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Sinker: Pirates find Worley's mechanical flaw

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#61 Physics Guy

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 12:03 PM

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".


This is pretty much where I am at. My tipping point however will be if they can't help Nolasco right the ship. He has a much longer period of sustained quality in the big leagues than Worley.

#62 ashburyjohn

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 12:08 PM

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.


I woke up (West Coast time) to a thread that already had exploded. I read through it, and this is the comment that comes closest to my view.

Worley's case is similar to some cases for the Twins in the past, going across the regime of two GMs (related lineage of course), sitting at the intersection between Player Evaluation and Coaching. Coaching involves evaluation of course, independently of the evaluation that has to go on for acquisitions.

Cases like JJ Hardy, Carlos Gomez, Delmon Young, seem with retrospect to be where the scouts/evaluators said "this is the guy to get", the GM confers and pulls the trigger, and then somehow the on-field guys some time later say in effect "I don't know what to do with this guy". There's some success, there's some time in the doghouse, and ultimately the player is dispatched. I realize two of the names above were traded for each other; it's the process I'm concerned about.

Part of being a GM is Systems Analysis. From an outsider's perspective like mine, there is a disconnect between talent evaluation and coaching. They need to become more on the same page than they are at least showing. I'm going to stick my neck out and guess that the difference is in views on the players' makeup and mental approach.

It's not working, apparently, for the GM to tell the manager and his coaches, "here are the guys you have to work with this year, get the most out of them". There needs to be more buy-in, somehow, so that players aren't thrown under the bus when they don't succeed for a time. I don't know the solution, but it's an identifiable problem, and probably a solution exists without blowing up the organization.

Edited by ashburyjohn, 08 July 2014 - 05:08 PM.


#63 Winston Smith

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 12:10 PM

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.


What have the Twins got out of their center fielders in the same time frame?

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


#64 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 12:16 PM

How long should I wait? When I asked that question last year, people said 2014/5. I'd bet those same people would now say 2016 before you can judge his work. How long should we wait?

Should we just accept the awful job of adding players in FA over the last few years? Should we accept they had NO PLAN for CF this year if Hicks didn't work? Should we accept that during a rebuild they use veteran RP with no options left, rather than young players?

How and when should Ryan be held accountable for the success or failure of this team?

btw, I'm ok with people saying be patient, but there has to be a timeline for goals, or they are not goals.


Time and tide wait for no man.

#65 spycake

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 12:16 PM

I would like to hear the Twins side of the story. I wouldn't be surprised if getting demoted (twice, to the bullpen, then AAA) and essentially traded for nothing gave him the kick needed to start listening to his coaches a little more closely.


First, was he ever really demoted to the bullpen? I know that was a likely destination this year, but he never made a relief appearance with the Twins or at Rochester.

Second, why would a trade for nothing motivate him more than clearing waivers for nothing? That was the weird part for the Twins -- they had the guy off the 40-man but under their cheap control for the full 2014 season (and beyond if they wanted to add him back to the roster)... and they chose to sell him? It would be like if they sold Parmelee this spring after he cleared waivers -- while the player in question is unlikely to be a star, there's just no real point in such a move for the 2014 Twins.

#66 mike wants wins

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 12:19 PM

They needed room on the 40man for Bartlett and Kubel, that was more important than keeping a guy that was the centerpiece of a trade they had just made, who was young and had potential.

I was ok with giving up on him, but not ok with giving up on him to clear room for guys that were old and had no upside. That is the miss here, a miss squarely on the FO, whether Worley ever pitches well again or not.

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. :)


#67 SwainZag

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 12:19 PM

I'm not buying into him yet. He has started 4 games for Pittsburgh. While his numbers on the outside look good, and his K's are up, his BABIP is a tiny .210. Still good for a FIP of 3.87 which is more than 1.5 better than last year, but still much higher than his 2.28 ERA he is sporting this year.

Let's also not forget he moved to the NL and has already come and out said he was not 100% last year. I'll give him another 5-6 starts before counting him as a rebound success story.

#68 JB_Iowa

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 12:20 PM

It's not working, apparently, for the GM to tell the manager and his coaches, "here are the guys you have to work with this year, get the most out of them". There needs to be more buy-in, somehow, so that players aren't thrown under the bus when they don't succeed for a time. I don't know the solution, but it's an identifiable problem, and probably a solution exists without blowing up the organization.


While what you say makes sense, I always had the feeling that Gardenhire did have more say when Smith was in charge.

I don't know how to reconcile that belief with what you are suggesting here.

#69 spycake

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 12:26 PM

They needed room on the 40man for Bartlett and Kubel, that was more important than keeping a guy that was the centerpiece of a trade they had just made, who was young and had potential.

I was ok with giving up on him, but not ok with giving up on him to clear room for guys that were old and had no upside. That is the miss here, a miss squarely on the FO, whether Worley ever pitches well again or not.


It's worse than that -- Worley was already off the 40-man roster, having cleared waivers and been outrighted to AAA. As jorgen mentioned upthread, when the Twins sold him, the debate was more like Worley vs. Virgil Vasquez.

