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2018 MLB Postseason Discussion Thread

Other Baseball Today, 04:26 PM
How about a postseason game thread? Any MLB postseason discussion can just go here.
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Damning article in the Washington Post re: Pressly / Anal...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:12 PM
Very damning article for the (now former) coaching/analytics staff. Pressly is used an example of how the Astros use analytics & coac...
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Article: Offseason Primer: Can Minnesota Mimic Milwaukee...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:12 PM
There are more things tying the Twins and Brewers together than geographic proximity.Both are mid-market teams with finite resources. Bot...
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Article: Offseason Primer: The Core Seven (?)

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:21 PM
At the All Star break in 2017, I wrote up an article discussing the Twins Core Four. During the Twins recent poor seasons, there was a lo...
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Article: AFL Report - Week 1: Outfielders Come Up Big

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 12:38 PM
The AFL season’s first week was a little lacking on opportunities for Twins pitchers and the well-known name among their position players...
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Supplementing the Twins: Filling the Pen

With profiles on two potential starting options in Lance Lynn and Tyler Chatwood down, we wrapped up the starting pitching potential with a trio of lesser arms. For the relief portion of this series, taking a dive into a group of arms all at once is the plan of action. The World Series is over, the offseason has begun, and the stove will begin to warm. Let’s get into it.
Image courtesy of © Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Ideally, the Twins must address their bullpen this offseason. The reality is that relief pitchers either need to be incredibly good with their breaking pitches, or they need the ability to shove into the upper 90’s and blow the ball by hitters. Save for Ryan Pressly, Minnesota doesn’t have much in the form of flamethrowers. There are some options on the way, but bringing in a bullpen arm or two hardly sounds like a bad idea.

So, if the Twins are starting with a guy who could make a splash, Bryan Shaw may be a good place to turn. Forget that he’s a former Cleveland Indian, and has a level of rapport with Derek Falvey. The reality is that he’s a very good pitcher, and one who could potentially close out games for the Twins.

For the second straight year, Shaw saw an increase in his velocity, averaging around 95mph on his fastball. His 3.52 ERA wasn’t a career best this year, but the 2.96 FIP was. He’s been consistently around 8.0 K/0 or better, and has thrown at least 60 innings in every season since 2012. At 30 years old, there’s probably plenty of life left in his arm, and a multi-year deal would hardly be over-extending.

Option number two comes in the former of sometimes closer Addison Reed. 29 during the 2018 season, Reed owns a 3.40 career ERA. Outside of a relatively abysmal time in Arizona, he’s actually been really good over the course of his seven-year big league career. A 9.5 K/9 would be more than welcome in the Twins pen, even with a velocity that sits a bit lower (around 92mph).

Reed has plenty of experience under his belt, and worked as a solid late inning option for the Red Sox down the stretch in 2017. He has accumulated 125 career saves, and would give Minnesota another good option in relief regardless of whether he’s closing out games. Reed has posted 70 innings pitched in back to back seasons, while never throwing less than 55 in a year. Health and ability are there, and Reed seems another decent candidate for a multi-year option.

Looking at a lefty addition, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine could look to a guy that just fell short in the World Series. Former Pirates closer Tony Watson was dealt to the Dodgers midway through 2017, and he’s been among the most consistent relievers in baseball for years. At 33 in 2018, he’ll have a bit of age creeping in against him, but the 2.75 ERA over the past three seasons is hardly a negative.

Watson isn’t a big strikeout guy, at just 7.4 K/9. He does control counts however, with just a 2.5 BB/9 over the course of his career. Home runs have plagued him a bit more recently, and his FIP numbers don’t exactly jump off the page. At the right dollar amount though, he’s a substantial upgrade over some of the Twins current southpaw options, and he also has solid late inning experience.

Rounding out the four-bagger of options is the first former starter of the group. Mike Minor dealt with injuries that sidelined him during the 2015 and 2016 seasons. After solely pitching in the National League, he resurfaced with the Royals for 2017. Making 65 appearances over 77.2 IP, he was a revelation. The 2.55 ERA was backed by a glowing 2.62 FIP and his 10.2 K/9 would be welcomed anywhere.

Throwing around 91mph as a starter, Minor ramped things up to a 95mph average on his fastball this season in relief. Not only was he a horse out of the pen, but he was really, really good when called upon. The key with Minor is sustainability, and whether or not this was a one-year outlier. If there’s belief in the stuff going forward however, he’ll be just 30 next year, and could be the next out-of-nowhere stud in the pen.

