Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Photo

Article: How Much Longer Will Alex Meyer (and Twins Fans) Wait?

  • Please log in to reply
152 replies to this topic

#21 Brock Beauchamp

Brock Beauchamp

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 15,193 posts

Posted 29 April 2014 - 06:51 AM

I expect the value of Meyer's future starts to be low, since they'll cycle through much worse pitchers and start losing more. But hey, in the future they'll have the best players up right away, really.


I don't think this is fair. The Twins have certainly jerked around players in the past but if the player looks to be an unstoppable talent, he hits the Majors pretty quickly. Joe Mauer was up in his age 21 season. Liriano was up in his age 21 season. Arcia was up in his age 22 season. Hicks was named the starting CF in his age 23 season. Sano would have made the Majors in his age 21 season if not for the injury. Buxton has a shot at making it to the Majors in his age 20 season and almost certainly will be in Minnesota for his age 21 season.

As excited as I am to see Meyer, he has five AAA starts and he's still walking a few too many batters. There's absolutely nothing wrong with giving him a few more starts to see how the new changeup shakes out over more than two dominant starts.

#22 Mike Sixel

Mike Sixel

    Now Living in Oregon

  • Members
  • 15,240 posts

Posted 29 April 2014 - 06:58 AM

And if the changeup doesn't work, and he's still better than KC, Pelfrey, Nolasco, Hughes, and Gibson? Because everyone said he was better than them w/o the changeup, didn't they?

We can disagree that they have really changed, imo. Meyer is clearly better than any SP in MN right now, and isn't up. Seth and others keep telling me AAA doesn't matter, that a player can be promoted from AA, that I shouldn't want minor leaguers promoted faster. But now I'm told Meyer doesn't have enough AAA starts to be promoted.

But, I admit, you offer some good examples that maybe they have changed. I'd argue that they traded away two veteran CF and were too cheap to sign another CF to replace them, and that's why Hicks was up*. Mauer is an edge case, but I'll give you him and Arcia (though clearly they weren't certain on Arcia, since they signed Kubel and Bartlett to play the OF). Maybe I'm wrong, maybe things have changed. I hope you are right. But right now, Meyer is their best SP, and he's not up.

*that, and "no CF would sign here with Buxton on the horizon"....

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#23 Brock Beauchamp

Brock Beauchamp

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 15,193 posts

Posted 29 April 2014 - 07:10 AM

And if the changeup doesn't work, and he's still better than KC, Pelfrey, Nolasco, Hughes, and Gibson? Because everyone said he was better than them w/o the changeup, didn't they?

We can disagree that they have really changed, imo. Meyer is clearly better than any SP in MN right now, and isn't up.


He's *most likely* better than Pelfrey right now but the Twins have Meyer for 6-7 years. At this point, they have to do what's best for him as a player. We all saw what happened to Carlos Gomez because the Mets were impatient. I'm not saying Alex Meyer is Carlos Gomez, just pointing out that prospects can be negatively impacted by overeager front offices.

Hey, I'll be right next to you, hollering about Meyer if he's not up in late June and is dominating AAA but the thinking that leads to giving a guy a call-up after two dominant starts is how teams get burned by rushing prospects.

Maybe it was cold. Maybe the opposing lineups had off-days. Maybe the ump was overly generous. Maybe Meyer just flat-out got lucky. A lot can happen to influence two starts positively (or negatively) and when you're dealing with a guy who you control through the entirety of his prime seasons, it's not a bad idea to stand pat for a few starts and see how things shake out.

#24 spycake

spycake

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 8,883 posts

Posted 29 April 2014 - 07:15 AM

I might be wrong but I don't believe there's a single instance of Boras doing this with a high profile client.


I agree with you that the extra year of control is important -- Boras doesn't sign away years beyond that.

However, now that's past, and the debate is over the "super two" arbitration deadline. Plenty of Boras clients have signed long-term contracts buying out their arbitration seasons at reasonable rates. (Our favorite discussion topic Stephen Drew is one of them.)

Basically, the super two stuff should be more or less meaningless for the Twins. I suspect that it is, but I also suspect that the Twins have other silly reasons behind keeping him down that long -- Seth acknowledges that the Twins MLB starters have been disappointing, but kinda ignores their contracts or "leashes" as factors in Meyer's call-up. It probably won't delay Meyer by more than a month or two (like Gibson, Liriano, and Santana before him), but that could easily be the biggest factor in determining his arrival date.

