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Sinker: Pirates find Worley's mechanical flaw

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#31 brvama

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 09:34 AM

For me the "patient" camp (of which I'm one) is about the players. 2015 has been my target date to start to see the influx of better and younger talent playing for the Twins. I believe the talent level for the Twins is about ready to show up.

OTOH, it is the management, and mostly coaches, that I believe have (or should have) the shortest leash from here on out. It will be interesting to see how Ryan deals with Gardy and the rest after the season, or even before. Should there not be a change, then I too will lose my current confidence in Ryan.

The FO has two responsibilities: get the right players and have good staff to get the most out of them. Sometimes it is necessary to concentrate on one vs. the other, but eventually both need to be addressed.

Maybe that is a discussion for another thread.

#32 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 09:41 AM

Fair enough. Good catch that the Twins also tried tweaking his mechanics.


I don't really fault the Twins for Worley's poor performance with the Twins, nor do I think his success is just the Pirates coaches. I think in both cases, Worley has made his own bed.


All the Worley stuff aside, I think there are enough examples in which the coaching staff and the front office have stuck with veterans too long out of misplaced loyalty.

Even Worley was praised by Terry Ryan in the off-season. From the same article in which Worley stated he has no control over his weight, Ryan said that he didn't need to worry about Worley because Worley had been in the league for 2 years...

#33 KTryan

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 09:47 AM

I think Anderson is to Gardy as Such was to Kelly. Not sure what the results will be. I could see this being an Ulger situation where Anderson is still retained in a different capacity and a new pitching coach is brought in. That's not a bad option if Anderson is retained in a way that maximizes his strengths...

That said, gotta echo Brock here. If a pitching coach cannot spot a mechanical flaw, he needs to be replaced.



I don't really agree with that last sentence there. I'm not sure how you think pitching works, but there's not one right way to throw a baseball. Yes, there are good and better ways, especially depending on how you're built what you're trying to accomplish, but it's not like there's certain definable mechanical flaws in pitching that can just be "found" in the way that you find a bad spark plug something. You may see what you perceive to be an ineffieciency or a tweak to be made, but you have to realize that with every small change comes others when you're talking about a complicated, fast, coordinated motion that utilizes so many different parts of your body.

I'm by no means a huge Rick Anderson fan, and I wasn't all that happy about how the FO handled the Worley thing (mostly because of the cost to acquire him, more so than thinking he was very good). However, let's not sit here and pretend one starting pitcher doing better for a small stretch, in the NL no less, is some damning indictment on our coaching staff. Some guys just don't pan out in certain situations.

Phil Hughes. :)

#34 Willihammer

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 09:48 AM

Nah. I blame Worley.

http://www.twincitie...y-hopes-less-is
"For me, the offseason is a chance for me to actually get back on a normal eating schedule," he said. "During the season, I just get fat. There's nothing I can do."
- Worley.

http://www.twincitie...as-tuned-up-now
"It was my mechanics," Worley said. "Things have gone well over there in the bullpen; now it's just a matter of getting it to transfer over to the game."
- Worley. 4/19/2013

Apparently Worley did work on his mechanics in 2013, at the request of Anderson, and he still stunk.
They looked at how he pitched in Philly, tried to get him to go back to that, and he didn't deliver.
He lost weight after being traded in 2012, but it wasn't enough. He lost more weight this off season, and he's finally starting to come around. Maybe the Twins weren't patient enough with him, but I don't think that he was making much of a good impression on the coaches or the front office here. He wore out his welcome pretty quickly.

I don't mean to be a defender of the Twins' coaching staff, but I think using Worley's word is not a fair assessment.


Yeah, we have heard this before. Normally I wouldn't miss a chance to rip the FO but people are having a little too much fun with a 4 start sample.

edit:

Marlins
Cubs
Mets
D-backs

Edited by Willihammer, 07 July 2014 - 09:53 AM.


#35 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 09:49 AM

I know this isn't about Worley, but I think it is pertinent to the thread. What about Nolasco? I know we aren't talking about ace material, but how can he stink so bad? Is Anderson looking at film to discern changes from last year? If there are noticeable changes, are they working to correct them? They have invested too much money in him to not get him straightened out. I've felt that Gardy and Anderson were pretty good at their jobs, but unless we start to see some improvement from the team, maybe it's time for a change in scenery. I'm having a hard time remembering the last pitcher the Twins brought in that actually showed marked improvement with the Twins.


