scouts know stats" or that there are these various unnamed front office people (in addition to Goin), the requirement for evidence goes out the window. We are supposed to take the Twins' word that, along the path to 'getting back to how [they] used to do it', they've also kept up with developments in the game.

To expand on 'mike wants wins' great post: even focusing on particular stats like FIP is a straw man. The forward-thinking organizations develop their own tools and processes. The issue isn't numbers at all, but rather the fundamental approach to management. Teams like Boston, St. Louis, etc., are run like a business - always looking for an edge, incorporating data into their decision making, and so forth.

The Twins approach is obviously very different - something that is rationally undeniable as a result of Ryan's own comments (and others with the organization). They stick to set 'philosophies' and say so proudly. These philosophies are meaningless platitudes about 'playing the right way' and having starters that 'pitch deep into games' (as if anyone would want otherwise), among the slew that are regularly thrown out by the org.

The Twins are a 20th century entity competing in the 21st century. It's a losing proposition.

TheLeviathan
10-29-2013, 04:49 PM
What moves has Ryan done that you think show he doesn't know what he's doing? What moves should he have done? Shouldn't that be the barometer instead of him using language you like?

When did I ever say I don't think he knows what he's doing? I think he's let himself get behind the times and overconfident in his own way. Even brilliant sports minds have to be willing to change with time. He hasn't.

The biggest measure of what he has or has not done well is that he was handed a godawful team and has done virtually nothing to improve it in any meaningful way. (Other than the draft, but everyone gets to draft and we won't know the ultimate value of those moves for some time) He's had an incredibly low bar to improve the team and still failed for two offseasons.

And let's put something to bed that is a total double standard on this forum: The call for specifics is silly. If I accuse the team of failing to be aggressive in negotiations, I hear "well yeah, but you don't know what went on in that room". The same works in reverse. I don't know how many offers were on the table that he passed on that would've helped, but he didn't pull the trigger. Or agents or GMs that approached him with deals I'd have loved, but he hated.

So as specific as you're going to get from me is that he's had a very low bar to jump and he's failed miserably at it by pretty much every objective and subjective measure you can find.

The Wise One
10-29-2013, 05:37 PM
There is no evidence that his scouts understand statistics beyond the old-time basics. Over and over again reflexive Twins/TR defenders demand 'proof' of this or that observation regarding how old school the Twins are (even though this is readily apparent and openly acknowledged by the organization).

But when TR says "my scouts know stats" or that there are these various unnamed front office people (in addition to Goin), the requirement for evidence goes out the window. We are supposed to take the Twins' word that, along the path to 'getting back to how [they] used to do it', they've also kept up with developments in the game.

To expand on 'mike wants wins' great post: even focusing on particular stats like FIP is a straw man. The forward-thinking organizations develop their own tools and processes. The issue isn't numbers at all, but rather the fundamental approach to management. Teams like Boston, St. Louis, etc., are run like a business - always looking for an edge, incorporating data into their decision making, and so forth.

The Twins approach is obviously very different - something that is rationally undeniable as a result of Ryan's own comments (and others with the organization). They stick to set 'philosophies' and say so proudly. These philosophies are meaningless platitudes about 'playing the right way' and having starters that 'pitch deep into games' (as if anyone would want otherwise), among the slew that are regularly thrown out by the org.

The Twins are a 20th century entity competing in the 21st century. It's a losing proposition.

Complaining of a strawman argument with conjecture about how you think various front offices are run. Every organization has philosophies and ways they think the game should be played. They try to get players to fit that mold. Yes Ryan talks about things in global terms that you call meaningless platitudes. He doesn't say squat about how he got to that point of thinking. The Twins do not talk about how they make decisions. That leaves people to decide what they want to think without a basis. Ryan signed Willingham. Parker once wrote an article on how Willingham was built for Target Field just after he was signed. You can think the Twins were dumb and lucky with Willingham in 2012 or you can think they looked at his game and saw a fit for the home field. People are going to believe what they want.

Joe A. Preusser
10-29-2013, 06:32 PM
There is no evidence that his scouts understand statistics beyond the old-time basics. Over and over again reflexive Twins/TR defenders demand 'proof' of this or that observation regarding how old school the Twins are (even though this is readily apparent and openly acknowledged by the organization).

But when TR says "my scouts know stats" or that there are these various unnamed front office people (in addition to Goin), the requirement for evidence goes out the window. We are supposed to take the Twins' word that, along the path to 'getting back to how [they] used to do it', they've also kept up with developments in the game.

To expand on 'mike wants wins' great post: even focusing on particular stats like FIP is a straw man. The forward-thinking organizations develop their own tools and processes. The issue isn't numbers at all, but rather the fundamental approach to management. Teams like Boston, St. Louis, etc., are run like a business - always looking for an edge, incorporating data into their decision making, and so forth.

The Twins approach is obviously very different - something that is rationally undeniable as a result of Ryan's own comments (and others with the organization). They stick to set 'philosophies' and say so proudly. These philosophies are meaningless platitudes about 'playing the right way' and having starters that 'pitch deep into games' (as if anyone would want otherwise), among the slew that are regularly thrown out by the org.

The Twins are a 20th century entity competing in the 21st century. It's a losing proposition.


No business in the world publishes it's innermost, "nuts and bolts" research and methodology for the public and other businesses to pick apart and steal. Walmart's slogan and mission statement is "We save you money so you can live better." Do you think the leaders of a world-class, multi-billion dollar company truly don't have thousands of hours in cutting edge business research on the books to help them run it? Of course they do. Then why do we only get a simple platitude? Because that's for the public to see.
Do you honestly expect to see TR give a press conference and break down the methodology, planning, and strategy he used for a specific transaction? Why, so the guy he fleeced out of a prospect for Drew Butera can look back and see exactly how and why he was fleeced and not repeat he mistake? Meaningless platitudes are all you are SUPPOSED to get.

drivlikejehu
10-29-2013, 07:00 PM
No business in the world publishes it's innermost, "nuts and bolts" research and methodology for the public and other businesses to pick apart and steal. Walmart's slogan and mission statement is "We save you money so you can live better." Do you think the leaders of a world-class, multi-billion dollar company truly don't have thousands of hours in cutting edge business research on the books to help them run it? Of course they do. Then why do we only get a simple platitude? Because that's for the public to see.
Do you honestly expect to see TR give a press conference and break down the methodology, planning, and strategy he used for a specific transaction? Why, so the guy he fleeced out of a prospect for Drew Butera can look back and see exactly how and why he was fleeced and not repeat he mistake? Meaningless platitudes are all you are SUPPOSED to get.

Except Ryan's actions indicate that he does believe them, and that his comments are not just a deflection from discussing sensitive analytic processes.

Even if they were, though, that leaves a question mark for the Twins' actual strategy, and a pile of losses as the result. The team has underachieved by Ryan's own admission. That compares poorly to the rigorous approach and on-field successes of Beane, Mozeliak, Friedman, Daniels, etc.

Ultima Ratio
10-29-2013, 07:29 PM
If the results are good, does it really matter what approach he takes?



Yes.

