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Cubs Pitching Coach fired. Buddy of Molitor.

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Rosenthal: Gardy to be the new Tigers manager

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Go get Verlander

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http://www.espn.com/...astros-audition   Best possible combination of help in 2017 and help in the next couple years, right where th...
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Article: Supplementing the Twins: Tyler Chatwood

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:28 PM
Continuing on with the Supplementing the Twins series, it’s time to take a look at another pitcher. Last week, the subject was Lance Lynn...
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How Many 2017 Twins Can You Name? (out of 52)

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 03:17 PM
Over at Twinkie Town, they've found a quiz asking how many of the 2017 Twins you can name... It's kind of fun. You get like 10 minutes to...
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Tyler Jay Shifting To The Bullpen (Minor League Notebook)

Twins Daily has learned and confirmed that Tyler Jay has been moved to the bullpen going forward. A couple of sources have verified the change.

We will have much more on that, and several other minor league notes today.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins Daily (photo of Tyler Jay)
When the Twins drafted Jay with the sixth overall pick in 2015 out of the University of Illinois where he was used almost exclusively out of the bullpen. At the time, the Twins and many other teams felt that the left-hander's pure stuff and four-pitch mix was reason to give him an opportunity to start.

After signing, he jumped straight to Ft. Myers where he pitched out of the bullpen the rest of the season. Last year, he began the season in the starting rotation of the Ft. Myers Miracle. He had his ups and downs but he had some very good moments too. In one game, he threw eight shutout innings, allowing just two hits and a walk to go with 11 strikeouts. Overall, he was 5-5 with a 3.10 ERA in 13 starts for the Miracle. In 69.2 innings, he walked 21 and struck out 68.

He moved up to Chattanooga to end the season. He made two starts and a couple of relief appearances before being shut down due to an injury in his neck.

He missed the final month of the season rehabbing. Had the season lasted a couple more weeks, he likely would have returned.

He came to camp with the idea he would be starting. It was a mutual decision to move Jay to the bullpen exclusively, and it’s something he enjoys and thrives in. It’s likely we’ll see his fastball readings back into the mid-to-upper 90s, and his slider can be a weapon. It is very possible that the Jay could be as good as Glen Perkins was during his three All-Star seasons. As a reliever, he is likely to move much more quickly.

Earlier in the week, the Twins announced that Randy Rosario would be moving to the bullpen as well. In both cases, the pitchers were happy with the decision.


WBC RETURNS

The three Twins minor leaguers from Australia who participated in the WBC for their country have returned. Lachlan Wells has thrown a couple of bullpens and worked in the AA game on Friday afternoon on the back fields. In the game, he took a line drive off of his biceps. He stayed in the game and this morning told me that it’s fine. In fact, he threw another short bullpen this morning.

Todd Van Steensel, full beard and all, has also returned.

Aaron Whitefield has had a busy year. He reported to Ft. Myers for extended spring training last April. Following his terrific showing in the GCL, he participated in the World Cup for Australia. Then he returned to Australia where he again played for the Brisbane Bandits. He said the plan was just to play half of the season, but the team was competing for a playoff spot and wanted to defend its Claxton Shield title. Whitefield kept playing and Brisbane topped Melbourne for the repeat. Right after that, he joined the Australian WBC team and they played in several games in Korea and then in Seoul, South Korea. Within a day of of the end of their run, he returned to Ft. Myers. He got one day to try to move past jet lag, and now he’s going full go.

Reynaldo Rodriguez and Yohan Pino also returned and are working with the Rochester work group. Pino started on the mound for the team on Thursday.

WBC ENTHUSIASM

I have thoroughly enjoyed chatting with the players from Puerto Rico during the team’s WBC run. I chatted for a good half-hour with Dereck Rodriguez, who I’d mentioned is an alternate for Team Puerto Rico. He has been joined for each Puerto Rico game by about a dozen other Twins minor leaguers from the island.

Nelson Molina told me that it’s very exciting to watch his friends and countrymen. Brian Navarreto started mentioning the players on the roster that he played with going back to Little League and it was quite a few. Edgar Corcino is from Bayamon and is friends with Jose Berrios, Francisco Lindor and Javier Baez.

Of course, they all know the Twins contingent of Berrios, Hector Santiago, Eddie Rosario and Kennys Vargas.


