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Zack Littell on Throwing Multiple Sliders

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:27 AM
https://blogs.fangra...is-two-sliders/ Interesting piece over at FanGraphs where Zack Littell discusses the two different sliders he used...
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Verlander

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:36 AM
Per Spotrac:   Justin Verlander signed a 2 year / $66,000,000 contract with the Houston Astros, including $66,000,000 guaranteed, an...
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MLB.com Top 30 Twins Prospects

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 12:05 AM
MLB redesigned their prospect ranking pages and released the Twins top 30 today. 
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Thorpe leaving camp for a spell

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 07:28 PM
  "To who this may concern! I’ve left camp for a week or 2 for personal matters. I’m healthy and excited for this year. I’ll be bac...
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YouTube TV Drops Fox Sports Regional Networks

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 07:16 PM
Does MLB and its TV affiliates (mostly Fox Sports channels) realize how idiotic they are being by not being available to be watched on ma...
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Recent Blogs


Quantifying the Twins Improvement This Offseason Using WAR

The Minnesota Twins have had a successful offseason. It is difficult to quantify just how good it has been, but using overall fWAR to calculate how many wins the Twins have added is effective. The rotation, bullpen, infield and outfield all have very interesting results so come check it out.
Image courtesy of © Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Starting pitching:
  • Players acquired (2019 fWAR): Homer Bailey (2.9), and Rich Hill (0.9)
  • Players lost (2019 fWAR): Kyle Gibson (2.6), Martin Perez (1.9)
  • Total +/- this offseason: -0.7 fWAR
The additions of Homer Bailey and Rich Hill give the Twins little to no improvement to their starting rotation. Rich Hill is a very good pitcher, but you can’t expect much from him coming off an injury halfway through the season and post-season elbow surgery. Best case scenario is he dominates the second half and the playoffs. Bailey is comparable to Kyle Gibson because you know what you’re getting with him. Nothing great, but good enough to fill out the rotation. A trade for a starter still seems likely to happen around the trade deadline.

Relief pitching:
  • Players acquired (2019 fWAR): Tyler Clippard (0.7), and Matt Wisler (0.4)
  • Players lost (2019 fWAR): Sam Dyson (-0.2)
  • Total +/- this offseason: +1.2 fWAR
This unit the Twins have built has become one of the best in baseball, and it has only improved this offseason. The bullpen is led by Taylor Rogers, Tyler Duffey, and Trevor May with guys like Brusdar Graterol and Zack Littell ready to prove they belong in the majors. Tyler Clippard is a solid veteran who will add stability in the middle of this group while Matt Wisler is on the 40-man roster so he will likely get a shot to prove himself this season.

Infield (C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS):
  • Players acquired (2019 fWAR): Alex Avila (1.3), and Josh Donaldson (4.9)
  • Players lost: Jason Castro (1.6), Jonathan Schoop (1.3), and C.J. Cron (0.3)
  • Total +/- this offseason: +3.0 fWAR
Josh Donaldson turns this article into a positive one instead of a negative one. The impact he provides simply can’t be overstated as he will transform the infield and the lineup to become much better. That is proven here as his 4.9 fWAR are more than the three infielders the Twins didn't bring back combined. The catching situation is interesting as well. Avila had less fWAR than Castro last season but his role on this team is to provide solid defense while playing one or two times a week.

Outfield:
  • Players acquired: None
  • Players lost: None
  • Total +/- this offseason: 0.0
The Twins outfield is looking like it will remain exactly the same despite trade rumors about Rosario, Cave, and occasionally Buxton. Opening Day will once again see Rosario in left, Buxton in center, and Kepler in right unless someone is injured or traded. Jake Cave and LaMonte Wade Jr. will likely be the next two on the depth chart with a surplus of outfielders waiting for their turn including Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, and Brent Rooker. It will be interesting to see how this group shakes out over the next couple of years.

