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Zulgad: Is MLB really making return about dollars and cents?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:27 PM
https://www.skornort...lars-and-cents/   The owners have made their proposal to the players. The players association will now have t...
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Recent Proposal

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https://theathletic....=freedailyemail   The players have rejected the owners last proposal, the players have proposed a longer seas...
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Reusse: Can Catchers be kept Safe during the outbreak?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:53 PM
 https://www.startrib...reak/570451492/     Patrick Reusse asks a legit question during this time... The key to any return...
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Virtual Twins Baseball Megathread

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 01:33 PM
Moving forward this will house every game-thread in the comments below until real baseball hopefully comes back. I should have done this...
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Devin Smeltzer Question & Answer

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:15 AM
Hey all,   We're hosting a free virtual Q&A session with Devin Smeltzer this coming Wednesday at 6 PM!   Hit this link to r...
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Recent Blogs


Predicting Future Twins Aces

Predicting anything in baseball is a laughable pastime. The very foundation of the game is founded on the notion that “stuff happens” which leads to the chaos that makes the game so enjoyable to many. In this chaos, patterns of success occasionally emerge and are then repeated until they no longer prove to be useful. One of these patterns happens to include Luis Rijo, Jhoan Duran, and Chris Vallimont.
Image courtesy of © Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
For those unaware, Rijo, Duran, and Vallimont are three minor league pitchers in the Twins’ organization. Rijo pitched well at Cedar Rapids the entire season as he put up a 2.86 ERA over 107 innings with good peripherals. Duran reached AA in 2019 as he simply refused to stop striking people out (29.9 K% at A+) and had great peripherals at AA despite a poor ERA of 4.86 (2.76 FIP). Vallimont was having a great year with Miami before coming over to the Twins. At Fort Myers, he put up a cartoonish 1.34 FIP over 22 1/3 innings. Three pitchers did well, big whoop, why are they special? To answer that question, we have to hop into a time machine and go back a few years into the past.

On the final day of the trade deadline in 2010, the Cleveland Indians partook in a three-team trade that would have been lost to the sands of time if not for the fact that they acquired future Cy Young award winner Corey Kluber. Kluber was a no-nothing prospect for the Padres at the time but, as we all know so very well, he would develop into one of the best starters in baseball with the Indians.

The next important year is 2014. During the waiver wire period following the trade deadline, the Indians acquired Mike Clevinger from the Angels for Vinnie Pestano. Like Kluber, Clevinger was not much of a prospect at the time. He finished 2014 with an ERA of 4.41 in the minors but continued to improve. These days we all know Clevinger as another frustratingly good pitcher for the Indians.

The essential string that ties together all five pitchers (Rijo, Duran, Vallimont, Kluber, and Clevinger) is that they were all acquired as minor leaguers in trades with other teams.

To pin every single one of these deals (especially the ones in Cleveland) on Falvey alone would be incorrect. Front offices have about 100 positions with titles that sound quite similar to each other so any move made by a team had the input of a great number of minds beforehand. Yet, it is fair to say that Falvey played some role in the moves made in Cleveland and he undoubtedly has brought his pitching knowledge over to the Twins.

Part of this knowledge has been applied to major league squad as a number of pitchers had career seasons in 2019. The system of development as a whole has been cleaned up also which has helped players like Randy Dobnak, Zack Littell, and Cody Stashak to hold their own at the major league level. But this knowledge can be applied to pitchers outside of the organization as well.

The Astros, cheating aside, have found great success in finding value in under-performing major league pitchers. They steal them, pump them full of numbers, and then spit out a deadly machine of nastiness. The Twins may be taking a slightly different route in acquiring high upside minor leaguers and then developing them from within. This strategy is much more in line with how the Indians built their past dominant starting rotations. Kluber, Clevinger, Trevor Bauer, and Carlos Carrasco were all not drafted by the Indians yet they all found their footing with them.

Ultimately, this form of predicting success is still a crapshoot. Just because it happened before to other starters does not immediately make every pitcher the Twins acquire a future ace. It does make those pitchers very interesting prospects to keep track of. Because if someone who has an eye for talent likes a certain player, then perhaps that player might be someone to keep tabs on.