SIGHT IS GOOD

Brian Navarreto also told me that he had LASIK eye surgery in the offseason and is still working back. He hasn’t been catching every single day. However, he also noted that he can see the ball so much better at the plate and even behind the plate. It’s also fun talking to pitchers who have been caught by Navarreto. They say that he calls a good game, works very hard, controls the running game and is just very good to work with.


SIGHT IS GOOD, PART 2

On Friday, Travis Harrison went 3-4 with a couple of very loud hits. I noted that he is now wearing glasses on the field and at bat. Following the game, I asked him about it and he said that doctors said he needed a small prescription, and it was his first day with the glasses. It was a good first day.


BULLPEN IMPRESSIONS

I’ve watched quite a few bullpens, and they’re always fun. It’s fun to see what people throw, how hard they throw, break on pitches, what they’re working on and more. Two guys have thrown bullpens that really stuck out to me.

Huascar Ynoa is very young. He was our Twins Daily short season minor league pitcher of the year. The youngster, whose brother Michael pitches for the White Sox, throws really hard. He also showed a very good, sharp breaking ball and a solid changeup. Again, it was one bullpen, but it was very good.

The other one that was terrific in the bullpen was Kohl Stewart. I don’t know why he doesn’t strike out more, but he throws really hard, and I’m told that the ball is very heavy, which explains the lack of hard contact. His breaking pitches looked very sharp, and I saw an at least average changeup. While I did drop him in my Twins prospect rankings this year, he clearly has the ability to be an above average big league starter.

One bonus pitcher of note is Tyler Wells. The tall (6-8) right-hander throws pretty hard, maybe hitting 93-95. However, he also showed a very good breaking ball mix in his outing on Saturday afternoon on the back fields. He showed a slower, 12-6 curveball, and a sharper slider that darts in on a left-hander. Definitely one to watch this spring in Cedar Rapids.


EMPTYING THE NOTEBOOK

Here are just a couple more notes:
  • Has anyone ever seen Twins 3B prospect Chris Paul and Eagles Quarterback Carson Wentz in the same place? They look identical, at least facially.
  • Mitchell Kranson was the Twins ninth-round pick last year out of Cal-Berkeley. He did very little catching his last couple of years in college, but the Twins saw that it was a good place for him. He played all over the diamond, third base, outfield, first base, anywhere. His bat played anywhere. Since the end of last season, he has dropped 25 pounds without losing any muscle. He worked with a trainer twice a day and ate a strict diet.
  • Alex Kirilloff was watching the Twins minor league games this afternoon.
That’s it for today. Please feel free to ask questions as you like. I’ll try to answer as I have time.


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232 Comments

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SadMinnySportsFan
Mar 20 2017 09:14 AM

wow this is so disappointing IMO. You don't pick a guy #6 overall in the draft to be a reliever. He was suppose to be a starter, you draft a guy that high to be a front end starter. I get the arguments, he was in the bullpen in college, he's more comfortable there yada yada. He now joins a long list of "hard throwing young bullpen arms" that have been talked about what seems like years and the only guy to make to the bigs is JT Chargios. This organization's ineptitude to develop talent, and specifically starting pitching talent, is baffling.

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ALessKosherScott
Mar 20 2017 09:20 AM

I think the bright side is Jay at least has the stuff to be the Twins next elite closer. It's less valuable than a #2 starter, but it's something every good team needs.

 

If he didn't have the "stuff" to potentially be a #1/#2 SP, why on earth would you spend the 6th pick in the draft on him to begin with?  

Also if they drafted him knowing this was going to be the likely outcome (a RP) then it's one of the worst decisions in recent draft history.

Also his numbers and "look" last year in A+ was pretty solid overall (2.85 ERA in 13 starts, 8.8 k/9 etc) sorry that's pretty good, even for a college pitcher I wish we had more guys putting up those numbers that you would just consider "ok".

Just seems so counterproductive to move him off of SP already...unless they knew this was going to happen the entire time?

 

I was about to echo the same thing.  WTH were the Twins scouts and FO thinking drafting this guy with the #6 pick?  Stupid if you ask me.  Sorry to sound harsh, but this screams incompetence.  The conversion of RP's to successful meaningful starters is not great to begin with.  Why put yourself behind the eight ball in the first place and draft a square peg and try and ram it into a round hole?  

