Blog Comments

  1. jorgenswest's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Teflon
    Good point. Last year's opening day obligation was $82 million and the Twins current 2014 obligation is currently around $76 million although that doesn't factor the returning ex-Twins Kubel, Bartlett, or Guerrier who signed minor league deals. The $22 million in salary they rid themselves of in jettisoning Morneau, Doumit, and Carroll was essentially redirected to Nolasco, Hughes, and Suzuki. To be more accurate, what's "uncharacteristic" is - not the money being spent in total - but the money being spent on free agents.

    Of course this raises the question of what the Twins are actually planning on doing with the additional $25 million they received as their share of the renegotiated national TV deal with MLB, doesn't it? They could have gone harder in pursuit of a top-tier pitcher or major-league quality shortstop.
    I am not sure it is really 25 million.

    I think the 25 million is the yearly average of the current deal compared to yearly average of the previous deal. Since the money increases every year, the last year of the previous deal in 2013 was the greatest amount and 2014 will be the least amount of the current deal. The difference in TV money from 2013 to 2014 is much less than 25 million and reportedly closer to 5-10 million.

    from Kansas City Star

    Most relevantly, there is no $25 million-per-team jump in revenues from 2013 to 2014. That figure (which doesn’t account for a share that MLB takes) comes from the average of the new contract compared to the average of the old contract. But the old deal increased every year, just like the new deal is scheduled to. The highest total of the old contract was last year, and the lowest total of the new contract is this year, so the raw increase from last year to this year is thought to be more like $5 million to $10 million, before MLB takes its share.


    Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2014/02/14...#storylink=cpy
    Updated 02-16-2014 at 06:24 PM by jorgenswest
  2. h2oface's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Teflon
    Of course this raises the question of what the Twins are actually planning on doing with the additional $25 million they received as their share of the renegotiated national TV deal with MLB, doesn't it? They could have gone harder in pursuit of a top-tier pitcher or major-league quality shortstop.
    Exactly. So from this perspective, it appears that if they dedicate half of the TV money to salary, (and of course pocket the other half like they have been doing with the salary money the last two years.....), they are still say 20 million plus 12.5 million (32.5 million!) short of spending money on salary that they should. That is pretty characteristic of what they usually do, and the team is left with 2,3, and 4 years of mediocre starting arms.
  3. Teflon's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by h2oface
    I am increasingly amazed that it is erroneously stated that the twins "uncharacteristically spent a real chunk of money in the off season". The payroll, as it stands right now, is virtually the same as last year. They didn't actually spend a real chunk of money!
    Good point. Last year's opening day obligation was $82 million and the Twins current 2014 obligation is currently around $76 million although that doesn't factor the returning ex-Twins Kubel, Bartlett, or Guerrier who signed minor league deals. The $22 million in salary they rid themselves of in jettisoning Morneau, Doumit, and Carroll was essentially redirected to Nolasco, Hughes, and Suzuki. To be more accurate, what's "uncharacteristic" is - not the money being spent in total - but the money being spent on free agents.

    Of course this raises the question of what the Twins are actually planning on doing with the additional $25 million they received as their share of the renegotiated national TV deal with MLB, doesn't it? They could have gone harder in pursuit of a top-tier pitcher or major-league quality shortstop.
  4. Jim H's Avatar
    The Twins bought, potentially, about 270 or 9 seasons worth of starts this off season. They have spread them out over 4 seasons with 3 pitchers, Nolasco, Hughes and Pelfrey. I don't expect the Twins to get anywhere near 270 starts out of these 3 guys and ideally at least 2 of them will be replaced by better young emerging talent before they make all their starts. Assuming they all stay healthy, which they likely won't.

    I think I expect that if the Twins get 150 to 180 starts out of these guys, that would be pretty good. Especially if the reason they are replaced is that the Twins have better options rather than total ineffectiveness.

    This year I would just like the 3 of them to be healthy and for all 3 to pitch in the range of a mid-rotation starter, which is pretty much their upside anyway. If that happens, well the sky isn't the limit, but the Twins could have a pretty good year. There will still be room for young guys like Meyer and May, if they show they are ready. Decent pitching might allow some of the young hitters to develop without the need to try to hit 5 run home runs.

