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Article: How Can the Twins Prevent Runs?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:00 AM
"To win the game, you've gotta score more runs than the other team"--- Ricky Henderson, baseball's all-time runs leaderOr prevent fewer r...
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Casey Fien, is he toast and a goat or just an aberration?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:56 AM
Lately Casey Fien has seemed more and more like the Twins are "tossing in the Davis" than a quality relief pitcher. These last few weeks...
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Pinto or Gardy

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:00 AM
Unless I missed an injury, last night Gardy put in Fryer, and not Pinto......if so, I guess this might not be a topic.   It sure app...
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Game Thread: Twins v Indians, 9/19 @ 7:10pm

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:46 AM
Game-time forecast: Partly cloudy with a 30-percent chance of rain. Winds blowing in from right field at 10-15 m.p.h. Temperature ar...
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Fun with numbers 2014

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:36 AM
I know it's early, and this thread is usually Chief's domain, but I wanted to get this one in while I could: As of today the Twi...
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The Store

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Jared Burton, the case for dismissal.

It seems anytime I start reading a thread about the Twins pitching, somehow I end up ranting about Jared Burton. There also seems to be a never-ending stream of Jared Burton supporters. I don't understand this. I've decided to take a look at the numbers and see what I can find.

Jared Burton started out the year with a couple clunkers and ended April with an ERA of 9.00 and hitters had a .286/.419/.543 line agaisnt him, good for a wOBA of .317. Ouch! He surrended three home runs, and 9 runs total in his 9 innings of work while striking out only five of the 43 batters he faced and walking eight (8.97 FIP, 6.51 xFIP).

May was by far the better month for Burton. In 12.2 innings of work he posted a 4.26 ERA, and held batters to .245/.275/.396 for a .283 wOBA. He struck out ten of 51 batters and gave up only two walks and a single home run. He went 1-1 with three holds for the month and lowered his ERA to 6.23 (3.00 FIP, 4.12 xFIP).

Attached Image: jared-burton-mlb-toronto-blue-jays-minnesota-twins.jpg

June has been hit or miss for Burton but Gardenhire and company continue to run him out to pitch. He recorded a save on Sunday, in an outing, had I been managing, he would never have made. So far in June Burton has a 3.86 ERA in 9.1 innings pitched, but with a 1.29 WHIP for the month. He has surrendered four runs, five walks and a HR to go with eight K's.

Unfortunately, things look a less rosy when you look deeper at the numbers. He's held hitters to .200 BA, but has allowed them on base at a .324 clip and allowed a slugging average of .406, yielding a a .327 wOBA. His ERA for the year is down to 5.52. What's the upside to keeping this guy? A reliever with a 4-ish ERA, who has looked overmatched for most of the season, especially against opposite-handed batters, doesn't belong in the bullpen for a team hoping to contend as the summer progresses.

For those who say he's been good lately, there's some truth here as June has been good for him, despite giving up multiple runs in 2 of his 10 outings. But if we look at the last 30 days of work from Burton things are not so good, as then his ERA balloons to 5.68.

Even more unsettling is his work in high leverage situations. According to Fangraphs, he's pitching to the tune of .215/.329/.391 in low leverage situations, .250/.294/.500 in medium leverage situations and an alarming .368/.429/.526 in high leverage situations.

We see the same trend when we look at his numbers with men on base. With the bases empty he's a respectable .183/.300/.367. With men on base it's .321/.377/.527 and with men in scoring position his line becomes a laughabale .342/.375/.622, for a .410 wOBA! Yikes!

If you're clamoring to keep Jared Burton because he's been able to put up essentially a 4.0 ERA for his last 10 outings, I think you're trying to hold on to memories of Jared Burton from two years ago. This season, lefties are killing him (.283/.411/.413, .374wOBA).

Help me understand what he's doing so well that the Twins should continue to rely on him to pitch meaningfull innings. Heck, I'd be happy if you can convice me he's worth a 25-man roster spot.

What's your case to keep Burton?

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