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Charley Walters: Twins-Saints partnership talks quietly o...

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 09:54 PM
Very interesting article in Pioneer Press from Charlie Walters. https://www.twinciti...uietly-ongoing/ There’s been a few suggestions in...
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And then there is the case of the Blue Jays to consider

Other Baseball Yesterday, 07:56 PM
https://www.sportsne...measures-place/ Here we are, theoretically two weeks away from Opening Day. The Blue Jays aren’t yet certain where...
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Player Opt-outs

Other Baseball Yesterday, 06:24 PM
While we think about if a season happens or not.I started thinking about the opt out clauses by players, and what they will do.I tried to...
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Watch the Live Play-by-Play of the Virtual Twins Playoffs

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:33 AM
With the real Twins around the corner, I have elected to sim to the playoffs to try and tease how the real club will do this fall, and as...
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2020 Game Thread Intros

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 09:09 AM
Yes, I believe there will be baseball! Further, the Twins would be a popular pick this year to advance to the playoffs and maybe, just ma...
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Shoring Up Twins Bullpen Will Be a Mighty Challenge

Are great relievers born? Made? Produced artificially in a laboratory somewhere deep in the Nevadan desert?

We don't know the answer. If you think you do, you're probably wrong. Sorry to be so blunt, but that's just the nature of relief pitching. The Twins are living proof of its caprice and volatility. Which is why, as Minnesota embarks on a quest to improve its needy bullpen, they face a mighty challenge.
Image courtesy of Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Let's review the facts as they stand. The most intriguing pieces currently in the Twins' bullpen are:
  • Taylor Rogers, formerly an 11th-round pick turned nondescript minor-league starter, who transitioned into relief duty immediately in the majors, and blossomed into a top-tier setup man over three short years.
  • Ryne Harper, a former 37th-round pick who toiled in the minors for nine years before making the Twins out of camp this spring on a minor-league deal. He debuted as a 30-year-old rookie.
  • Blake Parker, the team's biggest offseason bullpen splash. His smallish free agent contract as a castoff from the Angels was whittled down further after his physical. I hesitate to call him "intriguing" at this point, given his trendline, but overall he's gotten it done.
  • Tyler Duffey, Trevor May, Zack Littell: All former middling prospects as starters, finding new gears as MLB relievers. Before you write off any of the three as flashes in the pan, or overachieving mediocrities, go back and read Rogers' blurb again. As I watch Duffey, May and Littell develop into lethal flamethrowers, I do wonder how differently their careers might have gone if the organization had committed to their role changes as quickly and decisively as with Rogers.
With all due respect to Matt Magill and Mike Morin, I don't quite put either at the same level of faith as those above, but each one fits the narrative: discarded minor-league pitchers finding surprising success in the majors.

Meanwhile, here are the pitchers conspicuously NOT contributing to the current campaign:
  • Addison Reed, who signed the largest free agent reliever deal in franchise history 18 months ago. The Twins ate a good portion of it when they released him last month.
  • Trevor Hildenberger, who was the team's most reliable bullpen arm for about a year before falling apart at the seams midway through 2018. He's currently on the injured list at Triple-A.
  • Fernando Romero, the former top pitching prospect who's flamed out in multiple stints with the Twins this year, and hasn't looked a whole lot better in Triple-A.
I know the common refrain on Romero – especially with the benefit of hindsight: "Why mess with him? They shoulda left him as a starter." But that ignores two things: 1) he wasn't throwing or holding up all that well as a starter, and 2) I mean, look at the examples of Duffey/May/Littell. There are certainly downsides to waffling and delaying. With Romero, it's an unaffordable luxury because he'll be out of options next spring.

The malfunctions with all three of these players are largely driving the urgency to make improvements. But each of them, and Reed especially, epitomizes the reason that's a much taller order than many clamoring fans would like to believe. Anyone expressing certainty that Craig Kimbrel would've been a decisive upgrade is kidding themselves.

