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MiLB: May gets mind right

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#1 jokin

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 04:04 PM

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It turns out, not just the local rubes are noticing that Trevor May, he of the 2.91 FIP, second best in the International League, might finally be at his jump-off point after Monday night's gem for Rochester:

[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial]May could prove a nice boost to Minnesota's rotation in short order. He has a deep arsenal (fastball, sinker, curve, slider and changeup) and has at times felt like he can control all of them -- he said he had all five offerings at his disposal in Monday's gem.

[/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial]Talking Monday night after one of his [/FONT][/COLOR]best starts as a pro[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial], May admitted that he had "underachieved" at Double-A.[/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial]The issue was with May's mindset, which was a mix of misplaced concerns and a lack of consistent focus.[/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial]"I feel great, I'm in good shape and I feel like everything I do in between starts is really getting me ready to pitch every five days," May said. "The biggest thing is where my head is through the progression of a game. I'm staying right on what I'm trying to do."[/FONT][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial][COLOR=#222222][FONT=Verdana]

Since joining the Twins organization, May has repeatedly demonstrated in interviews his cerebral approach to pitching. This piece was no different. Although he gave the Twins coaching credit for not sweating giving up a hit and focus on limiting his walks, the author and May feel that a change he himself made in his approach to each start has been the key, coupled with an uptick in maturity:

.....[/FONT][/COLOR] the biggest difference in 2014 was a tweak May made on his own to improve his concentration. May compared his approach to pitching in previous seasons to when he would try to do homework in high school. At some point, the mind starts to wander, and then, "You end up on Facebook or Reddit," he said. [/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Arial]In that sense, May has matured. He claims his ability to focus better in game situations -- along with a bit of physical maturity --. along with improved FB command... is the reason why he's dropped his walk rate to 3.4 batters per nine innings this season.[COLOR=#222222][FONT=Verdana]


Be sure to check out the videos in the article that highlight great examples of how he is able to not only use his FB for strikeouts, but also for his Curve and Change-up:

[/FONT][/COLOR]http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20140618&content_id=80285038&fext=.jsp&vkey=news_milb&sid=milb[/FONT][/COLOR]

#2 cgreuling

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 06:48 AM

As much as Pino earned a look, I really hope it's a short look and May gets the call soon. He has nothing left to prove at AAA and he could potentially solidify the back side of the rotation this season (he could also end up as Boof Bonser 2.0 which would make us all a little sad).

#3 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 07:40 AM

Great post. I can't wait to see May pitch in Minnesota.

#4 laloesch

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 10:10 AM

Couldn't agree more. While Gardy is hyping up Pino as the most "deserving" candidate in typical Gardenhoser fashion, May is absolutely dominating AAA.

A starter that truly features (5) FIVE pitches, including a blistering fastball is a potential gem of a starter. I'm not sure anyone realizes what the Twins have here. At this point he's better than Meyer and isn't limited in innings having logged 150 innings the past three seasons. He's ready and should be the next guy up. Correia is on borrowed time and May could bump Pino (if he flounders) allowing Logan Darnell or Kris Johnson time in the majors.

Let's face it though, Pino is likely Liam Hendricks 2.0. While I hope the 30 year old succeeds its highly doubtful considering his fastball tops out around 86-87. It's not unheard of for a guy with that velocity to succeed at the major league level, but he has to feature dynamite off speed stuff and be an EXTREME control artist 100% of the time. If not he's bound to get shellacked by MLB hitters at some point.

Edited by laloesch, 19 June 2014 - 10:19 AM.


#5 James

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 10:25 AM

Couldn't agree more. While Gardy is hyping up Pino as the most "deserving" candidate in typical Gardenhoser fashion, May is absolutely dominating AAA.

A starter that truly features (5) FIVE pitches, including a blistering fastball is a potential gem of a starter. I'm not sure anyone realizes what the Twins have here. At this point he's better than Meyer and isn't limited in innings having logged 150 innings the past three seasons. He's ready and should be the next guy up. Correia is on borrowed time.

Let's face it though Pino is Liam Hendricks redux 2.0. While I hope the 30 year old succeeds its highly doubtful considering his fastball tops out around 86-87. It's not unheard of for a guy with that velocity to succeed at the major league level, but he has to feature dynamite off speed stuff and be an EXTREME control artist 100% of the time. If not he's bound to get shellacked by MLB hitters at some point.

