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Article: Nolasco Presents a Big Problem

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#1 Nick Nelson

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 10:56 PM

You can view the page at http://www.twinsdail...s-a-Big-Problem

#2 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 11:32 PM

Part of me says just let him pitch through it. We're not going anywhere this year. Neither is Nolasco.

Also, doghouse. He's lucky he got in while there's still room.

#3 Joe A. Preusser

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 04:54 AM

Just remember, this is all Andy's fault. Hughes himself gets the credit for a good year, but any bad performance is on the pitching coach.

#4 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 06:37 AM

I want to take this opportunity to apologize to the Twins defense by using them to make excuses for Nolasco back in May. The high BABIP that Nolasco has is not just bad luck, and it certainly isn't bad defense alone. He's giving up frozen ropes all over the field.

I do think something needs to be done about his spot in the rotation. In a three year contract it may be early to dump him, but he doesn't need to start every fifth day if he's just going to have a terrible game that way.

Skip his turn once, or demote him to bullpen duty, or something like that. Use that extra time to really focus on his location and see if there's something off about his mechanics that's making him lose velocity on his fastball.

#5 Buck Nasty

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 07:02 AM

Find a reason to give him a short stint on the DL and give Meyer his start(s). It's 2015 audition time. I'm not sure I want to see Nolasco come rolling out of the pen right now with the way he's throwing. Give him a week or two to "get healthy" and maybe he comes back to salvage his season without being officially demoted.

#6 Gernzy

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 07:06 AM

Just remember, this is all Andy's fault. Hughes himself gets the credit for a good year, but any bad performance is on the pitching coach.


I hope you're being sarcastic here...
It is unfortunate that Nolasco has struggled so much. Hopefully its just an off year.
I bent my wookie...

#7 mike wants wins

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 07:21 AM

Why can't you option him? Or bullpen him? A terrible move by the front office.

#8 tobi0040

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 07:29 AM

With over 1,000 IP at a 4.37 under his belt prior to this year, I really hope this is an anomoly. I am guessing it is and he will normalize at some point to a slightly higher ERA than that.

#9 Todd_L

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 07:37 AM

I have a perfect Twins Way solution...bring back Pelfrey so Nolasco doesn't seem so bad by comparison.

#10 nicksaviking

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 07:39 AM

I wasn't a Nolasco fan, but I said at the time I was still thrilled that the front office finally had the courage to partake in free agency. I'm still glad they tried.

I just hope that wasting good money in free agency teaches the front office that they were only wrong about what kind of pitcher to get doesn't actually scare them away from it altogether.

#11 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 07:40 AM

I hope you're being sarcastic here...
It is unfortunate that Nolasco has struggled so much. Hopefully its just an off year.


I read it as sarcasm, but who knows, maybe there's truth in it?


Posters on other Nolasco threads have suggested Nolasco might depend less on his low 90s fastball and work on really varying his pitch selection. And that Suzuki calls more fastballs than other catchers, which doesn't help. Conversely, on the radio this week Gardenhire said Nolasco had to set up his breaking ball by working on command of his fastball, and keeping his shoulder closed (maybe because that's how pitchers from Japan pitch) -- in other words, more fastballs. In other words, Gardy had no idea either. I have no idea what Nolasco's problem is, or what his pitch selection was Sunday, or if he busted out his Hideo Nomo delivery.


I'm also hoping it's just an off year.

#12 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 08:05 AM

I wasn't a Nolasco fan, but I said at the time I was still thrilled that the front office finally had the courage to partake in free agency. I'm still glad they tried.

I just hope that wasting good money in free agency teaches the front office that they were only wrong about what kind of pitcher to get doesn't actually scare them away from it altogether.


I doubt it will discourage them. Hughes is looking like the Twins got the steal of the FA period and they have him for another 2 years at a cheap rate. That contract is going to be very very very valuable if he's doing the same thing next year at this time. At that point, the Twins should be thinking extension or trade if he's not planning on sticking around. They should have enough pitching in AAA to replace him.

I suspect the Twins just have a very different philosophy. FA is used to find place holders when you are bad and plug a gaping hole when you are good. I'd like to see them target more upside type deals like the Cubs did with Feldman last year, but I think Kubel technically counts as that. I'm still scratching my head with Bartlett though.

#13 mike wants wins

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 08:12 AM

Well, we've never seen TR plug a gaping hole via a legit FA when the team is good, so we don't KNOW that is his strategy in his return. I certainly hope it is.
Lighten up Francis....