The man who knows that gravity is the cause of objects falling to earth surely has better explanatory and predictive power than the man who believes that objects fall to earth because those objects have more of the earth element in them than other elements like fire and wind.

clutterheart
10-29-2013, 07:46 PM
No business in the world publishes it's innermost, "nuts and bolts" research and methodology for the public and other businesses to pick apart and steal. Walmart's slogan and mission statement is "We save you money so you can live better." Do you think the leaders of a world-class, multi-billion dollar company truly don't have thousands of hours in cutting edge business research on the books to help them run it? Of course they do. Then why do we only get a simple platitude? Because that's for the public to see.

I think you will run into trouble when you try to extrapolate business lessons into sports. Its a unique industry whose product isn't wins, players, or even the brand. The only product is the location of the business. If a sport team moves, the customerbase doesn't follow the brand or players, their customers gather in public and burn their jerseys. So comparing how Walmart runs their company to the Twins probably isn't a good comparision.
A better comparison is taking what we know about the Rays, A's, Cardinals, Yankees, Boston & others and using that metric to judge the Twins, their methodology and their openness.

Thrylos
10-29-2013, 07:58 PM
Interesting.

And very interesting comments. Gotta love the reactionary reaction to the Twins taking 2 steps back:

a. the Twins can do no wrong no matter what; need better food and more C&W acts at Target Field. And baseball in Minny is good.
b. bring back the old school when Ryan was Merlin, that will solve the problem (and Smith sucked even though the Twins had better record with him as a GM than with Ryan, because he does not get the spinning of the ball)
c. Scouts rock. Even though the Twins' MLB advance scouts kinda suck (see: results)
d. 2011 was all Smith's fault. 2012 was Jerry's and Stelly's. 2013: not enough old scouts. Go get them. Now. Lazarus too. And Molitor. That will fix it
e. FIP? what FIP? F IP.
f. I got "access" now. I shalt not say anything bad about the Twins because my perceived access might be revoked.

Major Leauge Ready
10-29-2013, 08:04 PM
No business in the world publishes it's innermost, "nuts and bolts" research and methodology for the public and other businesses to pick apart and steal. Walmart's slogan and mission statement is "We save you money so you can live better." Do you think the leaders of a world-class, multi-billion dollar company truly don't have thousands of hours in cutting edge business research on the books to help them run it? Of course they do. Then why do we only get a simple platitude? Because that's for the public to see.
Do you honestly expect to see TR give a press conference and break down the methodology, planning, and strategy he used for a specific transaction? Why, so the guy he fleeced out of a prospect for Drew Butera can look back and see exactly how and why he was fleeced and not repeat he mistake? Meaningless platitudes are all you are SUPPOSED to get.

When the organizations you reference want an assessment or second opinion on their strategies and methodologies, they hire an outside consultant. Many times, the largest most successful companies are as likely as a struggling firm to engage an outside firm. In that capacity, I have interviewed and/or interacted with hundreds or even thousands of employees over the years. It is very common for them to make assumptions based on hear say and a myriad of other unreliable and/or incomplete information. Of course, they also don't know how the management team is fitting together all of the strategies.

Based on the information available, my gut tells me some of the concerns voiced here might be legit. My experience tells me that we don't have nearly enough information to conclude anything with any certainty.

What I really want to know is what has changed in the drafting and development process in the past few years. I think we can all agree that this is the most important component in putting a winning team on the field. They have completely turned around the minor leauge system. What did they change? Is it sustainable? We don't know and probably won't anytime soon. Should we be praising or condeming the direction. I am not sure. Those who are absolutely certain must have got their MBA at a much better school.

gunnarthor
10-29-2013, 08:40 PM
When did I ever say I don't think he knows what he's doing? I think he's let himself get behind the times and overconfident in his own way. Even brilliant sports minds have to be willing to change with time. He hasn't.

The biggest measure of what he has or has not done well is that he was handed a godawful team and has done virtually nothing to improve it in any meaningful way. (Other than the draft, but everyone gets to draft and we won't know the ultimate value of those moves for some time) He's had an incredibly low bar to improve the team and still failed for two offseasons.

And let's put something to bed that is a total double standard on this forum: The call for specifics is silly. If I accuse the team of failing to be aggressive in negotiations, I hear "well yeah, but you don't know what went on in that room". The same works in reverse. I don't know how many offers were on the table that he passed on that would've helped, but he didn't pull the trigger. Or agents or GMs that approached him with deals I'd have loved, but he hated.

So as specific as you're going to get from me is that he's had a very low bar to jump and he's failed miserably at it by pretty much every objective and subjective measure you can find.

Well, I guess it's a general impasse. You can't finger things that should've been done other than "it's a low bar." Even ignoring the draft (since all teams get one, I guess?) I think the trades, waiver claims, promotions, and rule v picks show that he hasn't fallen behind the times.

I think it's ridiculous for people to clamor for improvement without specifics. What did you want? 91 losses? Would that clear your bar? Sign some vets and lose 86 games and draft 10th? It makes no sense to say suggest, as you are seem to be doing, that improvement is only shown by the ML teams record. The Twins are rebuilding. They need to get the young guys playing time. Ryan's been the GM for two years. Cubs and Astros have been rebuilding longer and losing more. Are their GMs failing?

Jack Goin
10-29-2013, 08:59 PM
I think it's funny people know what stats we use or that we don't have any predictive stats when we don't talk about it. How do you know?

TheLeviathan
10-29-2013, 09:05 PM
Well, I guess it's a general impasse. You can't finger things that should've been done other than "it's a low bar." Even ignoring the draft (since all teams get one, I guess?) I think the trades, waiver claims, promotions, and rule v picks show that he hasn't fallen behind the times.

How about...field a pitching staff that isn't historically awful? If he was as much on the ball as you seem to think, he'd have done more to improve an awful team. His poor drafts are largely responsible for this lack of talent. He's added very few long-term assets to the club in two years (other than through the draft), all short-term filler with one or two exceptions.

I can't give credit for good drafting until the results hit the field. Prospects are just that, prospects. All the farm top rankings in the world don't win baseball games and are no assurance of wins in the future. It's a complete farce to sight that as a positive at this point.

As for "specifics" they are still hypotheticals. We could've signed McCarthy and he would've been great for us. Or Joe Saunders. Or there could've been a better offer for Revere. I fail to see how that is a productive exercise. It boils down to having a low bar to jump and having utterly failed to do so.


Would that clear your bar?

Houston's GM has managed to turn their farm around and totally restructure the organization. Epstein did the same in Chicago. If Ryan came in, changed the culture, changed the organization in significant ways - he'd have a free pass from me. Instead, he's come in content to keep the engine that has become a total failure chugging away.

nicksaviking
10-29-2013, 09:06 PM
There is plenty of evidence they have a statistical analysis department. Is it so hard to believe they could be right?

Your reply had nothing to do with my post, no one's debating they have at least a one person stats department.

I think everyone can agree they have Jack Goin and at least one person who may or may not have been an intern in their employ. That does not prove that they used them to positively evaluate Kevin Correia. The previous poster tried to imply that Jack Goin recommend him even though Ryan's own words say it was the scouts who recommended Correia despite his numbers.

