Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

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

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:14 AM
https://www.skornort...lars-and-cents/   The owners have made their proposal to the players. The players association will now have t...
Full topic ›

Watch the Live Play-by-Play of the Minnesota Twins (33-21...

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 09:18 PM
Thank You We were fortunate enough again to have another news outlet cover our "Virtual," Twins and yesterday it was WCCO. Thank you for...
Full topic ›

Cosmetic Changes at TF

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 06:52 PM
I went down to Target Field with the family this weekend (got some Glam Doll donuts and played on the grass by the LRT station for my bir...
Full topic ›

WP article about 1924 World Series win by pre-Twins

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:20 AM
Saw this lovely article today by one of the country's best sports writers. It sounds like 1924 rivaled 1991 for excitement!   https:...
Full topic ›

Rent the Blue Wahoos' stadium for whiffle ball and ov...

Twins Minor League Talk 24 May 2020
Kind of unbelievable, but I guess they might as well make money somehow now that baseball is shut down.   https://www.washingt...all...
Full topic ›

Recent Blogs


What’s Next for Lewis Thorpe?

Before the 2020 season was put on hold, Lewis Thorpe’s hopes of grabbing the fifth-rotation spot were dashed when it was announced that he was included in the first round of cuts after missing some time in camp attending to personal matters. So, what’s next for Lewis Thorpe?
Image courtesy of © Jon Durr - USA TODAY Sports
Three possibilities come to mind, with the first seeming the most likely, so we’ll start there. In this scenario, Thorpe begins the season starting in AAA Rochester where he provides rotational depth for the Twins. Although certainly disappointing for Thorpe, it’s not as if he has nothing left to prove in the minors. He showed flashes in his first stint with the Twins last season, with a 25% K-rate and 3.47 FIP, but he only got two starts in his 12 appearances and finished with just 27.2 IP and a 6.18 ERA (though to be fair, he was really hurt by a .438 BABIP). In AAA he got even more strikeouts (29.5%) and his walk rate was better (6.2% vs. 8.1% in MLB) but his ERA was 4.58 (3.72 FIP). There’s a lot to like in Thorpe, but he hasn’t exactly forced his way into the rotation.

Some extra seasoning in AAA wouldn’t be the worst thing for Thorpe. It’s all to easy to forget that Thorpe is still just 24-years-old and missed two full years of development due to Tommy John and a bad case of mono. However, with an already-full MLB rotation that has yet to take on Rich Hill and Michael Pineda, Thorpe’s chances of cracking the rotation at any point in a shortened 2020 season looks a bit bleak.

This brings us to our second option, which would be using Thorpe as a reliever. He undoubtably views himself as a starter and will likely begin the season in that role at AAA, but should a bullpen need arise at the MLB level (as it surely will), Thorpe makes a lot of sense. First off, he already served in that capacity for the MLB club in 2019, so it’s not exactly uncharted territory. Thorpe also throws left-handed, and Taylor Rogers is currently the only lefty likely to begin the season in the pen (though Tyler Clippard has reverse-splits). As a reliever, Thorpe could scrap his curve and changeup and rely on his fastball, which in shorter outings could see a bump in it’s 91.2 mph average velocity, and his best pitch, the slider (44.6% whiff rate in 2019). One doesn’t have to squint too hard to see a potential late-inning weapon in Lewis Thorpe.

The final option is that the Twins could look to trade Thorpe. As counterintuitive as trading away young pitching depth seems for a team like the Twins, it could make sense in Thorpe’s case. The MLB rotation will likely already have more starting pitchers than they know what to do with once Hill and Pineda return, and there’s the possibility of Minnesota obtaining an ace around the trade deadline. Jhoan Duran and Jordan Balazovic will begin the season in AA and both rank ahead of Thorpe in prospect rankings. The farm system also includes an interesting quartet of college draft picks who could move quickly. I’m not on Twitter, but based on some of the remarks I’ve seen in the comments section, Thorpe wasn’t exactly thrilled with the demotion and may even welcome a trade (pure speculation on my part).

