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How much credit does Anderson get for Hughes

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#21 tobi0040

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 11:25 AM

Like, 99.9999%. Moar pitch-to-contact!

But seriously, if Anderson gets credit for turning around Hughes, does that mean that the pitching coach in NY was really bad?


He has spent too much time with Hughes though and needs to make the rounds with Pelfrey, Nolasco, and Gibson on the road games.

I am with Dman on this, I think the coaches have very little role here. If I could put this on anything, I would say getting out of Yankee stadium did a ton for his confidence. That is on Terry more than anything. Also only 82 IP, so let's not start a parade yet.

Edited by tobi0040, 13 June 2014 - 11:36 AM.


#22 JB_Iowa

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 11:34 AM

I think it may be too early to tell. The test will be whether Anderson can keep him from tinkering too much during the course of the season but I do think that Hughes' mindset (strikethrowing) meshes perfectly with Anderson's control philosophy.

[FONT=Verdana][FONT=verdana]"I asked him what was the deal with the homers over there," Anderson said. "I said, `Is there anything I should watch for in your deliveries?"
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[FONT=Verdana][FONT=verdana]The problem, both agreed, was that when Hughes struggled, he tinkered with his mechanics. He was thinking too much about what to do instead of just taking the mound and doing it.
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[FONT=Verdana][FONT=verdana]"I was constantly making adjustments last year after I got off to a rough start, couldn't really get out of it and that wasn't necessarily a good thing," he said. "I had success in this league doing a certain thing and when I got away from that it was just kind of a downward spiral."
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[FONT=Verdana][FONT=verdana]Anderson puts it more simply: "When that mind gets in the way, it's hard to have success."[/FONT][/FONT]
http://espn.go.com/m...tching-new-park

Also, it seems like in Spring Training, he was concentrating on his curve (http://www.twincitie...-lost-curveball) whereas his success this season may be due to the increased use of his cutter (http://www.cbssports...cess-with-twins) Don't know how much Anderson may have contributed to that pitch selection but some input seems reasonable.

The Axisa piece on CBS sports points out several possibilities contributing Hughes' success: extreme strikethrowing with seemingly better placement; pitch selection -- including the increased use of the cutter; getting out of New York; and reaching a certain level of pitching maturity at 27.

Hard to know how much Anderson contributed to any of them. But if he (and Suzuki) can manage to keep Hughes' head in the right place, all should be well. It was one reason it was great to see PH come back with a good game in Toronto after a bit of a clunker against the Astros -- stick with what had been working even if it lets you down once in a while.

Edited by JB_Iowa, 13 June 2014 - 11:36 AM.


#23 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 11:42 AM

I am of the opinion that coaching has fairly limited influence on players. I don't buy into the line of thinking that coaching changes the player all that much. If coaching was the key then everyone in the Dodgers system should be pitching close to the same as Clayton Kershaw. They have the same coaches the same system etc. and yet only one Kershaw. Why? Talent. He has a rare talent that few posses.


I'm going to disagree here. I think coaching is probably one of the more unrecognized talents in baseball, and I suspect that this is going to get a lot more scrutiny as the money ball people realize there's an inefficiency here. I don't think it's all coaching, but I do think there's a healthy balance between talent and coaching, and it's an extremely difficult task to quantify. I also think that coaches and their approach can be too narrow and get stale, and as such, a coach can have a tremendous amount of success early on only to see that evaporate. As a team, I see value in bringing in different folks to assist with that. I think that is in part of the reason why several players have turned around offensively as Bruno was a better fit for these guys than Vavra, but that doesn't mean that Vavra was worthless. He also had success early on.

