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Article: Pitching Central

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#1 Nick Nelson

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 07:10 PM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...itching-Central

#2 Shane Wahl

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 07:38 PM

I would put Worley at 6, but the point is clear. Very clear. The Twins are not *really* trying. It is likely that Bauer is going to be rushed a bit and 2013 might not be so good for him, but he is still worth it immediately. Marcum would at least make the overall Twins group look respectable (I think the White Sox are in trouble with Peavy, by the way).

#3 Thrylos

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 07:40 PM

1. James Shields (Royals)
2. Anibal Sanchez (Tigers)
3. Jake Peavy (White Sox)
4. Trevor Bauer (Indians)
5. Ervin Santana (Royals)
6. Jeremy Guthrie (Royals)
7. Wade Davis (Royals)
8. Vance Worley (Twins)
9. Brett Myers (Indians)
10. Kevin Correia (Twins)
11. Mike Pelfrey (Twins)


Those are always hard to do, but one of them sticks out like a sore thumb: Trevor Bauer (Indians). He is on the Meyer/May category: Never pitched an inning in the majors. And he was never as good a prospect as Pelfrey was ;)

I'd add Harden to the list and remove Bauer (for the reason mentioned above)

"quality" is subjective and really it translates to "results". Couple of the Twins' signings have had high ceilings and one reached it but they come from injuries. (Harden, Pelfrey). Peavy was out for a while because of an injury. If Harden really comes back, he will rank ahead of Peavy and ahead of Sanchez, right at the Shields' level. Pelfrey has been a good pitcher when healthy and at least at the Santana level. Worley is young and should be ahead of the Guthries and Myerses of the world. And last time Myers started in the majors was a few years ago. Correia is Correia and we will figure out what that is, but I don't have much hope; I am thinking Blackburn, and if he is anything better, the Twins will be ahead.
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#4 gunnarthor

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:15 PM

Yep, you three hit it right (although Worley really should be 6).

We knew Ryan wasn't going to give big bucks to free agents. He wants to slow the bleeding as a team and isn't looking at a pitcher to fix things all by himself. Let's hope the defense is stronger this season. Harden was a nice little move. Worley is a real pitcher. Hopefully, Diamond is too. But after that, we'll be hoping for some weird ugly seasons, like Blackburn's 2010. As bad as he was that year, he still gave the Twins a quality start in 54% of his starts. I'm not sure how that was possible but I'd be ecstatic if Correia gave us 16 starts like that.

Edited by gunnarthor, 02 January 2013 - 08:34 PM.
thrylos' post wasn't viewable when i made mine


#5 ND-Fan

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:30 PM

Twins sure are not putting a lot of effort to convince out of state fans to come to game this coming season. I love watching a Twins game but last year watching them on TV there was no incentive to make a trip to the cities to watch team that was playing so poorly defensively and pitching that had team down 3 to 4 runs after a inning of baseball. We would start watching a game and it was so out of hand after several innings we would just turn them off. In my mind they haven't improved much this off season pitching may be a little better but with span and Revere gone the offense is going to be less too. For a team that new it needed pitching there effort for immediate season has been D work. This team needed to improve there pitching and defense and they have done little to do this off season. They need quality ss and second baseman that can be put out there without liability to the offense or the defense. They should of taken flyer on some of the younger pitching talent on longer term basis to add future depth with young pitching talent they did aquire for the future. The new ballpark is quality and fun experience to watch a baseball game at but if the product is so poor on the field its not enough to go to target field to just watch a game. At least for me its not to spend $500 to 1000 for a weekend for pleasure sitting in Target Field unless there's some decent baseball being played and we have 50/50 chance of winning a game. I don't think i'm alone in this feeling.

#6 Fire Dan Gladden

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:41 PM

Where is the "acceptable" line?

You could make a case that almost every starter #'s 1-7 was acquired via an overpayment of some kind. Had the Twins overpaid for these guys, the negative response would be as big as the current negative response is. Heck, look at the Correia signing.

Multiple sources have reported the Twins have been in on a large number of starting pitchers. You have to believe that is the case. Considering the crazy dollars being thrown around, does it really surprise anybody that the Twins have been relatively quiet to this point? TR himself has said they do not want to overpay for pitching.

What is going to make you happy? Smart dollar decisions, or overpaying for mid-level pitching?

Also, stop complaining about the signings as a whole until spring training. Too much can happen between now and then.

#7 beckmt

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:07 PM

Twins also have Gibson who should be here next year. That should qualify as a help. I can see the frustration, but the Twins do not want to block the young players coming up. Once a new foundation is built, then you sign players to fill in the holes. I know it is tough, but next year is being written off(informally) , with only the hope they can compete if thing break well.

