02-27-2012, 02:45 AM #21
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Spot on, John. The money isn't the risk, the particular relief role is! Hopefully a lot of the optimism surrounding Lester Oliveros proves to be founded OR a lot of the pessimism surrounding Alex Burnett proves to be unfounded.
The problem, ultimately, is with the Capps signing. The Twins could have signed Coffey, Wheeler, Wuertz, and Zumaya instead.
02-27-2012, 07:59 AM #22
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02-27-2012, 08:05 AM #23
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John, I must disagree with your use of the term "foolish." It wasn't, it was a calculated risk that could range between a cost of $400,000 if he doesn't make the team (is injured) to $850,000 plus potential for bonuses of nearly another million if he played in 60 games.
You claim that he should have used that money to sign another reliever, one of the several you have listed. You missed something very important however, that is different than last. Last year they picked up about a half dozen minor league free agents, with only Hughes and James having some major league experience. Hughes failed and James was great at Rochester, although did nothing with the Twins. This year they signed a dozen, most with some major league experience and a few with a lot of experience. Is it unrealistic to expect that one or two will enjoy some success this year? I don't think so.
02-27-2012, 09:16 AM #24
I think a few people are misunderstanding what John's saying. Signing Zumaya to a low-risk deal wasn't, in itself, foolish. What was foolish was going into the season with one of the most injury-prone relief pitchers of the last decade as basically the only high-end righthander in the bullpen.
As Seth said, though, it may have been that Zumaya was considered a "bonus" and not relied upon as a core member of the bullpen... I suppose in that case you'd qualify the situation more as questionable roster construction rather than a "foolish risk".
02-27-2012, 09:24 AM #25
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The issue is not just the $400,000 that is going out the window but the additional $500,000 we will have to pay one of our in house guys to fill the spot bringing us to almost $1 million. There are a lot of better options on the free agent market for a million that I would have preferred like Chad Qualls or Todd Coffey rather then the 16 pitches from Zumaya and a full season of the Manship at Target Field.
02-27-2012, 01:14 PM #26
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But, if you're down to your last $10, just about out of gas, you spend the $10 the $10 on gas that can get you to work, not on 10 lotto tickets. That was the situation Ryan faced,
That's not a good comp because 800K will only buy you about a thimbleful of gas. The signing of Z was total lottery ticket and didn't affect any real plans. Who were they going to get for that money that is likely to be better than Ontiveros or Bulger or whomever?
Certainty costs money, and as mentioned by a lot of people above, there were structural holes in the bullpen and Ryan had to make a choice. Perkins should be solid. Capps only really sucked when he was hurt in the middle of the year. After that there's the herd from last year and the lotto tickets like Wheeler and Coffey and Zumaya and whatnot. My guess is he looked at everyone on the market, his bullpen budget, the guys on his roster, and didn't see much that projected better than what he had. Not much certainty can be bought for what he spent, so he just sat on the cash.
Ryan seems to be betting that Capps isn't the mid-season guy that pitched thru pain, but could be a solid closer if given normal rest. But if the rest of the pen is no good he won't be getting that rest again and he's likely to hit the same sort of rough patch. If there was $13m for Nathan then there should probably have been something more available for the seventh inning, and that's where the second guessing should come in. The Zumaya signing was a symptom of the bad decision, not the problem.
02-27-2012, 02:37 PM #27
Why WAR rubs Bonnes so wrong WRT relief pitching
I think the actual reason WAR strikes you as "wrong" is because you underestimate the quality of replacement level relief pitching.
WAR assumes different FIP/ERA performances for starters and relievers. If the pitcher on the mound for "Team A With Average Offense" always performed to the level of MLB replacement relief pitching, Team A would have a W% of .470, which ain't too shabby at all. Once you consider that as the baseline, it makes a lot more sense. (Remember, this is relief quality pitching pitching AS A RELIEVER. The exact same guy pitching as a starter would like pitch to a level below STARTING pitcher replacement level, which is pegged at a .380 winning percentage.)
BTW, this is not unrelated to your overestimation of Carl Pavano for 7 innings vs. Scott Baker for 6 innings. You assume replacement level is worse than it is and accordingly value mediocre innings more. (A cynical individual might lay the blame for this at the doorstep of the Twins' F.O., given the sub-replacement players they've actually signed to fill out the back end over the past few seasons.)
02-27-2012, 02:38 PM #28
But yeah: the risk wasn't Zumaya. The risk was Zumaya and bupkis.
02-27-2012, 02:54 PM #29
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Blogging Twins since 2007 at The Tenth Inning Stretch
02-27-2012, 03:27 PM #30