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Diamond, Maloney, Swarzak, Blackburn

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#1 jorgenswest

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 03:24 PM

The Twins rotation seems hopeless. Can they find anyone who can claim a spot next year? Diamond is the next one who gets a chance. Pitchers are so hard to evaluate based on data. The sample size for any relief pitcher is so small (even over a year). The sample size for all pitchers is so small after a month of a season. How do the Twins react to the poor or encouraging results over one month? One reaction is to send Hendrick to AAA and give Diamond a shot. Very reasonable given Hendricks age. Is Diamond the correct choice for the spot? Hard to know. Below is the minors league numbers for Maloney, Diamond, Blackburn and Swarzak. All have significant innings over several years. Based on one month this year, Diamond will get a chance. In his favor, he is left handed and the youngest of the group. He also has a lower hr/9 rate compared to the others. Could be park effects. Howevere, the data represents many innings over several different teams. Should we give up on Maloney based on some poor relief outings? Maybe. Compared to the others, both his k/9 and h/9 in the minors stand out. He is also left handed. On the other hand, he is 2.5 years older than Diamond. Neither Diamond or Maloney's previous organizations had enough confidence in their ability to protect them. Do the Twins keep giving Blackburn starts because of the contract they awarded him? What about giving Swarzak more starts? In truth, it is likely none of the four should be a major league starter. However if the Twins can find a starter in at least one of these pitchers, they will be better off next year. Who would you invest the starts in this year? How about Marquis and Liriano? It is unlikely either will be a Twin next year. Should they keep getting starts in hopes of being able to trade them later in the year? [TABLE="width: 400"] [TR] [TD][/TD] [TD][/TD] [TD]age[/TD] [TD]ip[/TD] [TD]era[/TD] [TD]h9[/TD] [TD]hr9[/TD] [TD]k9[/TD] [TD]w9[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]Maloney[/TD] [TD]L[/TD] [TD]28[/TD] [TD]890.1[/TD] [TD]3.27[/TD] [TD]8.1[/TD] [TD]0.7[/TD] [TD]8.3[/TD] [TD]2.5[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]Diamond[/TD] [TD]L[/TD] [TD]25[/TD] [TD]600[/TD] [TD]3.70[/TD] [TD]9.8[/TD] [TD]0.5[/TD] [TD]7.1[/TD] [TD]2.8[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]Blackburn[/TD] [TD]R[/TD] [TD]30[/TD] [TD]723.2[/TD] [TD]3.64[/TD] [TD]8.8[/TD] [TD]0.7[/TD] [TD]5.6[/TD] [TD]2.0[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD]Swarzak[/TD] [TD]R[/TD] [TD]26[/TD] [TD]816.1[/TD] [TD]3.97[/TD] [TD]9.3[/TD] [TD]0.7[/TD] [TD]7.3[/TD] [TD]2.8[/TD] [/TR] [/TABLE]

#2 cr9617

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 03:39 PM

The answer(s) to your questions, I'm afraid, is that is really doesn't matter. None of the above have any measurable upside. Maloney probably won't make it through the season with the Twins. Diamond is a soft tossing lefty with below average stuff, and ordinary career numbers. Blackburn should never have been given a 4 year deal, and has practically no trade value. Swarzak is nothing more than a long reliever/spot starter. Not one of these guys would be in any decent starting rotation. It's a sad situation, and there is no easy way out of this box.

#3 Thrylos

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 03:58 PM

The Twins cannot win with a rotation like this. And they cannot have a decent rotation, unless they start trading. So Span, Pavano, Marquis, Carroll, Doumit, etc etc should be traded for pitchers with upside. As should be some of the MiLB OF prospect depth. If they get a couple good young pitchers in trades and sign one in free agency, then they will be competitive in 2013.
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#4 cr9617

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:11 PM

The Twins cannot win with a rotation like this. And they cannot have a decent rotation, unless they start trading. So Span, Pavano, Marquis, Carroll, Doumit, etc etc should be traded for pitchers with upside. As should be some of the MiLB OF prospect depth. If they get a couple good young pitchers in trades and sign one in free agency, then they will be competitive in 2013.


I agree with half of this take. The assumption that they can be competitive next year...is absurd. Of the trade bait listed, only Span could possibly attract a high upside pitching prospect. The 2013 rotation is a complete unknown, other than Blackburn, and he stinks.

#5 Thrylos

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:18 PM

Of the trade bait listed, only Span could possibly attract a high upside pitching prospect..


