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DET 5, MIN 3: Is There Anything Left?

It’s easy to forget just how good Ervin Santana was for the 2017 Minnesota Twins. He was an All-Star, finished fifth in the American League in both ERA and WHIP. He was seventh in Cy Young Award voting. Ervin made his fourth start of this season, and saw his ERA jump to 6.53.
Image courtesy of © Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Snapshot (chart via FanGraphs)
Ervin Santana: 44 Game Score, 6.0 IP, 3 H, 5 ER, 5 K, 2 BB, 58.5% strikes (55 of 94 pitches)
Multi-Hit Games: Ehire Adrianza (3-for-4, 2B) Jorge Polanco (2-for-4, 2B), Logan Forsythe (2-for-4), Jake Cave (2-for-4, 2B)
WPA of 0.1 or higher: Forsythe .153
WPA of -0.1 or lower: Kepler -.101, Morrison -.129, Mauer -.165 Santana -.223
Attached Image: WinChart810.png
Santana topped out a 90.6 mph and averaged 88.8 mph with his fastball tonight. To his credit, he was able to stay one step ahead of most batters. Ervin only allowed three hits over his six innings of work, but two of them came in the form of two-run homers.

It’s actually been impressive to see Ervin execute with diminished stuff, in sort of a depressing way. He should be getting clobbered. Like bounced outta the game in the second inning clobbered.

The lineup certainly could have executed better. The Twins outhit the Tigers 10-3, but were only 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position. Detroit even committed two errors, but the Twins couldn’t capitalize.

It’s pretty fun to see what Niko Goodrum is doing with Detroit. He hit his 11th home run of the season tonight and has a .720 OPS.

After the game, Santana did what you'd expect a professional veteran ballplayer to do. He took responsibility for his shortcomings and ... oh wait, no, he didn't. Jump head to about the 1:20 mark on this postgame interview:

My take: It's not like Ervin is going on a rampage here, but that's not his style. Still, I say just let him go. Honestly. I'm already wondering if this finger injury has derailed his career, he's certainly not getting his $14 million option picked up and now he's taking shots at the front office.

Even worse, by saying "it’s difficult to play without our good pieces" Santana is being disrespectful to his new teammates who've joined the club in the wake of those players leaving. Just end it now, there are plenty of other starting pitchers dying to get an opportunity.

Bullpen Usage
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Attached Image: Bullpen810.png
AL Central Standings
CLE 64-50
MIN 53-62 (-11.5)
DET 48-68 (-17)
CHW 41-73 (-23)
KC 35-79 (-29)

Next Three Game
Sat at DET, 5:10 pm CT: Kyle Gibson vs. Francisco Liriano
Sun at DET, 12:10 pm CT: Kohl Stewart vs. Matt Boyd
Mon: Off
Tue vs. PIT, 7:10 pm CT: TBD vs. Jameson Taillon

Last Three Games
LE 5, MIN 4: Walks and a Walk-Off
CLE 5, MIN 2: Cleveland Prevails on Lindor Walk-Off Homer
MIN 3, CLE 2: Mitch Garver Makes it Rain


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116 Comments

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Hosken Bombo Disco
Aug 10 2018 10:56 PM

 

Near as I recall, I don't remember Falvey or Levine stinking it up during any games on their way to being 8 games under .500.  

 

I love all these people "rah rah"ing a guy who is passing the blame.Yeah, he was candid, but he refused to take accountability like an adult.You want candid?  

 

Don't suck your way to a 48-56 record and maybe your FO doesn't sell.That's candid and it also has the benefit to be truth rather than sour grapes.

You're joking, right? Castro went down, and they failed to find a reliable catcher. Buxton was allowed to play on a broken toe. They ought to have stepped in and kept Reed from being overworked. Those are the ones that pop to mind. 

 

As far as Santana not "taking accountability" tonight, he said he missed his spots on those pitches that went for home runs. There was no sour grapes in that interview. I don't know what else he is supposed to say. 

 

    • adjacent likes this
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TheLeviathan
Aug 10 2018 11:02 PM

 

You're joking, right? Castro went down, and they failed to find a reliable catcher. Buxton was allowed to play on a broken toe. They ought to have stepped in and kept Reed from being overworked. Those are the ones that pop to mind. 

 

As far as Santana not "taking accountability" tonight, he said he missed his spots on those pitches that went for home runs. There was no sour grapes in that interview. I don't know what else he is supposed to say. 

 

You're right.They should've gone all in on the 48-56 team.We were just lying in wait.