It might be a good idea, assuming the Twins are going to stick with Ryan/Gardy/Anderson until they quit on their own, to have some interview/face time with the coaches before acquiring a player. I wonder if they do that.

This next bit is probably completely unfair to Nolasco, but he gives the impression that he isn't very easy to coach. That he might be resistant to changing his mechanics or approach. Again, not really fair and I don't know if its true or not, but the impression I'm getting is the coaches and Nolasco might not be on the same page right now.

So, if that's the case here - maybe it was same thing with guys like Garza, Lohse, Liriano, and Worley - what do the Twins do about it? Is there someone in HR that can have a team-building exercise for these guys?

#36 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 09:52 AM

I'm by no means a huge Rick Anderson fan, and I wasn't all that happy about how the FO handled the Worley thing (mostly because of the cost to acquire him, more so than thinking he was very good).


Revere has been all sorts of terrible for the Phillies.

#37 PseudoSABR

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 09:53 AM

I don't mean to be a defender of the Twins' coaching staff, but I think using Worley's word is not a fair assessment.

This. I think that helping of waiver-wire pie probably allowed for Worley to take reassessing his mechanics more seriously.

The Twins have gotten miles of out junkball pitchers (too many miles that it left the FO office arrogant, imo); sometimes the coaching tactics and personality will jive with a player and sometimes it won't. I don't think one coaching staff success (Pittsburg's) should necessarily be an indictment of another staff. Good for Worley though, I hope it lasts.

#38 PseudoSABR

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 09:57 AM

This next bit is probably completely unfair to Nolasco, but he gives the impression that he isn't very easy to coach. That he might be resistant to changing his mechanics or approach. Again, not really fair and I don't know if its true or not, but the impression I'm getting is the coaches and Nolasco might not be on the same page right now.

Nolasco isn't quite as bad as his numbers. His BABIP is .362, fifty points higher than his career. His xFIP is a non awful 4.15. However, he is allowing about 50% more homeruns and striking out one batter less per nine innings, and those aren't positive trends when combined with bad luck.

#39 Twins Twerp

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 09:58 AM

I know this isn't about Worley, but I think it is pertinent to the thread. What about Nolasco? I know we aren't talking about ace material, but how can he stink so bad? Is Anderson looking at film to discern changes from last year? If there are noticeable changes, are they working to correct them? They have invested too much money in him to not get him straightened out. I've felt that Gardy and Anderson were pretty good at their jobs, but unless we start to see some improvement from the team, maybe it's time for a change in scenery. I'm having a hard time remembering the last pitcher the Twins brought in that actually showed marked improvement with the Twins.

Phil Hughes? Can we really be that negative to onlysee the bad? How about Johan Santana? He seemed to turn out ok under Rick Anderson.

The Twins were in rebuild mode and still remain in rebuild mode. You have to find a few players every year who can be long term answers. I would venture to say we have found some staples this year. Dozier is the second baseman for next half decade. Hughes and gibson are pretty good mid rotation guys. May and Meyer are on the brink of showing what they can do. Pinto looks like at the very least he can smash. Oswaldo is here to stay if he can cut his k's a little. CF to me is a mute point. Buxton will be the CF by mid season next year. I think hicks can still contribute and at least be a 4th OF (remember Span took longer to cook and was given up on by most). SS looks like we finally have some talent coming up.

I like our rebuild much more than teams like Chicago and Houston. The storm is coming. If you arent patient for a baseball rebuild...stop watching baseball.

#40 cmathewson

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 09:59 AM

When Worley was traded, I said something along the lines of "if Vance comes back with the Pirates, Anderson needs to be fired."

I've followed the Twins for a long time. This may be the most damning evidence of coaching incompetence that I've seen during that time.

Unbelievable.

With Liriano, you could make the argument "that's just Francisco being Francisco" and sure enough, he imploded again in 2014. He's just an enigma; I can't blame or praise any coaching staff for how that guy performs.

But missing a mechanical issue with a pitcher who went from promising to garbage almost overnight? Unacceptable. Completely unacceptable.


Between Worley and Nolasco, Anderson should be fired. One season is not enough, but this is a well-established pattern. Garza is probably the best example of how to screw up a promising pitcher.

Edited by cmathewson, 07 July 2014 - 10:04 AM.

"If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

#41 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 10:07 AM

Between Worley and Nolasco, Anderson should be fired. One season is not enough, but this is a well-established pattern. Garza is probably the best example of how to screw up a promising pitcher.