Reed, like Kimbrel, generated less free agent demand than expected, given his backend pedigree, but he still had all the makings of a bullpen stud. He was younger and less weathered than Kimbrel. And in the early portion of his contract, Reed looked the part. But his drop-off was both rapid and ruthless.

And the thing is, he's not alone. Reed is a somewhat extreme version of an all-too-common outcome. I just checked in on the top RP options listed in the latest Offseason Handbook, and there are vastly more busts than even moderately decent values. Kimbrel still hasn't pitched in the majors. David Robertson's thrown only seven innings due to injury issues. Andrew Miller's been mediocre. Kelvin Herrera, Jeurys Familia and Joe Kelly have been terrible. Cody Allen was so bad he's already been cut by the Angels, and signed by Minnesota to a minors deal.

Allen now feels like a long shot to make any kind of meaningful impact; but, as you go through the names above, doesn't that feel true for almost anyone? Granted, some of these guys had their red flags, but all had strong track records, and signed for many millions of dollars. To a man, they've all floundered.

Meanwhile, the Twins are finding their most credible help in a 30-year-old journeyman and a bunch of failed minor-league starters. And most of these guys are hitting their own skids at times.

What all of this suggests to me:

First, it's really hard to be a relief pitcher in the major leagues right now, with stacked lineups of aggressive upper-cut swingers just waiting to feast on premium heat. This is borne out by the numbers: MLB relievers, as a whole, have a 4.50 ERA this year, up from 4.08 last year and higher than their starting counterparts (!).

Second, and not unrelatedly: it's going to be very difficult for the Twins to solve this problem. Difficult, and stressful. They aren't short on resources by any means, but that's not the problem. Those onerous contracts plaguing other teams who splurged on the relief market last winter are one thing; when you start giving up valuable prospects, stakes are raised, especially for a team in Minnesota's position.

There are a lot of seemingly tantalizing relief options out there on the trade market. We've been covering them in a series of profiles here on the site, so this might be a good time to get caught up:There are compelling cases to be made for several of the above, plus some others who haven't yet been covered. I myself am quite high on Raisel Iglesias. But no matter who I might favor, data shows there's an overwhelming chance I'll be wrong. The same is true for you. Again, I apologize for the bluntness.

But of course, it doesn't matter if we're right – only the guys leading the front office. What's most important is that they buy into what's to come, rather than what's already gone.

If only it were that easy.

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76 Comments

I agree 100% with your first point.

But how many drafts have taken place since Falvey took over? How many pitchers from those drafts in all of baseball are now successfully holding down a spot in any team's bullpen?

It's not realistic to think Falvey has some secret sauce regarding pitching. Other teams develop pitchers well too. And even if he IS some sort of guru, successful development is ultimately a function of extracting the best from real talent, and we know the raw pitching talent at the upper levels is a bit thin.

Of course, they have also traded for players for three or four years, and which of those is helping the bullpen right now in a big way?

Missing in the, the RP FAs stink analysis..... How are the random players across the league doing that have been called up, as am alternative? Like, all the AA and AAA relievers, and on the teams that acquired FAs, how would the next minor league player do? That's a hard analysis..... But that's the alternative.

Pitching is really hard in the RP area. It's possible that there are only so many arms on the planet that can get out ML hitters. As teams ask RP to do twice as much as they used to, maybe there just aren't enough quality pitchers?
    • wabene likes this

I so want Liam Hendriks to come back. Anyway, it is indeed very tricky.

 

...there is not an acceptable prospect return for a MLB stalwart (Pressly) when losing him converts a pothole into a sinkhole. 

20/20 hindsight tells me that the Pressly trade was a major blunder, probably for the reasons birdwatcher suspected - the FO didn't think the Twins would be competitive in 2019. 