 

Maybe your points about earlier in the season are valid, seems worth talking about.But any points about July 29th are flat out ridiculous.And so were Ervin's comments about "giving up".That nonsense needs to end.It's over.The right thing was done.Move on.

    • Mike Sixel and Danchat like this
It’s almost like NOT playing Morrison, Santana, and Odorizzi would actually increase the likelihood of another team taking a flier on one of them. Like George Costanza - his presence in his office could only hurt him lol.

Same goes for Addison Reed now that I think about it. Had such high hopes for him too. I for one, feel there’s something wrong with him physically that he’s been playing thru for quite some time. His stuff was pretty filthy upon arrival - especially the breaking ball. Now, not so much.
    • ashbury and Thrylos like this

Near as I recall, I don't remember Falvey or Levine stinking it up during any games on their way to being 8 games under .500.

"Hey guys, meet your new teammate, (same as your old teammate), Matty Belisle! Good luck, we're all counting on you."

Edit to add: just trying to make an "Airplane!" joke. :)
    • USAFChief, adjacent, TheLeviathan and 1 other like this
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Aug 10 2018 11:21 PM

 

You're right.They should've gone all in on the 48-56 team.We were just lying in wait.

 

Maybe your points about earlier in the season are valid, seems worth talking about.But any points about July 29th are flat out ridiculous.And so were Ervin's comments about "giving up".That nonsense needs to end.It's over.The right thing was done.Move on.

I am fine with him answering the question that way. If I were in that locker room I'd be pissed too. 

After the game, Santana did what you'd expect a professional veteran ballplayer to do. He took responsibility for his shortcomings and ... oh wait, no, he didn't. Jump head to about the 1:20 mark on this postgame interview:

I didn't hear that as Ervin passing the buck on this game. He addressed this game at the start of the video. Here, he was asked specifically about losing Rodney, and he was answering in general about the difficulty and frustration of the whole situation.

And it's tough. The front office DID give up, even if you think it was the right decision, even if you think the players are ultimately to blame for putting themselves in that position. The front office still had to pull the trigger, and I don't think that can just be ignored, or we can expect everyone -- especially players -- to have gotten past that in just 2 weeks. It was a difficult and complex situation. The front office even felt it necessary to address the situation in a letter to season ticket holders. I am not sure how they have addressed it to the team behind closed doors, but that is probably informing Ervin's reaction here too. I am sure it has been tough for the front office -- heck, it's been a mildly tough situation for some of us fans -- and I imagine it's even tougher as players who are ultimately closest to its immediate ramifications.

I may not agree with Ervin, but I'm not going to criticize him for expressing his frustration in this way, in this context. Likewise, I'm not jumping down the throat of the front office either (even if I attempt Airplane! and Spinal Tap jokes at their expense :) ). I think there is still room for different feelings in this conversation, especially as moves are still happening (like Rodney).
    • SQUIRREL, USAFChief, diehardtwinsfan and 1 other like this
First off I don't think the FO gave up anything. There was nothing to give up. In the context of the Twins orginisation, the FO went as far as "all in" as they could this spring. And then some bad luck, and bad performances happened. They are well documented. But what does surprise me is that some of the players who were the cause of the sell of, are the most vocal about giving up. There was no reason to continue the present course any further. Expiring contracts for next year made that inevitable. For those who thought we could resign Dozier, the only way that was going to happen is if nobody else took him. For amateur GM's like me, that should be a non analytical value of his services. Time will tell if the Twins have enough MiLB talent to put together a competitive team. But at least this FO made the move to find out. I say this with the expectation that as time goes on they will continue to transition the lineup. I don't expect them to wave a magic wand. 40 and 25 man roster issues, and frankly service time issues impact those decisions, far more than I can comprehend. Yes I want to see Belisle gone, and guys like Rooker and Romereo up for a look see, but not if it costs a year of control. As for Gordon, no. He doesn't seem to be able to handle AAA yet. Finally, Molitor has to go, period, full stop! His lack of any sort of enthusiasm for any player under thirty without ten years in the league is non conducive with the direction this team is going. His BP usage is ridiculous, he has pitchers sitting while he puts catchers on the mound. No, that didn't impact that game, but I bet they loved him in the pen. He has to go, you cannot do a rebuild with someone like him in the dugout. I just hope that his continued employment is not determined by Pohlad. Sadly we will never know. JP forever poisoned that well with his "Molitor will stay" proclamation!
    • SQUIRREL, birdwatcher, Mike Sixel and 2 others like this
I think the point being missed, including by Erv, is that they weren't winning with their best pieces. So, complaining about not being able to win without your best pieces is really misguided and silly.