 

Edit:  I can see this gamble with later picks but a top 10 first round pick? 

 

I'm not buying the "Jay will become a starter later" story that some here are believing in. After he reaches the majors as a reliever, when's he going to get the time to ramp up all those innings in order to be a starter? After reading the prospect previews here about Jay, I can see that the writing was on the wall - this guy is most likely going to end up as a reliever, so let's put him on the right path. Maybe he can be a dominating closer one day. Maybe this can prevent him from getting TJ surgery at some point? Probably not, but our 1st rounders seem to be susceptible to that injury...

 

Also if it's true that Perkins is topping out at 78 mph right now, that's not good. I know he wants to work his butt off and earn that $6.5M he's getting for 2017, but he's probably toast. You just don't come back from that injury the same.

 

If he's only hitting 78mph on his fastball right now that's game over for Perk.  Torn Labrum is a very difficult surgery on a pitcher.

    • gunnarthor, Danchat and Vanimal46 like this

The obvious reason they drafted Jay was that they thought he could make the transition to the rotation, as did many draft gurus.  

    • Mike Sixel and markos like this

Lots of experts felt Jay had the stuff to be a legit MLB starter. He's not like most RP from college, imo. I'll cut them some slack for thinking he could maybe become a starter.

 

That said, it seems early in the process to make this change. Also, if he does become one of the best RPs in MLB, that would be great. But to say that's his floor is, imo, premature.

    • nicksaviking, markos and jud6312 like this
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nicksaviking
Mar 20 2017 09:56 AM

 

What evidence is there of this being true? Honest question. His numbers last year were OK for a college first-rounder in Single-A, nothing more. He has two excellent pitches – which played down in a starting role – and beyond that, meh. What gives him the makeup of a #1 or #2 starter in your mind?  

 

The Twins might be painting this publicly as a move toward getting him to the majors faster, or a capitulation to his desires, but they wouldn't be doing it if they believed he had a good chance to become a 1/2 starter. I guarantee you that. 

 

If for some reason they had some kind of Chris Sale comp in mind I could see them doing it. Maybe there's a development angle we're not privy to. Unlikely, but we're largely in the dark on this one.  I'm not a huge fan of the move but I will admit that doing this right now raises many fewer red flags than if they did it mid-season.

 

Not that there still aren't plenty of red flags. I just really hope this isn't all driven by Jay. Say, he prefers closing but knows he's not getting drafted high if he doesn't tell teams he wants to start. Probably not the case but it's lingering in the back of my mind.

In my eyes, the front office loses a little credibility from the stand point that they were supposed to excel at developing pitching talent. If they don't think they can turn a lefty with a plus fastball and slider, with a four pitch mix into a frontline starter than who can they turn into one?
    • Oldgoat_MN and TheLeviathan like this

 

In my eyes, the front office loses a little credibility from the stand point that they were supposed to excel at developing pitching talent. If they don't think they can turn a lefty with a plus fastball and slider, with a four pitch mix into a frontline starter than who can they turn into one?

Yeah, that's one worry I had.  I wonder if it's just the player and his agent pushing something that gets him to the majors faster or if the FO really thinks the payoff for him being a reliever over the risk of trying to make him a starter is worth it.

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KirbyDome89
Mar 20 2017 12:34 PM

So they drafted him at #6 because he had the "stuff," to be a front of the rotation piece. Now they're moving him back to the bullpen because he doesn't have the enough of a mix to be a starter. But this doesn't look like a bad pick and the move doesn't have any negative impact on future rotations? Hmmm....those don't seem to mesh.

 

I'm not sure which is more taxing; the mental gymnastics performed to rationalize the move or the physical toll from bending over backwards to defend it. 

    • Mike Sixel, Danchat, laloesch and 2 others like this
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ALessKosherScott
Mar 20 2017 01:00 PM

 

In my eyes, the front office loses a little credibility from the stand point that they were supposed to excel at developing pitching talent. If they don't think they can turn a lefty with a plus fastball and slider, with a four pitch mix into a frontline starter than who can they turn into one?

 

We'll find that out as they bring their own guys into the system.

Changes like this are to be expected as the new leadership gains familiarity with all the players.

