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Tom Powers: Twins rotation makes its worst impression

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#1 Don't Feed the Greed Guy

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 07:01 PM

Tom Powers cuts to the point in this assessment of the Twins' starting pitching from the "Pioneer Press" :http://www.twincitie...time?source=pkg

Under a general heading of workplace accountability, Powers puts his fingers on the pitching staff's weak, thready pulse. Nolasco, Hughes, and Pelfrey needed to show up to work this season, as soon as the morning whistle blew. So Powers writes: "Who gets to walk into the office and tell the boss they'll need until 11 o'clock to get after it?"

This is the quote that really caught my attention.

"Right now, this very moment, is when (Nolasco, Hughes, and Pelfery) are needed. No one will care if they find their groove later in the summer when the Twins are 25 games back and nobody is paying attention anymore."

Thoughts?

#2 JB_Iowa

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 07:11 PM

There was this tweet from Blyleven, too:


  • Bert Blyleven ‏@BertBlyleven28 2h
    Am I asking too much for the Twins starters to attack the strike zone and keep their pitch count under 100 by the 5th inning?


    Starting to wonder if the gloves are off this season (or at least whether the gags have been loosened a little).

    But Powers is right -- the whole point of the front office's off-season plan was to put some solid pitching in place to try to put and keep b*tts in the seats. Today's attendance numbers aren't encouraging.

    And unfortunately, I think bad pitching is contagious in the same way that good pitching often breeds other good pitching.

#3 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 07:18 PM

And one of their arguments for the FA signings as well was something along the lines of, "we felt that last year we got far too many short, ineffective starts early in the year, and that just kind of snowballed and affected the entire team, negatively, for the season."

But here we go again, giving them a pass for completely not bothering to show up at the start of the season.
A quality start is an incredibly mediocre thing to achieve, 6 innings with a 4.50 ERA, and yet 9 games in we have 1 quality start!

#4 BigTrane

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 07:38 PM

Powers is pretty brutal, but right on target.
The Twins' rotation cannot treat the month of April as extended Spring Training... MLB doesn't hand out mulligans.

The new ballpark smell is gone, the excuses are already tired, and the national media glare is coming in July. Hopefully this adds up to a brutal reassessment in-house. The Twins are at a crossroads, and if they don't make fundamental changes ASAP, they're going to turn Target Field into a ghost town, lose a generation of fans, and kill the goose that's been laying golden eggs for the last few years. Time for crisis management.

Plan A seems to be going off the rails... is there a Plan B?
Not sure I want to see it...
Feel free to pile on about Suzuki.

#5 Dman

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 07:50 PM

Lots of people on here knew the pitching likely wouldn't be good this year. Better than last year was the best that most could agree on. I guess I drank the positive Kool-aide because I thought they would be better than this. Granted it's early with plenty of time to turn things around but I didn't see this poor of a start coming from the pitchers. I think most of us predicted that the hitting might keep us losing but the pitching has been bad from the starters to the bullpen. I hate to agree with Powers but the Twins are making me lose confidence and they do need to pull it together soon.

#6 KirbyHawk75

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 07:59 PM

This performance of the 4 veterans in our starting 5 has been devastating to the team. Like the article says if we are going to be that bad, we might as well play guys like DeVries for no money. When a team like the Twins fork up money on a player, they cannot be this bad.

#7 TheLeviathan

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 08:19 PM

It's only a fraction of the season, but nothing has happened that wasn't said before the season by some of us: shallow options against injury, a likely bullpen regression, an offense that doesn't do much of anything well, and a pitching staff that is far from a sure thing to be an improvement.

Lots of time to turn it around and probably not time to judge until closer to mid May. But Powers is right, the Twins don't have a lot of goodwill to keep the tickets selling if they can't generate some positivity with their play.

#8 Old Twins Cap

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 08:25 PM

Why should Twins pitchers be held accountable? Why? When the FO gives Gardy two more years after three 90 loss seasons? This makes no sense. The Twins have no accountability, anywhere. Not the Front Office, not the coaching staff, not the training staff, nowhere in this organization is there accountability. So to go off the rails on the starting pitching is ridiculous. Get some perspective people. This is an organization without any expectation for excellence, and no ability to ask for it. From anybody. So, sit back, and enjoy. And stop complaining! It does not help. Nothing does.

