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Thread: Article: State of the Starting Corps

  1. #21
    Senior Member All-Star Jim Crikket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
    On paper, last year's rotation at this time was far superior. We didn't know Baker and Pavano would have arm issues and we liked to think that Liriano was going to perform well as he usually did in even numbered years. Last year we were complaining because the Twins wasted money on Jason Marquis as the FIFTH starter. This year we are complaining because the Twins signed Kevin Correia, an equally poor pitcher, to be the THIRD starter.

    It wasn't until April that it became clear that the rotation was a mess. There is still plenty of time for Worley to go under the knife and for Diamond to drastically regress.
    Due respect, that's not altogether true. There were many, many of us who were upset with the lack of attention Terry Ryan paid to the rotation last year at this time. Pretty much every "offseason blueprint" included upgrades in the rotation. Then the Twins publicly announced that they were cutting payroll 10% and we all knew that meant we could forget about improving the rotation. The "big FA signing" at this point a year ago was re-signing Pavano and while we didn't "know" he would have arm issues, it certainly couldn't come as a surprise to anyone.

    While Ryan did a nice job of replacing Kubel and Cuddyer adequately and for less money, he did fail to address the need to improve the rotation a year ago and there was no shortage of people pointing that out. By slashing payroll a year ago, he left the rotation situation in a position where everything had to break right to get even adequate starting pitching. Obviously, things did not break right. The result was predictable and now the rotation hole Ryan has to dig out of is only deeper... and still he's unable or unwilling to even pick up a shovel.
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  2. #22
    Twins Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
    On paper, last year's rotation at this time was far superior. We didn't know Baker and Pavano would have arm issues and we liked to think that Liriano was going to perform well as he usually did in even numbered years. Last year we were complaining because the Twins wasted money on Jason Marquis as the FIFTH starter. This year we are complaining because the Twins signed Kevin Correia, an equally poor pitcher, to be the THIRD starter.

    It wasn't until April that it became clear that the rotation was a mess. There is still plenty of time for Worley to go under the knife and for Diamond to drastically regress.
    Agree. The Twins rotation looked a lot better last winter than it does today.

    It seems a bit, uh, optimistic to be pointing out the injuries to last years rotation while simultaneously saying one pitcher 11 months removed from TJS and another coming off late season elbow surgery are locks to improve this years team.

  3. #23
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    I don't think the Pohlads are cheap anymore. I think Ryan is just trying to prove to everyone that he can get the most out of a $. I like the trades, but not the FA pitching adds. I just want to see TR sign at least one decent FA pitcher. Why throw $4 or $5 mil at bottom of the rotation guys when we have a ton of guys that are already under team control to fill that 5 spot? Instead sign one or two quality guys (between $10-$15 mil per year).

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
    On paper, last year's rotation at this time was far superior. We didn't know Baker and Pavano would have arm issues and we liked to think that Liriano was going to perform well as he usually did in even numbered years. Last year we were complaining because the Twins wasted money on Jason Marquis as the FIFTH starter. This year we are complaining because the Twins signed Kevin Correia, an equally poor pitcher, to be the THIRD starter.

    It wasn't until April that it became clear that the rotation was a mess. There is still plenty of time for Worley to go under the knife and for Diamond to drastically regress.
    Are you kidding? Who thought our rotation was anything but junk going into the 2012 season? We had the 26th ranked rotation in the majors in 2011 and added Marquis. It was a disaster way before April

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Zodiac View Post
    Nice write up Nick.

    Smoke and Mirrors. I have been a Twins fan for a quarter of a century. We got our stadium. We were told revenue would increase to stay in the fold of the upper echelon of baseball teams. Except for the opening season at Target Field, I have not seen much of anything.
    What you heard was not what was said. The team representatives pushed hard for a stadium with the message that they couldn't currently afford to retain their best players and they didn't project to be able to stay competitive in the future. The future is here. The Target Field revenue afforded them the ability to retain Mauer and Morneau on a contracts that wouldn't have happened if they were still in the 'Dome and it gave them the ability to replace Kubel and Cuddyer with comparable free agents. Pavano got signed for more than he was worth. Cuddyer's $10.5million option was picked up for 2011. The team was able to be proactive by signing Span and Blackburn to longer contracts than they might have with 'Dome money. You can make great arguments about the wisdom of their spending, but they have spent when they thought it was advantageous.