I'd have to say that many people do actually realize what the Twins have in May. I think he's going to reach the potential that the Twins saw in him when they traded for him in the first place, but you're correct that he may end up being better than expected.

You're right, Pino is probably not going to add up to much, but he has pitched very well so far this season. He's earned a look. But his look could possibly just be spot start to give him his cup of coffee. May will be taking over that spot in the rotation soon enough, but to say that Pino didn't deserve the call up at all isn't fair.

You can come up with statistics to prove anything. Forty percent of all people know that.


#6 Shane Wahl

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 10:31 AM

I find the Twins outlook on AAA astounding. I know I have asked this before, but what is the true value of AAA vs. AA? It seems like the Twins do not regard it is a necessary spot for prospects to play, yet they do focus in on AAA performance vs. track record (Pino is a clear example) instead of other factors (like the fact that May is a legit prospect and Pino is not). It's almost like it is a kind of purgatory for many players; moving from AA to AAA is a *bad* sign with regards to what the Twins actually think about you--it is better if you just skip AAA altogether, apparently (I believe this to be false). Think about the prospects who have skipped AAA altogether vs. those promoted to AAA first from AA. Revere, Parmelee, Benson, Hicks, and the like going back years vs. guys like Romero, Ortiz, various pitchers, past guys like Evan Bigley, Garrett Jones, etc.

It just seems weird. Pino "deserves" a shot, yes. But May is the guy to get to the big leagues now. Dear god and a half . . . look at Kyle Gibson this year as opposed to last year . . . major league time is valuable now . . . for next year.

End rant.

#7 SD Buhr

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 11:42 AM

From where I sit, the Twins wanted someone specifically to pitch tonight in Deduno's spot and Pino got the call because (a) he's been pitching very well and (B) it coincided with his regular rest, where promoting May would require him to work on either short rest or longer than normal rest - neither is ideal for a MLB debut when you have an acceptable option, which Pino certainly is.

He shouldn't be considered because he doesn't throw the ball as hard as someone else?

Seems to me that someone looked at all the factors and determined the best guy to pitch this particular game was Pino. Reasonable people can agree or disagree with that determination, but I don't feel level or degree of future prospect-ness should even be considered in that discussion.

If May is still tearing up AAA in August instead of getting called up, while someone else is ineffective in the Twins' rotation, I'll rant along with you. I just don't see Pino's call up this week to be anything that is going to cause catastrophic harm to May's future performance with the Twins.

It's a little disturbing to me that after years of criticizing the Twins for always playing for "next year" instead of trying to win this year, we're now criticizing them for trying to win now rather than doing what we think would be in their best interests in the future.

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#8 jokin

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 12:13 PM

From where I sit, the Twins wanted someone specifically to pitch tonight in Deduno's spot and Pino got the call because (a) he's been pitching very well and (B) it coincided with his regular rest, where promoting May would require him to work on either short rest or longer than normal rest - neither is ideal for a MLB debut when you have an acceptable option, which Pino certainly is.

He shouldn't be considered because he doesn't throw the ball as hard as someone else?

Seems to me that someone looked at all the factors and determined the best guy to pitch this particular game was Pino. Reasonable people can agree or disagree with that determination, but I don't feel level or degree of future prospect-ness should even be considered in that discussion.

If May is still tearing up AAA in August instead of getting called up, while someone else is ineffective in the Twins' rotation, I'll rant along with you. I just don't see Pino's call up this week to be anything that is going to cause catastrophic harm to May's future performance with the Twins.

It's a little disturbing to me that after years of criticizing the Twins for always playing for "next year" instead of trying to win this year, we're now criticizing them for trying to win now rather than doing what we think would be in their best interests in the future.


How quickly the Twins might move to call the game off tonight will also say something about this move with Pino in lieu of May.*** I think it is reasonable for fans to expect that the clearly best long-term option to be the one called up well before August, and not much after the Super 2 date. Hernandez, Walters and DeVries were doing well last year in AAA, Gibson was doing even better- and of course, he was in the exact same shoes as May is in now- and like Gibson, May has had to wait his turn, this time over 2 journeyman and a lesser prospect in Darnell.

***

Dave St. Peter [COLOR=#8899A6]@TwinsPrez[/COLOR][COLOR=#8899A6][FONT=Gotham Narrow SSm] ยท 52m
[/FONT][/COLOR]


Depends if / when storms re-develop RT [COLOR=#66B5D2]@[/COLOR]gadfly2727: any idea when we’ll know if it’s gonna be played or not.