I don't really care so much about what he said as it relates to the sell off, I like to see frustration with how this season has gone. Their job is to win games with the players available and they didn't do that, which is why the current situation exists.
    • SQUIRREL, birdwatcher, Mike Sixel and 5 others like this

I think the point being missed, including by Erv, is that they weren't winning with their best pieces. So, complaining about not being able to win without your best pieces is really misguided and silly.

I don't really care so much about what he said as it relates to the sell off, I like to see frustration with how this season has gone. Their job is to win games with the players available and they didn't do that, which is why the current situation exists.


I think you are being a bit too critical of a few sentences given at the end of a postgame interview in response to a specific question about losing Rodney. For all we know, if there had been a follow-up question about the team's poor record through 4 months, Ervin might have acknowledged how the players contributed. That wouldn't really invalidate his previous response, though.

It's still a tough situation. Especially for Ervin, he didn't even get to play until late July -- I wouldn't be surprised if, as a competitor, he imagined his absence contributed to us falling behind Cleveland, and his return could help us catch them. That's probably misguided given his current stuff, but is understandable given the pro athlete's mindset. For better or worse, these guys generally don't get where they are by admitting long odds or dwelling on their failures.

Back to Tom's implications, I don't think Ervin got unprofessional here at all, given the context.
    • SQUIRREL, Rigby, wsnydes and 1 other like this

 

Was he paying attention to the game?

 

Logan Forsythe, Brian Dozier's replacement, had two hits. Ehire Adrianza, playing Eduardo Escobar's old position tonight, had three hits. But it's too bad the deflated bullpen blew it. Oh wait, no, Oliver Drake threw two no-hit innings.

 

Hell of a thing for him to say on a night where the replacement guys were great.

 

He was asked this question "The Trade of Fernando. How tough is that for...you as a friend and how tough is that as a team"? 

 

That question was an abrupt segue from the game. 

 

He answered the question. 

 

If you ever wonder why we need PR departments, or why players should stay off social media. Please consider your reaction to his answer and how counter productive it is to getting actual inside information. 

 

He left the public relations handbook for a brief moment and you were right there to quickly slap him for it. 

 

Sorry for slapping you back.:)

 

 

    • SQUIRREL, ashbury, USAFChief and 5 others like this

I think you are being a bit too critical of a few sentences given at the end of a postgame interview in response to a specific question about losing Rodney. For all we know, if there had been a follow-up question about the team's poor record through 4 months, Ervin might have acknowledged how the players contributed. That wouldn't really invalidate his previous response, though.

It's still a tough situation. Especially for Ervin, he didn't even get to play until late July -- I wouldn't be surprised if, as a competitor, he imagined his absence contributed to us falling behind Cleveland, and his return could help us catch them. That's probably misguided given his current stuff, but is understandable given the pro athlete's mindset. For better or worse, these guys generally don't get where they are by admitting long odds or dwelling on their failures.

Back to Tom's implications, I don't think Ervin got unprofessional here at all, given the context.

I guess that I don't feel that I'm being all that critical. It's not like I'm destroying him for his comments and I even stated that I didn't really care about what he said. I don't think he was really unprofessional, just missing the point regardless of the question asked. He has a right to be frustrated and nobody likes to see a sell off. Fact of the matter is that they didn't do their job earlier in the season and that is what put them in this position to begin with. Like I said in my first post, I like to see the frustration. It shows they care. But ability to win games based on the pieces presently around him, or the others, is a moot point when they didn't win when the best pieces were here.
Insanity = Doing the same thing over and over again (posting discontent over Gonsalves not getting a look and misguided discontent over Gordon not getting a look) and expecting different results.

The grumpy posts regarding these two are becoming borderline spam.
    • wabene and mngopherguy like this

NOT disagreeing with you at all!

This team has a nucleus that shouldn't be denied. Just to be accurate, Santana would be 36 next season.

My whole point was, forget age for a moment, what has Santana been most of his career, and what has he been the last 2 years for the Twins? Easy answer, pretty damn good. Is he done? Yeah, maybe he is. But again, lots of variables, we are not talking about a surgery and recovery for TJ or TOR or a hip or knee. Is he worth, maybe, a flier on a 1 year deal with incentives?

Look, Gonsalves should already be up. Romero should be up and getting ready for 2019 as well. Pineda could be a big boost, but could find himself in the pen with May. (Not necessarily a bad thing) Mejia will be with the club as a starter, or in the pen. Thorpe has the potential to be as good or better than Gonsalves or Mejia. But unless we make some BIG FA move or trade move, we have some guys to work with and build around.

Audition Santana for the rest of the season or not. Bring him back on a 1 year flier or not. Isn't it worth considering at least?


