In their first turn through the rotation this past season, the Twins sent out Vance Worley, Kevin Correia, Mike Pelfrey, Liam Hendriks and Pedro Hernandez.
Opening the year with multiple backup plans already plugged into the starting five set the stage for a tumultuous campaign that exposed the organization's miserable starting pitching depth at the high levels.
Overly lengthy auditions for guys like Worley, Hernandez and Scott Diamond, along with painful redux performances from non-MLB talents like P.J. Walters and Cole De Vries, were all contributors in a season that saw Twins starters finish at the bottom of the majors in ERA, xFIP, WHIP and basically any other important category you could imagine.
With two signings in the books already, and with at least one more expected to come, the Twins are now actually building something resembling depth in their starting corps
On Monday night, the Pioneer Press's Mike Berardino tweeted that an MLB Official told him that the Twins were no longer "in the mix" on AJ Pierzynski. In recent days, it had been reported that the Twins and Pierzynski's representatives were making progress in contract discussions.
UPDATE - Monday morning, it was announced the Pierzynski has reached terms with the Boston Red Sox. What does that mean for the Twins pursuit of a catcher? Discuss in the Forum!
I just can't help but thinking whether the Twins really should be considering a reunion with AJ Pierzynski. So, I thought I'd write it out to see what I thought. He really has had a very good MLB career. He was an All-Star in 2002. He had the best numbers
The Twins (and all of the teams in baseball) have until 11 p.m. central time tonight (Monday) to decide whether or not to offer arbitration to their arbitration-eligible players. For the Twins, those players are Trevor Plouffe, Brian Duensing and Anthony Swarzak.
My first prediction is the Twins will offer arbitration to all three. First, the dollars they will potentially receive for 2014 will not be huge, so the Twins could take them on. Secondly, each would have at least some measure of trade value at the dollars he will receive. Plouffe has shown flashes of power, is young and has the ability to play a lot of positions. Swarzak can eat a lot of innings
There are plenty of reasons to celebrate this impending Phil Hughes deal as a coup for the Twins. After all, Hughes is a relatively young pitcher who has potential upside and, as a fly ball pitcher, he finally gets to leave the launching pad in the Bronx (not to mention, away from the beasts of the east). For an average annual value of $8M, a value he has eclipsed in three of the past five seasons according to Fangraphs.com, it is hard to find a downside.
In terms of the configurations of Yankee Stadium and Target Field, thereís no question that Yankee Stadiumís layout vastly favors the hitter, particularly for the left-handed swingers. In the Bronx,
Answering the same question over and over again had to be growing tiresome for Twins officials.
Because baseball fans in general are becoming increasingly analytical in the way they watch the game (this site serves as a great example), and because the organization has earned a reputation for taking a more traditional, scouting-based approach, seemingly every interview with an exec or front office member has included some query on the Twins' progress in the area of statistical analysis.
Where were you when the Twins became a completely different franchise? In the last 72 hours or so, the Twins have doled out $73 million in long-term contracts, surpassing their previous off-season record by nearly $300 billion dollars (if you believe some fans). On Wednesday, the Twins signed Ricky Nolasco to a four-year deal, and tonight, they added former Yankee Phil Hughes to an increasingly (and suddenly) talented starting rotation. Hughes will earn $8 million for the next three seasons, earning a longer contract than many experts had predicted.
The Twins have to bank on a change of scenery transforming Hughes into a completely different pitcher.
Similar to the consumption habits of most Americans during Thanksgiving, the Minnesota Twins are devouring free agent starting pitching at a frenzied pace. On Wednesday, it was Ricky Nolasco. On Saturday, the Star Tribuneís LaVelle Neal reported that they were in agreement with Phil Hughes on a three-year deal.
The deal, which is contingent on a physical that Hughes must pass, is a three-year, $24 million contract.
Hughes' numbers, both last year and over his career, are underwhelming. He was 4-14 last year with a 5.19 ERA and is 56-50 with a 4.54 ERA for his career. His strikeout rate is mediocre
News broke yesterday that former Marlins/Dodgers pitcher, Ricky Nolasco will be signing with the Twins. There are many things to consider in this signing: the sudden acquisition of a (relative) strike out artist for a "pitch-to-contact" team; the possible commitment through 2018 (making Nolasco one of only three Twins guaranteed that long a deal); the degree of responsibility and position of "leader" foisted on a player who has only recently tasted meaningful baseball; the question whether or not this will make any real difference to a team with so many pitching questions.
But rather than ponder any of those things, we at Peanuts from Heaven will do what we do best: bring up something stupid and pretend it's important.
No news is good news. Not a lot of Twins news coming out this week, lots of rumors and rumblings about free agent starting pitchers and catchers, but nothing concrete. At the 33:00 mark, Paul and Eric are joined by Twins Geek, John Bonnes (@TwinsGeek) from Twins Daily to discuss the origins of both the site and the Gleeman and the Geek podcast - more of look into "how the sausage is made" so to speak.
Later, we take a close look at the Twins top pitching prospect, Alex Meyer, and we get into a heated discussion about the possibility (or lack there-of) of Jarrod Saltalamacchia joining the Twins.
Despite the acknowledgement of Twins officials that the club has plenty of financial flexibility this offseason, many fans have understandably been reluctant to believe that truly aggressive measures are in the offing. A lack of early activity has only served to magnify that skepticism, but as we've often noted, this isn't at all unusual in the weeks prior to the Winter Meetings, especially in a shifting marketplace.
While we haven't seen any bold moves yet, there have been plenty of signs that the Twins are quite serious about taking uncharacteristically splashy steps in order to improve the club.
When the New York Mets drafted Mike Pelfrey out of Wichita State with the ninth overall pick in 2005, their scouting department was obviously enamored by his big body, big fastball and big projectability. He would develop a breaking ball and become the ace Flushing had not seen in a while.
Of course, the latter never happened for Pelfrey; instead he struggled to find a semblance of a swing-and-miss pitcher, became the embodied disappointment of Mets fans, had his elbow ligament snap and wound up in Minnesota. Quite the different career path than was envisioned for him eight years ago.
Late in the year, the Twins traded Justin Morneau who had been in the organization since he was the teamís 3rd round draft choice in 1999. After the season, Nick Blackburn, who had been with the organization since signing after the 2001 draft, was allowed to become a free agent. As the Twins have added players to their 40 man roster and made free agent decisions on others, I got to wondering which players in the Twins organization have been around the longest.
To make the top 15 on this list, a player had to be signed before 2009. There are some interesting names that you may not have realized have been with the Twins for so long. In fact, there may be a couple that you have never heard of and Iíll add a few more names to