You can view the page at http://www.twinsdaily.com/content.ph...son-What-to-Do
You can view the page at http://www.twinsdaily.com/content.ph...son-What-to-Do
Regardless of how this is spun, the Nationals messed up their handling of Strasburg. The team with the best record is shutting down arguably one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball in the middle of September. That's the reality.
I would like to see the Twins bring him along slowly (start in Rochester on a strict innings/pitch limit until the middle of May). He should come to Minnesota with about 40 innings under his belt. Then I would like to see the Twins pencil him in every Friday night for the rest of the season. That's about 20 weeks and about 100 more innings pitched, maybe less.
I realize this messes up a traditional rotation, but the Twins aren't in a position to jog five starters out all year and call it good anyway. They'll juggle just like they did this year. What's it matter if you add another ball in the air?
It seems like next year is going to be another non-contending season for the Twins, so I would recommend being very conservative.
I think that the most important thing for the Twins to do will be to keep whatever decision they make in-house. That way, they won't have anything approaching this media circus Washington has right now.
My biggest beef with the Nationals isn't that they're shutting Strasburg down, it's that they're shutting him down when he's seemingly healthy, and showing no signs of trouble. I think you let Gibson pitch as a normal starter, while using caution when problems like soreness and dead arm occur. The only right way to do this is to be as fluid as possible and tell the local media the situation will be dependent on Gibson's health.
the last MLB starter for MN that had TJ surgery was Liriano. They let him get to 200 combined innings between AAA/Twins. Curious to see if they've changed their philosiphy.
Difference between Kyle/Stras is many (myself for sure) thought Wash was a serious contender this year to start the season & could've handled Strad differently if they believed in the innings reduction. MN will have no shot to compete next year, so it wont be as important on the innings for him.
I believe MN will keep Kyle in AAA regardless of his spring training (where they will say he 'could' earn a spot) and bring him up in mid May/June to monitor his innings/service time & also give a nondeserving pitcher (Deduno/Walters/Blackburn, etc) the first 6/8 wks (after saying they earned it).
Also, how will MN handle Scot Baker next yr (Im 90% sure they will resign him also) as he just had the surgery in late April/early May. If guys begin pitching 10 months after surgery...Baker will have all of spring training as his rehab time & also be ready to go fulltime by beginning of May(???).
They'll keep him in AAA "to earn a spot", which is code for keeping him down to reduce his service time and save money. Let's be honest, this team is about making money first, winning second. Right now, he's probably the 2nd best pitcher in this system, which says a lot.
Washington f'd this up big time. They are a great team, unlike the Twins, and should have made sure he was available for the playoffs. OTOH, would they make the playoffs if he is rested? Not sure.
If it was me, I'd not worry about it. From what I read on line, there is no evidence an innings limit after TJ surgery helps at all. Every player is an individual, and I'd play it by ear during the season.
There are a few variables here:
- The Nationals have the best record in baseball and are lined up for a post-season run (not sure where the Twins will be in 2013, hope they are there)
- Strasburg was a proven top of the order stater in the majors before his surgery. I feel that Gibson has not had eye popping numbers above high A. (Career AAA: 4.72 ERA, 1.402 WHIP, 8.4 K/9, 3.33 K/BB (23 GS); AA: 3.68 ERA, 1.215 WHIP, 7.5 K/9 and 3.5 K/BB (16 GS) - Cole De Vries type of numbers...)
So we really cannot compare them and the situations the Nats and the Twins are facing.
Irregardless of Washington's handling of its Strasberg situation, I shall continue to monitor Gibson's progress sporadically, with a casual disregard for medical advise and sports expertise. Come spring I shall render an ill-informed opinion that the Twins organization will be wise to ignore.
I think they should keep him down in AAA until mid June and shut him down around 160 innings. This is the new way of doing things. I don't care if we are contending or not, we have a lot of invested in Kyle and we need him in the future. Our situation is much easier than Washington's because we will not compete.