Willihammer
10-29-2013, 09:07 PM
I think it's funny people know what stats we use or that we don't have any predictive stats when we don't talk about it. How do you know?

Could you elaborate? If you're not using FIP or SIERA or some three true outcome based stat, then what have you found to be better predictors?

nicksaviking
10-29-2013, 09:12 PM
I think it's funny people know what stats we use or that we don't have any predictive stats when we don't talk about it. How do you know?

I don't think (m)any folks here think they know what stats the front office uses. Simply put, due to past acquisitions and a reluctance to play a more modern version of baseball on the field and off, some of us don't think Terry Ryan puts enough reliance on the many statistics available. At least on the free agent side, some of us would prefer a stronger use of statistics than scouting.

glunn
10-29-2013, 11:23 PM
I think it's funny people know what stats we use or that we don't have any predictive stats when we don't talk about it. How do you know?

Attention fellow TD members. We have verified that this post is from the actual Jack Goin, not an impostor. Please join me in welcoming Jack to TD.

I predict that if we respectfully invite Jack to have a friendly dialog, we may be rewarded with information that quenches our thirst. Obviously, Jack cannot give us any trade secrets, but maybe he could provide some tidbits that allay the concerns of those of us who feel that stats are not being used in an optimal manner.

PseudoSABR
10-30-2013, 12:34 AM
I think it's funny people know what stats we use or that we don't have any predictive stats when we don't talk about it. How do you know?Hi, Jack, welcome!

I imagine what statistics/analytics (and the given weight to such metrics) the team uses is a secret formula of the trade, so, I hope, no one here expects some verification on what you use and how much you use it. But rather, so many of us worry that the Twins are intransigent against innovative analytical approaches. What can you say that would put to bed such worries without compromising your competitive advantage? Again, thanks for checking in.

glunn
10-30-2013, 01:17 AM
Yeah, great idea but I'm going say the respectfully part might be hard for some.

This is an opportunity for us to possibly obtain insight from someone who knows a lot of things that some of us endlessly speculate about. We moderators are going to be watching this thread more than the average thread and people who cannot follow the rules will lose their posting privileges for an appropriate amount of time.

C'mon people. Let's be nice. Jack was nice enough to become a TD member and post here. If we are respectful, maybe he will tell us about some things that we would love to hear about.

Jack Goin
10-30-2013, 04:29 AM
Attention fellow TD members. We have verified that this post is from the actual Jack Goin, not an impostor. Please join me in welcoming Jack to TD.

I predict that if we respectfully invite Jack to have a friendly dialog, we may be rewarded with information that quenches our thirst. Obviously, Jack cannot give us any trade secrets, but maybe he could provide some tidbits that allay the concerns of those of us who feel that stats are not being used in an optimal manner.
Thanks glunn. Not really sure what, if any, insights I can provide. I was reading the comments for some reason and felt the need to say something. I know I'm probably walking into a hornets nest by getting on here but oh well. Maybe this can turn into something fun.

Jack Goin
10-30-2013, 04:38 AM
I don't think (m)any folks here think they know what stats the front office uses. Simply put, due to past acquisitions and a reluctance to play a more modern version of baseball on the field and off, some of us don't think Terry Ryan puts enough reliance on the many statistics available. At least on the free agent side, some of us would prefer a stronger use of statistics than scouting.
Sometimes analysis prevents you from doing something really stupid. I know some of you are saying, "See. This is proof they aren't doing advanced stats work or they wouldn't make so many stupid decisions." Fact is many of those decisions the fan base will never know about.

Jack Goin
10-30-2013, 04:40 AM
Could you elaborate? If you're not using FIP or SIERA or some three true outcome based stat, then what have you found to be better predictors?
You know I can't answer that....

TheLeviathan
10-30-2013, 05:25 AM
Sometimes analysis prevents you from doing something really stupid. I know some of you are saying, "See. This is proof they aren't doing advanced stats work or they wouldn't make so many stupid decisions." Fact is many of those decisions the fan base will never know about.

I'm unclear what you mean here. I think most of us believe stats analysis can be highly effective as a predictor of success, but also as a viable tool for assessing the prudence of a move. So I think it's quite the opposite - we do hope statistical analysis will lead to smarter decisions and fully recognize that. It's part of why we're concerned.

So with that in mind, I'd be curious to hear your response to Psuedo's question a few posts back.

Jack Goin
10-30-2013, 06:34 AM
I'm unclear what you mean here. I think most of us believe stats analysis can be highly effective as a predictor of success, but also as a viable tool for assessing the prudence of a move. So I think it's quite the opposite - we do hope statistical analysis will lead to smarter decisions and fully recognize that. It's part of why we're concerned.

So with that in mind, I'd be curious to hear your response to Psuedo's question a few posts back.
In many people's minds we did or did not make a move because we they believe we don't participate in any analysis. I'm saying maybe we did not make a move because we did do the research and it the info said don't do it. In the end you as a fan will never know we even considered that move in the first place.
To say we didn't sign a particular pitcher because we don't do any advanced analysis is a little short-sighted. there may be medical reasons. Maybe the makeup information we have on a player isn't good. Another team may have offered more money. He may have family issues and pitching closer to home for the next three or four years will be better for his family. It isn't always about stats or money when it comes to free agency. Ultimately the player decides where they want to play.

Seth Stohs
10-30-2013, 06:44 AM
As a fan, we have no idea what moves the Twins (or any team) did not make. All we can do is analyze the moves that were made. We can't cite examples of where Jack's group provides some analysis that kept the Twins from making a trade or signing a free agent. Sometimes the best trades are the ones you don't make! Sometimes the best free agent signings are the ones you don't make. The statistical analysis is vital in those cases too.

Along with those other factors that Jack mentions, making deals is not as easy as we want to believe. We have the benefit of saying, "Oh, I thought they should sign player X and player Y and player Z." And if one of them hits and does well, we brag it up. The ones that we missed on, we can conveniently forget.

My guess is there are some pretty interesting discussions in the Twins front office regarding all (or at least most) moves. Like any good team, everyone's voice should be heard, then a decision made, and then consensus.

Jack, thanks for putting yourself out there a bit with the Twins Daily forums!! It's appreciated!! Things can get tough in here sometimes!! I get beat up all the time! :)

Brock Beauchamp
10-30-2013, 07:11 AM
Along with those other factors that Jack mentions, making deals is not as easy as we want to believe. We have the benefit of saying, "Oh, I thought they should sign player X and player Y and player Z." And if one of them hits and does well, we brag it up. The ones that we missed on, we can conveniently forget.

This is probably my biggest pet peeve with forum posters. They play up the times they were right about a player and conveniently brush the mistakes under the rug.

Well, the front office of the Twins can't do that. We see their successes and failures on a daily basis.

For example, almost everyone here was wrong about Correia, myself included. He was a league average pitcher at something close to a league average price. He was a good value. Most of us despised the move and, well, we were wrong (at least for the first year of the deal).

On the other hand, I was cautiously optimistic about Pelfrey. That, uh, didn't turn out so well as a one-year deal.