#8 Nick Nelson

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:00 PM

[quote name='thrylos98']Those are always hard to do, but one of them sticks out like a sore thumb: Trevor Bauer (Indians). He is on the Meyer/May category: Never pitched an inning in the majors. And he was never as good a prospect as Pelfrey was Posted Image[/quote]

Well first of all, that's untrue. Bauer made four starts for the D-Backs last year, as a 21-year-old. And prior to the season, he was ranked by BA as the 9th-best prospect in ball, which is much higher than Pelfrey was ever ranked, so I'm not sure about your latter assertion. I'd certainly rather have Bauer than any of the guys below him on the list. Do you disagree?

[quote name='gunnarthor']Yep, you three hit it right (although Worley really should be 6).[/QUOTE]
I went back and forth a little bit about how to rank the 6-through-8 guys, and I think they're fairly interchangeable. Ultimately, Worley hasn't thrown more than 130 innings in a season, hasn't pitched outside the NL and is coming off surgery – however minor. That's enough to give the other guys a slight edge for me.

[quote name='Fire Dan Gladden']You could make a case that almost every starter #'s 1-7 was acquired via an overpayment of some kind. Had the Twins overpaid for these guys, the negative response would be as big as the current negative response is. Heck, look at the Correia signing.[/QUOTE]
This is dead wrong. To acquire established quality pitching, you have to overpay. That's just how it is. The alternative is sitting on unused payroll and trotting out a staff that has almost no chance to succeed this season. How does that benefit anyone?

The issue with the Correia signing wasn't that the Twins overpaid for pitching, it's that they overpaid for bad pitching. That's not how you get better.

#9 COtwin

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:14 PM

I have to disagree with an assumption made in a previous post. An argument was made for not overpaying for better pitching as to not block the younger guys. I can a agree with that if no 2 year contracts are handed out to bottom of the rotation guys. Gibson/Hendricks/whomever, is going to be blocked by correia. Not by a 1-3 type. We all know that correia is gonna have to be absolutely terrible to not be in the rotation. Then he just gets moved to the pen instead of being sent down, thus blocking other younger guys who deserve a shot ala slama. 

#10 Brandon

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:29 PM

I expect Harden to dominate in relief.
I think the list above is for expected talent level for next season and Bauer may be a great prospect but isn't an immediate given He could end up anywhere from 4-8 on the list. Also the only player on that list that was realistic for the Twins that they didn't get was Myers. I would rank Marcum between 6-7 for durability issues. but projecting into next year is hard as we don't have a big enough sample size to see if Pelfry and his new cutter would continue at the pace he started last season, then there is projecting the development of Davis and Bauer, does Santana rebound and how much? The other thing that isn't spelled out is how much of a cost did each team pay for their pitching? Kansas City paid alot of money and prospects. I almost want to root for them for going all in and for the pity I will feel for them if they dont win. Their trade for Shields was like a Matt Capps for Wilson trade on steroids. The Twins are only stuck with 5 million sunk cost in 2014 for Corriea. In the future Meyers probably ranks up in the top 3 as does Bauer, May probably projects to be in the Myers/ Guthrie vicinity.

Here is how i would rank the pitchers for next season.
1. James Shields (Royals)
2. Anibal Sanchez (Tigers)
3. Jake Peavy (White Sox)
4. Vance Worley (Twins)
5. Ervin Santana (Royals)
6. Jeremy Guthrie (Royals)
7. Brett Myers (Indians)
8. Trevor Bauer (Indians)
9. Wade Davis (Royals)
10. Mike Pelfrey (Twins)
11. Kevin Correia (Twins)

#11 Shane Wahl

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 12:03 AM

That's a good list, Brandon. I think Worley is good. Santana on a good year is better, but the average is about the same. The problem is still the bottom. The Twins made good moves aside from the Correia signing. It IS a terrible signing and will kill Shaun Marcum's signing, probably, but it still is the only mistake.

#12 GoMNTwins

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 01:19 AM

I listened to the podcast and fully agreed with you about the payroll. It seems suspiciously as if cutting payroll was the intention to begin with, knowing full well they couldn't openly admit it after the reaction they got last year. There's still a chance they'll spend it in future offseasons, but I'm starting to doubt it. It's funny that Target Field was supposed to bring in star players, and the All-Star Game will be all we get in that regard.

#13 Top Gun

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 01:50 AM

A great list by Nick and so true. Marcum would probably make the top 5 and is the Twins fans last hope! A pretty sad Twins outlook in deed.