 

As luck had it, the mlb journeymen the team picked up turned out a lot better than expected, and the young core players came back healthy and mostly improved. Imagine how the Twins would look today if you added Pressly to the pen. Suddenly you'd have stability at closer, meaning Rogers or May could be the setup guy. 

 

On the other hand, the two guys Houston coughed up might still turn out pretty good. Alcala is a mid-90's flame thrower in AA, and Celestino...is hitting .217 in low A. Oh, hell. 

 

Well, project guys sometimes make good. But Pressly sure would good right now in the bullpen...

    • birdwatcher and wabene like this

I am over the Pressly trade, less than 2 years ago half of the people (including me) were ready to cut or trade the 28 year old former rule 5 guy with a .470 ERA.

Now I want them to go out and get a few relievers for prospects like two weeks ago.

If they would have done that, they could have been evaluating if they actually needed another starter with a good bullpen. Now they are sitting in a position with Cleveland actually trying to chase them down and 3/5 of the starting rotation looking shaky and the bullpen being the shaky bullpen it has been all year.

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yarnivek1972
Jun 25 2019 01:31 PM

20/20 hindsight tells me that the Pressly trade was a major blunder, probably for the reasons birdwatcher suspected - the FO didn't think the Twins would be competitive in 2019.

As luck had it, the mlb journeymen the team picked up turned out a lot better than expected, and the young core players came back healthy and mostly improved. Imagine how the Twins would look today if you added Pressly to the pen. Suddenly you'd have stability at closer, meaning Rogers or May could be the setup guy.

On the other hand, the two guys Houston coughed up might still turn out pretty good. Alcala is a mid-90's flame thrower in AA, and Celestino...is hitting .217 in low A. Oh, hell.

Well, project guys sometimes make good. But Pressly sure would good right now in the bullpen...


If that were the case, Kyle Gibson should also have been dealt. He was at his ultimate peak value and still had 1 1/2 years of control. If the haul for Pressly was pretty good, the return on Gibson should have been much better.
    • USAFChief, birdwatcher, Mike Sixel and 5 others like this

 

If that were the case, Kyle Gibson should also have been dealt. He was at his ultimate peak value and still had 1 1/2 years of control. If the haul for Pressly was pretty good, the return on Gibson should have been much better.

Yeah, I think it is much more likely that the FO doubted that Pressly would become a top-10 reliever going forward. And that is a problem with the hindsight argument - there is no guarrantee that the Twins would have been able to unlock Pressly's full potential in the same way that the Astros did. 

    • birdwatcher, SwainZag, Danchat and 1 other like this

MLBTraderumors reporting Moya was just DFA'd to make room for Torreyes(?!).

 

Yeah, I think it is much more likely that the FO doubted that Pressly would become a top-10 reliever going forward. And that is a problem with the hindsight argument - there is no guarrantee that the Twins would have been able to unlock Pressly's full potential in the same way that the Astros did. 

Pressly was pretty great for the Twins leading up to the trade, and our pitching coaches have done well (the Taylor Rogers turnaround last year, and Johnson's work this year). I mean, obviously it's a hypothetical with no way to test it for certain, but I think it's safe to assume that Pressly would have continued being pretty great in a Twins uniform.

    • USAFChief and wabene like this
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nicksaviking
Jun 25 2019 02:07 PM

 

 

There are compelling cases to be made for several of the above, plus some others who haven't yet been covered. I myself am quite high on Raisel Iglesias. But no matter who I might favor, data shows there's an overwhelming chance I'll be wrong. The same is true for you. Again, I apologize for the bluntness.

 

 

I agree that relief arms are the biggest crapshoots, but here's hoping they put that data to use. Don't chase trades based on name and reputation, those things are fleeting with this position. Go for the guys who data suggests have the repertoire, peripherals, velocity and make up to transition to a new situation.

 

And that might still be the big names, I'd like Iglesias too.

    • USAFChief and Tomj14 like this
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nicksaviking
Jun 25 2019 02:10 PM

 

 

BTW..."lethal flamethrowers??"