    It is really hard to guess what the offense will do this year. There are so many youngish guys who haven't quite shown themselves to be big regulars yet, but still might. There is the very young talent that might start arriving this year, but may or may not be ready to really help yet. I am fairly optomistic about this team, but what I want to really see is some progress.
  5. h2oface's Avatar
    Great article! Pythagoras and the Twins. teflon twins and pythagoras. pythagoras and teflon twins. I like how it all projects! Well, kind of, in the sense that it is not a 60 win season. I enjoyed the read a lot.

    I am increasingly amazed that it is erroneously stated that the twins "uncharacteristically spent a real chunk of money in the off season". The payroll, as it stands right now, is virtually the same as last year. They didn't actually spend a real chunk of money! Have they really fooled so many astute observers? If they would have taken the payroll up to 100 million or more, THEN they would have brought the payroll up to where it should be. If they would have raised the payroll to what is has been before, without additional chunk of MLB TV money, and up to around 110 million........ THEN they would have uncharacteristically spent a real chunk of money in the off season. As it is, Terry Ryan has loaded the pitching staff with high hopes, and dreams with potential. The smoke screen is in effect, and apparently working for the front office. Now it may happen, that is true. And the team may hit. That is true, too. But let it stop, please, let it stop........ this dogma that the Twins have spent a real chunk of money.
    Updated 02-15-2014 at 04:02 AM by h2oface
  6. Paul Pleiss's Avatar
    I am on record as predicting 75-77 wins for the club this year, but I think anything over 70 and 2014 will be a success in Twins Territory. I'm more concerned about young players developing, maturing and finding their groove at the big league level.
  7. Minn_Twins's Avatar
    A "ballpark" estimate eh? No pun intended. Well it seems that the money didn't really get us anything. Strange. I wonder when management will go out and spending some real money to get some fresh talent again. I think we've got first round this year which will help. According to the editor at http://minnesota-twins-store.cooplocale.com, the twins haven't made decent investments in awhile. Looks like this assessment is in line with that thinking.
  8. jorgenswest's Avatar
    Thanks for the reasoned assessment.

    Long term, any investment of innings into Meyer, Gibson or any of the three under team control out of options guys will help in future years. What's is this year's cost (in wins) risk in giving them starts over Correia or even Pelfrey?
  9. Len Sica's Avatar
    I like it ,, great plan,, I do like expanding back to Canada instead of Portland, , Vancouver BC may be better .Other Possible teams in NL is Nashville or San Antonio
  10. jorgenswest's Avatar
    My interest in the bench is platooning. The most likely place to find a platoon piece is on a corner. The typical platoon player will have a good bat on his platoon half and limited ability to defend anywhere up the middle.

    A 3 man bench requires all three players to be solid up the middle. Those guys usually aren't very good hitters. A 5 man bench allows the possibility to platoon at two of the corners.

    Is there a way to reconfigure the current pitching staff use in an 11 man staff? Can this idea make it possible?

    I think some team will figure Out howto teturn to an 11 man staff. There are players out there that could have a Bill Robinson type career if the someone can figure out how to roster him.
  11. Willihammer's Avatar
    I'm much more willing to roll with short benches offensively than conventional wisdom dictates though. We have mounds of data that prove that on average, if you take anyone off the bench cold and ask him to pinch hit, well, the effect is the opposite of relief picthing. They stink. They take a horrible penalty, worse than the platoon penalty for the starter he's PH-ing for, in most cases. So the primary reason to keep bench players is as pinch runners, defensive replacements, and injury backups, IMO.

    If you had couple Eduardo Escobars in your system, guys you could stick anywhere in a pinch, then you could roll with a 14 man pitching staff. That gives you 10 relievers. I think it would be a viable strategy at that point (provided the bullpen guys are, you know, real MLB Pitchers).
  12. jorgenswest's Avatar
    Willhammer is correct. The third time through will often come up sometime in the 5th inning. They need to get through that inning for this to work. Too much burden on the bullpen otherwise. It is still a worthy idea.