Eh, Garza was pretty good in his last season with the Twins, short as it was. I don't fault Anderson for anything that happened with Garza.

#42 Brandon

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 10:07 AM

I do want to point out that the Anderson has had a lot of success with our bullpen pitchers. Theilbar is solid, Deunsing is too. Fien came out of nowhere from Detriot. Burton was successful before his injuries and came to Minnesota and was successful (compared to Worely). Guerrier was an Anderson success story too wasn't he originally from the Whitesox or Cleveland organization as a failed AAA starter?

I don't hold any stock in Worely he came off an injury and was overweight and out of shape when he got here. That's a lot to come back from especially his stuff isn't that great to begin with. Didn't he have the lowest swing strike rate? Most of his k's came on pitch location and getting the calls. I do think he is a solid pitcher 4/th or 5th starter. I was hoping he would develop into a number 3 with us but I don't see that now or ever.

#43 birdwatcher

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 10:09 AM

This is an amazingly tough crowd! So Anderson didn't get Worley to make the adjustments. Maybe, but not certainly, Anderson missed "the" mechanical flaw that resulted in him stinking, consistently, for many many months. The two questions I have are:

1. Is it possible that Worley is accountable for most of the problem and that it took a (welcome for him) change of scenery for him to step up on his end perhaps?

2. How do you account for the numerous cases where pitchers come here and have better years? Is this in SPITE of Anderson's incompetence? Or is it possible that one of the many variables to success is the meshing of personalities? I mean, why don't we hear of more complaints from pitchers who leave, and why aren't there overwhelmingly more examples like Worley's than there are examples like Deduno's or Fien's?

Edited by birdwatcher, 07 July 2014 - 10:21 AM.


#44 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 10:11 AM

I don't really agree with that last sentence there. I'm not sure how you think pitching works, but there's not one right way to throw a baseball. Yes, there are good and better ways, especially depending on how you're built what you're trying to accomplish, but it's not like there's certain definable mechanical flaws in pitching that can just be "found" in the way that you find a bad spark plug something. You may see what you perceive to be an ineffieciency or a tweak to be made, but you have to realize that with every small change comes others when you're talking about a complicated, fast, coordinated motion that utilizes so many different parts of your body.

I'm by no means a huge Rick Anderson fan, and I wasn't all that happy about how the FO handled the Worley thing (mostly because of the cost to acquire him, more so than thinking he was very good). However, let's not sit here and pretend one starting pitcher doing better for a small stretch, in the NL no less, is some damning indictment on our coaching staff. Some guys just don't pan out in certain situations.

Phil Hughes. :)


The pitching coach has 2 years worth of video when Worley was a decent pitcher to compare against. That's on the coach... and I agree, Hughes' adjustments are on the coach too.

#45 Gernzy

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 10:16 AM

Wow this thread really exploded...and all I'm thinking of is the movie Anger Management.
"The anger sharks are swimming in my head..."

I really hate how everyone blames everyone else. And not just on here, in general. No one seems to want to man up and take responsibility. Everything is someone else's fault.

On that note, I am a big fan of our front office and coaching staff, but it could be time for a change.
I bent my wookie...

#46 mike wants wins

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 10:24 AM

It is the coaches job to make players better......not sure how to not put blame/credit on them when things go badly/well. That is their job, to make players better. I doubt anyone here is absolving any pitcher from having "blame", but saying the coach is not at all accountable, and it is only the player? What is the coach for then?

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :)


#47 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 10:41 AM

It is the coaches job to make players better......not sure how to not put blame/credit on them when things go badly/well. That is their job, to make players better. I doubt anyone here is absolving any pitcher from having "blame", but saying the coach is not at all accountable, and it is only the player? What is the coach for then?


For me, it can be a case by case thing. Like I said before, I don't blame the Twins for Worley's failure or success - I think Worley has always had the potential to be good, but he is a bit of a head case.

My biggest criticism with the Twins' management style overall is that they give very long leashes to players with ML-experience, but will send down the young players or let them rot in the minors for years (Slama) without getting a chance to fail in the big leagues.

They've been very stubborn about re-building the team, which has resulted in lots of at-bats for guys that won't be wearing a Twins uniform when they do make it back to the playoffs some day. The guys that will be there will have less ML experience than they maybe could have had....