 

That's why batting helmets are not optional.

    • USAFChief likes this

 

That's why batting helmets are not optional.

54d45b11e2041_-_nypdhires.jpg?resize=480

 

"Lethal flamethrower."

 

I guess it's sort of like "grave" danger.

 

Is there any other kind?

 

 

    • Nick Nelson, birdwatcher and nicksaviking like this

Carlos Torres, not Ronald Torreyes.

 

I doublechecked, it's Torreyes.Torres is not mentioned.

 

 

 

Yeah, I think it is much more likely that the FO doubted that Pressly would become a top-10 reliever going forward. And that is a problem with the hindsight argument - there is no guarrantee that the Twins would have been able to unlock Pressly's full potential in the same way that the Astros did. 

It's not hindsight for many.

 

This sounds to me like an argument that the current Twins coaching staff needs upgrading. Is that your point? The Twins don't have the staff to get the most out of players?

 

Not to mention, there's no guarantee Pressly needed any "unlocking." As Spycake and others have pointed out, Pressly was already really good, and getting better, when dealt.

 

 

    • birdwatcher and yarnivek1972 like this
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Nick Nelson
Jun 25 2019 02:22 PM

 

20/20 hindsight tells me that the Pressly trade was a major blunder, probably for the reasons birdwatcher suspected - the FO didn't think the Twins would be competitive in 2019. 

 

...

 

On the other hand, the two guys Houston coughed up might still turn out pretty good. Alcala is a mid-90's flame thrower in AA, and Celestino...is hitting .217 in low A. Oh, hell. 

I'm about as critical of the Pressly trade as anyone -- I think it's easily the worst move this front office has made, period. But there's a part of me that wonders if they thought he was a really high injury risk, with the high velocity and extreme spin rates. Seems like that's been the logic in moving on from some other seemingly promising bullpen arms who have since been plagued by injury (Nick Burdi comes to mind).

 

Anyway, if that was the motivation they've obviously been wrong about it so far. But I'd be a little more comfortable knowing that was part of their calculation, and they didn't just completely whiff on the player evaluation.

 

As for Alcala, in light of the current discussion, I wonder if it's time to just move him to the bullpen and be done with the starting thing. Relief has always seemed like his eventual role anyway. He hasn't completed 6 innings in a start at AA this year and his results have been really underwhelming. 

    • USAFChief, birdwatcher, Danchat and 2 others like this
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birdwatcher
Jun 25 2019 02:34 PM

 

Yeah, I think it is much more likely that the FO doubted that Pressly would become a top-10 reliever going forward. And that is a problem with the hindsight argument - there is no guarrantee that the Twins would have been able to unlock Pressly's full potential in the same way that the Astros did. 

 

 

I think you're probably right, that it wasn't a "we're not competing" thing, but rather a "guess he was more valuable than we thought" thing.

    • USAFChief and Danchat like this

 


 

As for Alcala, in light of the current discussion, I wonder if it's time to just move him to the bullpen and be done with the starting thing. Relief has always seemed like his eventual role anyway. He hasn't completed 6 innings in a start at AA this year and his results have been really underwhelming. 

For the most part it seems as if the Twins are prepping all their minor league pitchers for the bullpen since it seems rare any of them go beyond 70 pitches or so.

    • Nick Nelson likes this

 

Maybe, maybe not. And the more games I watch the more I'm convinced this team needs another solid starter as well.

 

Yeah. And I worry that the few premium arms that are out there (ie: Smith, Iglesias, etc) will be available but only for a king's ransom. The bidding wars for those guys will be high. The real winners at the trade deadline will be the Giants and Reds, no question.

 

Remember when the Twins traded Fernando Abad a couple years ago? He was a so-so middle relief guy who was pitching with an ERA in the mid 2's. Not a flashy name. Twins got Pat Light for him, BTW.