I still have issues with the fact that Kevin Correia and Mike Pelfrey were the only significant MLB pick-ups last offseason but on the other hand, I couldn't have been more wrong about which would succeed and which would fail. It's something I wish more posters would keep in mind before hollering about how "right" they were about a single player... Because most of the time, they're flat-out ignoring the three players they were horribly, completely wrong about.

Brock Beauchamp
10-30-2013, 07:13 AM
Oh, and thanks Jack for taking the time to visit our forums! It takes some courage to step into the middle of a bunch of disgruntled fans coming off a third consecutive losing season...

Thrylos
10-30-2013, 07:45 AM
For example, almost everyone here was wrong about Correia, myself included. He was a league average pitcher at something close to a league average price. He was a good value. Most of us despised the move and, well, we were wrong (at least for the first year of the deal)


I suspect that most of us did not like the fact that Correia was the big free agent signing on the way of fixing the Twins' pitching. For the record, I had an open mind about Correia and even thought that he might be successful (http://tenthinningstretch.blogspot.com/2013/03/random-spring-training-thoughts-from_23.html).

Correia is a good number four or five guy in a competing team. If he is your best pitcher, you will not compete. And if you are not going to complete, why bother signing people like Correia? So you can lose 96 instead of 106? This is what most of us disliked.

Now if the Twins' Front Office thought that they will be a competitive team with Correia, Diamond and Worley anchoring the rotation, there is a problem.

Mistakes happen, learn and move on. I am just not convinced that this team knows how to do this. Ryan is already talking about Deduno being penciled in for a spot in the 2014 rotation. I despise that thought :)

mike wants wins
10-30-2013, 08:08 AM
Thanks to Jack for coming on here. I know he can't answer specifcs, and don't expect it.

Brock, I didn't like the KC signing, but mostly because it was THE signing (and the 2nd year, frankly). And, only 18 qualified pitchers had a worse ERA-....so I'm not sure he was league average. As your 4th or 5th best pitcher, fine. But that's not what he was.

Jack, I won't speak for all "stats lovers, Ryan doubters", but here is where I come from, if anyone cares......

1. On the field, very little is done that looks modern, or driven by statistical analysis. No shifts, horrible pinch running decisions, lots of things that look like they don't make sense mathematically. Sure, going with your gut matters, but playing the odds is playing the odds for a reason.

2. I don't expect you all to tell us your secrets. But, Gardy mocks "cybermetrics" every chance he gets. The appearance Ryan gives is that he trusts scouts more than math and science. I'm not sure how you expect fans to react to that, frankly. Add in how the on field decisions are done....

3. The outcomes delivered by your organization have been awful for three years now, and don't look a ton better next year (without spending money, since there are no pitchers that look ready to come up day one, other than maybe Meyer, maybe, and you have no 1B or CF and your LF can't field and your DH situation is terrible). How would you expect fans to react, other than wanting to see evidence that your leadership is changing how they work? Why should anyone believe any outcome is going to change, if on the surface it appears the processes are not changing? Why should we pay money for baseball tickets, given what appears to be the near future, and given that it appears this leadership is more interested in cutting payroll than adding legit MLB talent? There are plenty of resources to use, choosing not to use them might be a good decision, but it says to us that you have decided to save money, instead of rolling the dice on being good. In other words, you could be making good decisions not to sign a pitcher, but not signing riskier players or more expensive players just about guarantees you get mediocrity in return. And that tells the fans, imo, that it is about money, not about winning (even if the odds are long).

4. I love that you came here. I love that Ryan is granting TD an interview. It shows how hard you are all trying to relate to the fans and involve them in the Twins. thanks.

Brock Beauchamp
10-30-2013, 08:11 AM
I suspect that most of us did not like the fact that Correia was the big free agent signing on the way of fixing the Twins' pitching. For the record, I had an open mind about Correia and even thought that he might be successful (http://tenthinningstretch.blogspot.com/2013/03/random-spring-training-thoughts-from_23.html).

Correia is a good number four or five guy in a competing team. If he is your best pitcher, you will not compete. And if you are not going to complete, why bother signing people like Correia? So you can lose 96 instead of 106? This is what most of us disliked.

Now if the Twins' Front Office thought that they will be a competitive team with Correia, Diamond and Worley anchoring the rotation, there is a problem.

Mistakes happen, learn and move on. I am just not convinced that this team knows how to do this. Ryan is already talking about Deduno being penciled in for a spot in the 2014 rotation. I despise that thought :)

I mentioned that I didn't (and don't) like that Correia was "the big pick-up" last offseason. I'm not absolving the front office of not making another move, just pointing out that particular move was a pretty good one given price vs. performance.

I go back and forth on Deduno. If Ryan is planning to pencil him in at #5, Correia at #3, and Gibson at #4 with the intent of picking up two more (good) pitchers, I'm pretty okay with it.

But, like you said, I'm not so okay with counting on Worley, Diamond, and Deduno to field a competent rotation out of Spring Training.

gunnarthor
10-30-2013, 08:17 AM
Jack -

Would it be possible, without giving anything away, to explain how you yourself may or may not be involved in certain parts of baseball operations? For example, last year we saw several good prospects jump levels - Buxton, Sano, Rosario, Stewart to name a few - do the stat guys get involved in suggesting someone be promoted or stay?

Secondly, on the FA signings, when you were talking about mistakes, are you suggesting that you may say something like "signing player A for 5 years is a mistake b/c (according to our stat model), he's probably going to break down well before those 5 years are up"?

TheLeviathan
10-30-2013, 08:25 AM
In many people's minds we did or did not make a move because we they believe we don't participate in any analysis.

I appreciate the response, I only highlighted this part because I think it warrants an explanation. (At least from my perspective) I think some of the skepticism you cite is because we've yet to see a different approach to adding free agents than what we've seen in the past. I sincerely hope the organization is using new avenues of assessing potential moves, it just becomes difficult to completely accept until we see changes in the organization's approach. It's like changing the names of ingredients in a recipe for soup - it doesn't much matter if the soup still tastes the same. And from the outside of the preparation you start to doubt anything was really changed at all.

Is there anything you can point to that has happened since you or your department has taken on a more prominent role that might elucidate how the organization is changing things? It doesn't have to be certain stats you used or even player names, but something that might provide insight for how you/your department are making an impact that is different than, say, 10 years ago? (I feel safe saying what you do didn't exist then, but feel free to correct me)

mike wants wins
10-30-2013, 08:33 AM
Pretty much what TheLeviathan says.....from where fans sit, it looks like the same outcomes / decisions and same processes.

drivlikejehu
10-30-2013, 08:34 AM
I don't agree that anti-Correia posters were wrong. He was better than expected but still mediocre, and the team lost 96 games.

The discontent with Twins' management isn't about one move or even a group of moves/non-moves. Most commentors recognize the information assymetry that exists and are more interested in the 'type' of moves and how they fit with where the organization is situated.

Why would a rebuilding team hold onto Willingham when his value was peaking? Why sign back-of-rotation starters? And if Ryan didn't want a full rebuild, why come in under budget? It's the lack of clear direction that even fans can fully discern from the information we have, and it's a problem that justifies concern.

