Falvey Playing Numbers Game With Pitching Staff
When he made his Twins debut in starting the first half of Monday's doubleheader, Tim Melville became the 34th pitcher to make an appearance for Minnesota in 2017. We've still got a week left in August, but already this team has shattered the franchise record for pitchers used in a season (29), set last year during a catastrophic 103-loss campaign.
It speaks to the willingness of the new Chief Baseball Officer and this new front office to experiment, which I personally enjoy. Falvey has a reputation as an exceptional pitching evaluator, so there is value in having the opportunity to see these players first-hand and assess them against big-league competition.
The Twins have acquired arms through just about every avenue imaginable: major-league trade (Jaime Garcia), minor league trade (Dietrich Enns), free agency (Bartolo Colon and Dillon Gee), home-grown prospects (Felix Jorge and Aaron Slegers), independent leagues (Melville and Nik Turley), waiver pickups (Adam Wilk and Chris Heston), Rule 5 draft (Justin Haley). Frankly, it's the right approach with a staff that last year was one of the worst in team history. All options should be on the table and all channels should be explored.
I'd be less enthused with this pattern if the Twins were consistently trotting out garbage, but – with a few exceptions – pretty much everyone that's gotten a shot has carried some level of legitimate intrigue. Even guys like Melville and Turley, who have struggled mightily, have flashed impressive enough velocity and spin rates to make you think there could be something there.
The previous regime had a tendency to stubbornly adhere to a non-working plan, and showed little imagination when it came to searching for solutions, so this newfound creativity is refreshing. Finding pitching is hard, especially in-season, but you give yourself a chance by playing the numbers game and trying out as many interesting arms as you can.
The key is in evaluating those arms and deciding which ones are keepers. Falvey and Co. will have the next six weeks (and maybe beyond?) to appraise what they have on hand before heading into their first full offseason running the show.
They'll have no shortage of impressions to draw from as they proceed.
- luckylager, Mike Frasier Law, Monkeypaws and 3 others like this