 

I think that's the type of guys we'll see come over here. Names that aren't on the top of the list, maybe just some more average guys without a big price tag. Frankly I'm not sure they'll be any improvement on what the Twins already have.

 

Personally I think at this point with Perez absolutely dragging this team into the ditch, the Twins have to spend those high-level prospects on a starter. I just can't see them paying such a huge price for a BP arm.

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Alex Schieferdecker
Jun 25 2019 02:49 PM

I've been encouraged by the trend this year of guys like Duffey, Harper, and May earning more prominent roles.

 

I'd like to see Stewart back up with the Twins soon to get another relief appearance. I tend to group he and Littell together out of convenience, since both are similar ages and similarly seem to have little future as starters. But I'm optimistic that both may prove useful in the bullpen.

 

Eades and Poppen also showed some flashes. Out of those four Rochester prospects, there are reasons to be intrigued. The Twins have a lot of lines in the water right now. 

    • birdwatcher likes this

 

It's not hindsight for many.

 

This sounds to me like an argument that the current Twins coaching staff needs upgrading. Is that your point? The Twins don't have the staff to get the most out of players?

 

Not to mention, there's no guarantee Pressly needed any "unlocking." As Spycake and others have pointed out, Pressly was already really good, and getting better, when dealt.

I'm not trying to be that judgmental of the Twins coaching staff. I think a player's developmental progression is highly path dependent, and that the dynamics of when/how coaches work with a player aren't necessarily recreate-able. I don't blame the Twins for every single played that has found success in other organizations. Sure, I think you can make judgments of the organization's ability based on the broad pattern of players, but certainly not on any one specific player. Using Pressly as an example, it is fairly well known that the Astros came to him after the trade and presented data for how to change his pitch mix. The Twins could have presented the exact same information, but Pressly has a much longer track record with the Twins organization, and there might not be the same buy-in, especially since he was already pitching as well as he ever had in his career. The Astros, by virtue of being a fresh voice and having explicitly sought Pressly out, could approach these changes in a very different way than the Twins could. 

 

And yes, Pressly was pitching well prior to the trade, but you need to put a lot of weight on his last 10 appearances with the Twins if you think you could predict his Astros level of success based on his Twins performance. Now, don't get me wrong, I think he was a solid bet to be above-average going forward; I did not predict "top 5 reliever in baseball". As an interesting juxtaposition, the Pirates acquired Keone Kela at the same deadline. While not a perfect analogy to Pressly, he was also a young, very good reliever with team control remaining. He is currently on the 60-day IL with a shoulder issue. Teams only have so much control over preventing injuries. Are we having this conversation if Pressly was the one that ended up injured? Reliever performance is historically quite volatile, I don't hold it against the Twins FO that they thought it was a sell-high moment for Pressly.

 

Going back to the small sample size, what is everyone's prediction for Duffey going forward? His last ten appearances compared to Pressly's prior to the trade:

Pressly: 10.0 IP, 0.90 ERA, 33.3 K%, 7.1 BB%, 1.10 WHIP

Duffey: 13.0 IP, 0.69 ERA, 32.1 K%, 7.1 BB%, 1.08 WHIP

 

I've been extremely optimistic about Duffey for weeks now, but I'm not ready to anoint him a top-10 relief pitcher going forward. But at least superficially, there are a lot of similarities between Duffey this year and Pressly's 2018.

    • birdwatcher and Jacks02 like this
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notoriousgod71
Jun 25 2019 03:58 PM

 

What I take from the list of "a lot of seemingly tantalizing relief options out there" is that there really isn't much likely to be out there.

 

It's going to be difficult to improve the bullpen.

 

It's going to be difficult to improve the bullpen, yet a guy capable of throwing together a 5.00 ERA would do it! That is the riddle, known as the Twins bullpen.

Great article, Nick.
 
Is it possible the biggest help will come from within the organization?Perhaps May or Duffey or Littell take that final step and becomes a shut down reliever the last 60 days of the season.They still have to go out and try to bring in some help, but maybe one of the three will step up.
 
