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Article: Winter Additions Mean Crowded Rotation

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#1 Cody Christie

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 08:59 AM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...To-Look-Crowded

#2 Brandon

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 09:20 AM

If he's healthy its Deduno. He has filthy stuff with just a little wildness. His era was actually 3.18 or so till he pitched his last 3 starts of the year injured. I think the Twins expect to lose Worely or/ and Diamond as evidenced by the Johnson and Gilmartin trades. they have options remaining and should be included in the 5th starter hunt.

#3 ScottyB

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 09:31 AM

Meyer's not even on the 40-man yet, so his option clock hasn't started ticking yet. Same with Gilmartin.

#4 Zephrin

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 09:38 AM

I agree with Brandon that Deduno will get an early shot, except I think it reasonably likely that Deduno starts the year on IR. I don't think Johnson and Gilmartin are really in the hunt - they are more of emergency backup plans in case the Twins do lose Worley and Diamond and Gibson/Meyer don't look ready.

#5 jorgenswest

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 09:42 AM

I don't think it is a guarantee that Correia is in the rotation. The Twins need to consider a bullpen/6th starter role for him. He is a good fit for the pen. He holds on runners. He maintains the same level performance or better with runners on base. He has a track record of health.


Gibson needs to be in the rotation from opening day.


Meyer needs to be up early before he has too many high pitch count games in AAA. I would advocate for opening day, but certainly after he shows any success in 10 AAA starts.


They can't give up on Worley. He needs to be in the pen and work his way out. His projections are better than any other starter other than Nolasco because they are based on 3-4 years. He was awful last year. Simply using last year to project the next year is not very reliable.

Deduno looked good last year, but his longer track record is shaky. I would hope the Twins give him a short leash in the rotation to start the year (Correia in pen). If he is successful, they can trade Pelfrey for anything they can get and make room for Meyer.

Diamond has one good year behind him. Does he profile in the pen? I think he has the least upside of the three pitchers with out options. He is left handed and that may keep him around.

Ideally, the Twins end the season with three pitchers in the rotation with service time that they can count on for the next few years while Correia spends the year in the pen and Pelfrey has some BABIP luck and is traded for something mid summer.

#6 Zephrin

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 09:47 AM

Jorgenswest - I agree that neither Correia or Pelfrey are locks for rotation spots long-term this season, but I would be shocked if they don't both start the year in the rotation.

#7 Zephrin

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 09:53 AM

Ideally, I would like to see Gibson seize the opportunity in Spring Training for the #5 slot. Deduno will be added to the 25-man in some capacity once he eases his way back from injury - either as a starter for someone who falters, or as a reliever so they don't lose him. Meyer will be told the same thing Gibson was last year - go be consistent for 6-8 starts at AAA and we'll give you a shot. Hopefully that happens by early summer.

#8 PopRiveter

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 10:27 AM

Unlikely that all 4 veteran starters will be healthy enough to start the season. Starting pitchers are just too fragile to expect all those arms to be sound.

Chances are, the 1 opening we see today will be 2 when camp breaks. Between Deduno, Gibson, Diamond, there will also be at least one starter disqualified either by injury, or meltdown. It is easy to imagine scenarios whereby Diamond is the odd man out of the organization.

I hope Deduno is healthy and forces his way in, as he is my favorite to watch out of this year's group, but it is way too soon to know who will really be the final five.

#9 DocBauer

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 10:42 AM

Four spots are set barring injury or a trade of Correia. (A possibility depending how ST and the various candidates shake out) No way on Meyer or Gilmartin. Down the road sure. Meyer could be special and Gilmartin solid. But they are young, lack innings, and aren't even on the 40 man roster yet and currently behind guys who are that we have to sort out. Johnson is AAA depth, possibly bullpen help or fill in starter at some point.
I am a big believer in Gibson and have no doubt he'd be established firmly at this point sans injury and rehab. But reality is he was injured, rehabbed, and last season was his first season back. We all know timetables and histories of TJ injury. I'd love to see Gibson kick butt and earn job right out of spring. But with options on his side, it wouldn't hurt a bit if the Twins decide to let him pitch every fifth day, stretch out and gain a little more experience at Rochester for a few weeks or month.

Deduno, Diamond, Worley, probably in that order, are your candidates. Will Deduno be 100% at the start of ST? I hope so, but he might not be.

Thankfully we have depth and potential here. Remember, how the season starts doesn't necessarily mean it will stay that way for long. How awesome would it be for Deduno to be or get healthy, Gibson fully arrives, and we'd have the luxury of trading a Correia to a needy team?