Brock Beauchamp
10-30-2013, 09:34 AM
I don't agree that anti-Correia posters were wrong. He was better than expected but still mediocre, and the team lost 96 games.

The discontent with Twins' management isn't about one move or even a group of moves/non-moves. Most commentors recognize the information assymetry that exists and are more interested in the 'type' of moves and how they fit with where the organization is situated.

Why would a rebuilding team hold onto Willingham when his value was peaking? Why sign back-of-rotation starters? And if Ryan didn't want a full rebuild, why come in under budget? It's the lack of clear direction that even fans can fully discern from the information we have, and it's a problem that justifies concern.

I don't disagree with much of this post. Again, I'm not agreeing with the decision for Correia to be the "big FA move last season". I hated it then and hate it today. But the Correia signing itself was a pretty good move, one that paid off in relation to most other FA pitchers available last offseason, particularly once you factor in price.

As for the Willingham comment, this is the easiest rebuttal that so many fans seem to ignore:

Why would a contending team trade significant prospects for Willingham when his value was peaking?

It's a two-way street. If you can recognize that a 34 year old OF is having a career year, a guy that was available to every team for $21m just five months earlier, a guy that has 2 1/2 years left on his contract, why would you give up significant value to acquire him?

Ryan rolled the dice in hopes that Willingham would cement himself as a plus-bat in 2013, at which point general managers would be more willing to trade for him. He'd have a longer track record, less time remaining on his contract, and might actually return a player that would rate somewhere (anywhere) in the top 15 Twins prospects.

I know that if I was a GM in 2012, there's no way I'd give up value for Willingham at the deadline. Why do fans assume they're so much smarter than general managers, guys who actually do this for a living? If you won't give up value for a guy because you think he's smoke and mirrors, it's more than a little presumptuous to expect a professional to do the same.

drivlikejehu
10-30-2013, 10:58 AM
Willingham is an aging veteran - 2013 wasn't going to "cement" him as anything better than he was in 2012, in fact, the exact opposite was true. And many Twins fans stated as much at the time, so there is no hindsight bias in effect here.

There is no reason to think your speculation about other GMs has any credibility whatsoever. The contract was reasonable, the player was doing well, and various clubs could have used a right-handed corner OF bat. Rumors certainly abounded that the interest was real. No one expected top talent in return.

But it goes to the same issue as Correia - what good do those guys do a terrible team? Going from 100 losses to 96? Once a team is that bad it doesn't really matter. Spend the money on something that actually might pay dividends in the future.

Willihammer
10-30-2013, 11:04 AM
This is probably my biggest pet peeve with forum posters. They play up the times they were right about a player and conveniently brush the mistakes under the rug.

Well, the front office of the Twins can't do that. We see their successes and failures on a daily basis.

For example, almost everyone here was wrong about Correia, myself included. He was a league average pitcher at something close to a league average price. He was a good value. Most of us despised the move and, well, we were wrong (at least for the first year of the deal).

I for one am not ready to crown the Correia signing better than the Anibal, Jackson, Lohse, Dempster, or even McCarthy signings quite yet. More importantly, most of the guys who "busted" still would have been better than what we trotted out there last year, eg. Diamond, whom plane jane public domain stats like xFIP pegged for regression.

Also let's not forget the Revere trade. Still too early to call that either way, but if there's any meaning to the fact that Vance Worley was given the first start of the year, they may have been wrong about a player or two also.

Thrylos
10-30-2013, 11:32 AM
Also let's not forget the Revere trade. Still too early to call that either way, but if there's any meaning to the fact that Vance Worley was given the first start of the year, they may have been wrong about a player or two also.

I actually like Worley. I've seen him play quite a bit with the Phillies and their AAA and AA team and last season he was not himself. He was hurt and so out of shape that it screwed up his mechanics. Add a .401 BABIP and a 15.5 HR/FB and...

Next season will be his age 26 season so is about to enter his prime. Some food for thought: He is the same age as Kyle Gibson. Gibson's MLB 2013 was very similar to Worley's 2013 (actually Gibson's xFIP and SIERA were higher). If one is not willing to give up on Gibson based on that, he/she should not give up on Worley.

He has to work his rear end out during the off-season though.

Willihammer
10-30-2013, 11:35 AM
In many people's minds we did or did not make a move because we they believe we don't participate in any analysis. I'm saying maybe we did not make a move because we did do the research and it the info said don't do it.

Were the Twins in on Chone Figgins?

I think this is the crux of the frustration for a lot of fans.
edit: at least as far as Free Agency goes.

mike wants wins
10-30-2013, 11:40 AM
thrylos raises a good point, and my fear is that Ryan agrees. Deduno, Worley, Gibson, KC....leaving room for 1 new guy. Does anyone think changing one piece of the worst starting staff in baseball is a good idea? Do "we" really think they'll just improve on their own that much?

gunnarthor
10-30-2013, 11:42 AM
Willingham is an aging veteran - 2013 wasn't going to "cement" him as anything better than he was in 2012, in fact, the exact opposite was true. And many Twins fans stated as much at the time, so there is no hindsight bias in effect here.

There is no reason to think your speculation about other GMs has any credibility whatsoever. The contract was reasonable, the player was doing well, and various clubs could have used a right-handed corner OF bat. Rumors certainly abounded that the interest was real. No one expected top talent in return.

But it goes to the same issue as Correia - what good do those guys do a terrible team? Going from 100 losses to 96? Once a team is that bad it doesn't really matter. Spend the money on something that actually might pay dividends in the future.

The rumors at the time was that Willingham might get back a back end prospect type - Sean Gilmartin of Atlanta was mentioned. While Willingham was having a nice season, he still had 2 years on his contract, which, in his case, was a negative. If he's having a healthy year this year, he should still be able to net something similar.

To the second point, there wasn't a lot to pay dividends in the future. Pelfrey and Correia were brought in to eat innings and make starts. The future of the rotation isn't on them. The Twins just needed some arms to get through the year.

nicksaviking
10-30-2013, 11:52 AM
Sometimes analysis prevents you from doing something really stupid. I know some of you are saying, "See. This is proof they aren't doing advanced stats work or they wouldn't make so many stupid decisions." Fact is many of those decisions the fan base will never know about.

I tend to stay away from claiming facts and proof. I guess in the conversation we had regarding statistics and Kevin Correia, I wanted to simply point out that in an interview after the signing, Terry Ryan said he signed Correia because the scouts told him he was better than his numbers. That seemed like reasonable evidence that Ryan made the Correia decision based more on his scouts as opposed to his data team.

mike wants wins
10-30-2013, 11:57 AM
The rumors at the time was that Willingham might get back a back end prospect type - Sean Gilmartin of Atlanta was mentioned. While Willingham was having a nice season, he still had 2 years on his contract, which, in his case, was a negative. If he's having a healthy year this year, he should still be able to net something similar.

To the second point, there wasn't a lot to pay dividends in the future. Pelfrey and Correia were brought in to eat innings and make starts. The future of the rotation isn't on them. The Twins just needed some arms to get through the year.