The 2021 season is a long way off, but Minnesota will presumably still have Jose Berrios, Kenta Maeda, and Michael Pineda in the rotation. That doesn’t even account for the possibility of adding at least one starter in a trade (which Thorpe could well be a part of) or free agency (or Randy Dobnak) and with the quality and quantity of pitching prospects currently in the system, pitching for another organization may be in Thorpe’s best interest. And it’s not as if there aren’t teams out there starved for starting pitching. It’s just nice that it’s not us for a change.

What are your thoughts on Thorpe? Do you see a way into Minnesota’s rotation or is the bullpen a better fit? Or would you be down with trading the man from ‘the land Down Under’?

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

  • DocBauer, LilMauer and JDubs like this

  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

11 Comments

I wish I knew Thorpe's reasons for skipping what could have been his most important ST of his career.Without that knowledge the ability to look at him and where he is going is too limited. 

    • Jack likes this
Quick comment: I place little stock in Twitter comments from him as we should all know and allow how off the cuff things like this are. Sometimes such things have a different intended meaning but are interpreted poorly. Also, emotions can make people say or type something they regret later. No excuse, just a perspective.

Addressing your 3 points in reverse order:

3] Thorpe could absolutely be included in a deal to help the parent club. I think an awful lot of teams would be interested in a 24yo LHP with good stuff and a very good milb track record who showed flashes in SSS in his ML debut. Despite various reports as to how much the Twins like him, he could be moved in the right deal. Same with Rooker, Larnach, etc.

2] Not sure there is much to say here. At ANY time, a quality arm could be brought up to help in the rotation OR the pen. FWIW though, I've felt for some time if the rotation just didn't work out he could be a neck of a bullpen piece.

3] To say Thorpe has something left to prove at the AAA level would be somewhat accurate, though not exact. His numbers there over 24 appearances and parts of 2 seasons are pretty good. And as you pointed out, he is still only 24yo. Experience wise, he's a 22yo who has already reached the ML level. The Twins seem to really like him and believe in him. And even of you have a couple of really nice arms ranked higher behind him as prospects, you can't dismiss his talent/potential/milb success.

I would like to believe that any conversation that took place between he and the Twins when he was sent down included something like: "We really like you and believe in you and your future with the club. But the time isn't right now as we're ramping up for the season. Get yourself ramped up, do what you do, kick ass, and you'll be up again. Hopefully for good."
    • Sconnie, Strato Guy, rdehring and 1 other like this
Photo
Patrick Wozniak
Mar 20 2020 08:20 PM

 

Quick comment: I place little stock in Twitter comments from him as we should all know and allow how off the cuff things like this are. Sometimes such things have a different intended meaning but are interpreted poorly. Also, emotions can make people say or type something they regret later. No excuse, just a perspective.

Addressing your 3 points in reverse order:

3] Thorpe could absolutely be included in a deal to help the parent club. I think an awful lot of teams would be interested in a 24yo LHP with good stuff and a very good milb track record who showed flashes in SSS in his ML debut. Despite various reports as to how much the Twins like him, he could be moved in the right deal. Same with Rooker, Larnach, etc.

2] Not sure there is much to say here. At ANY time, a quality arm could be brought up to help in the rotation OR the pen. FWIW though, I've felt for some time if the rotation just didn't work out he could be a neck of a bullpen piece.

3] To say Thorpe has something left to prove at the AAA level would be somewhat accurate, though not exact. His numbers there over 24 appearances and parts of 2 seasons are pretty good. And as you pointed out, he is still only 24yo. Experience wise, he's a 22yo who has already reached the ML level. The Twins seem to really like him and believe in him. And even of you have a couple of really nice arms ranked higher behind him as prospects, you can't dismiss his talent/potential/milb success.

I would like to believe that any conversation that took place between he and the Twins when he was sent down included something like: "We really like you and believe in you and your future with the club. But the time isn't right now as we're ramping up for the season. Get yourself ramped up, do what you do, kick ass, and you'll be up again. Hopefully for good."

Agree 100% with your twitter take. I don't put much or any stock in it either (especially since I've only heard about it second-hand) but felt I should include it, especially if I'm bring up the possibility of a trade (to be clear, I don't think the comments would push the Twins to trade him, but if there is genuine discontent on Thorpe's part it could make at least some difference). Hopefully all is well with Thorpe and the Twins and he can get off to a fresh start whenever things resume.

Photo
tony&rodney
Mar 20 2020 08:41 PM

Totally agree with above two comments.