#10 Thrylos

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 11:05 AM

I would add at least Swarzak, K. Johnson and Duensing to the list because they all were told that they will compete for a spot. Fien and Pressly have options left in the pen, Roenicke is gone so there is room for all 5 pitchers (Deduno, Diamond, Duensing, Swarzak, Worley) without options in this group.

Let's look at the career numbers of those 5 (I even include ERA :) ) as starters:

Deduno: 4.09 ERA, 1.433 WHIP/.283 BABIP, 15.3% K%, 1.32 K/BB
Diamond: 4.43 ERA, 1.405 WHIP/.304 BABIP, 10.9% K%, 1.92 K/BB
Duensing: 4.57 ERA, 1.428 WHIP/.320 BABIP, 15.2% K%, 2.38 K/BB
Swarzak: 5.79 ERA, 1.507 WHIP/.316 BABIP, 12.7% K%, 2.05 K/BB
Worley: 4.12 ERA, 1.449 WHIP/.334 BABIP, 18.1% K%, 2.37 K/BB

Got to love the people who think that Duensing was a "failed" starter and think that Deduno is the best of the group and exalt Diamond's 2012. ERA-aside, Duensing's numbers are better overall.

I think that the job will be won in ST, with the 3 losing pitchers from this group not named Deduno (who will start in the DL) in the pen or traded.

If I were to hand a job on paper before ST, I'd say that it is Worley's to lose, unless they want a lefty in the rotation and then it should be Duensing's...
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#11 ScottyB

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 11:34 AM

Swarzak and Duensing were told to report as potential starters before all of the FA signings. I doubt that's still the case.

#12 Thrylos

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 11:45 AM

Swarzak and Duensing were told to report as potential starters before all of the FA signings. I doubt that's still the case.


Here: Hear it straight from the horse's mouth (5 days ago, after all the signings)
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#13 DAM DC Twins Fans

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 11:53 AM

Given the number of free agents signed--Gibson who in all honesty showed little last year will start at Rochester. As will guys not on 40 man roster (Meyer, Gilmartin, etc.) Assume Deduno starts on the DL. That leaves Swarzek, Worley, Diamond, Duensing and maybe Albers to fight for 5th and 6th spots. Given April weather--5th and 6th spots will be in bullpen.

The winner will be decided in ST. None of us can know who will be sharp then (or for that matter in May after spending April in the pen). My guess Worley--but as Thrylos points out none of these guys have stellar career numbers.

My hope is that by June Meyer and Gibson will be ready and we can dump most of these guys. The Braves had little faith in Gilmartin--till he does something in minors--I also have little faith.

#14 tjsyam921

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 12:02 PM

If Deduno is healthy it is him without question. If not he ends up on the DL and Diamond gets the shot with Worley trying to get sent through waivers.

#15 YourHouseIsMyHouse

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 12:25 PM

Deduno has a lot of movement on his pitches and he keeps the ball in the yard. Even if he regresses a little bit from last season, I think he has a future at the back end for a couple years.

#16 beckmt

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 12:48 PM

Deduno could be a #3 starter, based on movement and performance. He should be the first option for the #5 slot.

#17 SpantheMan

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 12:51 PM

I honestly hope and think that Swarzek and Duensing will be in the bullpen, with no chance at the rotation.Duensing is a below average at best starter because he has so much trouble against righties. Swarzek is an average long man.

I assume we are talking about one rotation spot. Correia and Pelfry should be in the rotation and then at least one of them traded in July. Then we could bring up Meyer or Gibson, who should start in AAA.

I wouldn't mind losing diamond add much, but I really don't want to lose either Deneudo or Worley, so if they're both healthy i would keep one if them in the pen. But more than likely Deneudo will start on the DL and then Worley should get the spot IMO.

#18 Tibs

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 01:50 PM

How does Deduno, Diamond, and Worley being out of options affect the chances they are traded?

#19 Dman

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 02:07 PM

I agree with Thrylos on this. There is room for all of them if the Twins want to. Spring training is going to be really huge for those pitchers. I agree with most posters that Diamond is likely the odd pitcher out as he appears to have the least upside. It looks like the Twins have set themselves up to see if several players can generate trade value at the trade deadline. I think the goal is to try and get something for the marginal players and then make room for the guys who are performing well in AAA.

#20 Rosterman

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 02:17 PM

Deduno starts on the DL.

The Twins entertain offers for Duensing and Swarzak once arbitration salaries are decided.