I guess I'd ask, why was that their target? Getting through the year?

nicksaviking
10-30-2013, 12:03 PM
As for the Willingham comment, this is the easiest rebuttal that so many fans seem to ignore:

Why would a contending team trade significant prospects for Willingham when his value was peaking?

It's a two-way street. If you can recognize that a 34 year old OF is having a career year, a guy that was available to every team for $21m just five months earlier, a guy that has 2 1/2 years left on his contract, why would you give up significant value to acquire him?


I think Willingham probably had some decent value last off season. Certainly a other less competitve teams like the Twins wouldn't value him as highly, but a playoff team needing a right handed power bat likely would have been quite interested.

I think our expectations last year were too high though. Simply because of his age and the fact that he was a corner OF, not a CF, almost surely meant his value couldn't touch Revere/Span. However those two both fetched top five organizational prospects. I'll bet Willingham could have gotten a MLB ready back of the rotation guy similar in stature to Worley and an orgainzational prospect in the 5-10 range. If that would have happened, many of us would have been pretty disappointed in the return at the time however.

I think the real reason Willingham wasn't dealt had to do with what Ryan stated more than once last off-season; they didn't view themselves as rebuilding and they figured they needed Willingham's bat to compete.

Thrylos
10-30-2013, 12:31 PM
To the second point, there wasn't a lot to pay dividends in the future. Pelfrey and Correia were brought in to eat innings and make starts. The future of the rotation isn't on them. The Twins just needed some arms to get through the year.


I guess I'd ask, why was that their target? Getting through the year?

And even if they just wanted to "get through the year", BJ Hermsen, Liam Hendriks, PJ Walters, Samuel Deduno, Sairon Martis, Vance Worley, Andrew Albers, Scott Diamond, Pedro Hernandez, Kyle Gibson, Cole DeVries et al. are plenty enough to "get through the year" with pretty much the same results, without having to have a fifth starter in a good team (Correia) as your first or second starter in 2014 as well...

glunn
10-30-2013, 02:28 PM
Thanks glunn. Not really sure what, if any, insights I can provide. I was reading the comments for some reason and felt the need to say something. I know I'm probably walking into a hornets nest by getting on here but oh well. Maybe this can turn into something fun.

You are a celebrity to many of us, and anything that you care to contribute will be greatly appreciated. Also, if any of the hornets try to sting you, we will ban them.

Jack Goin
10-30-2013, 04:15 PM
I suspect that most of us did not like the fact that Correia was the big free agent signing on the way of fixing the Twins' pitching.
I'm not sure anyone was claiming he was the big free agent signing to fix the rotation. He was a guy to pitch innings which he did better than expected this year.

diehardtwinsfan
10-30-2013, 04:49 PM
I think it's funny people know what stats we use or that we don't have any predictive stats when we don't talk about it. How do you know?

OK, got to admit I didn't see this coming. Welcome to the site.

diehardtwinsfan
10-30-2013, 05:04 PM
I'm not sure anyone was claiming he was the big free agent signing to fix the rotation. He was a guy to pitch innings which he did better than expected this year.

To me the move strikes more as a rebuilding move, and while I didn't like it, I'm personally well beyond that at this point.

Speaking of rebuilding, I'd be curious what you can and cannot say about that, but from my perspective it looks like the next wave of prospects is (at least for the 2015/16 timeframe) going to be woefully short on impact pitching. From the fan's perspective, it doesn't appear that there's much interest in going after that type of pitching on the market. Are the fans wrong here? If so, would it be possible to elaborate on some failed attempts to acquire pitching from say last offseason, or is that too much to ask?

Thanks.

Thrylos
10-30-2013, 05:15 PM
I'm not sure anyone was claiming he was the big free agent signing to fix the rotation. He was a guy to pitch innings which he did better than expected this year.

Jack, thanks.

Nobody claimed it with words, but if you have a rotation like the 2012 Twins' rotation which a. was bad and b. lost its best piece to a trade, and its second best to free agency/retirement, one would assume that it was a part of the team that need fixing for the Twins to compete in 2013. And from the 2 MLB FAs signed, Correia was the one who was given the biggest contract, thus the "big FA signing".

Unless, the intention was not for the Twins to compete in 2013, in which case there are a lot of AAAA guys in the system who would pitch innings with the same overall result for the team.

The Twins had 2 clear choices after 2011 and 2012:

a. doing everything to put a competitive (*) team out there in 2013 and beyond
b. do a real rebuild looking forward to 2015-16 and not sing mediocre 30+ year olds who will not be on their primes in that future

But instead they made moves that looks like they were made for the sake of just making moves and resulted to nothing better.

This is where the issue is with most of the fans who are having issues with the front office moves last off-season. I just hope that something was learned there and this off-season is better.


(*) where competitive = world series contender.

snepp
10-30-2013, 05:23 PM
I know I'm probably walking into a hornets nest by getting on here but oh well.


If it makes you feel better, you won't be the only masochist here.

:)

glunn
10-30-2013, 05:55 PM
I wish that we could focus on issues that are in Jack's wheelhouse, such as the role of stats in making decisions and the role of other factors relative to stats. Many of the questions that are being asked seem to be questions that should be addressed to Terry Ryan, such as what was the game plan for 2013.

It is exciting to have a key member of the FO posting here and I think that it's natural for us all to be enthusiastic to the point of giddiness, but let's try not to overwhelm Jack with broad questions about big picture items.

glunn
10-30-2013, 06:44 PM
Jack, I have a question that you might feel comfortable answering.

I am wondering whether there has ever been a time when someone in the front office brought up an idea that they got from reading Twins Daily or from reading the TD offseason handbook. I am not seeking details -- I am just wondering if TD has ever been helpful in providing an idea or two that seemed worth discussing, and whether anyone in the front office reads the annual handbook.

diehardtwinsfan
10-30-2013, 07:18 PM
Jack, I have a question that you might feel comfortable answering.

I am wondering whether there has ever been a time when someone in the front office brought up an idea that they got from reading Twins Daily or from reading the TD offseason handbook. I am not seeking details -- I am just wondering if TD has ever been helpful in providing an idea or two that seemed worth discussing, and whether anyone in the front office reads the annual handbook.

If he says Mark DeRosa, you need to ban Dave permanently :)

Riverbrian
10-30-2013, 08:22 PM
I think its awesome that Jack stopped by and shed some light.

Thanks For those much needed posts. I would love to see you stop by and keep us inline from time to time.

Jack Goin
10-31-2013, 05:57 AM
Jack, I have a question that you might feel comfortable answering.

I am wondering whether there has ever been a time when someone in the front office brought up an idea that they got from reading Twins Daily or from reading the TD offseason handbook. I am not seeking details -- I am just wondering if TD has ever been helpful in providing an idea or two that seemed worth discussing, and whether anyone in the front office reads the annual handbook.
I get a copy of the Handbook every year and read through it and go back to it periodically. I tried to order it undercover the first year but Parker noticed the email address and outed me. Those guys put a lot of time and effort into that book, but also a lot of thought into their work year around.
I realize there are more ways to look at the game or a player than just my view. I look at a lot of blogs about baseball and about other teams that I read daily or when I'm looking up a prospect, or I see they have posted an interesting post via Twitter. There are a ton of knowledgeable people writing about this game and getting a little different perspective every now and again is good thing.