Their willingness to direct some real in house talent towards a bullpen that in the past was largely a scrap heap of recycled players gets me excited. It shows that a dominant bullpen is on their radar screen and not an afterthought as in the past.
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ShouldaCouldaWoulda
Mar 20 2017 01:43 PM

Rosario likely isn't on the Twins future radar, I'd assume? Is there something obvious with his pitch repertoire that he could do in the pen that would somehow improve his K% DRASTICALLY? I just don't seem him as (useful) MLB bullpen arm.

They need to draft their own guys in order to develop them? Someone call me in 5 years....
    • Mike Sixel, ALessKosherScott and jud6312 like this
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Nick Nelson
Mar 20 2017 02:45 PM

 

So they drafted him at #6 because he had the "stuff," to be a front of the rotation piece. Now they're moving him back to the bullpen because he doesn't have the enough of a mix to be a starter. But this doesn't look like a bad pick and the move doesn't have any negative impact on future rotations? Hmmm....those don't seem to mesh.

 

I'm not sure which is more taxing; the mental gymnastics performed to rationalize the move or the physical toll from bending over backwards to defend it. 

You realize the people making this decision are not the ones that drafted him, right? I think you'll find the entire ordeal less taxing if you come to terms with that.

 

I was not a huge fan of this selection when it was made. I'm not calling it a good pick and I don't really see anyone else doing so. But the hand-wringing over what a big mistake it was is moot. And if Jay fulfills his potential in the bullpen it's not going to look like a terrible draft pick in hindsight. It's just not. 

    • ChiTownTwinsFan, Steve Lein, Mike Sixel and 1 other like this
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KirbyDome89
Mar 20 2017 04:52 PM

 

You realize the people making this decision are not the ones that drafted him, right? I think you'll find the entire ordeal less taxing if you come to terms with that.

 

I was not a huge fan of this selection when it was made. I'm not calling it a good pick and I don't really see anyone else doing so. But the hand-wringing over what a big mistake it was is moot. And if Jay fulfills his potential in the bullpen it's not going to look like a terrible draft pick in hindsight. It's just not. 

Thanks for the FO update...

 

I must be misreading the posts defending the selection of Jay at #6 then. The criticism of the move is about what the Twins thought he was going to be when he was drafted and where he is now. When you select a player #6 overall with the idea he'll be a starting pitcher and two seasons later he is going to be in the bullpen full time that is a bad selection at that spot. If he becomes Andrew Miller as some have stated then sure, the pick doesn't look so bad, but that isn't the case right now. To me, that issue isn't in the lease bit moot/debatable. 

 

 

    • laloesch, twinssouth and jud6312 like this
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ALessKosherScott
Mar 20 2017 05:45 PM

They need to draft their own guys in order to develop them? Someone call me in 5 years....


Doing what they think is best to develop someone from the old regime and that Jay may not have been their pick with the six pick in 2015 draft aren't at all related.
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Bob Sacamento
Mar 20 2017 07:10 PM

Alright I'm not wading thru 9 pages of posts but I get the gist is that fans are upset of drafting Tyler Jay #6 overall and the team is turning him into a power reliever instead of as a starter.  Is that right? Okay.  Well the same guys aren't running the organization that thought he was a potential starting pitcher.  In fact quite a few if not the majority of baseball minds thought of Jay as a shutdown reliever not as a starter, and it looks like Levine and Falvey are in the same boat.

 

I actually find this kind of funny as Mike Berardino and I were talking about Jay (and a few others) going to the pen eventually and building a superpen.  We both agreed Jay has a better two pitch combo than pretty much anyone else currently in the Twins relief corps but might as well let him fail as a SP for a year or two following the "let them fail first as a SP before turning them into RP" philosophy that most go thru.  Falvey and Levine don't agree and see Ty Jay as an asset that can help a lot sooner (mid 2017 or start of 2018) than he would as a starter if he ever did turn out as a starter.  

    • ChiTownTwinsFan, Nick Nelson, Steve Lein and 3 others like this

 

Now you're getting it. 

15108135.jpg

Vanimal, did you steal my Palpatine quote?...lol

    • Vanimal46 and D.C Twins like this
A few glaringly obvious questions that id like to have answered by someone in the organization:

1). Why start Jay for so long? If it's about "speeding up his path to the majors," on a bottom dwelling team, why wasn't this the case before? What changed since last year (honest question)?