Baseball is all about adjustments. Here's an example of one good one: Danny Santana. Everyone says he's not going to continue hitting this well, and I'm inclined to agree. It isn't as much that he's getting lucky as it is that there's not much data on him. As that data becomes more complete, pitchers are going to adjust to exploit his weaknesses. When that happens, he's going to get into a bit of a slump. SABR people will say he's regressing to the mean, but this has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with smart people exploiting his weakness. This is where his coach is going to come into play. The coach will have to help him adjust. Santana could possibly do this on his own, but a good coach should be able to look a bit more objectively at what Santana is and isn't doing well and help him adjust. That may be mechanical, teaching him how to better spot that pitch to not swing at, or something else altogether. Bottom line though is that a good coach will help him with things like approach and in game strategy. His talent does the rest. If he has the talent to be an all star (like Hughes), a good coach will coax that out of him... I agree though that there's more to it than this such as personalities, media, etc.

Bottom line though, to me, coaching matters, and I don't think it's a job that anyone can do. I don't see them coming up with WAR values for managers and coaches, but I do think that a good staff is worth a few wins over a bad one. It's unfortunately impossible to quantify.

#24 nicksaviking

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 11:42 AM

I think it's just a matter of the Twins finally finding a pitcher who's skill set fits their desired philosophy. The Twins have always wanted pitchers who pound the strikezone but Hughes is the first starter since Johan Santana and (the good) Scott Baker that can do that AND miss an above average number of bats.

#25 Dman

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 11:59 AM

I'm going to disagree here. I think coaching is probably one of the more unrecognized talents in baseball, and I suspect that this is going to get a lot more scrutiny as the money ball people realize there's an inefficiency here. I don't think it's all coaching, but I do think there's a healthy balance between talent and coaching, and it's an extremely difficult task to quantify. I also think that coaches and their approach can be too narrow and get stale, and as such, a coach can have a tremendous amount of success early on only to see that evaporate. As a team, I see value in bringing in different folks to assist with that. I think that is in part of the reason why several players have turned around offensively as Bruno was a better fit for these guys than Vavra, but that doesn't mean that Vavra was worthless. He also had success early on.

Baseball is all about adjustments. Here's an example of one good one: Danny Santana. Everyone says he's not going to continue hitting this well, and I'm inclined to agree. It isn't as much that he's getting lucky as it is that there's not much data on him. As that data becomes more complete, pitchers are going to adjust to exploit his weaknesses. When that happens, he's going to get into a bit of a slump. SABR people will say he's regressing to the mean, but this has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with smart people exploiting his weakness. This is where his coach is going to come into play. The coach will have to help him adjust. Santana could possibly do this on his own, but a good coach should be able to look a bit more objectively at what Santana is and isn't doing well and help him adjust. That may be mechanical, teaching him how to better spot that pitch to not swing at, or something else altogether. Bottom line though is that a good coach will help him with things like approach and in game strategy. His talent does the rest. If he has the talent to be an all star (like Hughes), a good coach will coax that out of him... I agree though that there's more to it than this such as personalities, media, etc.

Bottom line though, to me, coaching matters, and I don't think it's a job that anyone can do. I don't see them coming up with WAR values for managers and coaches, but I do think that a good staff is worth a few wins over a bad one. It's unfortunately impossible to quantify.


Sure I am inclined to agree with you as well. I agree coaching is needed and matters otherwise why would baseball have them. My point is how much better is one coach over another? They will all point out things to make players better. A coaches influence is also limited.

As for coaches getting stale and fresh starts, sometimes a different approach works better. no questions about it, but it can't make up for a players talent and too many people seem to think that it does else they wouldn't blame coaches for things out of their control.

Hughes has more to do with his success than Anderson. Yes they look at things together analytic s and other info like all coaches and players do to try and get better but the coach can't make Hughes execute a pitch in a certain situation. Hughes has to trust his stuff when the time comes and execute the pitch. The player is far more responsible for the results than the coach. If you don't recognize this then you will always be wondering why with the same coaches Liriano isn't as good this year or that Tampa's team stinks this year. How can that be with the great insight and coaching that they are known for. If your theory is correct that should never happen because their coaching and insight make such huge differences. The only way out is to admit it is on the players to perform.