Jack Goin
10-31-2013, 06:02 AM
Jack, thanks.

Nobody claimed it with words, but if you have a rotation like the 2012 Twins' rotation which a. was bad and b. lost its best piece to a trade, and its second best to free agency/retirement, one would assume that it was a part of the team that need fixing for the Twins to compete in 2013. And from the 2 MLB FAs signed, Correia was the one who was given the biggest contract, thus the "big FA signing".

Unless, the intention was not for the Twins to compete in 2013, in which case there are a lot of AAAA guys in the system who would pitch innings with the same overall result for the team.

The Twins had 2 clear choices after 2011 and 2012:

a. doing everything to put a competitive (*) team out there in 2013 and beyond
b. do a real rebuild looking forward to 2015-16 and not sing mediocre 30+ year olds who will not be on their primes in that future

But instead they made moves that looks like they were made for the sake of just making moves and resulted to nothing better.

This is where the issue is with most of the fans who are having issues with the front office moves last off-season. I just hope that something was learned there and this off-season is better.


(*) where competitive = world series contender.
You and I just going to have to disagree on this one. Signing veteran players, even if you are rebuilding, is a necessity sometimes to allow your prospects to continue their development path in the Minor Leagues.

stringer bell
10-31-2013, 07:21 AM
How do you rebuild a rotation? Look at Cleveland last year. Two starters with pretty big upsides--Jiminez and Masterson--pitched much closer to their ceiling than their floor. They gambled on a rehab project (bought a lottery ticket) and won with Kazmir and filled the rest of their rotation with their own prospects. The Tribe had a pretty good bullpen to draw to and markedly improved their pitching.

What can the Twins learn from this? I guess you don't give up on good arms. Research your "lottery tickets" and develop from within. The biggest difference between the Twins and Tribe is that of the pitchers who have had success (I'll say Correia, Diamond, and Worley) none have as big an upside as Masterson or Ubaldo.

I think the Twins should sign one highly sought starter. Ubaldo, Hughes, or maybe Feldman to what Ryan surely would consider a "monster contract"--three or more years for more than Willingham is making. They need to also high a high-reward guy, perhaps Johnson or maybe Pelfrey, as well for their lottery ticket. Beyond that, I think they have a lot of candidates to fill out the rotation. To succeed like Cleveland did, they need to "hit" on their free agent signings and have Gibson develop and Diamond or Worley bounce back.

mike wants wins
10-31-2013, 07:28 AM
I just want to say, again, thanks for stopping by Jack. Appreciated.

spycake
10-31-2013, 09:32 AM
Thanks Mr. Goin for stopping by.

I'm pretty sure posts about rebuilding strategy aren't really germane to Mr. Goin's work with the Twins, so let's try to avoid re-hashing that discussion, okay? Same with specifics about players and contract offers and negotiations. Let's try to focus the discussion on areas that he knows and information he can provide.

If you are still reading, Mr. Goin, here are a couple of questions for you:

1) Has the composition of your staff changed from last offseason when you talked to Parker? I think it was just you and an intern then. (Asked as a Twins fan and possible job seeker :))

2) What's the status of PITCHf/x being added to Twins minor league parks?

3) What's the status of FIELDf/x? I remember hearing about it being installed in San Francisco a few years ago, curious about its status for Target Field (or MLB-wide).

ashburyjohn
10-31-2013, 11:10 AM
1) Has the composition of your staff changed from last offseason when you talked to Parker? I think it was just you and an intern then. (Asked as a Twins fan and possible job seeker :))

A related question: what advice would you give someone young who has an interest in the field of baseball analytics eventually as more than just a hobby? Say, I don't know, somebody's son who is currently a junior in college and majoring in statistics? :) (Just to be clear, he's at school in Seattle and thus anything useful you suggest would cause him to pester the poor Mariners, not you.)

Jack Goin
10-31-2013, 12:12 PM
A related question: what advice would you give someone young who has an interest in the field of baseball analytics eventually as more than just a hobby? Say, I don't know, somebody's son who is currently a junior in college and majoring in statistics? :) (Just to be clear, he's at school in Seattle and thus anything useful you suggest would cause him to pester the poor Mariners, not you.)
keep up to date on what is going on in baseball news. watch and study the game as much as possible. read Fangraphs, Beyond the Boxscore, Hardball Times, Baseball Prospectus, Baseball Solutions.org, Baseball Analytics.org, Baseball America & of course Twins Daily. Go to tangotiger.com everyday. Tom throws out projects for aspiring analytic people all the time. Submit your work to the Community Research page on Fangraphs. Learn SQL, R, Python, etc. Find your niche. Apply for internships. Baseball Ops, Minor League video, etc. Work for his college baseball team if he isn't playing. Familiarize himself with the Major League waiver & option rules. Read the CBA if he can find a copy of it. Learn Spanish or another language (Japanese, Korean, possibly Portuguese). Law school if he so desires. Be prepared to do multiple internships. Pay attention to developments in the business world as well. How are other businesses being run and is there anything that can be implemented in the sports world. He is a statistics major so monitor development in academic research in statistics, math, computer science, big data.
I know that's a bunch of information. I hope it helps. Breaking in is difficult but once you get in it is SO much fun to try to win a World Series.

Jack Goin
10-31-2013, 12:15 PM
I just want to say, again, thanks for stopping by Jack. Appreciated.
How much do you want to give Ellsbury or Choo?

ChiTownTwinsFan
10-31-2013, 12:16 PM
keep up to date on what is going on in baseball news. watch and study the game as much as possible. read Fangraphs, Beyond the Boxscore, Hardball Times, Baseball Prospectus, Baseball Solutions.org, Baseball Analytics.org, Baseball America & of course Twins Daily. Go to tangotiger.com everyday. Tom throws out projects for aspiring analytic people all the time. Submit your work to the Community Research page on Fangraphs. Learn SQL, R, Python, etc. Find your niche. Apply for internships. Baseball Ops, Minor League video, etc. Work for his college baseball team if he isn't playing. Familiarize himself with the Major League waiver & option rules. Read the CBA if he can find a copy of it. Learn Spanish or another language (Japanese, Korean, possibly Portuguese). Law school if he so desires. Be prepared to do multiple internships. Pay attention to developments in the business world as well. How are other businesses being run and is there anything that can be implemented in the sports world. He is a statistics major so monitor development in academic research in statistics, math, computer science, big data.
I know that's a bunch of information. I hope it helps. Breaking in is difficult but once you get in it is SO much fun to try to win a World Series.

Yikes ... that seems even harder to get into than the classical music world. Glad I left my math major in the dust all those years ago to focus on music!

Jack Goin
10-31-2013, 12:18 PM
And even if they just wanted to "get through the year", BJ Hermsen, Liam Hendriks, PJ Walters, Samuel Deduno, Sairon Martis, Vance Worley, Andrew Albers, Scott Diamond, Pedro Hernandez, Kyle Gibson, Cole DeVries et al. are plenty enough to "get through the year" with pretty much the same results, without having to have a fifth starter in a good team (Correia) as your first or second starter in 2014 as well...
Obviously we were not able to get through the year with the above mentioned pitchers. This is why pitchers like Correia and Pelfrey were necessary. Veterans who can at least take the ball every 5th day and give you 5 or 6 innings.
If you knew Andrew Albers was going to pitch in the big leagues this year I'm thinking you should be a VP of Player Personnel somewhere.:)

mike wants wins
10-31-2013, 12:29 PM
Phew, tough question, Jack. Not having the info you all do.....