#25 Brock Beauchamp

Brock Beauchamp

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 15,193 posts

Posted 29 April 2014 - 07:16 AM

I agree with you that the extra year of control is important -- Boras doesn't sign away years beyond that.

However, now that's past, and the debate is over the "super two" arbitration deadline. Plenty of Boras clients have signed long-term contracts buying out their arbitration seasons at reasonable rates. (Our favorite discussion topic Stephen Drew is one of them.)

Basically, the super two stuff should be more or less meaningless for the Twins. I suspect that it is, but I also suspect that the Twins have other silly reasons behind keeping him down that long -- Seth acknowledges that the Twins MLB starters have been disappointing, but kinda ignores their contracts or "leashes" as factors in Meyer's call-up. It probably won't delay Meyer by more than a month or two (like Gibson, Liriano, and Santana before him), but that could easily be the biggest factor in determining his arrival date.


If anyone in the Twins front office makes a decision based solely on Super 2 status, they deserve a kick in the crotch on behalf of a tired, downtrodden fanbase.

#26 spycake

spycake

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 8,883 posts

Posted 29 April 2014 - 07:29 AM

I don't think this is fair. The Twins have certainly jerked around players in the past but if the player looks to be an unstoppable talent, he hits the Majors pretty quickly. Joe Mauer was up in his age 21 season. Liriano was up in his age 21 season. Arcia was up in his age 22 season. Hicks was named the starting CF in his age 23 season. Sano would have made the Majors in his age 21 season if not for the injury. Buxton has a shot at making it to the Majors in his age 20 season and almost certainly will be in Minnesota for his age 21 season.

As excited as I am to see Meyer, he has five AAA starts and he's still walking a few too many batters. There's absolutely nothing wrong with giving him a few more starts to see how the new changeup shakes out over more than two dominant starts.


I was also going to list the example of Mauer, but remind folks that was ten years ago and we haven't really had any impact prospect debuts since then. I overlooked Liriano (although they arguably got back some of that service time in 2008).

Morneau is the other top prospect that springs to mind, and he was kept in AAA for awhile waiting for Dougie Baseball to have a graceful exit. That's more evidence in favor of my theory, that service time is less important to the Twins than gracefully opening a roster spot (isn't "clear path" the term that Rob Antony used recently?) Liriano's pitching a month and a half in the bullpen is another point to that (Santana too, obviously). Like I say, a delay of a month or two is pretty minor in the long scale view, but had the Twins narrowly missed the postseason in 2002-2004 or 2006, it could have been a bigger deal. Hopefully 2014 is a season where contention is an issue for awhile longer!

The other guys you list -- Hicks, Arcia, you could add Gomez who actually debuted in MLB with the Mets, or Rivas/Guzman from the bad old days -- were not likely stars either, so the calculus was a little different for them. Meyer should be decent evidence as to the Twins approach, and which way they go with Sano/Buxton will obviously be strong evidence.

#27 spycake

spycake

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 8,883 posts

Posted 29 April 2014 - 07:36 AM

If anyone in the Twins front office makes a decision based solely on Super 2 status, they deserve a kick in the crotch on behalf of a tired, downtrodden fanbase.


Some teams do it. The Rays were pretty egregious with Wil Myers, and the Twins are a similarly thrifty club. So it could be a factor, although I tend to think trying to salvage a veteran or wait out a vet's contract is a bigger factor for the Twins. It definitely isn't the "sole" factor for this club.

The thrift motivation is roughly the same either way, though.

#28 Brock Beauchamp

Brock Beauchamp

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 15,193 posts

Posted 29 April 2014 - 07:37 AM

Morneau is the other top prospect that springs to mind, and he was kept in AAA for awhile waiting for Dougie Baseball to have a graceful exit. That's more evidence in favor of my theory, that service time is less important to the Twins than gracefully opening a roster spot (isn't "clear path" the term that Rob Antony used recently?) Liriano's pitching a month and a half in the bullpen is another point to that (Santana too, obviously).


I think roster space has a lot to do with it for position players but I'm not so sure about pitchers... I think the (maddening at times) bullpen stints for Liriano and Santana had as much to do with controlling innings as rotation space, particularly in the case of Liriano, who was only 22 in 2006.

The Santana situation in 2003 was infuriating, though. He was only 23 at the time but he was so obviously better than some of the junk they were rolling out in the rotation.

