Minnesota Twins News & Rumors Forum
  • Samuel Deduno and Strange Decisions

    In 2013, the Oakland Athletics averaged 9.7 runs per game in their seven tilts against the Twins, and 4.5 runs per game against all other opponents.

    Oakland's reign of terror against the team that ruined its happy ending in Moneyball continued this week, as the A's thoroughly dismantled Minnesota in a rather sparsely attended home-opening sweep.

    After investing $84 million into the rotation during the offseason, the Twins have received painfully similar results from their starting pitchers. The first series at Target Field was all too familiar: three games in which the starters dug an early hole and the offense couldn't dig out.

    In total, the Twins have gotten one quality start from their rotation in nine games during a 3-6 start. They are getting blasted. Meanwhile, their best starter from 2013 sits in the bullpen waiting to mop up the messes that have been created.

    The decision to move Samuel Deduno into a relief role seemed strange at the end of camp and seems stranger now. He's certainly among the top five pitchers on the club in terms of stuff, and he's been on a heck of a run the last couple years, but he's being forced to sit around in the bullpen while the Twins' signature brand of bat-seeking two-seamers gets plastered all about the yard.

    Deduno as a reliever just doesn't look like a fit. He's pitching in a role where the situations are often close and late, and every mistake is magnified.

    Case in point: in his first appearance of the season, Deduno entered in the 11th inning of a 6-6 game. He put a couple runners on base and then ended up letting the winning score in on a wild pitch.

    In one of the games against Oakland, he turned a three-run deficit into a four-run deficit by balking in a run.

    Even Deduno's fiercest proponents (I consider myself one of them) would not deny that he is erratic and mistake-prone. He's a wild card on the mound.

    When given six innings, he can make up for his missteps by baffling the majority of opposing hitters. But he's not a guy you want to be bringing into a one-run game with runners on base.

    So the assignment seems forced. To his credit, the miscast mop-up man has performed well overall; after tossing three scoreless innings in relief of Mike Pelfrey Thursday, Deduno owns a 3.00 ERA with nine strikeouts in eight innings. But he's not in the proper role and he's being set aside for some guys who are not getting the job done.

    I have no illusions that the Twins are going to be a playoff team this year, but I think I speak for every fan out there when I say that the type of games witnessed at Target Field this week are quickly going to drain my interest. There should be little patience for these shoddy performances.

    Kevin Correia's leash ought to be exceedingly short. He's not in the future plans and he's not very good right now.

    I have more faith in Mike Pelfrey and Phil Hughes, and both are signed beyond this year, but if their results don't improve the Twins shouldn't hesitate to swap one with Deduno and put it on their shoulders to force their way back into the rotation.

    After all, Deduno is the only one who has really earned anything. He had a 3.83 ERA last year. He was the team's only good starter. What's going on here, anyway?

    In a lot of respects, I have a hard time getting worked up about the Twins' bad start, mostly because my expectations were quite low to begin with.

    But some of the decisions that have led them to where they're at are hard to stomach. They're starting Chris Herrmann and Darin Mastroianni in right field within the first 10 days of the season because they waived their only credible fourth outfielder in order to keep Jason Bartlett. Their best starting pitcher from last year is relegated to a mismatched relief role despite out-pitching everyone else in spring training.