#26 PseudoSABR

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 12:21 PM

Given the talent Anderson has had to work with over the years (sans Santana and Liriano), it's hard to hold the specific failings under his tutelage. More, Anderson has coached plenty of pitchers who have never had the relative success that they had in Minnesota. If anything the Twins front office, overvalued and emphasized Anderson's capacity to make low-talent pitchers effective--that's hardly Anderson's fault.

#27 Oldgoat_MN

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 12:47 PM

I think I deserve the credit, I had been calling for the twins to trade (and years later) sign Hughes for years. Saw him pitch a lot in NY, always had the stuff, just never lived up to the pressure of being the future ace hall of famer of the Yankees.



I still think we could turn Joba into something useful as well


I was going to 'LIKE' your post until I saw the Joba comment....

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#28 TheLeviathan

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 01:00 PM

Given the talent Anderson has had to work with over the years (sans Santana and Liriano), it's hard to hold the specific failings under his tutelage. More, Anderson has coached plenty of pitchers who have never had the relative success that they had in Minnesota. If anything the Twins front office, overvalued and emphasized Anderson's capacity to make low-talent pitchers effective--that's hardly Anderson's fault.


If you're going to take that angle then it's also fair to note that those guys with less raw talent also were the types of pitchers that fit his coaching style. The real indictment of Anderson, IMO, was that he wasn't even able to maximize the performances of the types that fit his mantras.

That said, Hughes has been an unmitigated success thus far and that should be given as a credit to Anderson.

#29 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 01:03 PM

The real indictment of Anderson, IMO, was that he wasn't even able to maximize the performances of the types that fit his mantras.


I'd agree if any of those pitchers left the Twins and found success. While Anderson may petition for these types of pitchers and deserves blame for that (just speculating here), it's not his fault that the GM provides him with little-to-no-talent stiffs who never succeed in MLB.

#30 TheLeviathan

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 01:19 PM

I'd agree if any of those pitchers left the Twins and found success. While Anderson may petition for these types of pitchers and deserves blame for that (just speculating here), it's not his fault that the GM provides him with little-to-no-talent stiffs who never succeed in MLB.


I'd argue he's only employed with the Twins because he believed he could turn mediocre talents into functional starters.

#31 Halsey Hall

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 01:26 PM

I give Hughes the credit, and very little to Anderson. I'm not a believer in him.

#32 spycake

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 01:45 PM

Interestingly enough, here is Hughes through 13 starts in 2010 (the majority of which were in the new Yankee Stadium):
13 GS, 82.1 IP, 10-1 W-L, 3.17 ERA (0 unearned runs), 8.5 K/9, 0.8 HR/9, 1.1 WHIP

Compared to this year, 2014 with the Twins:
13 GS, 82.1 IP, 7-2 W-L, 3.17 ERA (1 unearned run), 7.9 K/9, 0.8 HR/9, 1.1 WHIP

The difference? He's traded 1.8 BB/9 for 1.8 H/9 (also lost 0.6 K/9).

A lower BB/9 should hopefully be more sustainable than a lower H/9, although it would be pretty crazy to stay at 0.9 BB/9! That's lower than Radke's career low (1.0, career 1.6), lower than every season of Carlos Silva except his historic 2005 (0.4, career 1.7), almost as low as Bob Tewksbury's lowest (0.8, career 1.5).

Also, 2010 was his first full year starting after 3 partial years of injury and relief, so he should be stronger this year too.

Edited by spycake, 13 June 2014 - 01:47 PM.


#33 PseudoSABR

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 01:48 PM

I give Hughes the credit, and very little to Anderson. I'm not a believer in him.

Just curious, but are you willing to expand on your take?

#34 gil4

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 01:51 PM

I'm going to disagree here. I think coaching is probably one of the more unrecognized talents in baseball, and I suspect that this is going to get a lot more scrutiny as the money ball people realize there's an inefficiency here.


I agree with that. The experience level of the team probably has some influence on that, and personalities can override the knowledge and methods side of the equation.

I don't see them coming up with WAR values for managers and coaches, but I do think that a good staff is worth a few wins over a bad one. It's unfortunately impossible to quantify.

If they haven't tried already, I am surprised. If they don't in the future, I will be shocked.