#29 SD Buhr

SD Buhr

    Majoring in minors, minoring in Majors

  • Members
  • 1,468 posts

Posted 29 April 2014 - 07:40 AM

I'm typically OK with giving guys plenty of time to develop on the farm before bringing them up to the Big Leagues and I know that one of the worst things people who run a professional ballclub can do is change their philosophy out of emotion. I get that.

But today (and maybe just today, I don't know) after seeing the kind of excitement at the Wild's game 6 last night that I don't think has existed in Minnesota sports since the Twins' "game 163," there's a big part of me that would like to see the Twins finally just say, "screw it! We're going to put the best guys we've got on the field and give our fans something to get excited about, too!"

Based on my Twitter timeline last night, there were a bunch of Twins players at that Wild game and they had to dream of feeling that kind of buzz at a Twins game. If you're management, how do you look Mauer and Perkins (not to mention your manager, whose job is on the line) in the eyes and explain why you've got perhaps 3 of your organization's best starting pitchers right now still in Rochester while your MLB rotation is getting rocked?

I don't think it "hurts" Meyer or anyone else to make a few more AAA starts. Right now, though, I just don't like the message it sends to your team (or your fans) when it certainly appears that you have better pitchers available to you than you're putting on the hill every 5 days, but you won't bring them up.

Edited by SD Buhr, 29 April 2014 - 07:46 AM.


#30 Mike Sixel

Mike Sixel

    Now Living in Oregon

  • Members
  • 15,240 posts

Posted 29 April 2014 - 07:49 AM

Amen, SD. I bet that you'll get the "gotta worry about the long term, like next year or after" response though.

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#31 Brock Beauchamp

Brock Beauchamp

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 15,193 posts

Posted 29 April 2014 - 07:54 AM

I don't think it "hurts" Meyer or anyone else to make a few more AAA starts. Right now, though, I just don't like the message it sends to your team (or your fans) when it certainly appears that you have better pitchers available to you than you're putting on the hill every 5 days, but you won't bring them up.


It could easily be argued that it sends a worse message to your team to pull the rug out from under established veterans after one bad month.

I'm all for calling up Meyer soon and getting him MLB innings but before you do that, you need to make sure of two things:

1. That he's actually going to better than the guy he's replacing

2. That you're removing the correct veteran from the roster

Right now, the Twins don't have answers to either of those things. Do you remove Pelfrey or Correia? Are these two starts by Meyer an aberration or is he legitimately dominant, enough so to make an impact on the MLB level?

Give it another 2+ weeks, see how things shake out, then make the appropriate moves, if a move needs to be made at all. Calling up Meyer after last night's start is the very definition of a knee jerk reaction.

#32 Brock Beauchamp

Brock Beauchamp

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 15,193 posts

Posted 29 April 2014 - 07:55 AM

Amen, SD. I bet that you'll get the "gotta worry about the long term, like next year or after" response though.


Nope. Nice try, though.

#33 SD Buhr

SD Buhr

    Majoring in minors, minoring in Majors

  • Members
  • 1,468 posts

Posted 29 April 2014 - 08:01 AM

What you say makes perfect, logical sense, Brock.

But I'm just not sure another couple of weeks will answer those questions. Will the Rochester pitchers throw nothing but shutouts for 2 weeks? No. Will the back of the Twins' rotation be as bad as they have been? Probably not. Where would that leave you in 2 weeks?

As for the message it would send to the established veterans, I think it might be, "quit sucking or your butt is out of here because we're done putting up with it." I'd be ok with that as a fan and I think I would be, too, as a player.

Writing about the Minnesota Twins and their minor league organization, with an emphasis on the Cedar Rapids Kernels, at Knuckleballsblog.com since 2010.

~You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant~


#34 Mike Sixel

Mike Sixel

    Now Living in Oregon

  • Members
  • 15,240 posts

Posted 29 April 2014 - 08:04 AM

So 4 good starts is a trend, but 2 is not? And, Pelfrey was bad last year. He has been bad MOST of his career. This isn't about 1 bad month, this is about a career of being not all that good. I'd be happy if they put Deduno in for Pelfrey, I'd be happier if they put Meyer in.

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#35 Craig Arko

Craig Arko

    Kepler 452b or bust

  • Members
  • 5,533 posts
  • LocationEarth
  • Twitter: crarko

Posted 29 April 2014 - 08:05 AM

The next (hopefully post-rain) home stand starts May 13th against the Red Sox. That would be the earliest I'd see a move being made that involves messing with the 40-man.