    I am not as certain on the 11 pitches. That would assume there is a big drop off on pitch 76 and pitch 76 was the same as pitch 100.
  13. Teflon's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jorgenswest
    PA K/BB OPS
    1st 1260 2.32 .790
    2nd 1191 1.65 .806
    3rd 858 1.28 .850
    4th 45 1.25 1.139

    The table above shows performance by Twins starter the 1st through 4th time through the line up in 2013.

    At first glance, it appears that the third time through the line up is a significant drop off.

    However, it is not quite a dramatic as it looks. Those 350-400 fewer plate appearances are mostly missing from the bottom of the opponents batting order. That wouldn't account for the entire difference or the near halving of k/bb ratio. The k/bb ratio takes a big hit just going to PA#2.

    Relievers rarely go through a line up twice. In their first time through the line up this year Twin relievers have posted a 2.74 k/bb ratio while allowing an OPS of .655 in 1895 plate appearances.

    It might be worth a shot. While I can't see a team with an ace going this route that doesn't describe the Twins situation.


    And these were the breakdowns for the MLB in 2012 from the Fangraphs study at the time of the Rockies move to the 4-man rotation:

    1st PA vs SP: .247/.310/.393
    2nd PA vs SP: .260/.321/.417
    3rd PA vs SP: .271/.332/.444

    while the first PA versus relievers was:

    .241/.316/.375

    I agree that if you have Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer this isn't the option you should take - but if you have a sorry bunch of starters it seems a no-brainer to jettison as many badly pitched innings from your games as possible for better ones.

    Starting pitchers will undoubtedly hate it since it's calling into question their manhood among their starting pitching brethren.
  14. Willihammer's Avatar
    Its an interesting strategy. I was a little skeptical of the assumption that a lousy group of starters like ours gets through 5 IP every day, esp. only facing lineups twice. Because as it is, with a 5 man rotation and 100 pitch count limit, the 2013 Twins starting staff is averaging less than 5.2 IP per start.

    I pulled some stats. These include 3rd and 4th time through the order, so they are a little skewed, but as a staff, the Pitches per PA and Whip are this

    PPA WHIP
    3.814 1.522

    That's 4.522 batters per inning, and 17.25 pitches per inning on average. If you take them out after 2 trips through the order, that would only equate to roughly 4 innings.

    If you change the criteria to Pitch count, instead of trips through the lineup, you see this:

    HTML Code:
    <PRE>                                  
    Split            BA  OBP  SLG  OPS
    Pitch  1-25    .258 .314 .395 .708
    Pitch 26-50    .292 .338 .438 .775
    Pitch 51-75    .274 .342 .424 .765
    Pitch 76-100   .318 .374 .490 .864
    Pitch 101+     .328 .418 .517 .935
    </PRE>
    
    Provided by <a href="http://www.sports-reference.com/sharing.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=Share&utm_campaign=ShareTool">Baseball-Reference.com</a>: <a href="http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/split.cgi?t=p&team=MIN&year=2013&utm_source=direct&utm_medium=Share&utm_campaign=ShareTool&utm_source=direct&utm_medium=Share&utm_campaign=ShareTool&utm_source=direct&utm_medium=Share&utm_campaign=ShareTool#pitco">View Original Table</a><br>Generated 9/7/2013.
    Not surprisingly, the same problem shows up. it would require over 86 pitches to get through 5, on average. That's 11 pitches or so too many.