#14 ScottyB

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 05:16 AM

Marcum would definitely improve things for the Twins. But the Correia deal still sticks in the craw. They should have taken the $10M and gone aggressively after Carlos Villanueva for the same amount (what the Cubs got him for). He's an American League East pitcher who could be an asset in either the rotation or the bullpen. Marcum, Worley, Villanueva, Pelfrey and Harden would have made me feel a lot better.

#15 mike wants wins

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:09 AM

Given his actions this year, and how similar they are to the past, I think it is pretty clear what Ryan is doing. It just is not true that any player on that list was not reachable by the Twins. I do not understand how any conclusion can be drawn other than Ryan will not pay market rates for a free agent. It is not over paying if that is what happens every year. It is the market the pohlads have decided to play in, supposedly.

#16 Brandon

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:26 AM

I am going to back track just a little on what i said earlier. there were 2 other pitchers on the list available other than Myers, Sanchez and Santana. and seeing where payroll is going to be the next few years as there are going to be lots of pre arbitration players on the team we could easily afford to get Sanchez if we wanted that top of rotation pitcher.

Depending on what is likely to be available in 2 years as a free agent or who we draft in the first round and how quickly they can get to the majors. since the Twins are not going to compete next year I guess it doesn't matter that they didnt get a pitcher this offseason we can wait to see if more options are available later when TR decides its time to be competetive again.

#17 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 08:59 AM

This is dead wrong. To acquire established quality pitching, you have to overpay. That's just how it is. The alternative is sitting on unused payroll and trotting out a staff that has almost no chance to succeed this season. How does that benefit anyone?

The issue with the Correia signing wasn't that the Twins overpaid for pitching, it's that they overpaid for bad pitching. That's not how you get better.


The thing is that most of us had pretty reasonable expectations. We didn't expect Greinke. We didn't yell about signing Sanchez. We were split on Jackson. Most of us just wanted a Dempster or a Marcum. That would have been enough to take this pitching staff from awful to mediocre. That's all we wanted.

And thus far, we haven't even gotten that much. Pretty pathetic, actually.

#18 old nurse

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 09:05 AM

The issue with the Correia signing wasn't that the Twins overpaid for pitching, it's that they overpaid for bad pitching. That's not how you get better.


Equally bad pitching got the same or more money as Correia.
By what standard is Guthrie anything more than a mediocre pitcher?
Ervin Santana was given away by the Angels. 39 home runs given up and a loss of velocity
Didn't know Revere was an All Star as the Twins got a quality pitcher and a quality pitching prospect for him. And you say you have to overpay for pitching.
Fangraphs column on Wade Davis "But the two things we know about Wade Davis as a major leaguer are that he’s been a mediocre starter and an excellent reliever"

#19 JB_Iowa

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 09:09 AM

It is pretty pathetic -- and it is amazing to me how people have "scaled back" their expectations on what pitching can/should be acquired as the off-season has progressed.

Keep kidding yourself that TR is "saving" that money for a future year. Apparently the 50%+ rule only applies as a ceiling not a floor.

#20 Nick Nelson

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 09:16 AM

Equally bad pitching got the same or more money as Correia.
By what standard is Guthrie anything more than a mediocre pitcher?
Ervin Santana was given away by the Angels. 39 home runs given up and a loss of velocity
Didn't know Revere was an All Star as the Twins got a quality pitcher and a quality pitching prospect for him. And you say you have to overpay for pitching.
Fangraphs column on Wade Davis "But the two things we know about Wade Davis as a major leaguer are that he’s been a mediocre starter and an excellent reliever"

There is a difference between mediocre and bad. Correia has a track record that includes neither sustained durability nor success. I'd feel a lot more comfortable slotting any of the guys you mentioned into the rotation.

#21 old nurse

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 09:33 AM

There is a difference between mediocre and bad. Correia has a track record that includes neither sustained durability nor success. I'd feel a lot more comfortable slotting any of the guys you mentioned into the rotation.


Correa did not sign a contract equal to anyone else on your list but Pelfry. There were other rotation/bullpen arms that received equall money or better that signed in other divisions.
What is the definition of the term success? Shields and Peavey you would call successful. What makes the others in your definition a success other than signing with a team other than the Twins. Not more talented, more successful.

#22 Boom Boom

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 09:40 AM

If the Twins weren't in love with any better free agent pitchers, and if they didn't have a chance to make a trade for more immediate rotation help, I could be a bit more forgiving if the extra $15-20 million they're sitting on was spent on some middle infield help.