Diamond and Worley start in the pen. Diamond is a lefty so might be considered more for the rotation. Spring training is always interesting. Some pitchers don't work out. Some shine. The Twins do have enough potential bullpen depth to be active players if other teams are seeking relief from both sides.

Gibson starts in the minors.

Is there a logjam at Rochester, though. Darnell Logan, Gibson, Meyer, May, Albers, Dean, Velasquez amongst others. Who starts at New Britain just for the heck of it.

Sadly, there isn't a market for players like Diamond, Worley, and even Parmelee (and Hendriks, as shown). They get released and picked up if a club has an open spot for a chance to be roster fodder. The otehr joy is if any of the guys have horrid spring trainings so no one sees a need to touch them and keep them on the 40-man.

#21 zchrz

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 02:34 PM

I wonder if Duensing and Swarzak are being told to prepare to start so they can be evaluated in the same pool as Deduno, Worley, Diamond. One open spot in the rotation, two spots in the pen, and 2 guys go. That is assuming no one else, Gibson/ Meyer, blows them away in spring and earns a spot.

Deduno has probably earned the right to the rotation spot if hes healthy and good in spring. I think Worley has the most potential of the group so he has the inside track on a pen spot. Diamond is probably the odd starter out but may stick as a Duensing replacement. I think Duensing is probably gone, Swarzak was pretty damn good as the long man last year but then again long relievers are pretty replaceable.
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#22 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 02:51 PM

Pretty crowded indeed, a better problem to have than last spring.

Gibson has AAA options that others don't, but if he pitches well in spring and wins a job, Ryan needs to let him join the club, instead of optioning him down to Rochester because of some administrative benefit. I also wouldn't be surprised to see a trade this spring if multiple guys pitch well.

#23 DocBauer

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 04:02 PM

Even with being heavily overworked last season, the Twins had one of the best bullpens in baseball last season. And with a deeper and higher quality rotation this year, the pen could/should perform even better this year. Even a staus quo, no improvement a all, it would still be a major strength and one of the best in MLB.

There appears to be a battle between Pressly and Tonkin for the final RH spot, and I suppose Worley could be a candidate as well, and some other supporting members rising through the ranks. I believe Thielbar is the real deal and will continue to perform well. There is the possibility of some regression, of course, and relievers numbers and performance can be skewed somewhat year to year when even small bad streaks can inflate numbers of even a solid performer. But Thielbar could actually improve with experience/knowledge and continue to be solid to very good. Diamond, Johnson, Ibarra and even Gilmartin potentially provide depth and options from the LH side.

Despite what has been said about Deunsing and Swarzak getting a shot to start, I don't believe it will/should play out that way for a couple of reasons.

1) The depth of starters to enter ST/the season with three hurlers set to fight it out and prove themselves with no options remaining. Yes Deduno could start on the DL and rehab, and no Diamond and Worley are nothing proven. However, knock those two down all you want, when a pitcher has had proven success in MLB, even on a limited basis such as Diamond and Worley have, there is ever chance that healthy, and the fresh slate of another season starting, that they can and will do it again.

Worley had about a season and a half of quality pitching for the Philies before running in to injury. Diamond was solid to very good in 2012 before injury. Either or oth could be ready and raring to go this spring. And argue all you want about Deduno and long-term viability, but there were flashes in 2012 and he was the absolute best and most exciting SP we had in 2013 until injury.

2) Why would you weaken a strength of your club in an attempt to shore up another area when you have other real options?

Yes, it is probably easier to replace a long reliever and a LH reliever than finding a capable starter. But again, with other viable options, why would you mess with a good and proven thing?

Ive seen the best and worst in Deunsing and Swarzak. Swarzak was once a top SP prospect, and even shown flashes. So has Deunsing. I've followed Deunsing since he was pitching here for the Cornhuskers; excellent starter before TJ, excellent in the Len, then a song man, before helping as a starter again. Once again, each has shown flashes. And honestly, especially last season, when one examines the work and maturity of Swarzak, it's hard to say he doesn't deserve a shot, and might have matured enough now to take over a spot.

But again, when you have viable options at your disposal, why mess with a good thing? As stated and agreed, it's easier to find a good reliever than a quality starter, but yet, talk to Detroit and a few other teams about building a quality bullpen. It's not as easy as just plugging someone in and telling them to be excellent.

I really have a hard time with people being so flippant to trade away relievers in one of MLB best bullpens with the idea that the previously mentioned players (depth and potential) can just be automatically plugged in with the same results.

How valuable a durable has Swarzak been for the Twins the past couple of seasons? And how many teams struggle to find ONE decent LHRP and we should very well have TWO?