I'd be fine with a minor league deal with a May 15th opt out. Not interested at all in a guaranteed mlb spot, no matter how favorable the financial terms are.

It's one thing to learn how to pitch with moxy when you lose your stuff over time. It's completely different to try to figure it out when you lose your stuff overnight.
I opined that Santana's effectiveness was likely over as we knew it when the surgery was announced. That opinion was of course heartily denounced, but I've seen nothing in the months since to change my mind.
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TheLeviathan
Aug 11 2018 07:05 AM

 

I am fine with him answering the question that way. If I were in that locker room I'd be pissed too. 

 

I'm ok with him being pissed.

 

I guess I would've preferred the team had gotten this upset about their fate back in May.It would've been nice if Dozier hadn't been a hole in the lineup for the entire year.Or if Buxton could stay on the field.Or if Sano could've been better prepared to help.Or if LoMo or Lynn would've justified their signing.I could go on.

 

Being mad at the FO for selling at 48-56?That's just ridiculous.It really is.  

    • birdwatcher, Mike Sixel, Kelly Vance and 3 others like this

Despite Ervin's great 2017, he greatly overperformed his 4.77 xFIP and 4.60 SIERA. 

 

He was destined for regression anyway. 

 

Factor in the surgery that has diminished his velocity, and here we have 2018 Ervin Santana.

 

One thing is almost a guarantee... that Ervin Santana will NOT be back at his $14M option next season.

 

He is probably not back at all. Quite truthfully, the Twins don't need him back.

 

I'm ok with him being pissed.

 

I guess I would've preferred the team had gotten this upset about their fate back in May.It would've been nice if Dozier hadn't been a hole in the lineup for the entire year.Or if Buxton could stay on the field.Or if Sano could've been better prepared to help.Or if LoMo or Lynn would've justified their signing.I could go on.

 

Being mad at the FO for selling at 48-56?That's just ridiculous.It really is.  

 

There is plenty of blame to go around. 

 

The Players did not do their job. They need to look in the mirror. 

 

The Manager allowed the players who didn't do their job to keep doing their job. He needs to look in the mirror. 

 

The Front Office did not prepare for the possibility that the players would not do their job. They need to look in the mirror. 

 

1 Twins Way should really have one big GIANT MIRROR that stretches across the entire facility. 

 

 

    • SQUIRREL, ashbury, USAFChief and 5 others like this

I don't think he was really unprofessional, just missing the point regardless of the question asked.


So his response to the question asked suggests he is missing the point... of a question not asked?

I guess I am a bigger let the kids play kinda guy considering what we have. I suppose if we could get Santana for under $10 million it may be tempting but I also hope that the Twins alleviate the log jam of minor league arms. I see Fernando Romero at the point of his career that Berrios was in 2016, the only difference is Romero has pitched more capablely in his 1st year in the bigs than Berrios did so conventional wisdom should be that he’ll be even more ready next year and with his immense skill set I don’t want to see him even start the year in AAA. That will set up Lewis Thorpe being moved up to a crowded Rochester rotation and give some mid season promotion opportunities for the likes of Sean Poppen, Tyler Wells, and Brusdar Graterol.


I also want the kids to play, FWIW. I'd have Romero and Gonsalves in the rotation today. Mejia too, when off the DL.
    • Danchat and Sconnie like this

Being mad at the FO for selling at 48-56? That's just ridiculous. It really is.


I agree that would be ridiculous, since they actually sold at 48-53. :)

I think Ervin's comment is being used to rehash the same old debates, so I will digress. I don't want to do that again.

I just think Tom was overreacting wildly to a pretty understandable response to a pretty specific question. Tom's characterization of the clip doesn't seem fair. I strongly disagree that Ervin was being disrespectful or unprofessional, and in no way should it be considered a factor in his future with the club. (Not that I necessarily want him re-signed, but Tom seems to be advocating for his immediate trade/release based in part on this comment. That's what I am reacting to here, not more general trade deadline discussion.)
    • SQUIRREL, Riverbrian and Rigby like this
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Tom Froemming
Aug 11 2018 07:58 AM

 

He was asked this question "The Trade of Fernando. How tough is that for...you as a friend and how tough is that as a team"? 

 

That question was an abrupt segue from the game. 

 

He answered the question. 

 

If you ever wonder why we need PR departments, or why players should stay off social media. Please consider your reaction to his answer and how counter productive it is to getting actual inside information. 

 

He left the public relations handbook for a brief moment and you were right there to quickly slap him for it.