We'll never know for sure but my suspicion is that the word came down from the Pohlads to slash payroll again this year.

#23 70charger

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 10:12 AM

This strikes me as an agenda-driven article. What has Jeremy Guthrie done to put him above Vance Worley at 34 years old? How do you put Trevor Bauer up there when he's pitched like 3 innings in the majors? And if Bauer's way up there, why ignore Meyer and May? Wade Davis? Maybe if you really like relievers. Hell, let's put Glen Perkins back in the rotation and call it a win. And if we can rank Wade Davis that high, why not Rich Harden? He's probably a reliever too.

Seems like you started with the premise that the Twins are not up to par, and then everything you offered as evidence was designed to prove it, including some highly suspect rankings. Granted, I'm not expecting much out of the Twins in 2013, but it has far more to do with their relative lack of talent (as seen in 2012) than it does with any lack of moves in the offseason. I'm not expecting much out of the rest of the Central either - not even with this relatively ragtag group of signings. Only the top few are worth much, but you can't seriously be telling me you'd have made the kind of trade the Royals did to get Shields. Not worth it. Not one bit.

#24 Shane Wahl

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 10:36 AM

Guthrie is not good at all but he is better than Correia and is going to provide 180-210 innings of 4.5 ERA. Worley is clearly better than that, though.

#25 PseudoSABR

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 11:19 AM

The time to pay market prices for mediocre or mid-tier pitching should have never been this year for the Twins. I don't find KC's moves at all enviable.

As charger suggests, the article is totally weighted with the premise that the Twins some how missed the boat...

#26 old nurse

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 11:26 AM

Guthrie is not good at all but he is better than Correia and is going to provide 180-210 innings of 4.5 ERA. Worley is clearly better than that, though.

3/25 contract versus 2/10 Guthrie ought to be better than Correia. Guthrie chose to resign because he had good luck in KC.

#27 old nurse

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 11:29 AM

The time to pay market prices for mediocre or mid-tier pitching should have never been this year for the Twins


You are very correct.

#28 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 11:44 AM

The time to pay market prices for mediocre or mid-tier pitching should have never been this year for the Twins. I don't find KC's moves at all enviable.

As charger suggests, the article is totally weighted with the premise that the Twins some how missed the boat...


Why shouldn't the Twins pick up a decent pitcher on the free agent market? I don't get the reasoning... It's not as if they're going to save that money for 2014 and beyond (at which point their payroll is going to be stupid-low anyway). Why not sign a guy for 2-3 years? What is the real harm in doing that? I haven't seen anybody here advocating the front office to trade away prospects for a Shields-type pitcher but with an excess of money, why shouldn't Ryan spend a little to make the team look slightly less awful for 2013?

#29 Seth Stohs

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 11:52 AM

Nick's right in saying that, for 2013, it hasn't been a great offseason. They were a bottom half offense in 2012 and took away Span and Revere and haven't added anyone. Pitching-wise, they've added Worley, which is nice, and we'll see how he heals and how he adjusts to the AL. But as of right now, I think that the 2013 season outlook looks worse than 2012's. Of course, lots of things could happen, like Morneau and Willingham could each hit 40 homers and Plouffe could suddenly hit 30, and Hicks or whoever plays CF could be rookie of the year, and Parmelee is better than expected, and Correia and Pelfrey can be close to league average, and Scott Diamond's Cinderella season lasts another and some other guys could step up. Or, the opposite could happen. We don't know.

I do think that, aside from the Correia signing, I love the direction that I see the Twins going. Loved the two trades for the long-term. I do eagerly anticipate a 2015 rotation of Gibson, Hendriks, Diamond, Worley, Meyer and May (OK, five of them). I think there is something to be excited about. And, along with Mauer, there are some exciting bats coming too.

But the point of Nick's post is that, he thinks that along with thinking long-term, enough care needs to be given to 2013 to maintain a fan base. Frankly, I won't (and most of you who come to sites like this) miss a game on TV regardless of if they win 100 or lose 110, but I know there are a lot of fair-weather fans out there and the Twins are in jeopardy of losing them.

#30 70charger

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 11:59 AM

Why shouldn't the Twins pick up a decent pitcher on the free agent market? I don't get the reasoning... It's not as if they're going to save that money for 2014 and beyond (at which point their payroll is going to be stupid-low anyway). Why not sign a guy for 2-3 years? What is the real harm in doing that? I haven't seen anybody here advocating the front office to trade away prospects for a Shields-type pitcher but with an excess of money, why shouldn't Ryan spend a little to make the team look slightly less awful for 2013?


How do you know that? Is there some inside information you have that I'm not privy to?