One avenue you haven't mentioned is if a current starter would be converted to the pen.That could happen should their big move being a trade for a young starter who would be protected for a couple years.Not real certain if Pineda or Perez would be any better than what we have seen.But could be a partial fix.

Perez didn't look good at all early this year so there is that.

Pressly was pretty great for the Twins leading up to the trade, and our pitching coaches have done well (the Taylor Rogers turnaround last year, and Johnson's work this year). I mean, obviously it's a hypothetical with no way to test it for certain, but I think it's safe to assume that Pressly would have continued being pretty great in a Twins uniform.

Well we always talk about selling high and maybe the Twins thought they were with Pressly. Well then there you have it. Maybe the Twins need a magic eightball and an ivy league educated magic eightball operator.
    • birdwatcher likes this

 

This is just me, but like your adamant view on the flexibility and opportunity issue, I'm a rigid believer that there is not an acceptable prospect return for a MLB stalwart (Pressly) when losing him converts a pothole into a sinkhole. Not anticipating being in contention in 2019? I certainly HOPE this FO doesn't think like that, although they gave us reasons to be suspicious with their clumsy sell/buy antics at the deadline two years ago. So yeah, getting what we hope will be a good return will take some of the sting out of this lousy decision, it's far from consoling me in the present.

 

I have a bigger problem with letting all those relief prospects walk without some semblance of a return than I do with not giving them a chance. They may have simply concluded in some cases that they didn't have great futures, I don't know. And in one or two cases, the timing simply boxed them into a corner because of injury complications in particular.

 

In Hindsight, Bard might be the one who got away, although he sports a 0.1 YTD WAR (not the perfect metric, but good enough for this). None of the others, given opportunities with new teams, are lighting it up. Anderson, -0.1 WAR; Chargois, -0.1 WAR; Burdi, -0.5 WAR; Curtiss, 0.0 WAR and DFA'd; Derek Rodriguez, -0.5 WAR; Randy Rosario, -0.2 WAR.

 

My guess is that if this FO picked any of these guys up today as unfamiliar names to test them as bullpen options, we'd hear a lot of screaming about it.

 

I wasn't for the Pressly deal either because his contract wasn't expiring, but when I personally rank it... I put it below the loss of Anderson because:

 

Because we still don't know what we got in return from Houston... Who knows... we might have got something. We know we got nothing in return for Anderson but yeah... I agree with you. Keep your MLB assets with the control. So both were questionable in my opinion.  

 

One area where you and I might differ is the trust in the evaluation process. I trust the front office to better at player evaluation then the average bear and I have no issues with the current front office.

 

However... I can't stress this enough... the margins are razor thin, so thin that every front office makes big evaluation mistakes frequently enough that you can't give them the benefit of the doubt to have the science down pat. This team was going nowhere in 2018... Belisle on this roster was pointless... You traded, Duke and Pressly out of the pen. It's time to start giving players the opportunity to show what they can do for 2019 and beyond. Not doing that was a waste of roster space and it's how you lose players that you should have kept. 

 

If the people doing the evaluations determined that Anderson wasn't major league capable therefore no reason to give him a look see in 2018.... They were wrong! That is just another example of how thin those margins are and why the professional evaluations can't be trusted... even if they are good at it.  

 

No matter what that small sample size ERA says currently... or his small sample size WAR. He is striking out two batters per inning. This the major leagues and not many pitchers can strike out batters at that pace at this level. We didn't give this type of arm a chance and now we have Morin on the roster who Baldelli will only use if the score is 10-0. 

 

Nick Anderson would be an important part of this current bullpen. They blew it and now we will have to give back our Pressly gains to reacquire a Pressly type when Anderson or Bard or Burdi might have lessened that need.  