 

Sorry for slapping you back.:)

He absolutely deserves it. Ervin Santana should be grateful he has an opportunity to keep pitching in the major leagues right now. This isn't the media using Santana to obtain inside information, I don't think Mike set him up to take a cheap shot at the front office, this is Ervin using the media to be a cry baby.

 

It's good that he's frustrated about how the season went, he should be, but that's not the way to go about voicing frustrations. He also should also be able to acknowledge a part of what's unfolded lies upon his own shoulders.

 

If this is what comes out when he ventures outside of the "PR handbook," then he should probably stick to the script.

    • Thrylos and TheLeviathan like this

 

I also want the kids to play, FWIW. I'd have Romero and Gonsalves in the rotation today. Mejia too, when off the DL.

 

It's time to start weening the playing time from the players who won't be back next year but I suppose they do have to showcase a little bit for possible August deals. 

 

Santana:

 

Since he is coming off injury. I think it makes sense to let him make a couple of more starts for the scouts of other clubs to form opinion. 

 

Forsythe:

 

I suppose he could get traded for something this month but how necessary is an audition? wouldn't the book on this guy be already written. How much damage can you actually do to his trade value by asking him to share playing time with Adrianaza or ROSARIO on a team that is not in contention. Hard to find that 2B hole with the contenders so he probably won't bring high value no matter how hot he gets in an everyday role. BTW... if he is doing some auditioning for trade value (I don't think he is), Play him at 3B on occasion. Open the market up past the limited 2B suitors. If Molitor is playing Forsythe simply because he thinks he is better than Adrianaza. He may be right but... well... it's gonna be hard to explain to forward thinking GM's in job interviews down the road. 

 

Morrison: Will the Twins pick up his option? If Yes: I don't know how to respond to that. Then whatever. 

If No: Move on. Turn it over to Tyler Austin right now. 

 

Mauer: Will not play for another club. He might be back next year. Let him play... let him rest.

 

 

 

 

 

    • Mike Sixel, wsnydes and BJames like this

 

He absolutely deserves it. Ervin Santana should be grateful he has an opportunity to keep pitching in the major leagues right now. This isn't the media using Santana to obtain inside information, I don't think Mike set him up to take a cheap shot at the front office, this is Ervin using the media to be a cry baby.

 

It's good that he's frustrated about how the season went, he should be, but that's not the way to go about voicing frustrations. He also should also be able to acknowledge a part of what's unfolded lies upon his own shoulders.

 

If this is what comes out when he ventures outside of the "PR handbook," then he should probably stick to the script.

 

You are right... He should have stuck to the script. 

 

Last night... He didn't and look at what happened.

 

This is why Falvey and Lavine can't be transparent like we want them to be? 

 

This is why Santana can't be transparent like we want him to be? 

 

This is why the Ball Boy signs a confidentially agreement at the age of 15. 

 

Just put down your indignation and think about it.

 

Then take your responsibility as part of the mentality that has created the repeated safe soundbites from every major league player that has led to the same repeated safe questions from the reporters who report.

 

It's pretty sterile and it's been pretty sterile for a while. Last night, we get one mud print on the nice clean floor and you are pissed. 

 

Please Tom... Think about it. 

 

 

 

So his response to the question asked suggests he is missing the point... of a question not asked?

I think you're reading into my comment far more than how I meant it. He said that it's difficult to win without your best pieces. His words, not mine. I simply stated that they didn't win with those "best pieces", so stating that it's difficult to win while not having them, while true, is missing the point. Nothing more, nothing less. I'm not attacking him or his comments. Clearly he's frustrated by the sell off, as he should be. I figured Erv to have a little more perspective I guess.

    • Riverbrian likes this
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Tom Froemming
Aug 11 2018 08:26 AM

You are right... He should have stuck to the script. 
 
Last night... He didn't and look at what happened.
 
This is why Falvey and Lavine can't be transparent like we want them to be? 
 
This is why Santana can't be transparent like we want him to be? 
 
This is why the Ball Boy signs a confidentially agreement at the age of 15. 
 
Just put down your indignation and think about it.
 
Then take your responsibility as part of the mentality that has created the repeated safe soundbites from every major league player that has led to the same repeated safe questions from the reporters who report.
 
It's pretty sterile and it's been pretty sterile for a while. Last night, we get one mud print on the nice clean floor and you are pissed. 
 
Please Tom... Think about it.


We who? You're assuming we want the same things. Think about that.

 

We who? You're assuming we want the same things. Think about that.

 

I have thought about it quite a bit. I make no such assumptions. I'll be careful next time to type "Others and I" instead of "We" for perfect clarity. 

 

Some people just want to watch the world burn. 

 

http://twinsdaily.co...an-explanation/

 

 


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