03-05-2012, 11:21 AM #1
Here is a Mankato FreePress writer's thoughts on the bullpen criticism TR has faced...
A couple of things I don't agree with him on:
A) We didn't over pay Capps. I'm just not a fan of paying the guy 4+ million as a pitch to contact closer.
B) Is anybody actually critical we let Mijares go???
03-05-2012, 11:30 AM #2
Who else was going to pay Capps, coming off a horrid season, 4 million?
03-05-2012, 11:43 AM #3
This wait and see approach is a joke. They have nobody to chew up innings in the 7th and 8th innings. Glen Perkins can't be used as the setup man every night out. The Joel Zumaya experiment lasted a whole 2 days of spring training. This leaves unproven pitchers like Doyle, Oliveros, Manship, and Burnett to get hit hard everytime out. What happened yesterday (5 runs given up by Jason Bulger) at the New Red Sox ballpark in Fort Myers will happen often in 2012. We can't even beat an A.L. East team in spring training. This idea you can bring in 33 washed up minor league pitchers is all BULL and there is no PEN.
03-05-2012, 11:53 AM #4
A RH relief pitcher is a glaring hole on this team right now. I have a little hope for Oliveros because he's young, has a little experience, throws hard, and got a few guys out last year. I have absolutely no hope for Alex Burnett other than throwing the ball over the plate and hoping for junk time outs.
03-05-2012, 12:09 PM #5
There is way too much angst in regard to the Twins bullpen, especially given it is early in spring training. I have coached high school and travel teams for over 20 years and trust me the kids perform way better after a few weeks of training than at the beginning of it. I would start to sweat bullets in two weeks it the trend is not towards a solid bullpen. Historically, the easiest thing to fix is a bullpen. There are plenty of failed starters out there with two good pitches that can be culled from the ash heap of major league and minor league pitchers. Terry has assembled a nice collection of what were once promising prospects or former decent major league performers hoping to prove their doubters wrong. He has a nice collection of minor league pitchers he can bring in (if he is willing to speed up the development process) to fill in holes. I just think Billy Smith had no eye for talent and made a plethora of bad personnel decisions last year. The see that lack of any stud starting pitchers as a larger problem. We have too many soft throwers who consider it a good day if they go five innings. Failure to go 7-8 consistently ruins even the best bullpens and in our case produces a disaster. What we need is some of the Nolan Ryan attitude in Minnesota and start to challenge our starters to grow a pair. We also need a bullpen with a pair as well. The courage to throw inside and to make hitters nervous to step in the box.
03-05-2012, 02:47 PM #6
First of all, the Twins committed $5 million to Capps, not 4.
I guess what annoys me is that the Twins seem to be taking the same approach with the bullpen as last year's failed gamble -- watching bullpen mainstays depart (last year Guerrier and Crain, this year Nathan) and rather than signing established relievers to replace them, hoping that unproven internal guys can step up and do the job. We all know that marginal pitchers have turned the corner to emerge as solid relievers plenty often in the past, but the Twins are going to need several guys to do it this year if they actually want the bullpen to be an asset. Over the past decade, the lesser Twins team that have sneaked their way into the playoffs have always benefited from a deep relief corps that consistently held leads, and people seem to overlook that.
The other thing that bugs me is that after all the talk this offseason about creating competition in camp and making it so players have to earn their jobs, Capps was guaranteed the closer spot despite losing it due of poor performance last season. Perkins was ruled out as a candidate early on and there's nobody else in the picture who could realistically be deemed a contender for the role. I've said many times that I think Capps can be a fine closer if he's healthy, but there's no assurance his elbow problems won't crop up again this year. If he's closer to 2009/2011 form than 2010, this team has serious issues with late-inning RH relief help.
03-05-2012, 03:06 PM #7
I don't have an issue with Capps getting the closer role and Perkins as main setup. Them being told their roles right away gives them a better chance to prepare for the season since they know for sure what they will be doing.
Thankfully in the past Gardy has not been afraid to change closers doing the season, so hopefully that will be the case again. Only question is, if Capps tanks again, who can step up...
03-05-2012, 03:59 PM #8
Ideally, Capps will be a totally sufficient closer because he won't need to come in and save games very often with all our 6-10 run leads. That could happen, right?
03-05-2012, 08:57 PM #9
There is a difference between just bringing warm bodies, and bringing in guys with skills that could be useful. This year it looks like the Twins just brought In warm bodies. It's frustrating when you realize this was the same strategy employed last season, and it basically blew up in their faces last year. So far, while still early, it looks like we are in trouble again.