Overall:
  • fWAR acquired: 11.1
  • fWAR lost: 7.5
  • Total +/- this offseason: +3.6 fWAR
Signing Josh Donaldson took the Twins from a negative amount of WAR added to being three and a half wins positive. The front office lived up to their promise and acquired a true impact player when the window opened. Now the only thing left to do is add a starting pitcher at some point. I would personally hope they sign someone like Taijuan Walker before the season and then trade for a Jon Gray type at the deadline.

What do you think of the Twins offseason? Do they still need to do more before the season? Let me know in the comments!

MORE FROM TWINS DAILY
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9 Comments

 

The Minnesota Twins have had a successful offseason. It is difficult to quantify just how good it has been, but using overall fWAR to calculate how many wins the Twins have added is effective. The rotation, bullpen, infield and outfield all have very interesting results so come check it out.Starting pitching:

  • Players acquired (2019 fWAR): Homer Bailey (2.9), and Rich Hill (0.9)
  • Players lost (2019 fWAR): Kyle Gibson (2.6), Martin Perez (1.9)
  • Total +/- this offseason: -0.7 fWAR
The additions of Homer Bailey and Rich Hill give the Twins little to no improvement to their starting rotation. Rich Hill is a very good pitcher, but you can’t expect much from him coming off an injury halfway through the season and post-season elbow surgery. Best case scenario is he dominates the second half and the playoffs. Bailey is comparable to Kyle Gibson because you know what you’re getting with him. Nothing great, but good enough to fill out the rotation. A trade for a starter still seems likely to happen around the trade deadline.

Relief pitching:
  • Players acquired (2019 fWAR): Tyler Clippard (0.7), and Matt Wisler (0.4)
  • Players lost (2019 fWAR): Sam Dyson (-0.2)
  • Total +/- this offseason: +1.2 fWAR
This unit the Twins have built has become one of the best in baseball, and it has only improved this offseason. The bullpen is led by Taylor Rogers, Tyler Duffey, and Trevor May with guys like Brusdar Graterol and Zack Littell ready to prove they belong in the majors. Tyler Clippard is a solid veteran who will add stability in the middle of this group while Matt Wisler is on the 40-man roster so he will likely get a shot to prove himself this season.

Infield (C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS):
  • Players acquired (2019 fWAR): Alex Avila (1.3), and Josh Donaldson (4.9)
  • Players lost: Jason Castro (1.6), Jonathan Schoop (1.3), and C.J. Cron (0.3)
  • Total +/- this offseason: +3.0 fWAR
Josh Donaldson turns this article into a positive one instead of a negative one. The impact he provides simply can’t be overstated as he will transform the infield and the lineup to become much better. That is proven here as his 4.9 fWAR are more than the three infielders the Twins didn't bring back combined. The catching situation is interesting as well. Avila had less fWAR than Castro last season but his role on this team is to provide solid defense while playing one or two times a week.

Outfield:
  • Players acquired: None
  • Players lost: None
  • Total +/- this offseason: 0.0
The Twins outfield is looking like it will remain exactly the same despite trade rumors about Rosario, Cave, and occasionally Buxton. Opening Day will once again see Rosario in left, Buxton in center, and Kepler in right unless someone is injured or traded. Jake Cave and LaMonte Wade Jr. will likely be the next two on the depth chart with a surplus of outfielders waiting for their turn including Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, and Brent Rooker. It will be interesting to see how this group shakes out over the next couple of years.

Overall:
  • fWAR acquired: 11.1
  • fWAR lost: 7.5
  • Total +/- this offseason: +3.6 fWAR
Signing Josh Donaldson took the Twins from a negative amount of WAR added to being three and a half wins positive. The front office lived up to their promise and acquired a true impact player when the window opened. Now the only thing left to do is add a starting pitcher at some point. I would personally hope they sign someone like Taijuan Walker before the season and then trade for a Jon Gray type at the deadline.

What do you think of the Twins offseason? Do they still need to do more before the season? Let me know in the comments!

MORE FROM TWINS DAILY
— Latest Twins coverage from our writers
— Recent Twins discussion in our forums
— Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email

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This is incomplete because it does not account for Sano moving over to first base.