    I want to believe in this regime. There have been signs that things are heading in a better direction. But what I'm seeing so far has me both scratching and shaking my head.
    Comments 48 Comments
    1. blairpaul715's Avatar
      blairpaul715 -
      I agree, with this soooo much, Deduno should be starting........the worst pitching staff cant find a spot for someone with the stuff he has, incredulous!!!!
    1. longstrangetrip's Avatar
      longstrangetrip -
      Thanks for the Deduno article, nick, and I agree 100%. I love Samuel as a starter, but he is completely miscast as a reliever. Now that the Twins have committed to the other five as starters, though, this becomes my dream scenario. All five pitch well enough that Deduno stays in the bullpen until summer, at which time Correia or Pelfrey is traded to a contender for a prospect or two, opening up a spot for Samuel.
    1. Reider's Avatar
      Reider -
      Deduno earned a starting spot, but I was fine with him starting the season as a long releiver and giving Gibson another opportunity. It's obvious to everyone that Deduno is off to a rocky start, but what i'm not sure about is whether his shaky performances this season are due to him being moved to the bullpen or him just getting off to a slow start. I'm sure he'll eventually get accustomed to pitching out of the bullpen or he'll get moved back to the starting rotation. He has good movement on his pitches, he's just missing his spots too often and by too much. I'm not overly concerned at this point. It's April 10th.
    1. Hosken Bombo Disco's Avatar
      Hosken Bombo Disco -
      He's just too wild to use in high leverage situations, which leaves him as a mop up guy. I can't really fault Gardy though for bringing him in the 11th to pitch for as many innings as he could get.

      We went into spring training with SP depth, 4 veterans locked in and 4 other guys competing for the fifth spot, and were told the depth was good, that through performance or injury it would work itself out. Well this is the painful phase we are now going through.

      If I were manager/ GM/ pitching coach I'd already be going through Deduno's past pitching lines and trying to line up a favorable start for him later in April.
    1. howeda7's Avatar
      howeda7 -
      Swap Deduno for Pelfrey immediately. Eventually someone else will pitch their way out (Corriea) and Pelfrey can have another shot. Until then, he can give us 3 effective innings at a time out of the bullpen instead of imploding after 5 in the rotation.
    1. NoCal's Avatar
      NoCal -
      Deduno is your new hero? Oy, perspective please. Its April, lets go a few more weeks before we all join Howard with a "Fans View" that is totally apocalyptic. It will be all right........
    1. kblack1011's Avatar
      kblack1011 -
      With Deduno, Mays & Meyer, it was strange that they resigned Pelfrey for 2 years. I doubt Correia or Pelfrey will bring anything in trade. It's more likely they will have to cut them, Correia this year and Pelfrey next year.
    1. grubah's Avatar
      grubah -
      kblack, you're unfortunately correct. People love to say, "Trade Correia or Pelfrey," but if you're not good enough to make the Twins rotation, you're not making anybody else's rotation either.

      Pelf out of the pen is a good idea though. He does seem to generally do well for the first innings, and then the 5th inning monster shows up.
    1. PopRiveter's Avatar
      PopRiveter -
      Bravo, Nick! I wholeheartedly concur. This casting decision seems to leverage only the weaknesses of the pitcher with the best chance to be their best starter.
    1. pierre75275's Avatar
      pierre75275 -
      I agree.....mostly. I am okay with Gibson making the rotation at the expense of Deduno but I am not ok with Pelfry and Corria making the rotation at the expense of Deduno. However....maybe some trade fell thru this spring for Corria. We will never know. I would rarher see Deduno in the bullpen then pitching for a different organization
    1. Boom Boom's Avatar
      Boom Boom -
      Still not a big Deduno fan, but he's one of the best five starters on the team.

      I like that Gibson is in the rotation, because I believe it's got to be sink-or-swim time with him. More time in the minors is not what he needs.

      It's the Pelfrey signing that has pushed Deduno into the bullpen, IMO.
    1. Trevor0333's Avatar
      Trevor0333 -
      Great recap of the odd moves, it's very hard to find the logic behind them.

      Pelfrey does seem to fair better right out of the gate. Maybe he gains 2 mph on his fastball & his style of over using his fastball turns him into a decent setup guy.

      Burton does not look good, could be a need for someone to step up into his role with Deduno swapping with Pelfrey.
    1. jmlease1's Avatar
      jmlease1 -
      While I agree that based on merit Deduno should be in the rotation and is miscast as a reliever, I'm mostly ok with taking another turn or two through the rotation before making a decision on kicking one of the current 5 to the pen and replacing them with Deduno. 2 starts is a pretty small sample size and I'm not ready to give up on anyone yet.