#14 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 08:15 AM

Well, we've never seen TR plug a gaping hole via a legit FA when the team is good, so we don't KNOW that is his strategy in his return. I certainly hope it is.


Thome? I agree though, it's been rare that the Twins have been just one piece away, so it's hard to tell what the strategy might should that situation arise again...

#15 JB_Iowa

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 08:20 AM

[COLOR=#3E3E3E]The Twins went out and spent big on free agent pitching during the offseason, and yet they still can't seem to escape the same old outcome: eroded depth and a totally inadequate starting staff.
[/COLOR]
[COLOR=#3E3E3E]
At what point do you look at the team's overall pitching philosophy? I'm not making excuses for Nolasco but Nolasco isn't the only problem here. We also have the Pelfrey signing. We have Meyer who has been inconsistent. We have May who was looking pretty good before injury but wasn't given a look-see. We see Worley go to Pittsburgh and have success.

I know that many posters on TD are excited about the depth of pitching talent in the minors. I have concerns about whether that minor league depth will translate to good pitching in the majors.

I'm not specifically blaming Rick Anderson (or anyone else in the organization) for Nolasco's troubles -- most of that falls on Nolasco's shoulders. In looking over the threads from when Nolasco was signed, TD posters were generally supportive but not overwhelmed by the Nolasco signing. He was seen mostly as a solid 3/4 -- an innings eater, not necessarily a staff leader. Obviously he hasn't even done that. There were a few posters who foresaw Nolasco's struggles so even this doesn't come as a complete surprise (and maybe someone with the Twins should have foreseen those struggles).

The question is whether the Twins (1) are good at evaluating major league ready pitching talent; and (2) are capable of nurturing their minor league depth to turn into reliable major league pitchers.

I don't have a very good feeling about the answers to either of those questions.[/COLOR]

#16 mike wants wins

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 08:22 AM

Thome? I agree though, it's been rare that the Twins have been just one piece away, so it's hard to tell what the strategy might should that situation arise again...


They spent the entire first decade of this century a DH or LF away, and did nothing at all to add players in terms of FA. You can blame the dome, or you can blame the GM who once said he didn't sign Knoblauch to an extension because he thought salaries would drop the next year.......
Lighten up Francis....

#17 mike wants wins

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 08:23 AM

Given that they have signed NUMEROUS FA pitchers over the years, and only 1 has worked, you do have to question something about what is going on. Or, you can just accept that they have the jobs, therefore they deserve them, and we should never question them. Either one is a reasonable approach, imo.
Lighten up Francis....

#18 jharaldson

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 08:27 AM

Posters on other Nolasco threads have suggested Nolasco might depend less on his low 90s fastball and work on really varying his pitch selection. And that Suzuki calls more fastballs than other catchers, which doesn't help.


I just looked at Fangraphs at his pitch types and he is throwing 8.7% more fastballs this year than last year. That means in 2014 you are getting a mediocre fastball 57.8% of the time vs 2013 when it was only 49.1% of the time. In my mind Gardy, Suzuki, and Anderson need to take a hard look in the mirror and think about if they are truly utilizing the skillset Nolasco has or if their adjustment of his pitch selection is setting him up for failure.

#19 mike wants wins

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 08:28 AM

That is a 17% increase in a pitch that doesn't work well......some awesome strategy there.
Lighten up Francis....

#20 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 08:32 AM

Well, we've never seen TR plug a gaping hole via a legit FA when the team is good, so we don't KNOW that is his strategy in his return. I certainly hope it is.


Context. TR was always operating under a Metrodome budget when the team was good.

#21 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 08:33 AM

That is a 17% increase in a pitch that doesn't work well......some awesome strategy there.


I'd think this is on Suzuki primarily... Anderson/Gardy second. This to me is something that Anderson and Gardy need to work with Suzuki to have him adjust his approach with Nolasco.

#22 mike wants wins

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 08:34 AM

Context. TR was always operating under a Metrodome budget when the team was good.


didn't I actually say that in this thread?
Lighten up Francis....

#23 cmathewson

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 08:45 AM

Why can't you option him? Or bullpen him? A terrible move by the front office.


Ahem, it was not so terrible when they signed. If I recall, the general tone of the conversation here was : "Halleluiah! They finally opened up their pocket books!"
"If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

#24 stringer bell

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 08:55 AM

The pitcher decides what he wants to throw. Certainly he consults before games with the pitching coach and catcher, but it still is the guy on the mound who determines what will be thrown. I would put almost all of the blame on Nolasco. He's a veteran and he knows what works for him and what doesn't.