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terrydactyls1947
Jan 22 2020 10:58 PM
What the heck is a fwar? Sounds like something out of Star Wars.

Is the -.2 for Dyson his total fWAR for the whole year, or just for the time he was on the Twins?  

 

And Perez was 1.9 for the year? That amazes me. Sure seems to leave out a lot of his horribleness for a lot of the year.

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diehardtwinsfan
Jan 23 2020 08:12 AM

 

Is the -.2 for Dyson his total fWAR for the whole year, or just for the time he was on the Twins?  

 

And Perez was 1.9 for the year? That amazes me. Sure seems to leave out a lot of his horribleness for a lot of the year.

I think we forget just how good he was the first two months of the season. 

    • Twins33 and DocBauer like this

Until the Sano to 1B move becomes real and we see how he handles Polanco's erratic throws we cannot truly judge this.Since the infield is where the gain is made that is an important aspect.

 

At this point we also have to look at Pineda and Hill's absence for a large segment of time so their WAR figures have to adjust to how much time they will really be with the team.

 

It will be a good year, but I cannot accept this as a measurement.

    • SQUIRREL likes this

 

Is the -.2 for Dyson his total fWAR for the whole year, or just for the time he was on the Twins?  

 

And Perez was 1.9 for the year? That amazes me. Sure seems to leave out a lot of his horribleness for a lot of the year.

The -0.2 for Dyson is just for his time with the Twins. He pitched well for the Giants.

For Perez, the thing about fWAR for pitching is that it's based on FIP, not ERA. Perez had an FIP of 4.66 but an ERA of 5.12. So for Perez (and all other pitchers), Fangraphs is trying to measure how he should have pitched in a neutral environment, not how he actually pitched. I don't like fWAR for that reason - FIP is better at predicting future results, but not as helpful when we're trying to measure a player's actual contribution to a team in the past.

    • rukavina, h2oface, mikelink45 and 2 others like this

 

I think we forget just how good he was the first two months of the season. 

I think we also forget how bad replacement level is. If we score 939 runs like we did last year and had a team full of Martin Perez we would give up 829 runs which would still give us a 90 win season. Kind of hard to imagine but those are the numbers. What off season WAR doesn't contemplate is improvement within and giving new guys a shot. Without Donaldson maybe we go with Kiriloff and I don't think his WAR would be neutral. 

    • diehardtwinsfan, Mike Frasier Law and mikelink45 like this

For comparison, here are the pitching comparisons using bWAR (based on ERA, not FIP). This passes the eye test much better to me - it's hard to argue that Gibson and Perez contributed much overall, even though they had their moments.

Starting pitching:
Players acquired (2019 bWAR): Homer Bailey (1.8), and Rich Hill (1.3)

Players lost (2019 bWAR): Kyle Gibson (0.3), Martin Perez (0.2)
Total +/- this offseason: +2.6 bWAR

Relief pitching:

Players acquired (2019 bWAR): Tyler Clippard (1.4), and Matt Wisler (-0.4)
Players lost (2019 bWAR): Sam Dyson (-0.3)
Total +/- this offseason: +1.3 bWAR

The difference is that none of Gibson, Perez, and Wisler had good results last year, but Fangraphs thinks that they should have had better results if not for bad luck, bad defense, etc. Bailey was good last year, but Fangraphs thinks he should have been very good in a neutral environment, while it thinks Clippard and Hill would have been still decent, but worse overall in a neutral environment.

This is why people get annoyed with advanced analytics, and I understand it completely. If bWAR and fWAR were labeled differently, there would be no problem. But having the same name and different formulas is needlessly confusing. 

    • rukavina, Mike Frasier Law, Dantes929 and 3 others like this
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Don Walcott
Jan 23 2020 10:04 AM

We're also going to have Arraez for the full year instead of Schoop. That needs to be counted in to any calculation (even though I think the WAR calculation is not very useful).