2). If there is such a glaring need in the bullpen, why not sign some veterans for a few million bucks + on short a contract? Some actual helpful bullpen arms, instead of minor league deals. You know, taxpayer funded stadium, piles of cash, etc, etc.

3). Weren't we told they didn't need bullpen arms recently, hence no free agents (outside of minor league deals)? Now, is there a surplus of SPs?

4). Back to "quickest path to the majors". He's at AA. Are you planning on him breaking camp, or getting a June call up? If not, what's the big timeline difference, here? If he makes strides this year as a starter, it's conceivable for him to get starts with the Twins next year.

I'm not even saying it's the wrong move. But, It's absolutely dumbfounding how they handle some of these players, botch their development, then roll out these thoughtless contradictory for convenience. Like they can't be bothered to take the time explain the real reason to the serfdom, because it's beyond our understanding.

Frankly, the tax payers lining their pockets deserve better than the brain-trust repeatedly frosting turds, and trying to sell them as Milky Ways. Just admit you're a turd salesman.
    • twinssouth likes this

 

What evidence is there of this being true? Honest question. His numbers last year were OK for a college first-rounder in Single-A, nothing more. He has two excellent pitches – which played down in a starting role – and beyond that, meh. What gives him the makeup of a #1 or #2 starter in your mind?  

 

The Twins might be painting this publicly as a move toward getting him to the majors faster, or a capitulation to his desires, but they wouldn't be doing it if they believed he had a good chance to become a 1/2 starter. I guarantee you that. 

 

A player who was drafted specifically for his prospect to be a future #1/#2 has already washed out as a starter. This is the problem that I was pointing out (not as to whether he currently has --or has ever had--- the potential to be a #1/#2...this is not my job as I'm neither a scout, nor have I seen him play in person).

 

Luckily we have history to instruct us about how the Twins valued a potential closer...That would be the 72nd pick (Chargois) which is a looooong way from #6.

 

But, this FO did not make that pick, so I agree that we must let them find the best way to fix a mess that was not of their making. If Jay to the pen is a small part of that fix, outstanding.

 

However, We cannot and should not spin this as not-really-that-big-of-deal.

 

 

    • KirbyDome89 likes this

 

1). Why start Jay for so long?

 

A grand total of 1 season.Actually less that one season: 13 starts at Fort Myers, then 2 more at Chattanooga before he was in the pen for 3 more appearances.

 

Got to give it to them that this was not too long...

    • Oldgoat_MN likes this

 

 

A player who was drafted specifically for his prospect to be a future #1/#2 has already washed out as a starter.

 

That's not the thing here.It is not the Perkins situation.The people who ran the Twins' draft had the idea that you can get College relievers who throw hard and make them top of the rotation starters.Did not quite work out for the Twins.Jay at least got out of there fast enough to be able to help the team.Cederoth and Bard and (partially) Melotakis are still suffering from that approach.  

 

You cannot wash out something that was never there other in people's minds who tried to force it.

    • Steve Lein and Oldgoat_MN like this

I like Bob's post above.  Phase 1 of pitching development is drafting and signing.  Phase 2 is figuring out what you've got.  In that 2006 draft I mentioned several pages back, the Tigers realized they picked wrong in taking Miller over Scherzer and Lincecum.  A few trades later, they had Scherzer and Miguel Cabrera.

 

Meanwhile, Miller flopped along for a few more years, eventually getting cut by the Red Sox.  Someone with the Sox believed they could fix him, they got him to resign, and he finally blossomed.

 

The Royals tried for years to make Hochevar (the no. 1) pick a starter; they finally got a few decent relief years out of him.  Similar story for Brandon Morrow at no. 5.

 

Kudos to the new regime for moving decisively and circumnavigating a few fruitless years.  Bummer he didn't show up and blow everyone's doors off as a starter.  Didn't do it.  Turn page.  Move on.

 

The people who ran the Twins' draft had the idea that you can get College relievers who throw hard and make them top of the rotation starters. ### 

 

Did not quite work out for the Twins. ***

 

You cannot wash out something that was never there other in people's minds who tried to force it. ###

 

*** #1 Understatement of the Offseason.

 

### Will we ever find out whose bright idea this was? And is he in any way still associated with the Twins?