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Gimenez vs Garver

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:25 AM
Personally, IMHO, part of the overall success and quality play of our beloved Twins this season has been the addition of Castro and Gimin...
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Benching Sano two days in a row

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:55 AM
Seriously? Good lord, every time Molitor takes a step forward he takes 3 steps back. Benching your best player back to back games bc of a...
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Molitor, does he actually "get it"?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:49 AM
This game was as poorly managed as I have ever seen, guy hasn't improved at all. Baring a playoff berth he better be gone at seasons end.
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Game Thread: Twins v Rays, 5/28 @ 1:10pm CT

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:03 PM
My ten years as a stringer – a freelance sportswriter for The Associated Press – spanned two distinct baseball eras. During the first, 19...
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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

To be honest, who cares about Jay, hopefully he will be a shut down reliever. He was selected under Ryan's watch - a watch that didn't seem very useful anymore. Let's see if the new guys can do better.

Really, what else is there to say?


Concur. The guy who made that pick is gone. Sucks, but it is what it is.

I hope they never take another reliever with the idea of making him a starter again. Every single one failed.
    • DJSim22, Bark's Lounge and twinssouth like this

It's an interesting idea lots of us have been wondering about for years. Teams like Cardinals promote a guy quickly or use him in the MLB pen, then convert back to starter later on.


Yeah but those guys you're thinking of were, you know, starters before they were called up and sent to the pen.

Thinking that Jay, who hasn't pitched more than 83 innings in a season would transition back to a starter is IMO, preposterous.
    • Mike Sixel, Danchat and Taildragger8791 like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Mar 18 2017 07:18 PM

yeah, not sure about why they are making the move so soon... and if he's a reliever, that is very a much a wasted pick. 

    • Jham likes this

We draft bullpen pitchers to generate starters, we load up with Burdi, Reed, Hilgenberg...as the relief staff of the future and we think of a rotation of great arms and prospects.  Then we take two of the top prospects and put them back in relief with a truckload of other relief prospects, none of which we want to bring to the majors and this is supposed to give us a feeling of future greatness.  Good god what the hell is this all about. Wasn't is supposed to be Jay, Gonsalves, Berrios, Mejia, Romero - the rotation of the future.

 

Maybe we are so into the new relief corp idea that we are going to have specialist that start in the second inning and carry on one per inning through the nine.  No starters, just a mess of relievers.  Maybe a roster of 16 pitchers and a starting nine.

 

I guess I might have given away the fact that this is not news that makes me really happy.

    • Mike Sixel, Oldgoat_MN, twinssouth and 2 others like this
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Bark's Lounge
Mar 18 2017 07:26 PM

 

Concur. The guy who made that pick is gone. Sucks, but it is what it is.

I hope they never take another reliever with the idea of making him a starter again. Every single one failed.

Agreed. Jay now should be able to move through the system pretty quickly and give us a quality arm in the BP... unless he gets the Nick Burdi sydrome. NO!!!!!!

I for one am shocked that the Twins took the obvious wrong player in the first round at it backfired on them miserably.

Revere, Hicks, Jay, Gibson, etc

Worst front office in all of sports the last decade.
    • NDTimIrish, jud6312 and youngtwinsfan like this

yeah, not sure about why they are making the move so soon... and if he's a reliever, that is very a much a wasted pick.

Funny thing is the guy picked one spot behind is now the #1 prospect in all of baseball.
    • NDTimIrish and jud6312 like this
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Old Twins Cap
Mar 18 2017 07:48 PM

Nah, this makes sense though. 

 

Bring Jay up quickly and let him deal with MLB hitters. 

 

NOthing wrong with that.If, in the end, he has the stuff and make-up and the stamina to be a starter, it won't be missed or ignored.He can rise to his level this way.

 

On the draft, yeah, prolly Twins were swayed by their own need for a lefty thrower.How that got translated to Jay is another question.

 

To a carpenter, every solution involves a hammer.

 

Before the draft: "Just give me the PITCHER with the highest upside".

After it doesn't work out: "#@&$%@$&^%#"

Was he really that guy though? I honestly don't remember him being thought of as a steal at #6. I seem to recall him being rated in the mid-teens, behind a few guys that went after him. 

 

Followup question: how often does a a college reliever become a frontline rotation piece? Common or a longshot?

 

 

    • NDTimIrish likes this
This team is gonna be terrible this year and likely next, why exactly do we need to rush Jay to the majors to pitch out of the bullpen again?

This org continues to appear to have absolutely no clue in what they are doing, and the results continue to show it.
    • Mike Sixel, Oldgoat_MN, NDTimIrish and 2 others like this
Great news on Stewart, seems short sighted on Jay and Twins part. Season hasn't even started yet and the kids going to the pen
    • jud6312 likes this

Was he really that guy though? I honestly don't remember him being thought of as a steal at #6. I seem to recall him being rated in the mid-teens, behind a few guys that went after him.

Followup question: how often does a a college reliever become a frontline rotation piece? Common or a longshot?


It's dumb, the Twins continue to try this failed method time and time again, just like they did when they were obsessed with drafting undersized, zero pop hitters like revere 50 picks too early.
    • jud6312 likes this

If Jay's ceiling as a reliever is elite then it is still not a wasted pick. Is a shutdown reliever a valued commodity?