"Both optimists and pessimists contribute to society. The optimist invents the aeroplane, the pessimist the parachute."

 

--  G.B. Shaw


#36 Brock Beauchamp

Brock Beauchamp

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 15,193 posts

Posted 29 April 2014 - 08:05 AM

What you say makes perfect, logical sense, Brock.

But I'm just not sure another couple of weeks will answer those questions. Will the Rochester pitchers throw nothing but shutouts for 2 weeks? No. Will the back of the Twins' rotation be as bad as they have been? Probably not. Where would that leave you in 2 weeks?


Meyer doesn't need to keep throwing shutouts. If he continues to miss bats and walks fewer batters, then he forces a decision. My point is that two starts usually don't provide enough information to make an informed decision. Give him some more time and if he's still completely dominating lineups two weeks from now, then you know he's really on to something and isn't succeeding through a healthy dose of dumb luck and bad lineups.

As for the message it would send to the established veterans, I think it might be, "quit sucking or your butt is out of here because we're done putting up with it." I'd be ok with that as a fan and I think I would be, too, as a player.


Sure, and I agree with that premise... But you have to give those guys more than five starts in miserable April weather to make that decision. If they reach the 7-8 start mark and are still awful, then they've had their chance. You yank them out of the rotation and move on.

#37 Brock Beauchamp

Brock Beauchamp

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 15,193 posts

Posted 29 April 2014 - 08:09 AM

So 4 good starts is a trend, but 2 is not?


Two weeks is generally three more starts but the numbers don't really matter. You move him when you're confident that he has turned the corner, which isn't always evident from a box score.

And, Pelfrey was bad last year. He has been bad MOST of his career. This isn't about 1 bad month, this is about a career of being not all that good.


He was actually quite good in the second half of last season. I'm all in favor of yanking Pelfrey out of the rotation because, as I pointed out in another thread, his velocity is down and he's not a good pitcher when he can't throw 93-94 mph. But given the weather this April, I think the prudent decision is to give him another couple of starts to see if he turns around (unless he's injured, at which point you yank him out of the rotation yesterday and replace him with Deduno).

#38 blindeke

blindeke

    Member

  • Members
  • 214 posts

Posted 29 April 2014 - 08:11 AM

If anyone in the Twins front office makes a decision based solely on Super 2 status, they deserve a kick in the crotch on behalf of a tired, downtrodden fanbase.


Whoever signed Pelfrey deserves one too.

#39 SD Buhr

SD Buhr

    Majoring in minors, minoring in Majors

  • Members
  • 1,468 posts

Posted 29 April 2014 - 08:17 AM

And I'm fine with a couple weeks, Brock, especially given that the Twins go on the road Monday for a week.

My point is simply that I'm kind of tired of thinking logically and being deliberate to make sure every move is timed perfectly. I'd like to see a little sense of urgency out of this front office right now; a sign that they're just as tired of the bad starting pitching as fans are.

Writing about the Minnesota Twins and their minor league organization, with an emphasis on the Cedar Rapids Kernels, at Knuckleballsblog.com since 2010.

~You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant~


#40 spycake

spycake

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 8,883 posts

Posted 29 April 2014 - 08:17 AM

I think roster space has a lot to do with it for position players but I'm not so sure about pitchers... I think the (maddening at times) bullpen stints for Liriano and Santana had as much to do with controlling innings as rotation space, particularly in the case of Liriano, who was only 22 in 2006.

The Santana situation in 2003 was infuriating, though. He was only 23 at the time but he was so obviously better than some of the junk they were rolling out in the rotation.


True, and I have actually defended the overall Santana strategy (as infuriating as it was at the time).

In 2006, Carlos Silva was dropped from the rotation after his 8th start, on May 14th, and Liriano took his next turn. So that's maybe the timeline this year? Silva's contract situation was similar to Correia this year (although Silva had a team option year). Silva had an 8.80 ERA in those 8 starts, with peripherals to match. Lohse was dropped about the same time with an 8.92 ERA. (Baker was dropped a few weeks later too after rising to 6.06).

In 2003, Joe Mays lasted 18 starts with a 6.57 ERA, following a 5.38 ERA in 2002. Rick Reed had 15 starts with a 5.03 ERA (~90 ERA+) at the same point. Santana didn't get a rotation spot until mid-July. I liked Santana's inning progression, but wow, that looks bad, especially for a contending team (one that was struggling to overtake the Royals at the time!).