Derek Falvey and Thad Levine are going to need to determine what internal options they believe in, either currently penciled in or coming through the system. It’s hardly a bad proposition though to bring in some strong options from outside to elevate the group as a whole. The Twins can’t be mediocre in starting roles and relief if they want to take the next step forward, and I’d imagine everyone involved is aware of that.

  • BigSkyTwinsFan, Cory Engelhardt, MN_ExPat and 1 other like this

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18 Comments

Sign me up for Reed and Minor.
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Cory Engelhardt
Nov 03 2017 07:09 AM

MLB Trade Rumors listed Juan Nicasio as going to the Twins. I think I like the guys you mentioned even a little more than Nicasio, but hopefully the Twins can be aggressive this offseason in adding to their MLB roster, as well as their front office.

I think we could actually put together a respectable 'pen next year without going too crazy in free agency. May will help. Hildenberger and Busenitz are solid. Rogers can be serviceable. Pressly has shown he can be dominant at times. On top of them, maybe one or two of these young flame throwers will emerge (Curtiss, Reed, etc).

A nice lefty like minor for the back end would fit perfectly.
    • sploorp and caninatl04 like this

Morrow as the closer.Not even close as far as the quality of FA available talent.They need a lefty as well. Minor could be it.Reed can bee the RH set up guy, but there is so much talent in the organization in that position.  

 

I'd take a flyer of Huston Street on a MiLB contract, as well, to see what's going on there.

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tarheeltwinsfan
Nov 03 2017 06:16 PM

Is Matt Capps available?

When it comes to the pen, I actually prefer older pitchers. They can pitch everyday and they tend to sign shorter contracts. Most deals over 3 years go sour for pitchers, unless they're truly elite.

These are all fine options. My target list would be Shaw and M cGee. We don't blow the lid off payroll, and we add 2 valuable, quality, experienced arms to the pen along with what we have on hand. You still have payroll to add another quality #2-3 FA arm to deepen the rotation. You might even find money for a solid bat who can play a position to augment such a good, mostly young and improving, lineup.
    • Vanimal46 and MN_ExPat like this

Will the New Front Office show support to a young team that reached the playoffs?

 

Will they support the steps up by Buxton, Rosario and others by acquiring the bullpen arms necessary to compete at a top team level?

 

Did they notice the bullpens being built by their competitors? 

 

Or will they Craig Breslow the way through the problem?

 

I will be very curious

 

 

    • USAFChief, sploorp, Vanimal46 and 1 other like this
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ashburyjohn
Nov 04 2017 07:04 AM

Or will they Craig Breslow the way through the problem?

This can't be German because they capitalize their Nouns. Is Breslow the verb and Craig the adverb? Or the other way around?

    • Riverbrian and MN_ExPat like this

 

This can't be German because they capitalize their Nouns. Is Breslow the verb and Craig the adverb? Or the other way around?

 

I don't know what verb or adverb means but Breslow means "well under budget" in German. 

 

 

    • USAFChief, Hosken Bombo Disco, sploorp and 2 others like this

This can't be German because they capitalize their Nouns. Is Breslow the verb and Craig the adverb? Or the other way around?

yes.
    • ashburyjohn, Riverbrian and sploorp like this

I don't know what verb or adverb means but Breslow means "well under budget" in German.


And if my old home German isn’t wrong, “Craig” means “rummage through the scrap heap and end up”.
    • Riverbrian, sploorp and Vanimal46 like this

These are all fine options. My target list would be Shaw and M cGee. We don't blow the lid off payroll, and we add 2 valuable, quality, experienced arms to the pen along with what we have on hand. You still have payroll to add another quality #2-3 FA arm to deepen the rotation. You might even find money for a solid bat who can play a position to augment such a good, mostly young and improving, lineup.


I would do this exact thing. Shaw and McGee would be solid additions to the pen.
Would love Shaw. I'm not as familiar with McGee.

Shaw and Kintzler for me.I think Shaw's weight and build and Kintzler's K rate keep people away from these very effective and mentally tough arms.

Get a couple of starters (Chatwood & Cobb?), and stay away from other team's closers.Kintzler would be nice to have back, but "closers" are too "here today and gone tomorrow".

I'll take any combo of those four.

    • caninatl04 likes this
Shaw would be nice. I'd be curious to see what they'd need to offer to land Betances from the Yankees. His recent walk problems, combined with the arbitration fiasco and the number of other dominant arms in the New York bullpen, could mean he's expendable. Maybe a lower pressure environment would allow him to find himself.

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