    Some fans seem to forget that much of the new stadium money ($264 million of it) was committed to Mauer and Morneau before the stadium arrived. That is the level of commitment that was promised. If you want to imagine they planned to spend in the "Upper echelon," feel free to imagine that and continue to be disappointed.

    At this point, the team needs to make smart moves, not spend for the sake of spending. The Corriea signing looks to me like spending for the sake spending. Right now, no one is getting a starting pitcher for a bargain on the free agent market. Wasting money will compound the problem and you can't just spend your way out of a bad spot in this market.

    My hope as a fan is to see some young players take steps forward. A good year from Hendriks and a good 1/2 year from Gibson could have a very positive impact. If Diamond can avoid a dramatic regression and a couple of the AAAA names are able to contribute again, I'll have more faith in them. Deduno strikes me as a legitimate x-factor. His knuckleball-of-a-fastball is an exciting pitch. I'm not saying there's a good chance he has RA Dickey success in his future, but I'm saying I still want to watch the game when he's pitching. Which name that isn't on our radar will surprise us? Nobody thought Scott Diamond had any chance of emerging like he did last year.

    The arms in the minors will be interesting too. The team hasn't had many high-quality arms on the way in recent years to keep an eye on. Maybe Wimmers-in-2013 will look a little like Gibson-in-2012. Maybe Meyer and May and Berrios will dominate and climb the ladder fast. Maybe no one will undergo Tommy John! Maybe I'm dreaming. Probably.

  6. #26
    Twins Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    Due respect Jim, but Pavano wasn't "the big FA signing" at this point a year ago.

  7. #27
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    Does not look pretty right now. You tend to get what you pay for.

  8. #28
    Senior Member All-Star Jim Crikket's Avatar
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    You're correct, Chief. I stand corrected... it was a year earlier that the Twins re-signed Pavano. I guess there were NO rotation FAs signed at this point last year.
    I opine about the Twins and Kernels regularly at Knuckleballsblog.com while my alter ego, SD Buhr covers the Kernels for MetroSportsReport.com.

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  9. #29
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    I would rather Hendriks was in the majors all year, to see what he is or is not.

  10. #30
    Twins Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
    Are you kidding? Who thought our rotation was anything but junk going into the 2012 season? We had the 26th ranked rotation in the majors in 2011 and added Marquis. It was a disaster way before April
    Nobody thought the Twins rotation in Dec 2011 was very good.

    That is not the same thing as saying the potential Twins rotation in Dec 2011 looked better than the potential Twins rotation in Dec 2012.

  11. #31
    Senior Member All-Star Badsmerf's Avatar
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    Going into last season the rotation looked ok, but when your two best starters don't pitch the whole year its going to be a tough year. Add in the ineffectiveness of Blackburn and Liriano and its not surprising the team struggled. The rotation to start the year is clearly better, even with Correia. Correia, despite his inadequacies, is a known commodity. He will be below average. The other options the Twins have (which pitched way too many of the innings last season) are terrible. This team will be better than last year and wont lose 90 games again. I see them being a little under 500. The pessimism on this site right now is alarming.
    Do or do not. There is no try.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Crikket View Post
    You're correct, Chief. I stand corrected... it was a year earlier that the Twins re-signed Pavano. I guess there were NO rotation FAs signed at this point last year.
    They perused Buerhle for 2012. What other free agent that was obtainable (ie no Cliff Lee) would have you gone for and what was their 2012 result?

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
    Nobody thought the Twins rotation in Dec 2011 was very good.

    That is not the same thing as saying the potential Twins rotation in Dec 2011 looked better than the potential Twins rotation in Dec 2012.
    His words were 'far superior', not 'looked better'.
    Last edited by ThePuck; 12-19-2012 at 09:53 AM.

