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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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Hosken Bombo Disco
Mar 18 2017 08:58 PM

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.

I think the days of young Twins pitchers grinding out season after season in the minors are done. It will be much more case-by-case going forward.

The old front office should have known about drafting Jay and trying to make him into a starter. The new front office at least is correcting course right away.
    • brvama, Sconnie, Deduno Abides and 1 other like this

 

I think the days of young Twins pitchers grinding out season after season in the minors are done. It will be much more case-by-case going forward.

The old front office should have known about drafting Jay and trying to make him into a starter. The new front office at least is correcting course right away.

I hope you're right, and at times I think you are. Then guys like Breslow and Vogelsong are brought in and I'm left scratching my head. If there's one place that veteran JAGs aren't needed, it would seem to be in the bullpen/back of the rotation.

 

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Willihammer
Mar 18 2017 09:04 PM

Tweet from Doogie:

This is all perfectly consistent with the Twins standing policy of developing players in one role in the minors, and changing it at the ML level.

Don't see what all the hubbubs about.
    • zchrz, Mike Sixel, DaveW and 3 others like this

 

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

 

Gibson will be ok.Surer thing than Buxton at this point.

 

 

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Taildragger8791
Mar 18 2017 09:07 PM

 

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

 

I wouldn't call Revere a miss, even if he did have some deficiencies. Getting an elite defensive CF with excellent baserunning skills with the 28th pick is about as good as you can expect to do. He'll probably end up with a lengthy MLB career for a reason.

    • Oldgoat_MN likes this
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Mar 18 2017 09:22 PM

I hope you're right, and at times I think you are. Then guys like Breslow and Vogelsong are brought in and I'm left scratching my head. If there's one place that veteran JAGs aren't needed, it would seem to be in the bullpen/back of the rotation.

I don't get it with the replacement level veterans, either.

One thing about Cleveland when Falvey was there, was they seemed to promote guys by what was best for the player. The example is reliever Cody Allen, who was a 20th round pick, but was promoted through the minors about as fast as humanly possible with no ill effect. So obviously they saw something in Allen and didn't let the memory of his draft round cloud their judgment. I bet if Jay thrives again as a reliever and stays healthy there's a 50/50 chance we see him in MLB this season.
    • Twins33 and jud6312 like this

I wouldn't call Revere a miss, even if he did have some deficiencies. Getting an elite defensive CF with excellent baserunning skills with the 28th pick is about as good as you can expect to do. He'll probably end up with a lengthy MLB career for a reason.

The prob with Revere is his ceiling was always a "meh" 4th/5th OF type. He has reached that ceiling which is fine, but never should have been a first round pick to begin with. He had negative 1.2 WAR last year, so not sure he is going to have too much longer of a career....

Gibson will be ok. Surer thing than Buxton at this point.

He's a #5 basically. You need to do better with your first round picks.
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Taildragger8791
Mar 18 2017 09:45 PM

The prob with Revere is his ceiling was always a "meh" 4th/5th OF type. He has reached that ceiling which is fine, but never should have been a first round pick to begin with. He had negative 1.2 WAR last year, so not sure he is going to have too much longer of a career....

Well he's signed this year so he'll at least end up at 9 years in the majors. I think he'll get a few more as long as his speed holds up.

I can't fault the Twins when there wasn't anybody drafted right after him that did anything at all. It's just not that likely to find a high caliber starter there unless it's a deep draft.
    • DJSim22 and Oldgoat_MN like this
Hmm. Lots of consternation. I like the decisiveness. I don't see why his ceiling can't be Andrew Miller, seems like that was his role in college. That's a darn valuable asset. I'm sure there were a lot of starting pitchers drafted ahead of Miller.

I could care less where he was drafted. It's all hindsight, and in this case we're hindsighting a different regime. Hopefully this is indicative of their scouting acumen, and indicates they will correctly utilize this upcoming draft.
    • Seth Stohs, brvama and PseudoSABR like this

I can't fault the Twins when there wasn't anybody drafted right after him that did anything at all. It's just not that likely to find a high caliber starter there unless it's a deep draft.

Josh Donaldson, Todd Frazier, Brett Cecil....to name a few.

Just because Revere has been around 9 years doesn't make him a good or even close to a good player.

Juan Castro somehow played 17 years for instance.
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Deduno Abides
Mar 18 2017 10:18 PM
Great scoop by Seth Stohs!

Also, good move by new team leadership to cut bait early on this issue. Previous regime developed an odd stubbornness on insisting players could do things they never did before and overvaluing players accordingly. Jay's draft position two years ago means nothing now. What matters is how to get the most value from him. Good job to not spend another year hoping for a Big Ten reliever to turn into a major league starter.
    • brvama, LA VIkes Fan and DocBauer like this
Miller was the, wait for it, 6th pick. Taken after other starters like Hochevar, Greg Reynolds, Brad Lincoln, and Brandon Morrow. And Longoria.