Thorpe presents an interesting case. He appears to be on the verge of a strong career, however the entire Spring rose up as an obstacle. The Twins would be foolish to move him at this time and Thorpe certainly could resurrect his position quickly when he gets the opportunity. Now is a good time for the young left hander to recover his pursuit of being a starting pitcher in the major leagues. I see promise of a strong number three pitcher from Thorpe.

Although there is little information to lead to such speculation, I wonder if he has some difficulty with U.S. culture. Australia is definitely different, yet to play at the highest level foreign players must leave their home culture. The Twins have a number of players in such a situation which may provide support for him but individuals each face their own personal dilemmas.

Let's hope Lewis Thorpe is a mainstay in the Twins rotation for a decade.

    • rdehring likes this
Photo
The Wise One
Mar 20 2020 09:55 PM

In regards to Thorpe not being happy and venting on twitter. However poorly worded his statements may have been there is nothing wrong with Thorpe being upset with being demoted. I am happy with him not liking to be demoted. airing out on Twitter seems to be the young person thing to do. that seems to be the new way of the world

 

On Thorpe being behind other prospects. He has pitched in the majors, the others have not sniffed AA. 10 years from now they might be better major league pitcher, you need to worry about this year. I can't remember the last time the Twins used less than 8 starters through the year. There has to be a plan b,c,d, and e

 

On Thorpe as trade bait. If the deal is good the team should do it. The deal should be for a starter better than a middle of the order starter. 

    • Sconnie and rdehring like this

Regardless of what happens, can we all just take a moment to soak in the fact that we're asking what we should do with a high-upside pitching prospect that we have no room for because we're loaded with quality pitching? I'm nearing 40 and genuinely don't remember another time in my life when that could be said of the Twins.

    • wabene, rdehring, Patrick Wozniak and 1 other like this

No sense in trading Thorpe.No one will pay up for his real value given his '19 MLB stats and '20 spring training stats.

    • wabene and Doctor Gast like this

As for the trading idea, willing to sit back and wait until it happens for Thorpe or any other Twins player.  

 

As this delay lasts longer, the teams are going to be starting spring training over.That means that Thorpe will no longer be behind the others, assuming he is doing whatever throwing they want him doing during the stoppage.Don't know if he is one of the 20 remaining in Ft. Myers, if he is that may be an advantage.

 

Comments I saw this spring from the Twins management seems to say they are very high on him, perhaps more so than the guys he is competing with.That tells me they believe his future is bright.How bright?Only time will tell as with any other prospect breaking into major league ball.

    • Jeff_M likes this
Photo
Doctor Gast
Mar 21 2020 10:19 AM

 

No sense in trading Thorpe.No one will pay up for his real value given his '19 MLB stats and '20 spring training stats.

 My thoughts also. He hasn`t been given a chance to really prove himself in the majors yet & he should be given that chance.

Thorpe should not be thrown in the BP. Many think it`s a small thing to just to throw a starter there because they don`t jump in & dominate when called up. Some can make that switch easily, many can not. Some like Duffy & May had difficulty but eventually adapted when given a chance. Some should go to the BP but refuse. Thorpe has shown me that he has the stuff & spunk to be a starter & would not want to be a reliever.

Let him go to AAA, I believe he`ll come back w/ a vengeance. Even w/ a shortened season an opportunity will provide itself & he show himself worthy  

Thorpe should practice juggling three baseballs on a unicycle. If his balance point is solid, he'll have the command he needs to make it in the bigs. Balance drills till they come out his ears. 

Photo
jorgenswest
Mar 22 2020 10:30 AM
The Twins need to develop starting pitching. They need to develop Thorpe’s talent which will have greater value than a return in trade. They are filling the back end with veteran question marks like Bailey and Chacin. I would prefer the go with the uncertainty of Dobnak, Thorpe or Smeltzer for at least one of those spots. Maybe they will.
    • Sconnie likes this

Similar Articles


by Ted Schwerzler , 07 Apr 2020
Photo


by Cody Christie , 22 Mar 2020
Photo


by Parker Hageman , 09 Mar 2020
Photo


by Cody Christie , 13 Feb 2020
Photo


by Nick Nelson , 04 Feb 2020
Photo