It's all guesswork and assumptions from me, though - I think Worley's problems were Worley's. There is some amount of evidence pointing to the Twins recognizing the issues early (april 2013), and acting accordingly (they sent him to AAA to work it out, then when the issues remained in Spring Training they cut their losses.) .

#48 PseudoSABR

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 10:54 AM

It is the coaches job to make players better......not sure how to not put blame/credit on them when things go badly/well. That is their job, to make players better. I doubt anyone here is absolving any pitcher from having "blame", but saying the coach is not at all accountable, and it is only the player? What is the coach for then?

In my opinion, successful coaching (or teaching) needs to be process-based; if a specific coach has a philosophy, a strategy to carry that out, and a method of communication, you have a good coach if you believe in the philosophy. (I know some don't believe in Andy's/the Twins philosophy, but that's not poor coaching per se). Not all players are going to blossom under any one system or coach; so evaluation needs to be case by case.

For instance, to whom do we credit for the improved starting pitching across the board (save Nolasco) from April until now? Should we Anderson get credit for that drop in ERA or do we give it to the pitchers? You can't just make sweeping judgments of blame and credit.

#49 cmathewson

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 11:00 AM

For me, it can be a case by case thing. Like I said before, I don't blame the Twins for Worley's failure or success - I think Worley has always had the potential to be good, but he is a bit of a head case.

My biggest criticism with the Twins' management style overall is that they give very long leashes to players with ML-experience, but will send down the young players or let them rot in the minors for years (Slama) without getting a chance to fail in the big leagues.

They've been very stubborn about re-building the team, which has resulted in lots of at-bats for guys that won't be wearing a Twins uniform when they do make it back to the playoffs some day. The guys that will be there will have less ML experience than they maybe could have had....

It's all guesswork and assumptions from me, though - I think Worley's problems were Worley's. There is some amount of evidence pointing to the Twins recognizing the issues early (april 2013), and acting accordingly (they sent him to AAA to work it out, then when the issues remained in Spring Training they cut their losses.) .


My biggest problem with Anderson in particular is his cookie-cutter approach. "Teach the kid a sinker and make him keep it at the knees." It's basically the Bert Blyleven school of pitching. That works for some guys, but not for all. Scott Baker could not throw a sinker to save his life. When he tried to, he got hit hard. His best pitch was and is the high fastball, which Anderson tried to tell him not to throw. Eventually, Baker just decided he had to ignore Anderson in order to be successful. To his credit, he was.

The strange thing is, Worley fit the mold of guys Anderson tends to help, like Carlos Silva and Nick Blackburn. Guys who throw the sinker 80% of the time. I'm at a loss as to how he was unable to help Worley.
"If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

#50 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 11:05 AM

My biggest problem with Anderson in particular is his cookie-cutter approach. "Teach the kid a sinker and make him keep it at the knees." It's basically the Bert Blyleven school of pitching. That works for some guys, but not for all. Scott Baker could not throw a sinker to save his life. When he tried to, he got hit hard. His best pitch was and is the high fastball, which Anderson tried to tell him not to throw. Eventually, Baker just decided he had to ignore Anderson in order to be successful. To his credit, he was.

The strange thing is, Worley fit the mold of guys Anderson tends to help, like Carlos Silva and Nick Blackburn. Guys who throw the sinker 80% of the time. I'm at a loss as to how he was unable to help Worley.


yeah - I did have high hopes for Worley when the Twins made the trade, it just didn't work out.

#51 Seth Stohs

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 11:13 AM

I'm definitely not one to think that every "Miss" is a fireable offense.
I'm also not a huge fan of Rick Anderson.
He's probably had an equal number of hits and misses.

#52 mike wants wins

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 11:14 AM

In my opinion, successful coaching (or teaching) needs to be process-based; if a specific coach has a philosophy, a strategy to carry that out, and a method of communication, you have a good coach if you believe in the philosophy. (I know some don't believe in Andy's/the Twins philosophy, but that's not poor coaching per se). Not all players are going to blossom under any one system or coach; so evaluation needs to be case by case.

For instance, to whom do we credit for the improved starting pitching across the board (save Nolasco) from April until now? Should we Anderson get credit for that drop in ERA or do we give it to the pitchers? You can't just make sweeping judgments of blame and credit.


I agree, but you can make judgements, that's what leaders need to do, decide who is doing a good job, and who is not.

I guess you could look at the starting pitchers ERA or FIP or your favorite stat, and decide if, as a whole, they are good or not, year after year? There has to be a way to judge not just process, but also outcomes.