#35 PseudoSABR

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 01:52 PM

If you're going to take that angle then it's also fair to note that those guys with less raw talent also were the types of pitchers that fit his coaching style. The real indictment of Anderson, IMO, was that he wasn't even able to maximize the performances of the types that fit his mantras.

That said, Hughes has been an unmitigated success thus far and that should be given as a credit to Anderson.

My point is the Twins overemphasized giving him guys that already profiled as pitch-to-contact (at best)--rather than letting Anderson work with pitchers who had better stuff and velocity (who could, I don't know, actually benefit from Anderson's philosophy). By giving Anderson guys who already get the pitch-to-contact mantra, Anderson's capacity for influence isn't maximized, it's made redundant.

Edited by PseudoSABR, 13 June 2014 - 01:57 PM.


#36 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 01:59 PM

hmm - that is interesting.

I would assume the successful pitchers are the ones that can drink the pitch to contact kool-aid but keep the style that made them successful.

Pitch to contact (or any other philosophy) should be integrated or merged with an established pitcher's style, rather than replacing it.

I think the quote about Hughes going back to the things that made him successful in the past (before the micro tinkering of last season) can be a credit to the relationship of coach and player.

#37 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 02:30 PM

I am of the opinion that coaching has fairly limited influence on players. I don't buy into the line of thinking that coaching changes the player all that much. If coaching was the key then everyone in the Dodgers system should be pitching close to the same as Clayton Kershaw. They have the same coaches the same system etc. and yet only one Kershaw. Why? Talent. He has a rare talent that few posses.

Certainly he has been coached throughout his career on how to throw etc but by the time he hits the big leagues he doesn't need much coaching as he is a coach unto himself. He knows what he needs to do and now he needs to execute it. You can mess with mechanics and have thoughts and theories but in the end it is the pitcher and the thing between his ears that is important. There is only so much you can teach. If there was a pitching coach that turned everyone into Kershaw then by all means give them credit. Otherwise it appears to me that a pitching coach is a pitching coach is a pitching coach IMO.

I will agree that the people who think Mr. Anderson sucked ala Liriano need to buck up and give him credit for Hughes.


I respectfully disagree about the coach having little influence. Unless we have actually played professional baseball, we have very little knowledge about what effect the coaches have on players. I have a friend in my home town, Statesville, N.C. named Herm Starrette. Herm was a pitching coach for a number of major league teams (the World Champion Phillies, Braves, Brewers, Giants and Red Sox). Herm told me he helped turn mediocre pitchers into millionaires. He also told me that a good pitching coach had to know when to leave well enough alone. For example, he said he didn't have to do much with Steve Carlton, other than help him stay on his routine. He told Tug McGraw, I may not be able to help you, but I won't hurt you. A lot of what he did was psychological, whether it was a kick in the pants or encouraging words to a struggling pitcher. But a lot had to do with a pitcher's technique, stamina, pitch selection, attitude, and knowledge. Almost every game, he had to decide when to pull a pitcher. We have no idea of all the things that are involved in a pitching coach's job. Then even if he does his job perfectly, his reputation among fans is dependent upon whether the pitchers win or lose. So I can't be too hard on pitching coaches. I know one of the best coaches who ever was paid to coach pitchers. There's a whole lot we fans don't know about coaching.

#38 Dman

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 03:07 PM

I respectfully disagree about the coach having little influence. Unless we have actually played professional baseball, we have very little knowledge about what effect the coaches have on players. I have a friend in my home town, Statesville, N.C. named Herm Starrette. Herm was a pitching coach for a number of major league teams (the World Champion Phillies, Braves, Brewers, Giants and Red Sox). Herm told me he helped turn mediocre pitchers into millionaires. He also told me that a good pitching coach had to know when to leave well enough alone. For example, he said he didn't have to do much with Steve Carlton, other than help him stay on his routine. He told Tug McGraw, I may not be able to help you, but I won't hurt you. A lot of what he did was psychological, whether it was a kick in the pants or encouraging words to a struggling pitcher. But a lot had to do with a pitcher's technique, stamina, pitch selection, attitude, and knowledge. Almost every game, he had to decide when to pull a pitcher. We have no idea of all the things that are involved in a pitching coach's job. Then even if he does his job perfectly, his reputation among fans is dependent upon whether the pitchers win or lose. So I can't be too hard on pitching coaches. I know one of the best coaches who ever was paid to coach pitchers. There's a whole lot we fans don't know about coaching.