1. I don't see a lot of money that needs to go to current players. I am hoping for a good FA starter....I would also unload Doumit for whatever you can get, to free up money. I'd consider the same for Willingham, if the money goes to Choo or Ellsbury. That would leave 30-40MM to spend to get to 90MM, which I feel is reasonable, especially with the new tv money. IMO, these two players are the most sure free agents on the market, and while expensive, are more likely to return value than any SP. I also don't think "having too many" OFers is an issue. If it works, and the young guys all work, deal someone.

2. Choo should be cheaper than Ellsbury. I'd probably go $13-15MM per for Choo, for 4-6 years. I see Choo as the LFer with Buxton in CF in 1.5-2.5 years. He would also help whoever plays CF defensively this year (Hicks or Pressley). Arcia is either your future RF or DH/4th OFer, imo. Yes, you risk a declining player at the end of the contract, but that is true of any FA. Also, a decling MLB is more likely to be good than a random prospect just by the nature of the fact they have already succeeded in the majors.

3. While some point to Ellsbury's "injury history", it isn't all that real imo. He also shows zero sign of slowing down. I would put him in CF until Buxton is up, then move him to LF. He instantly upgrades your OF defense from below average to above average. With him and Buxton, your range is dramatically increased. I think he's going to be outrageously expensive. It is hard to even type these numbers.....$18-20MM per for 6 years. I don't think anyone gets him for less than that.

4. I don't know how the team counts its dollars.....but if they were really under budget this year, perhaps you can front load the salaries. As a finance guy, I understand why companies do not generally do this. But given inflation the last few years, and what is likely coming the next few, the argument loses some luster. So, if you could front load some of it for this year, that would likely increase your odds of signing the player.

thanks for asking....that's about 1/2 of what I would type if I wasn't in a boring meeting at work.....

mike wants wins
10-31-2013, 12:32 PM
And, I'm not sure either of those numbers is enough, alas.

ashburyjohn
10-31-2013, 04:01 PM
keep up to date on what is going on in baseball news. watch and study ...

Way more nuggets than I had any right to hope for. Thanks for the thoughts.

Thrylos
10-31-2013, 07:24 PM
Obviously we were not able to get through the year with the above mentioned pitchers. This is why pitchers like Correia and Pelfrey were necessary. Veterans who can at least take the ball every 5th day and give you 5 or 6 innings.
If you knew Andrew Albers was going to pitch in the big leagues this year I'm thinking you should be a VP of Player Personnel somewhere.:)

I of course did not know that Albers was going to pitch in the big leagues. And I think that Albers pitching in the bigs is a reflection of the mess the Twins were last season :)

My point is: The Twins have had a whole bunch of replacement and few slightly better pitchers at the end of 2012. Like the above mentioned names. And then they signed a bunch of MiLB FAs.

Let's get the elephant in the room out: The Twins were not going to compete last season (2013).

Why sign Correia to a two year contract? Couldn't Pedro Hernandez or PJ Walters or Liam Hendriks or BJ Hermsen (all on the 40 man roster on opening day) handle those innings?
Or why not throw a kid like Meyer out there, like the Cardinals did with Wacha?

And whether someone pitches 5 or 6 innings, barring injury, is totally manager's choice. I know that this manager (and his pitching coach) likes to make lots of pitching moves and are not willing to let non-veterans pitch through trouble. (This is a different story.)

So what if the Twins lost 103 instead of 96 games if Correia was not signed? In a rebuilding year.

ashburyjohn
10-31-2013, 08:20 PM
So what if the Twins lost 103 instead of 96 games

I am interested in a non-rhetorical version of this question, and more generally would like to ask Jack if he's able to tell us whether he has been tasked to look at the business side of things as well as player evaluations. For example, airlines and hotels have expertise by now in a well-developed field of Revenue Management (or Operations Research, more generally) - do the Twins engage in anything that might fall into that category?

jokin
11-01-2013, 12:49 AM
OK, here are most of the pitchers that were in that group. I might have missed one or two. John Lannan? Anyhow, other than Feldman and Correia, not a lot was gotten in that price range. I think the Cubs signed Villanueva to a similar deal but he spent most of the time in the bullpen (although I know some Twins fans talked him up). Anyhow, which high risk/reward guys was I missing? I guess Liriano?

Scott Feldman - Cubs - 1/6m, 12-12 105 ERA+, 181.2ip, 1.6 WAR
Kevin Correia 2/10m 9-13, 97 ERA+, 185.1ip, 1.6 WAR
Brandon McCarthy - DBacks - 2/15.5m - 5-11 84 ERA+, 135ip -0.2 WAR
Dan Haren - Nats - 1/13m - 10-14 81 ERA+, 169.2ip -0.1 WAR
Ryan Dempster - Bos -2/26.5m 8-9 89 ERA+, 171.1ip, -0.2 WAR
Joe Saunders - Seattle - 1/6.5m - 11-16, 70 ERA+, 183ip -0.3 WAR
Mike Pelfrey 1/4m 5-13, 78 ERA+, 152.2ip, -0.3 WAR
Shawn Marcum - Mets - 1/4m - 1-10 67 ERA+, 78.1ip -1.0 WAR
Joe Blanton Angels - 2/15m - 2-14 62 ERA+, 132.2ip -2.0 WAR
Scott Baker - Cubs - 1/5.5m 3 starts, 15ip. Missed most season w/injury

(This is bWAR but fWAR can be very different - according to them, Pelfrey was a 2 WAR pitcher this year).


Yes they can be very different:

Kevin Correia 1.3 fWAR
Shaun Marcum 1.3 fWAR
Dan Haren 1.5 fWAR
Brandon McCarthy 1.8 FWAR
Scott Feldman 2.1 fWAR

I'll take the higher-upside guys every time.

jokin
11-01-2013, 01:11 AM
You and I just going to have to disagree on this one. Signing veteran players, even if you are rebuilding, is a necessity sometimes to allow your prospects to continue their development path in the Minor Leagues.

Todd Redmond was available, for free on the waiver wire, twice. If you were going to punt 2013 anyway, why not sign Redmond for the minimum....?....and then if you could flip a Correia or Pelfrey at the deadline, or if someone else inevitably faltered, you had a very capable, high-performing MiLB pitcher, with a high K/9 rate and terrific control?

Major Leauge Ready
11-01-2013, 05:36 AM
Todd Redmond was available, for free on the waiver wire, twice. If you were going to punt 2013 anyway, why not sign Redmond for the minimum....?....and then if you could flip a Correia or Pelfrey at the deadline, or if someone else inevitably faltered, you had a very capable, high-performing MiLB pitcher, with a high K/9 rate and terrific control?

So, did he get picked up by another team the second time around?