To me, "anyone"* can coach a great player. It is the coaches that can help bad or mediocre players succeed that matter. I just don't see a lot of that happening here, year over year.

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :)


#53 jorgenswest

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 11:24 AM

It is an odd discussion.

If one side questions Anderson, others read the person saying that Worley had no responsibility. On the other hand, when another questions the work ethic of a player, another reads it as the coach has no influence.

Many major league pitchers walk a fine line of success. There is little room for dropped velocity or slight loss of command without significant drop in performance. Hopefully a coach can help each individual player walk that fine line of success. Poor performance from a previously successful pitcher lands on both pitcher and coach.

No coach works well with every player. All coaches work well with some. The best coaches can work well with a diverse group of skills sets.

It certainly is on the staff to evaluate talent. The Twins staff felt that the 26 year old Worley had less upside than a 32 year old Virgil Vasquez. That decision is on the shoulders of the staff and should have been greatly influenced by Anderson.

Can the Twins easily replace Nolasco with a pitcher they believe will perform significantly better? If so, they should do so now.

Can the Twins easily replace Anderson with a pitching coach they believe will work well with a larger number of pitchers? If so, they should do so now.

#54 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 11:35 AM

I'm definitely not one to think that every "Miss" is a fireable offense.
I'm also not a huge fan of Rick Anderson.
He's probably had an equal number of hits and misses.


I agree. My problem is that lately, it seems we've had more misses than hits... And even if they're equal, that's still not a good enough percentage. Gibson and Hughes are pluses but have to be offset by Nolasco and possibly Worley, performance pending.

I'm not an Anderson hater, I simply think he's not as effective as he should be, or even as effective as he was in the past.

All of this is grey area stuff. There is no clear answer. For me, Worley is just the tipping point where I say "enough is enough, time to move on".

#55 Winston Smith

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 11:46 AM

You win because of good coaching and lose because of bad players or the other way around the reality is this team has sucked big time for 3 1/2 years now. Is that long enough to expect some real changes if not how long are we expected to wait?

May all our prospects be All Stars and the beer be free.


#56 Physics Guy

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 11:47 AM

Phil Hughes? Can we really be that negative to onlysee the bad? How about Johan Santana? He seemed to turn out ok under Rick Anderson.

The Twins were in rebuild mode and still remain in rebuild mode. You have to find a few players every year who can be long term answers. I would venture to say we have found some staples this year. Dozier is the second baseman for next half decade. Hughes and gibson are pretty good mid rotation guys. May and Meyer are on the brink of showing what they can do. Pinto looks like at the very least he can smash. Oswaldo is here to stay if he can cut his k's a little. CF to me is a mute point. Buxton will be the CF by mid season next year. I think hicks can still contribute and at least be a 4th OF (remember Span took longer to cook and was given up on by most). SS looks like we finally have some talent coming up.

I like our rebuild much more than teams like Chicago and Houston. The storm is coming. If you arent patient for a baseball rebuild...stop watching baseball.


Yeah, shortly after posting I remembered Hughes. He's turned out pretty well. I agree that Anderson may have had some impact on Santana, but that was a long time ago.

#57 spycake

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 11:54 AM

What are the odds that Terry Ryan is seeing red right now? I can't believe he would shrug off something this obviously flawed in the Twins organization.


Pretty sure TR and the boys can just shrug Worley off as another "incompatible personality."

How long did this organization ride Dick Such? Pretty much until he and TK were ready to retire, right?

#58 jharaldson

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 11:57 AM

Revere has been all sorts of terrible for the Phillies.


Revere has been worth 1.8 fWAR the past 1.5 seasons, .5 of which he was out with injury. I would personally describe "terrible" as negative value and I would describe Revere as slightly above average.

#59 TheLeviathan

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 12:01 PM

If something like this (a 1-2 month turnaround for a pitcher from garbage to productive simply by a coaching change) isn't enough to rattle your confidence in Anderson.......then you might as well just endorse he stay here for life.

Edited by glunn, 07 July 2014 - 01:58 PM.
Characterizing someone else's position -- deleted the bad sentence


#60 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 12:01 PM

Revere has been worth 1.8 fWAR the past 1.5 seasons, .5 of which he was out with injury. I would personally describe "terrible" as negative value and I would describe Revere as slightly above average.


An average player is roughly a 1.5-2 WAR player. Revere is well below average and the type of player that usually ages terribly.