  14. #34
    Senior Member Double-A SgtSchmidt11's Avatar
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    @ Top Gun. Even if Joe Benson is a total flop offensively, the guy has a great glove. Hicks will take over CF at some point (hopefully succeed) and Arcia will be in RF by the time we trade either Morneau or Willingham (remember the Beltran trade? I think the Twins could get that for either come deadline if they are hot). Defensively the outfield will look better by the trade deadline. Honestly I want to see Benson starting in CF as a do or die type test. He's become irrelevant quickly but should be given a chance in the six weeks it will take to bring up Hicks (for the extra year of TC).

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
    Are you kidding? Who thought our rotation was anything but junk going into the 2012 season? We had the 26th ranked rotation in the majors in 2011 and added Marquis. It was a disaster way before April
    No one liked the rotation heading into last year, never did I say the 2012 rotation at this point was a quality one. I simply said it was superior to the one we see now.

  16. #36
    Senior Member All-Star Shane Wahl's Avatar
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    Why is the "on paper" discussion even happening? Last year occurred and we can predict how this rotation compares to what actually happened last year. Even if Diamond regresses some (hard to imagine a "dramatic" regression), a full season of him is going to be better than last year. Some people are really under-valuing Worley, who is similar to Scott Baker. Hendriks is bound to be significantly improved as well. After that, it is pretty cloudy yes, but I think they actually have 5th starters now. That was not true for two months last year.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
    His words were 'far superior', not 'looked better'.
    Right, which part of that is incorrect? Chris Herrmann is far superior of Drew Buetera, it still doesn't mean he's any good.

  18. #38
    Senior Member All-Star JB_Iowa's Avatar
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    What I see are a number of posters trying to convince us (and possibly themselves) that this rotation won't be "that bad". Well, guess what? Before the Baker need for TJ surgery last year, many people thought that rotation wouldn't be "that bad" -- there were even some who predicted that the improvements to the Twins hitting might be good enough to put them in the playoffs (MLB Predictions 2012: Why the Minnesota Twins Can Make the Playoffs | Bleacher Report)

    Well, I'm not going to drink the Kool-Aid again. Sure, there's a possibility that this rotation will be better than last year (and heaven knows, given how many minor leaguers the Twins had to bring up to start last season, it SHOULD be better) but even if it is better, how MUCH better?

    Enough to account for the losses of Span and Revere? I have no problem with those trades -- I'm in favor of a complete rebuild -- but HOW does ANYTHING that Ryan did this off-season with a fair amount of money available to him significantly improve this team for 2013 OR for the future.

    His purchases in the free agent market aren't likely to be anything that can be turned into something better in the future nor do they do much for this year. AND he has seemingly left a pool of money on the table (at least thus far) that might have allowed him to purchase something better (even if it was a position player or two rather than a pitcher).

    Terry Ryan did okay with the trades but his penurious ways in the free agent market continue to be frustrating. This team may talk about the 50+% rule when they are using it as a "cap" -- but c'mon Mr. St. Peter, let's hear you talking about it now that Mr. Ryan seems to be ignoring it when putting in a floor. He still has several weeks to redeem himself but as of right now, Mr. Ryan gets a great big D or F when it comes to free agent acquisitions.

  19. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Badsmerf View Post
    The pessimism on this site right now is alarming.
    Agreed, and it's articles like this that unnecessarily spurn negativity. The writer failed to mention that TR was quoted to still be looking to add starting pitching and the writer also tried to compare the current rotation to last year’s opening day rotation as if currently we're worse off. Oh wait, he listed Scott Baker but Bake was destined for Tommy John surgery before opening day. This article could have more easily been written looking at things glass half-full and would have been closer to the truth. TR will sign another starting pitcher, he's already added 3 new starting pitchers to the current rotation, and he's added 2 top of the rotation prospects without trading away the middle of our lineup. I'd say the state of the pitching rotation looks pretty darn good considering it's only December 19th.

  20. #40
    You hope your rotation (top four pitchers) can get you 50 wins at least. Ideal would be 65-70 from all five! That means they pitch into at least the 6th holding a lead.

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