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Potential Twins Bullpen Target: Raisel Iglesias, RHP, Reds

The Minnesota Twins have gotten good but not great production from their no-name group of relievers in the bullpen so far this season. The general consensus in Twins Territory and around the league is that in order for Minnesota to take the next step and be legitimate championship contenders it is crucial that they add more quality pieces to their bullpen. The bullpen trade market is still taking shape but today we will discuss Raisel Iglesias of the Cincinnati Reds.
Image courtesy of © Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Raisel Iglesias, RHP, 29 years-old
Cincinnati Reds, NL Central (38-43)
Under team control through 2020.

2019: 3.86 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 11.85 K/9, 4.13 BB/9 in 32 ⅔ IP
2018: 2.38 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 10.00 K/9, 3.13 BB/9 in 72 IP

What’s To Like
There isn’t much to dislike about a hard throwing reliever with a wipe-out slider and proven effectiveness in late inning, high leverage situations. Actually, it is exactly what Minnesota needs. Albeit it would be even better if he was left-handed but nonetheless Raisel Iglesias is a quality bullpen arm.

From 2016-18 Iglesias was lights out while pitching in a tough and hitter-friendly division. Pitching against the Cubs, Cardinals and Brewers in places like Great American Ballpark, Wrigley Field and Miller Park is no easy task and Iglesias has handled it well.

ERA+ is a park adjusted statistic with 100 being league average. From 2016-18, the Cuban born right-hander posted an ERA+ well above average in each season. Here is his ERA+ each year in chronological order: 169, 181, and 177. It’s important to remember that 100 is league average, meaning Iglesias was superb over that three year stretch.

FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) is another great metric to look at when evaluating how a pitcher has performed. Essentially it is a measure of what a pitcher’s ERA would be based on the types of balls put in play against him.

Over his career, Iglesias has posted a 3.50 FIP. His best year was 2017 in which he had a 2.70 FIP and the worst was 4.23 in 2018. Using the chart above you can see he has consistently been above average when it comes to FIP.

For those that prefer conventional metrics like ERA he’s done well in that department too. Over the same three year period his ERA ranged from 2.38 in 2018 to 2.53 in 2016.

Concerns
2019 has not been as favorable to Iglesias as his stretch from 2016-2018. While he’s maintained a solid FIP of 3.92, his ERA+ has dipped to 121. That's still above average, but much below his career high of 181 in 2017.

Iglesias has also posted a 3.86 ERA which the highest it’s been since his rookie year in 2015. His K/9 is the highest of his career at 11.85 but his BB/9 is also the highest of his career at 4.13.

Another area where he’s declined is WHIP. From 2016-2018 his WHIP hovered barely above 1.00. However, in 2019, his WHIP sits at 1.44. It’s not ideal for a late inning reliever to be allowing almost 1.5 base runners for every inning he pitches.

Iglesias is still only 29-years-old and while he’s declined a bit this year he’s still an above average pitcher. Perhaps moving out of the hitter friendly NL Central and transitioning to the AL Central would allow him to regain his 2016-2018 dominance. If Minnesota does in fact acquire him they will certainly be hoping that’s the case.

See Also
Jake Diekman, LHP, Royals
Ian Kennedy, RHP, Royals
Sergio Romo, RHP, Marlins
Shane Greene, RHP, Tigers
Felipe Vázquez, LHP, Pirates
Will Smith, LHP, Giants
Liam Hendriks, RHP, Athletics
Ty Buttrey, RHP, Angels
Ken Giles, RHP, Blue Jays
Sam Dyson, RHP, Giants
Brad Hand, LHP, Indians
Oliver Perez, LHP Cleveland
Robert Stephenson, RHP, Reds
John Gant, RHP, Cardinals
Alex Colome, RHP, White Sox
Seth Lugo, RHP, Mets
Greg Holland, RHP, Diamondbacks
Sean Doolittle, LHP, Nationals
Kirby Yates, RHP, Padres
10 Relievers Minnesota Could Target


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7 Comments

This one of the guys at the top of my list. Yes, he has regressed a bit and not having a great 2019. Not horrible, but not great. But not only are RP volitle in nature, but like anyone, sometimes wrong place and wrong time. He's healthy, under 30, can still bring it, and a change of scenery and a really nice pitching coach and winning team can do wonders. Sound like a team we know? Plus he is controlled for a 2nd season. Yes, we need another LH. There a couple guys already mentioned from the port side I like. And while some disagree with me, I like May and think he's starting to get his breaking ball command back. And that is the key for him. But Rogers is no LOOGY. And when crunch time comes, this team needs another LH out of the pen unless Mejia, Smeltzer or Thorpe suddenly finds they can do that. Would a couple weeks make you feel good about that? Were I in charge, I'd pick up the best RHRP I could find with at least 1 year of control to team with Rogers. Iglesius is near the top of my list. Rental or not, I'd be looking at someone like Watson, proven and still solid, as my LH option.
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diehardtwinsfan
Jul 02 2019 06:23 AM

We're scraping the bottom of the barrel at this point. K rate is sexy... nothing else is. Pass. 

It seems like he's fallen out of favor in Cincinnati. Maybe it'd be a Tommy Pham Cardinals situation where we could get him for cheap. My concern is I think I read a few weeks ago that he raised a huge stink because he only wanted to pitch in 3 out save situations. I don't think that mentality would fit into our bullpen too well considering Rocco loves to mix and match. I wouldn't give up anything significant for him.

 

My concern is I think I read a few weeks ago that he raised a huge stink because he only wanted to pitch in 3 out save situations. I don't think that mentality would fit into our bullpen too well considering Rocco loves to mix and match. I wouldn't give up anything significant for him.

That's a red flag for sure. But sometimes players pull that stuff to make sure they get traded from the basement dweller to a contender and turn it around.

 

I'm trying to be an optimist here. That doesn't reflect well on a player's personality either, if you ask me.

 

We're scraping the bottom of the barrel at this point. K rate is sexy... nothing else is. Pass. 

 

No reason to automatically pass on a guy who could figure to be the Twins second best reliever this season without knowing what the cost to acquire him would be.

 

Iglesias's walk rate is elevated this year compared to prior seasons. If he can lower that to his career norm (about 3 BB/9), it is reasonable to expect his ERA to drop. The 34 innings he has thrown this season are a small sample size to consider yet.

 

He is also pretty affordable through 2021. If he can be acquired for less than one of the Twins top prospects, I think the Twins would be smart to pull the trigger.

YES, YES, AND YES!!!!! I would offer Kirilloff, Larnach or Rooker. Then put a package together for Vasquez and start printing World Series tickets.
    • ChrisKnutson likes this
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ChrisKnutson
Jul 04 2019 10:06 AM
Cincinnati did say they’re looking to acquire a controllable bat, how about Rooker, Stewart, and Winder for Iglesias??

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