#25 naobermiller

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 09:02 AM

I doubt it will discourage them. Hughes is looking like the Twins got the steal of the FA period and they have him for another 2 years at a cheap rate. That contract is going to be very very very valuable if he's doing the same thing next year at this time. At that point, the Twins should be thinking extension or trade if he's not planning on sticking around. They should have enough pitching in AAA to replace him.

I suspect the Twins just have a very different philosophy. FA is used to find place holders when you are bad and plug a gaping hole when you are good. I'd like to see them target more upside type deals like the Cubs did with Feldman last year, but I think Kubel technically counts as that. I'm still scratching my head with Bartlett though.


I think with Pelfrey and Correia you saw the stop gap measures over the last couple of years. I think Hughes and Nolasco (and don't forget, the offered Garza 50+million over for years too), you saw a front office that may not be competing this year, but is adding guys it thought would be around when they are competing in the next year or two.

As for Anderson, I don't think he can be blamed for all the pitching struggles this organization had had recently, but I don't think he's helped. And considering his propensity to focus on fastball command (which isn't Nolasco's forte), I'd like to see what he does with a new pitching coach

#26 Timtwinsfan

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 09:16 AM

[COLOR=#3E3E3E]

The question is whether the Twins (1) are good at evaluating major league ready pitching talent; and (2) are capable of nurturing their minor league depth to turn into reliable major league pitchers.

[/COLOR]
So the line, good at evaluating major league ready pitching talent. How many starters did they have to choose from in the FA market? Were you thinking trade? Plouffe for Wainwright or Cueto? Hicks and Dozier for Wacha or Zimmerman. The Twins had no choice, you have seen whats happened with the AAA pitchers ready to come up. They have nothing, compounded by the fact they can't trade any major league talent because no one wants what they have. Do you think anyone would want one of the Twins hottest prospects in Oswaldo Arcia? If the Twins had more talent he would be in Rochester. Here is the question, can the Twins minor league system develop pitching talent and turn that talent into strong major league pitching? St. Louis, Oakland does it, but so many teams don't, it's a tough gig. Look at Gibson, now a 500 pitcher hopefully will get better, but when he looked bad, he looked bad. When was the last Twins pitcher who came up through the system who was successful? I think they will have a good field team in 2-3 years, they still need more pitching in the minors. Like right now they should have 3 in Rochester and 3 in NB who would be legit starters and they don't.

#27 MileHighTwinsFan

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 09:27 AM

Super frustrating to not see him succeed. On the other hand, the Twins fans need to keep the long view. We have him for three more years and we have to assume, given his track record, his problems are correctable. To me, we need to keep throwing him out there and let him work on his issues, continue to acclimate himself to the AL and hopefully show success by the end of the year - giving him something to build on for 2015.

If Meyer or May were available, I might think differently. But I don't think bringing up Darnell or Johnson are the answers at this point.

#28 drivlikejehu

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 09:54 AM

I don't know about the pitch calling aspect, since presumably Nolasco could tell his catcher beforehand not to call so many fastballs? But Suzuki is a horrible pitch framer, which certainly doesn't help, and Nolasco has been a bit unlucky on top of not being good in general.

I liked the signing at the time. I still think he'll ultimately be OK.

#29 Oldgoat_MN

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 10:14 AM

[COLOR=#3E3E3E][FONT=arial narrow]The Twins went out and spent big on free agent pitching during the offseason, and yet they still can't seem to escape the same old outcome: eroded depth and a totally inadequate starting staff.[/FONT]

[/COLOR]
[COLOR=#3E3E3E]TR went out and signed Nolasco. Scott Kazmir signed a 2 year deal for less money per year. No one anywhere would have suggested that Nolasco has the ceiling that Kazmir has.

TR is into risk avoidance. He would rather have a 31 year old league average pitcher than a 30 year old who is clearly far superior, but has been injured in the past. (Kazmir's 2nd half last year was excellent)

This is not the attitude that wins a World Series title.
In this day and age, I do not believe it is the attitude that will ever win a World Series title.

[/COLOR][COLOR=#3E3E3E][/COLOR]

I'm on a whiskey diet. I've lost 3 days already.


#30 Pitz

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 10:25 AM

My non-expert suggestion would be to swap Ricky and Deduno for a few passes through the rotation.