Edited by jokin, 19 June 2014 - 12:33 PM.


#9 SD Buhr

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 12:36 PM

I think it is reasonable for fans to expect that the clearly best long-term option to be the called up well before August, and not much after the Super 2 date. Hernandez, Walters and DeVries were doing well last year in AAA, Gibson was doing even better- and of course, he was in the exact same shoes as May is in now- and like Gibson, May has had to wait his turn, this time over 2 journeyman and a lesser prospect in Darnell.


I guess we can just disagree on some of this. I don't think it's unreasonable for an organization to call up whatever pitcher(s) they believe give them the best chance to win games now in to July if they're still within shouting distance of being competitive.

Again, it's perfectly reasonable to feel that May (and Gibson last year) could be considered the best option to win now AND the best prospect and I think anyone who feels strongly that way can make that argument. I just think getting 2+ months of experience facing Major League hitters is probably sufficient for a true top-line prospect to come to spring training the following year ready to be a Big League pitcher.

If May doesn't collapse, I suspect he'll be in Minnesota long before August, so I'm really just not going to get bent out of shape yet.

Covering the Cedar Rapids Kernels for MetroSportsReport.com while my alter-ego, Jim Crikket, opines about the Twins and Kernels at Knuckleballsblog.com.

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#10 70charger

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 12:46 PM

I find the Twins outlook on AAA astounding. I know I have asked this before, but what is the true value of AAA vs. AA? It seems like the Twins do not regard it is a necessary spot for prospects to play, yet they do focus in on AAA performance vs. track record (Pino is a clear example) instead of other factors (like the fact that May is a legit prospect and Pino is not). It's almost like it is a kind of purgatory for many players; moving from AA to AAA is a *bad* sign with regards to what the Twins actually think about you--it is better if you just skip AAA altogether, apparently (I believe this to be false). Think about the prospects who have skipped AAA altogether vs. those promoted to AAA first from AA. Revere, Parmelee, Benson, Hicks, and the like going back years vs. guys like Romero, Ortiz, various pitchers, past guys like Evan Bigley, Garrett Jones, etc.


I find this statistically dubious. Is it more likely that the player has to go to AAA because the Twins hate him and run their farm system like morons, or is it more likely that the player has to go to AAA because he isn't as good as a Joe Mauer-type who can just skip the league without any consequences?

Only the best players are able to skip AAA (leaving aside the Hicks-type situation where lack of even a plan C forced them into it). AAA is full of players that, by definition weren't good enough to skip the league. So you're comparing apples to oranges.

#11 Shane Wahl

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 12:47 PM

I'm not bent out of shape, and I understand Pino's success. I am claiming that calling up May instead is a better option both for now and for down the road. My question is really how the Twins evaluate AAA performance in its translation to MLB. It seems that there are some inconsistencies at play. And May is likely to be a better pitcher than Pino now, based on everything involved.

Like Achter and Oliveros instead of Burton, for instance.

#12 jokin

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 01:54 PM

I'm not bent out of shape, and I understand Pino's success. I am claiming that calling up May instead is a better option both for now and for down the road.

My question is really how the Twins evaluate AAA performance in its translation to MLB. It seems that there are some inconsistencies at play.

And May is likely to be a better pitcher than Pino now, based on everything involved.


I'm not sure if you contributed, but this thread (http://twinsdaily.co...ording-to-Gardy) was spurred by Gardy's mystery quotes:

[COLOR=#000000][FONT=arial]“The last thing we like to do is send them out and bring somebody elsein. If it has to happen, it has to happen. People have to produce at this level. We understand that and we’re fortunate … to have people pitching very well at Triple-A right now that give us options.”

[/FONT]
[/COLOR][COLOR=#000000][FONT=arial]When pressed on the matter, Gardenhire made an interesting point that might shed light on why the Twins prefer to err on the safe side before calling up their young arms.[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=arial]
“You ever think about the competition down there?” Gardenhire said. “Have you checked how good the league is? That tells a lot. I’m not saying anything bad about our pitchers, but the competition in that (International) league is not the same as it is here. It’s a huge difference. So you start checking some of the track records and their consistency down there, too, in that league. Competition has a lot to with it.....