You bet and I am willing to acknowledge all of that, but every pitching coach does that. The question is can he make just any pitcher good enough to be a good to great MLB pitcher? I doubt it. The link that people want to make is that the coach is the difference maker when a player performs well or poorly. The problem is that coaching is static so it should have essentially the same effect on every player. The coach offers advise etc from his perspective and experience and it is basically the same for each player thus improvement should be made.

If you are going to state that the coach makes the player better then all players should get better and not worse under the coaches watchful eye. This does not happen in baseball. Some pitchers do well (i.e Phil Hughes) and some poorly (Pelfrey) with the same coach. You can do this for any team in the majors. So how do we correlate the coach with player performance when some get better and some worse under the same coach? It can't be the coach that makes the difference, it is the player and each player is different.

If some players do better and others poorly how can we honestly say the coach makes the players better or worse? I don't think we can. You can't have it both ways. That is the problem when you assign blame to the coach instead of the player. It makes everyone look crazy because the results vary from player to player and year to year. It is the same coaching the same instruction it just produces different results typically not always positive.

I do agree that a coaches greatest value to his team and players is more psychological than instructional at the MLB level. Believing in your players and putting them in positions to succeed is important because most every player seems to agree that confidence is the one thing that can make them successful.

#39 drivlikejehu

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 03:18 PM

Anderson is part of an organizational weakness that we've seen over the years when it comes to starters without the quality pitches needed to attack the strike zone. I would put much more of the blame on management for the pitchers he has been provided to work with, but overall I don't think he's very effective.

Hughes is clearly a guy that takes the lead on his own approach and adjustments. Between that and the fact he's new to the team, I don't see much reason for Anderson to get credit.

#40 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 05:58 PM

You bet and I am willing to acknowledge all of that, but every pitching coach does that. The question is can he make just any pitcher good enough to be a good to great MLB pitcher? I doubt it. The link that people want to make is that the coach is the difference maker when a player performs well or poorly. The problem is that coaching is static so it should have essentially the same effect on every player. The coach offers advise etc from his perspective and experience and it is basically the same for each player thus improvement should be made.

If you are going to state that the coach makes the player better then all players should get better and not worse under the coaches watchful eye. This does not happen in baseball. Some pitchers do well (i.e Phil Hughes) and some poorly (Pelfrey) with the same coach. You can do this for any team in the majors. So how do we correlate the coach with player performance when some get better and some worse under the same coach? It can't be the coach that makes the difference, it is the player and each player is different.

If some players do better and others poorly how can we honestly say the coach makes the players better or worse? I don't think we can. You can't have it both ways. That is the problem when you assign blame to the coach instead of the player. It makes everyone look crazy because the results vary from player to player and year to year. It is the same coaching the same instruction it just produces different results typically not always positive.

I do agree that a coaches greatest value to his team and players is more psychological than instructional at the MLB level. Believing in your players and putting them in positions to succeed is important because most every player seems to agree that confidence is the one thing that can make them successful.


I don't see the absolute here. You can say the same about a manager then, or a teacher. Yet we all know that there are good managers and bad, good teachers and bad. I'm guessing most of us can give examples of both.

I don't think it's true because it doesn't take into account things like personality. Some people teach a certain way. Some people learn a certain way. Sometimes those ways are incompatible. Likewise, some coaches see things that some don't. I don't think it's an accident that baseball people will say that "Don Cooper is one of the best pitching coaches in baseball". I don't think it's an accident when players say that their coach helped them make an adjustment that made them better. It happens. Coaches have influence, and some can see things that others cannot.