    So, realistically, you'd be asking your bullpen to complete innings 5-9. A 6 inning guaranteed workload on 9 guys. Sounds taxing, but maybe it could be done. See the days rest splits:

    HTML Code:
    <PRE>                                   
    Split        PA   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS
    0 DaysGR    247 .235 .313 .304 .617
    1 DayGR     607 .227 .299 .345 .644
    2 DaysGR    437 .222 .282 .365 .647
    3 DaysGR    365 .269 .316 .424 .740
    4 DaysGR    155 .210 .265 .343 .607
    5 DaysGR     39 .237 .256 .421 .677
    6+ DaysGR   128 .231 .278 .274 .551
    </PRE>
    
    Provided by <a href="http://www.sports-reference.com/sharing.shtml?utm_source=direct&utm_medium=Share&utm_campaign=ShareTool">Baseball-Reference.com</a>: <a href="http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/split.cgi?t=p&team=MIN&year=2013&utm_source=direct&utm_medium=Share&utm_campaign=ShareTool&utm_source=direct&utm_medium=Share&utm_campaign=ShareTool&utm_source=direct&utm_medium=Share&utm_campaign=ShareTool#dr">View Original Table</a><br>Generated 9/7/2013.
    Probably skewed a little because the guys pitching back to back are limited to the back end guys (Fien, Burton, Perkins).

    We really don't know much (or I don't know much) about optimal rest days and pitch counts for relievers. If you can get away with throwing these guys 4-6 days a week, for 15-25 pitch stints, then it would be a very intriguing strategy. I'm a little dubious about the ability to get through that kind of guaranteed workload over the course of a season though.
  15. jorgenswest's Avatar
    A second thought about roster composition. A return to an 11 man pitching staff would enable the bench flexibility to platoon. Is there a way to do this with a 7 man bullpen and retain the effectiveness of the relievers?
  16. jorgenswest's Avatar
    PA K/BB OPS
    1st 1260 2.32 .790
    2nd 1191 1.65 .806
    3rd 858 1.28 .850
    4th 45 1.25 1.139

    The table above shows performance by Twins starter the 1st through 4th time through the line up in 2013.

    At first glance, it appears that the third time through the line up is a significant drop off.

    However, it is not quite a dramatic as it looks. Those 350-400 fewer plate appearances are mostly missing from the bottom of the opponents batting order. That wouldn't account for the entire difference or the near halving of k/bb ratio. The k/bb ratio takes a big hit just going to PA#2.

    Relievers rarely go through a line up twice. In their first time through the line up this year Twin relievers have posted a 2.74 k/bb ratio while allowing an OPS of .655 in 1895 plate appearances.

    It might be worth a shot. While I can't see a team with an ace going this route that doesn't describe the Twins situation.
  17. gil4's Avatar
    would your proposal of an additional Brooklynn team in the AL East move Toronto to AL central, the Twins to the AL south, and Colorado to the West?
    Adding Brooklyn could also push Baltimore south and Colorado west, but I still don't like the 4-team divisions. I like it better on second thought than I did initially, but I can still see a sub-.500 team in the playoffs, which would be OK only if it's the Twins.

    I don't see talent dilution as an issue. The talent pool is bigger than it has ever been and the system is better at identifying talent. Sports medicine is better at keeping that talent performing at a high level longer.

    I think maybe Phoenix might be a good AL West expansion
    They already have the D-Backs in the area - They aren't right in Phoenix, but they are as close as the Jets and Giants are to New York.
  18. Sconnie's Avatar
    Gil4 - would your proposal of an additional Brooklynn team in the AL East move Toronto to AL central, the Twins to the AL south, and Colorado to the West? You could also swap Toronto to Central and Cleveland the East, but Cleveland and Toronto are so close, you'd want them in the same division if you could manage it.

    Teflon - I like it, but one concern. Talent dilution is already becoming an issue, adding two more teams (and all of the development teams that would be required to go with them) may decrease the quality of play, especially starting pitching.

    As far as scheduling goes, I really like the proposal. It's fun to think of an expansion team in Monterray Mexico. I think maybe Phoenix might be a good AL West expansion.
  19. gil4's Avatar
    The O's and Jays would hate this. How about an expansion team in Brooklyn?

    I like the idea, but I think the 4-team divisions give playoff spots to undeserving teams. I'd rather see 2x8 or 5-5-6 for the divisions and have a bit more balanced schedule. I also wouldn't mind seeing a return to 154 games to keep the WS out of November, but that would be a hard sell for ownership
  20. Teflon's Avatar
    Eb and Flo

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