Kershaw, of course, was the very next pick. Man, drafting is tough.

Reading through Miller's career bio, it took a long time before he was put in the bullpen permanently. Maybe someone could have expedited that decision and hastened his ascendency to elitedom.

Anyway, looking at that draft, Lincecum and Scherzer were taken shortly after as well. So was Kasey Kiker. Jay isn't Miller yet, but he's not ever going to be Kershaw either. In conclusion, best of luck Tyler. I look forward to watching you put out hundreds of fires over the next few years.
    • brvama, dbminn and Shaitan like this
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Deduno Abides
Mar 18 2017 10:24 PM

Hmm. Lots of consternation. I like the decisiveness. I don't see why his ceiling can't be Andrew Miller, seems like that was his role in college. That's a darn valuable asset. I'm sure there were a lot of starting pitchers drafted ahead of Miller.
I could care less where he was drafted. It's all hindsight, and in this case we're hindsighting a different regime. Hopefully this is indicative of their scouting acumen, and indicates they will correctly utilize this upcoming draft.


Andrew Miller was a highly rated college starter in a power conference. Jay was a reliever in the Big Ten, which is not a premier conference. He's also one of the best at what he does, at least over the last few years. Comparing anyone to Miller is more hope than projection.

As an aside, all thirty teams would rather have the guy selected right after Miller.
    • Mike Sixel, DaveW, sftwinsfan and 1 other like this
The problem is a lot of the old regime is still around. I was sitting behind home plate the other day for a Twins ST game against team USA, everyone surrounding us was a scout. The guy 4 seats down? Mike Radcliff, like honestly, I'm not sure he should be with the team at this stage, especially in an important facet. He had a really really really nice run, and is a legend for this club no doubt, but at some point you need fresh blood and fresh eyes IMO. Especially after so many down years.
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Taildragger8791
Mar 18 2017 10:49 PM

 

Miller was the, wait for it, 6th pick. Taken after other starters like Hochevar, Greg Reynolds, Brad Lincoln, and Brandon Morrow. And Longoria.

Kershaw, of course, was the very next pick. Man, drafting is tough.

Reading through Miller's career bio, it took a long time before he was put in the bullpen permanently. Maybe someone could have expedited that decision and hastened his ascendency to elitedom.

Anyway, looking at that draft, Lincecum and Scherzer were taken shortly after as well. So was Kasey Kiker. Jay isn't Miller yet, but he's not ever going to be Kershaw either. In conclusion, best of luck Tyler. I look forward to watching you put out hundreds of fires over the next few years.

 

The difference is Miller was a great starter in college and was expected to stay a starter. That he fell back to being an elite reliever is just a lucky break at salvaging value. If he'd been a college reliever that was expected to stay a reliever then I doubt he'd have gone at #6, and Detroit fans probably wouldn't have been too happy if he had.

    • DaveW and Vanimal46 like 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?

i recall the hype was that I was a bit of a reach
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Taildragger8791
Mar 19 2017 12:05 AM

 

i recall the hype was that I was a bit of a reach

 

Don't sell yourself short. I think you were appropriately valued all along.

    • ashburyjohn, USAFChief, Oldgoat_MN and 4 others like this

Wow. Disappointing news to come back to.

His pick position is sunk cost at this point, I like the idea of fast tracking him in the role he knows if this front office deems that is the best move.He has some nasty stuff that is going to play way up in the pen.

 

Falveyco was brought in to overhaul the pitching program, I am willing and excited to see the results of a new modern approach in this system.

 

TR thought he had an ace up his sleeve drafting big college bullpen arms minus the wear and tear of being a starter.I don't think its going to be real shocking if that doesn't amount to mlb starters. 

    • James, SwainZag and Danchat like this

Chris Sale's first 80 appearances in the major leagues were as a relief pitcher, tho he spent almost no time in the minors. It is not impossible that Jay will still be a starter at some point. 

 

Well he's signed this year so he'll at least end up at 9 years in the majors. I think he'll get a few more as long as his speed holds up.

I can't fault the Twins when there wasn't anybody drafted right after him that did anything at all. It's just not that likely to find a high caliber starter there unless it's a deep draft.

Giancarlo (Mike) Stanton was very highly touted as an OF and possible slugger (which he became).  The Twins looks for "toolsy" (speed, defense, OBP) and draft that guy. 

 

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.

In the last 10 drafts with picks 4-8there were 27 pitchers taken. I guess NOBODY got your memo.

 

    • birdwatcher likes 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.

Twins were in the middle for drafting in the first round

http://www.fangraphs...-picks-by-slot/

 

Hope Jay is up soon, and expect he will be.This could be the start of a power bullpen(like Cleveland only maybe better/deeper).Royals won with this combination, Twins might be much better with it also.It only subtracts one pitcher from the starter pool, and the Twins have several in that pool now, along with the bullpen.