[/FONT]
[/COLOR][COLOR=#000000][FONT=arial]We have people down there, and they’re telling me whether they’re ready to do this or not, and I’m telling the general manager.[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=arial]
“When he decides they’re ready to do this, he will make that decision more than I will. You know what I mean? There’s way more to it than what’s just black and white and right out in front. There’s a lot involved, and I think you know what all those things are.”[/FONT][/COLOR]


A whole lot of dancing and double-speak, but for sure, not a vote of confidence for the AAA level of play as a guide, vis a vis performance stats. And if there are non-performance considerations, Gardy's quotes lay those squarely at the feet of the GM.

#13 Shane Wahl

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 02:13 PM

I'm not sure if you contributed, but this thread (http://twinsdaily.co...ording-to-Gardy) was spurred by Gardy's mystery quotes:



A whole lot of dancing and double-speak, but for sure, not a vote of confidence for the AAA level of play as a guide, vis a vis performance stats. And if there are non-performance considerations, Gardy's quotes lay those squarely at the feet of the GM.


Yet Pino's performance stats have to be driving this promotion, right?

(By the way, that entire quote from Gardy is just terrible)

#14 laloesch

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 02:16 PM

From where I sit, the Twins wanted someone specifically to pitch tonight in Deduno's spot and Pino got the call because (a) he's been pitching very well and (B) it coincided with his regular rest, where promoting May would require him to work on either short rest or longer than normal rest - neither is ideal for a MLB debut when you have an acceptable option, which Pino certainly is.

He shouldn't be considered because he doesn't throw the ball as hard as someone else?

Seems to me that someone looked at all the factors and determined the best guy to pitch this particular game was Pino. Reasonable people can agree or disagree with that determination, but I don't feel level or degree of future prospect-ness should even be considered in that discussion.

If May is still tearing up AAA in August instead of getting called up, while someone else is ineffective in the Twins' rotation, I'll rant along with you. I just don't see Pino's call up this week to be anything that is going to cause catastrophic harm to May's future performance with the Twins.

It's a little disturbing to me that after years of criticizing the Twins for always playing for "next year" instead of trying to win this year, we're now criticizing them for trying to win now rather than doing what we think would be in their best interests in the future.



I generally agree with your post. I too will rant and be PO'd if May is still in AAA pitching like this in August.

Correia is most definitely not part of the long term plans and keeping him in the rotation is pointless. If this losing streak continues the Twins are about two weeks away from being solid sellers and at that point Correia becomes expendable via DFA or trade. Might as well get May some experience this season so he hits the ground running next year. I would hope the front office is smart enough to realize this, but who knows.

Conversely, If Pino does well then sweet. If not we have Kris Johnson, Logan Darnell and Sean Gilmartin to test this season too. Meyer is not ready in my opinion and will likely be shut down in early August and there is absolutely no need to rush him. I see him as a fall call-up next season.

Edited by laloesch, 19 June 2014 - 02:18 PM.


#15 jokin

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 02:25 PM

Yet Pino's performance stats have to be driving this promotion, right?

(By the way, that entire quote from Gardy is just terrible)


Yup. It just begged to be written about, classic Gardy and it opened a window into the idea that there isn't really a well thought-out process or plan in place for starting pitching promotions, except to infer that the default position is to automatically delay the top prospects.

#16 The Wise One

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 02:33 PM

I find the Twins outlook on AAA astounding. I know I have asked this before, but what is the true value of AAA vs. AA? It seems like the Twins do not regard it is a necessary spot for prospects to play, yet they do focus in on AAA performance vs. track record (Pino is a clear example) instead of other factors (like the fact that May is a legit prospect and Pino is not). It's almost like it is a kind of purgatory for many players; moving from AA to AAA is a *bad* sign with regards to what the Twins actually think about you--it is better if you just skip AAA altogether, apparently (I believe this to be false). Think about the prospects who have skipped AAA altogether vs. those promoted to AAA first from AA. Revere, Parmelee, Benson, Hicks, and the like going back years vs. guys like Romero, Ortiz, various pitchers, past guys like Evan Bigley, Garrett Jones, etc.

It just seems weird. Pino "deserves" a shot, yes. But May is the guy to get to the big leagues now. Dear god and a half . . . look at Kyle Gibson this year as opposed to last year . . . major league time is valuable now . . . for next year.

End rant.


Revere, Benson and Parmemlee were all September call ups from AA when the rosters could expand. They were called up as reward for good seasons, not to take the place of someone. Benson and Revere started the following season after their September call up in AAA. Your point of being in AA as a bad sign is horse hockey.