Dont mess with what you have until someone not only knocks on the door, but seems poised to kick it in.

#24 Thrylos

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 04:15 PM

You lost me with this:

the Twins had one of the best bullpens in baseball last season.


The above is a suburban legend.

Here is how the Twins' pen ranked in 2013:

17th out of 30 MLB teams as far as ERA goes
17th out of 30 MLB teams as far as FIP goes
17th out of 30 MLB teams as far as SIERA goes
8th out of 30 MLB teams as far as WHIP goes
19th out of 30 MLB teams as far as K% goes

Pretty much in the middle or middle low half. Not "one of the best" by any means. The Twins' pen still needs work. It was better than the rotation, but that does not say much. It was mediocre...

Edited by Thrylos, 22 December 2013 - 04:31 PM.

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#25 zchrz

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 04:22 PM

The pen is pretty solid and will continue to be if they shuffle some pieces. Perkins/ Burton/ Fien is a nice top 3, and Theilbar seems a good loogy, that leaves 2 MR spots and a LR. Tonkin is knocking on the door for one of those and should earn it out of spring training but he, like the top 4, is a 1 inning guy. The last 2 spots go to the starters that don't make the rotation, Presley, Duensing, Swarzak, ect.
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#26 DocBauer

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 05:56 PM

You lost me with this:



The above is a suburban legend.

Here is how the Twins' pen ranked in 2013:

17th out of 30 MLB teams as far as ERA goes
17th out of 30 MLB teams as far as FIP goes
17th out of 30 MLB teams as far as SIERA goes
8th out of 30 MLB teams as far as WHIP goes
19th out of 30 MLB teams as far as K% goes

Pretty much in the middle or middle low half. Not "one of the best" by any means. The Twins' pen still needs work. It was better than the rotation, but that does not say much. It was mediocre...


I appreciate and respect your arguments. And we can debate at length all metrics anyone wishes to look at. But I will simply offer a few points.

In all of baseball our ERA was middle of the pack. But in appearances we ranked tied for first with Atlanta and Colorado, a pair of NL clubs. First in the AL. We ranked 5th in the AL, which I believe has a plus of about half a run if memory serves. We also ranked first in the AL in IP and actually had a winning record of 27-22 for a team that won only 66 games. BA was .240 against AL average of .242. SO's were 508 against the mean of 472. Walks were 185 to 191.

MLB ranks were 460-187 SO to BB.

We also had 40 saves vs the mean of 42.

All in all, for a team with an overworked bullpen, and a team that only won 66 games, I feel I'd stand by my statement we had one of the best bullpens in the AL, and one of the better units in all of baseball.

#27 twinsfaninsaudi

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 06:10 PM

To me Worley and his repetoire have bullpen written all over 'em.

#28 ND-Fan

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 06:14 PM

I think Nolasco, Hughes, Pelfry, Correia , are locks for opening season unless injury should pop up during spring ball. I am betting that Dudeno is not healthy and wouldn't be surprised he ends up on disabled list. My bet is that Diamond starts the season as 5 starter being he's left handed. Worley may be kept if Dudeno is hurt or they choose put him with relievers and my bet he would be traded shortly to make room for Dudeno. If Diamond has trouble I wouldn't be surprised he's moved to bull pen and possible trade happens with him or Duensing making room for Dudeno. As for Gibson and Myer my guess is they will be brought up if there's injury to one of the starters or later in the year when they could trade Correia making room for them. I think Twins are going to keep Gibson and Myer service time down if all possible to maintain player control for future years. I am betting Twins look at Albers for relief position because he's left handed and could fill role with his control and they have control of him for several more years. The Twins are going into this spring in much better shape.

#29 h2oface

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 10:34 PM

"The Twins had one of the worst starting rotations in all baseball last year. In order to remedy the problem, the team has done its best to be aggressive in the open market, recently adding Mike Pelfrey via a two-year $11 million deal."

While I understand that Pelfrey was a free agent signing, I really can't see how he can be considered as part of the attempt to remedy the problem, as he was part of the problem of last year's rotation. If anything, he continues to contribute to the problem. I also heartily agree with Thrylos, and that the bullpen was middle of the pack. The stats back it up, for sure. Mediocre does not become one of the best in MLB, just because it is one of the best parts of a horrible 2013 team.

#30 oldguy10

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 09:07 AM

I am solidly behind Thrylos on the bullpen, mediocre at best. How about inherited runners being allowed to score - I doubt that the Twins rank high there.