#9 Deduno Abides

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 09:11 PM

The interview during the off-season with the agent for Willingham and Nolasco was interesting, because of his appreciation for the atmosphere in the Twins organization. There are workplaces that are meritocracies, where poor performance gets you fired, even if you are best pals with everyone, and there are workplaces that focus on making sure the employees are happy and enjoying themselves, and will look away from poor performance if the person is a good colleague. Circumstantial evidence is that the Twins are the latter - a comfortable place to work if you get along with everyone, even if you don't do a great job. Most top performers would consider being last repeatedly to be a definitive sign of a bad workplace. They may still be willing to join, but they want to know there is a clear path to improvement. Instead, it appears the team is attracting players that want a comfortable environment. Gardy is an adequate manager, but he is trending toward a historically bad consecutive season performance, which would typically cause even better managers to need to find new employment, so it appears to be in his own interest to be a get-along kind of guy at this time. Unfortunately, it is not clear what could be done to abruptly change the culture, short of resurrecting Billy Martin.
"Where's the Crede?"

#10 Don't Feed the Greed Guy

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 06:40 AM

Why should Twins pitchers be held accountable? Why? When the FO gives Gardy two more years after three 90 loss seasons? This makes no sense. The Twins have no accountability, anywhere. Not the Front Office, not the coaching staff, not the training staff, nowhere in this organization is there accountability. So to go off the rails on the starting pitching is ridiculous.


Nothing in this thread is "off the rails" IMHO. Remember that the Twins Front Office scouted, evaluated, and signed Nolasco, Hughes, and Pelfery to multi-year contracts during the offseason. Powers--and the posters here--are not limiting their analysis to three pitchers. I, for one, am frustrated by three seasons of futility, and disappointed (not surprised) that the $83 million, multi-year investment in these three pitchers hasn't resulted in a better early return.

#11 twinscowboysbulls

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 06:44 AM

There was this tweet from Blyleven, too:


  • Bert Blyleven ‏@BertBlyleven28 2h
    Am I asking too much for the Twins starters to attack the strike zone and keep their pitch count under 100 by the 5th inning?


    Starting to wonder if the gloves are off this season (or at least whether the gags have been loosened a little).

    But Powers is right -- the whole point of the front office's off-season plan was to put some solid pitching in place to try to put and keep b*tts in the seats. Today's attendance numbers aren't encouraging.

    And unfortunately, I think bad pitching is contagious in the same way that good pitching often breeds other good pitching.


For the record, I don't think Bert gives a damn about his job anymore. (As in doesn't care if they fire him.) He doesn't need the job anymore to help get him into the HOF. He might even start cussing on air again!

#12 Don't Feed the Greed Guy

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 08:55 AM

He might even start cussing on air again!


I was watching that game/pre-game! Hilarious.

It was the funniest Twins media moment that I can remember until Sid Hartman interviewed Vikings QB Matt Cassell on the Sid & Dave Show a few weeks ago. Hartman asks Cassel, "Not having Joe Mauer as a catcher, how is that going to affect things?" You have to hear what happens next. I laughed until I cried. Cassel gave a great, quick answer. Here's the audio, at the 21:55 minute/sec mark: http://minnesota.cbs...s&dcid=CBS.MINN

Edited by Don't Feed the Greed Guy, 11 April 2014 - 09:01 AM.


#13 Marta Shearing

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 09:09 AM

I'll say it again, and I'm stunned nothing is ever made of Gardy, in all his over-cautiousness, doesn't get his starting pitchers enough innings in spring training for them to be ready for the season.

Did he even have anyone built up to 6 innings in March? The end of spring training he had three starters go 3 innings each in a game. Starters need to be stretched out and build arm strength and endurance in spring training, and Gardy is terrified to do it. Its over-cautiousness gone crazy.