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8 Comments

I am more than anxious to know how any player development is going to happen this year.It appears there is a strong chance MLB will resume at some point.But it also appears there will not be any minor league seasons.A select few may make progress with the taxi squads.But what about all the rest?And what happens to so many of these prospects if they have an entire year off with training limited to their back yards?

 

Hopefully, there is a future ACE somewhere in the Twins system.Heck, hopefully there are two.And by that I mean real ACE, not just a team's #1 starter many of whom aren't ACES.Will it be any of the three you mentioned?Maybe?But probably not.If I had to pick one pitcher, like many I would pick Balazovic.  

    • mikelink45, DocBauer and sftwinsfan like this

 

There is zero evidence that Falvey is some sort of pitching talent guru. For him to keep getting credit for what Cleveland did is idiotic. I hope our prospects pan out. When some unheralded guy we obtained in trade turns out to be a stud I will be first in line to congratulate Falvine. Until then let’s calm down.

From what was reported prior to his hiring Falvey had a huge role in the pitching development in Cleveland.Of course we will never know how much of a roll he really had, but when Twins were looking for GM there were many reports Falvey was on the rise because of his actual involvement in developing Cleveland pitchers, which was known for finding diamonds in the rough, and continuing to have reliable starters in the wings.

 

So to say there is zero evidence or to call it idiotic is going a little far.This reports were from baseball insiders that had dealings with Cleveland and knew Falvey.He may not have made the final calls in Cleveland but reports are he had huge influence on how Cleveland developed pitchers.I guess you can take those reports as smoke and say there is no evidence Falvey had anything to do with Cleveland pitching success, but I tend to believe them.  

 

Do you give Falvey credit for Dobnik?Independant pitcher that flew through minors to start a playoff game?29 other teams could have snagged him up, but Falvey must have seen something that the other 29 did not see.Not going to say 1 pitcher for 1 year of success makes a guru, Dobnik may fall off and be below replacement going forward, but first season looked good. 

    • MN_ExPat, wabene, rdehring and 1 other like this

 

There is zero evidence that Falvey is some sort of pitching talent guru. For him to keep getting credit for what Cleveland did is idiotic. I hope our prospects pan out. When some unheralded guy we obtained in trade turns out to be a stud I will be first in line to congratulate Falvine. Until then let’s calm down.

No evidence? Does he not get any credit for being a high-ranking member of a front office that put together an historic starting rotation? Do you believe that the Twins' recent massive pitching improvements occurred naturally without Falvey's influence?

 

If you don't think Falvey deserves any credit, there's a great book called The MVP Machine that might change your mind.

    • wabene and Nine of twelve like this
The whole Cleveland thing is speculation. We have no idea what his role was. I’m not ripping the guy I’m just saying slow the roll. He acquired Odo which was great but he was hardly some unknown only to be mined by Falvey
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howieramone2
May 23 2020 05:33 AM
It's not speculation. On MLBTR and/or MLB.com he has been referred to as a pitching guru. And no, I don't have a link. I do understand how painful it is, for some members to hear positive things about our FO. Get used to it.
    • wabene and Nine of twelve like this
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Nine of twelve
May 23 2020 06:42 AM

 

There is zero evidence that Falvey is some sort of pitching talent guru. For him to keep getting credit for what Cleveland did is idiotic. I hope our prospects pan out. When some unheralded guy we obtained in trade turns out to be a stud I will be first in line to congratulate Falvine. Until then let’s calm down.

My understanding is that Falvey was a major contributor to the decisions in Cleveland that are referenced in the OP. I think your contention of zero evidence is wrong. Does he deserve sole credit? Of course not. But in any case you are right in that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Let's see how our team does pitching-wise over the next few years.

It's not speculation. On MLBTR and/or MLB.com he has been referred to as a pitching guru. And no, I don't have a link. I do understand how painful it is, for some members to hear positive things about our FO. Get used to it.


It was posted on MLBTR? Oh I guess that’s all the proof we need. For the record I like our front office but people just go hyperbolic so often on this subject
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howieramone2
May 23 2020 05:54 PM
Hyperbolic is in the eyes of the beholder. The I'm Smarter Than the FO Clique is as delusional as ever.
    • Nine of twelve likes this