How about Hicks or Morales or Arcia? I suspect that the will too ;) And it does not have to be one for one. Could be Span + Pavano + Hicks (lets say) for 2 top level SP prospects. Add something else to balance it if you have to.
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#6 stringer bell

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:38 PM

I saw Maloney pitch twice in ST and he looked very good (IIRC he was facing major leaguers too). I have talked him up since, after not really knowing anything about him. He hasn't been good at all in the majors, and it appears to me that he isn't suited to be a relief pitcher, at least one that comes in with runners on base. Maloney has allowed runners to run at will and hasn't pitched well out of the stretch. When he's started an inning, he's been much better.

#7 cr9617

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:40 PM

You make it sound like you can find quality pitching just anywhere. You can't. It's the hardest thing to acquire. Plus, this teams has more holes to fill than just a couple pitching prospects, who are unknowns anyways. And if you trade Span, than you have to replace Span. There's one more hole to fill. They will never go out and sign a high priced FA pitcher. They will wait for the leftovers and try and sign a guy or two on the cheap, like they always do. Most likely for 1 year deals. Realistically, the Twins are several years from competing again, or even knowing if any of their upcoming prospects will be any good at all.....which I wouldn't bet on based on recent history.

#8 jorgenswest

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:41 PM

I wonder what the Rangers or Rays management would do if they took over the Twins? Would they take what looks like the best arm in Perkins and try to make him a starter again? Any pitcher is much more valuable as a starter even in moderate drop in overall performance. Can he only find success as a reliever? On the surface, it looks like success and relief are tied together. There is an argument when you look at his increase in velocity. You can also look at the addition of the slider. He didn't throw the slider when he was a starter. He threw a curve ball. Should they worry about his health as a starter? I don't think that is the reason not to give it a shot. All starters are an injury risk. They have to put that risk somewhere. If it isn't pouring dollars into a multiyear free agent contract, it is in trading significant prospects to get a good starter. Starters are such a valuable asset, they are worth a risk. It might be worth using this year to stretch him out and get him in the rotation. I think it is something the Rangers might try if they ran the team.

#9 Thrylos

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:46 PM

I wonder what the Rangers or Rays management would do if they took over the Twins?
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Both the Rays and the Rangers have something very similar: It is called a SP pipeline in the minors. The Twins should try to mimic this and the way to do it, is grab people in assistant roles from those front offices and promote them to Farm Director, GM and assistant GM positions for the Twins...
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#10 jorgenswest

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 05:00 PM

The current AAA manager, Gene Glynn, came from the Rays organization. The Rangers moved both Wilson and now Feliz from relief to starter. They might do the same with Perkins if he was under their direction

#11 Rosterman

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 06:01 PM

Perkins has found his niche as a set-up man...potential closer. It would be nice to experiment with Liriano in relief, but I doubt that he wants to do that, even though he could be lights out if he tried. No high priced free agent starter would sign with the Twins. No high-priced free agent would consider a rebuilding team. Second tier free agent would consider for the right price. But players not only want money, but want to win. So, you have to combine it with a few core veterans that you control, supplemented with prospects, maybe trade for a "free-agent" style A player if you will eat their salary, and hope you can find a diamond or Maloney in the rough. Getting the 26th or 27th player in an organization *or the 41st or 42nd) isn't always bad for the short-term.

#12 jorgenswest

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 06:24 PM

It is much easier to find or sign a set up man. It is a risk to move Perkins. I think the reward of finding a starter for next year outweighs the risk.

#13 spideyo

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 09:28 PM

Both Perkins and Duensing have had extended runs as starters, and have proved themselves to be far more valuable in the bullpen. When the defense is solid behind Blackburn (and he's healthy), he can be a decent #5 starter and eat up a lot of innings. The hits I saw in first inning today could have been outs if carroll or valencia had been a foot over. Unfortunately the last couple years between injuries and Headcase Frankie, he's basically been expected to be a #3 guy. Hendricks could have a strong future, but he's not quite ready to be a regular starter. Heck, without Baker's injury and Marquis's family situation, he probably wouldn't have left AAA yet. Swarzak isn't going to blossom into a great starter at this point. At best, I think he becomes what Duensing was a couple years ago, a reliable reliever who can jump in for spot starts to cover injuries or pitch 3-4 innings in relief. I'm glad they're giving Diamond a shot, I haven't paid enough attention to the minors to have any idea on how he'll do. And Maloney...he has been horrid this year, and should be the first pitcher cut loose. If he makes it through waivers, maybe he can try and establish himself as a starting option, but I'm not holding my breath

#14 Bark's Lounge

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 09:41 PM

It would be nice to experiment with Liriano in relief, but I doubt that he wants to do that, even though he could be lights out if he tried.


Liriano would only be lights out in relief if it is his bedtime, unless he is afraid of the dark.