      Let's keep in mind that if we went purely based on merit based on results so far, Nolasco is the one that should get kicked into the pen. he's been flat-out awful so far, easily the worst of the five. You have to hope that with his track record and contract he bounces back and his early struggles are either climate related or he just needs some innings to get into form.

      The Bartlett decision is the one that I find really troubling. He's shown nothing to indicate he deserves a place on this roster. Again, it's a (very) small sample, but even in a handful of ABs he's looked totally lost at the plate and doesn't have the defensive skills any longer to be a super utility guy. He can't play OF, so what's he doing here? Hermann or Parmelee should have stuck from the start and now that they've added Nunez I have to believe Bartlett's time will be (deservedly) done soon.
    1. Trautmann13's Avatar
      Trautmann13 -
      The only thing I see now is how absolutely horrible the Pelfrey deal truly was. I was against it from the beginning and know I see that I was likely correct in feeling it was a waste of everyone's time and money.

      I would not be surprised at all if the best thing we see from Pelfrey this year is the Wichita State prank played on him. Hopefully this whole thing is just a prank and it will be over soon.
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      We're ten games in and already our run differential is -13. Strap in Twins fans...it's going to be a long one.
    1. Dantes929's Avatar
      Dantes929 -
      Pelfrey's 1st start really wasn't all that bad. This last one was but mostly because he was walking guys before the home runs. Baker and Radke used to get off to slow starts in April as well Pelfrey did pretty well in the middle months last year. Way too early to give up on him or anyone else for that matter. Deduno out of the pen isn't bad in and of itself. If he has a 3 ERA out of the pen the wildness is no more of an issue than when he was starting. You notice it because of a wild pitch costing you a run but a 3 ERA is a 3 ERA. What makes it bad is that he can probably outperform at least 2 of the guys in the rotation. By year end the rotation will be Meyer, Deduno, Pelfrey, Gibson and Hughes or Nolasco. You give them all a chance (6 times through rotation maybe) but basically you have laid 4 guys with 4.3 career ERA's and a very good prospect at Anderson's feet wanting him to turn them into 4.00 ERA guys. If instead they are over 5.00 collectively in June then it should be proof enough that Anderson has been the common denominator.
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      Quote Originally Posted by howeda7 View Post
      Swap Deduno for Pelfrey immediately. Eventually someone else will pitch their way out (Corriea) and Pelfrey can have another shot. Until then, he can give us 3 effective innings at a time out of the bullpen instead of imploding after 5 in the rotation.
      Pelfrey's got good control of his two-seamer, but he's throwing waaaaay too many of them, and hitters are adapting. He's got to start mixing in a cutter that bends the other way. Even if he can't spot the cutter as well as his 2-seam, it would throw off hitters that are looking for the ball to bend right with a similar looking pitch that bends the other way.

      I could see the Twins swapping Pelfrey and Deduno right now, but I'd work Pelfrey on throwing a cutter, then bring him back into the rotation.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Except we have last year, and before he was injured as data also, Dantes929. For many of us, reaction to Pelfrey's starts is not about 2 data points.
    1. dwalter's Avatar
      dwalter -
      Great post, thanks. The Pelfrey signing to block Deduno drives me crazy. Could have used the $$ for something else. Deduno is perfect guy to use while waiting for everyone. I'd be way more likely to buy walk up seats for a deduno start than palfrey and am sure I'm not in the minority.
    1. Dave T's Avatar
      Dave T -
      Nick - I agreed with everything you said except for the remark about Presley. Good riddance to that no-hit AAAA player. Now that he's healthy again, Mastroianni is a much better reserve OF due to his offense.
©2014 TwinsCentric, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Interested in advertising with Twins Daily? Click here.