Now if we spend some money and bring in an Ace type pitcher, or at least spend some big money on a pitcher, I change my philosophy. If you think you are going to compete, have him up early in the season. Put him in the bullpen until mid June or early July and THEN start him. His innings will be good low and he should be able to pitch in the playoffs (in the off chance we actually make it).
If we do not spend big or trade for some descent pitching, then you punt on next season as well. There is no reason to bring him up and waste a year of service/big league money on him. We should already be 2 years into rebuilding mode, which is another story for another thread.
P.S. Isn't it poopie that we will have the same conversation next year about Alex Wimmers (our other first round tommy j hurler). My guess is we draft Appel with the 3-4th pick next spring...he throws well and then...needs tommy j surgery too because Stanford abuses pitchers. Sigh, at least we will have the best outfield in the majors for the rest of time. Go Twins!!
The comparison suggests that Gibson and Strasburg would be or could be equals. The success of Strasburg is considerably greater than Gibson. We dont even know that Gibson will pitch in the majors.
They need to limit his innings to under 180 no matter what. That should not be a controversy for the Twins. It isn't as if we will be in a playoff run or anything. How the Twins do it is almost immaterial. My guess is that if he is on the Twins roster it might be somewhat clever to use short stints on the DL across the season. Then the Twins can add another starter to take Gibson's place in the rotation and can have him continue with the team for rehabilitation.
No matter what, Gibson needs to be in the Twins rotation. I don't care if he is "ready". The Twins need to get him to the major league level and have him start to learn how to pitch to the highest level hitters. If he has a 5+ ERA, who cares. Gibson will be 25 years old next season, Frank Viola had 5+ ERAs in 1982 and 83 as 22/23 year old and he turned out alright. There simply isn't any more time for Gibson to be spending in the minors.
really. Check his pure healthy AA numbers. As far as other Twins' pitchers go, his success in the minors has been very limited. Here are Kevin Slowey's MiLB numbers, here are Glen Perkins', here are Nick Blackburn's. Compare those with Gibson's.
We all know how all those 3 turned out as starters in the majors. And Slowey's numbers were hideous in the minors. Gibson's are at the Blackburn scale.
Doesn't Strasburg throw a lot harder/more violently then Gibson?
I think that makes a large difference, no?
I don't think anybody who wrote this article made any mention of the two being the same pitcher. Strasburg threw 99 before surgery and he's throwing 99-100 after surgery. Gibson threw 92 before surgery and he's throwing 92-94 after surgery. The point isn't to say they're the same pitcher or that the TWins will be in the same situation next year that the Nats are this year. However, how the Twins handle Gibson in 2013 (or Wimmers in 2014, or Baker in 2013) is very important to the Twins organization. Will they limit innings or pitches, and how will they choose to do that?
Jim Kaat's Open Letter to Stephen Strasburg:
Here is a former Twin's A season in a minor league. Statistically much worse than Slowey at a comparable level. Younger than Slowey by a year for the same level, but close enough.
W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP BK WP BF WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
8 8 .500 4.14 27 26 0 1 0 0 160.1 162 94 83 14 55 0 150 10 1 10 688 1.315 9.1 0.8 3.1 8.4 2.73
The next year this pitcher was in the major leagues. Pretty much stayed there, too. It isn't the numbers per se, it is the talent. Perkins for his talent is better suited as a reliever. What is Gibson's talent going to be? We don't know. Development in baseball isn't always reflected in their minor league statistics. If Gibson can go on and have a better career than the former Twin, that would be great, but not likely.
I heard Burt Blylevin on ESPN earlier this season blasting the Nationals and MLB in general about how much these kids (major league pitchers) are getting babied in the minors. He hypothesizes that these kids should be put into a 4 man rotation to build their arm strength up. Maybe that is what we should do with our other pitchers in the minors. Obviously, the guys coming off TJ surgery wouldn't go through this, but it is some food for thought.