 

This is part of the reason why I'm all about opportunity. This is why we can't let Morrison hog all the AB's. Every 660K player that helps you win games is money that can be applied toward more other players that can help you win games. Every 600K player you identify through performance is a rising stock for higher trade value.  

 

I respect the front office but in no way do I trust them and they shouldn't trust themselves either. Let the players prove it. It just makes these razor thin decisions so much easier. 

 

As for the screaming about it. I'm used to it. Hand your players the ball.:)

    • beckmt and Danchat like this

 

If that were the case, Kyle Gibson should also have been dealt. He was at his ultimate peak value and still had 1 1/2 years of control. If the haul for Pressly was pretty good, the return on Gibson should have been much better.

Good point, except that the level of trade excitement for Gibson was not as high as for Pressly. I think teams looked at Gibson's improvements as an anomaly in an otherwise disappointing career. Pressly was easier to read - he looked like a blossoming fireball closer. I think the Twins may have tried to market Gibson, but they were disappointed in the counter offers. In the case of Gibson, the Twins held onto what they had because Gibson's perceived value wasn't that high. 

 

Again, there's a chance that Alcala will blossom into a fireball relief pitcher, too. And there's a chance that Celestino will round out into a good outfielder, tho that seems less likely at the moment. Unfortunately, neither of those things will happen this season, when the Twins need it most. 

    • birdwatcher likes this

I'm not trying to be that judgmental of the Twins coaching staff. I think a player's developmental progression is highly path dependent, and that the dynamics of when/how coaches work with a player aren't necessarily recreate-able. I don't blame the Twins for every single played that has found success in other organizations. Sure, I think you can make judgments of the organization's ability based on the broad pattern of players, but certainly not on any one specific player. Using Pressly as an example, it is fairly well known that the Astros came to him after the trade and presented data for how to change his pitch mix. The Twins could have presented the exact same information, but Pressly has a much longer track record with the Twins organization, and there might not be the same buy-in, especially since he was already pitching as well as he ever had in his career. The Astros, by virtue of being a fresh voice and having explicitly sought Pressly out, could approach these changes in a very different way than the Twins could.

And yes, Pressly was pitching well prior to the trade, but you need to put a lot of weight on his last 10 appearances with the Twins if you think you could predict his Astros level of success based on his Twins performance. Now, don't get me wrong, I think he was a solid bet to be above-average going forward; I did not predict "top 5 reliever in baseball". As an interesting juxtaposition, the Pirates acquired Keone Kela at the same deadline. While not a perfect analogy to Pressly, he was also a young, very good reliever with team control remaining. He is currently on the 60-day IL with a shoulder issue. Teams only have so much control over preventing injuries. Are we having this conversation if Pressly was the one that ended up injured? Reliever performance is historically quite volatile, I don't hold it against the Twins FO that they thought it was a sell-high moment for Pressly.

Going back to the small sample size, what is everyone's prediction for Duffey going forward? His last ten appearances compared to Pressly's prior to the trade:
Pressly: 10.0 IP, 0.90 ERA, 33.3 K%, 7.1 BB%, 1.10 WHIP
Duffey: 13.0 IP, 0.69 ERA, 32.1 K%, 7.1 BB%, 1.08 WHIP

I've been extremely optimistic about Duffey for weeks now, but I'm not ready to anoint him a top-10 relief pitcher going forward. But at least superficially, there are a lot of similarities between Duffey this year and Pressly's 2018.


I think Pressly showed more in 2018 for the Twins than just his last 10 games. For his whole season with the Twins, 47 innings, he had the highest Twins reliever K% since Joe Nathan. Solid ERA- and even better FIP-/xFIP-. All with above average leverage deployment too. He wasn't top 10 in baseball but he was plenty valuable to the Twins.

If Duffey gets up to 47 innings this year (he's at 22 now), with above average leverage (he's at .68 now), and still has his same rate stats, I will also be upset if the Twins trade him for a couple 40 FV prospects. :)
    • USAFChief and birdwatcher like this

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