    • James, beckmt and SF Twins Fan like this

 

It's dumb, the Twins continue to try this failed method time and time again, just like they did when they were obsessed with drafting undersized, zero pop hitters like revere 50 picks too early.

Who'd you like better, Denard Garbe or Aaron Revere? 

If Jay's ceiling as a reliever is elite then it is still not a wasted pick. Is a shutdown reliever a valued commodity?


He better reach that ceiling then.

Color me very very skeptical in the meantime.

Elite closer or bust I guess?
    • jud6312 likes this

 

If Jay's ceiling as a reliever is elite then it is still not a wasted pick. Is a shutdown reliever a valued commodity?

The point isn't that it's not a nice piece to have, but not with the 6th pick in the draft. That's where you should be finding your heart of the order and top of the rotation, not a new version of Norm Charlton.

    • DaveW, Tibs, Sconnie and 2 others like this
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Mar 18 2017 08:06 PM

Yeah but those guys you're thinking of were, you know, starters before they were called up and sent to the pen.
Thinking that Jay, who hasn't pitched more than 83 innings in a season would transition back to a starter is IMO, preposterous.

I underestimated how many innings he has actually thrown, so you are probably right. However I was thinking several years into the future. Still probably not likely.

The point isn't that it's not a nice piece to have, but not with the 6th pick in the draft. That's where you should be finding your heart of the order and top of the rotation, not a new version of Norm Charlton.


+1

I have also always found it weird that if a guy wasn't good enough to crack a college rotation...why on earth do people think he will be good enough to crack a major league rotation? I mean I guess it would only make sense if the guy was either a super super super late bloomer or on an all time great college team or something...
    • sftwinsfan, jud6312 and D.C Twins like this

Don't get me wrong, I hope Tyler becomes the next Billy Wagner, and he, Burdi, Chargois and Reed have to have a Royal Rumble-style contest every game to see who gets to come in and strike out the side to secure another win.

 

I just wish he didn't have to come to it by way of an early draft pick.

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ashburyjohn
Mar 18 2017 08:31 PM

Was he really that guy though? I honestly don't remember him being thought of as a steal at #6. I seem to recall him being rated in the mid-teens, behind a few guys that went after him. 

 

Followup question: how often does a a college reliever become a frontline rotation piece? Common or a longshot?

I wasn't a fan of the pick at the time.

 

I just acknowledge what I see as an attempt to crack the conundrum of going for high ceiling in an area of chronic need while still getting a high floor after pick #1 or 2. Look at the history of #6 picks - they are not guaranteed studs. Instead of a high school arm that results in nothing (the risk they bear with Kohl Stewart for instance), they have a talented reliever. Or at least, in theory. The criticism in extreme terms now that Plan B is invoked seems overwrought.

    • zchrz likes this

 

I wasn't a fan of the pick at the time.

 

I just acknowledge what I see as an attempt to crack the conundrum of going for high ceiling in an area of chronic need while still getting a high floor after pick #1 or 2. Look at the history of #6 picks - they are not guaranteed studs. Instead of a high school arm that results in nothing (the risk they bear with Kohl Stewart for instance), they have a talented reliever. Or at least, in theory. The criticism in extreme terms now that Plan B is invoked seems overwrought.

I think it's just that it seems to be happening so early in his career. Fad he been given more time to start and either fail or continue experiencing arm fatigue, or whatever we want to call it, people wouldn't be so critical of the pick.

 

It just feels rushed and/or an indication that, despite what both sides are saying, they don't think his arm will work in the rotation.

 

The other problem I have with this is that it's being done under the guise of getting him to MN quickly. While most/all of the other young arms are seemingly being brought along slowly, why are we to believe that Jay is the exception? He's had arm "issues," so why are his issues not as big of a deal as Burdi's or Romero's?

 

The whole thing just seems weird to me.

    • Oldgoat_MN, twinssouth and D.C Twins like this
Yeah, god forbid we criticize a team that has exactly one good first round pick in the last 10 or so years, and a team that has been the worst team in baseball overall the last six years. Especially when most people at the time pointed out that drafting a college reliever that high was a very very very questionable decision.
    • Oldgoat_MN, Danchat, Sconnie and 1 other like this

 

Yeah, god forbid we criticize a team that has exactly one good first round pick in the last 10 or so years,

 

Whodat?

Whodat?

Buxton

Gordon, Stewart and the kid last year COULD be good as well, too early to tell though.

Clear though that Revere, hicks, Parmelee, Gutierrez, Gibson, michael, wimmers were all massive misses. Jay is a miss so far as well since he is already going to the pen
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Taildragger8791
Mar 18 2017 08:57 PM

Yeah, I don't buy that he'll ever be converted back to a starter once he's entrenched in the bullpen. It takes years to build up to a 200+ inning season. Assuming he stayed healthy he was 4 years away from getting to 200 as it is. Going back to the bullpen would stall or undo that progress.

 

Not to mention if he succeeds in becoming elite it'll be one heck of a gutsy move to take him out of the bullpen on the off chance he can replicate that success in the rotation. You better be right when you make a call like that.

    • beckmt, Oldgoat_MN and Vanimal46 like this

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