#70 JustinCB

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 12:30 PM

Market inefficiency: Salvageable twins pitching castoffs.

#71 spycake

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 12:37 PM

I'm not buying into him yet. He has started 4 games for Pittsburgh. While his numbers on the outside look good, and his K's are up, his BABIP is a tiny .210. Still good for a FIP of 3.87 which is more than 1.5 better than last year, but still much higher than his 2.28 ERA he is sporting this year.

Let's also not forget he moved to the NL and has already come and out said he was not 100% last year. I'll give him another 5-6 starts before counting him as a rebound success story.


I mostly agree -- his K's are up over some dreadful lows last year, but still not near his Philly numbers.

And it doesn't really take an unqualified "rebound success story" to make this look bad for the Twins. They gave up on this guy early, not for a roster spot, not for salary savings... why? And, has it been worth it? Has Virgil Vasquez been a indispensable mentor to our AA pitchers?

#72 jharaldson

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 12:38 PM

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.


Revere was on track for 1.75-2.00 fWAR last year before injury and is on pace for the same this year. By your measurement he is right around average.

Your speculation about his skillset being prime for quick decline is valid but you can't describe a guy as "all sorts of terrible" when he has actually been right around average.

#73 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 12:44 PM

Revere was on track for 1.75-2.00 fWAR last year before injury and is on pace for the same this year. By your measurement he is right around average.

Your speculation about his skillset being prime for quick decline is valid but you can't describe a guy as "all sorts of terrible" when he has actually been right around average.


I consider him all sorts of terrible. He is a negative fWAR player both offensively and defensively. His legs are a plus, everything else is a minus. He has no power, he has no discipline, he has no arm, metrics don't even like his range much anymore.

There was never much to like about Ben Revere and he's only getting worse. The guy has a 3.1 BB% this season. Ugh.

#74 mike wants wins

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 12:55 PM

It's worse than that -- Worley was already off the 40-man roster, having cleared waivers and been outrighted to AAA. As jorgen mentioned upthread, when the Twins sold him, the debate was more like Worley vs. Virgil Vasquez.

Ugh, thanks for cheering me up. ...

#75 PseudoSABR

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 12:58 PM

It's worse than that -- Worley was already off the 40-man roster, having cleared waivers and been outrighted to AAA. As jorgen mentioned upthread, when the Twins sold him, the debate was more like Worley vs. Virgil Vasquez.

Right. The choice doesn't really make sense. So there must have been some sort of impasse. If we accept that not all coaches can work with all players, and we realize Worley isn't going to figure it out under Anderson, do we still simply hold onto Worley so other teams can't have him? Maybe Anderson is part of the problem, but the Worley situation is a murky indictment of his coaching prowess.

Look, I get that it kind of sucks that Worley goes on to be successful; it's bittersweet. For every Worley who goes onto succeed (after four games), there's a Slowey who is exactly what the Twins thought he was, and utilized his best years.

In fact, I remember similar arguments about Anderson and the Twins giving up on players emerging when Slowey had a short run of success a couple years ago.

Edited by PseudoSABR, 07 July 2014 - 01:24 PM.


#76 mike wants wins

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 01:02 PM

Or, leave Worley in AAA, and ahve him work with that coach, and gain value for a trade? I will admit, if they thought he was bad, and they could not work with him, this is not the worst decision ever. OTOH, if players are more important than coaches, and several players have been unable to work with Anderson, maybe he's not the right coach for that reason.

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. :)


#77 Brandon

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 01:10 PM

I mostly agree -- his K's are up over some dreadful lows last year, but still not near his Philly numbers.

And it doesn't really take an unqualified "rebound success story" to make this look bad for the Twins. They gave up on this guy early, not for a roster spot, not for salary savings... why? And, has it been worth it? Has Virgil Vasquez been a indispensable mentor to our AA pitchers?


The Twins traded Worely because he was going to be buried here at AAA and be so far down the depth chart that it was addition by subtraction for us. And it was a chance for redemption for Worely.

#78 Brandon

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 01:13 PM

I consider him all sorts of terrible. He is a negative fWAR player both offensively and defensively. His legs are a plus, everything else is a minus. He has no power, he has no discipline, he has no arm, metrics don't even like his range much anymore.

There was never much to like about Ben Revere and he's only getting worse. The guy has a 3.1 BB% this season. Ugh.


I think he'll make an ok 4th OF as long as he can get on base over .320 -.330 and steal bases. He'll have enough of a career to be set for life financially. He'll probably end up with over 300 stolen bases and that is nothing to sneeze at. (yes overall he is sub par but he isn't without value to the team)

Edited by Brandon, 07 July 2014 - 01:16 PM.


#79 ashburyjohn

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 01:16 PM

While what you say makes sense, I always had the feeling that Gardenhire did have more say when Smith was in charge.

I don't know how to reconcile that belief with what you are suggesting here.


I have that belief too. I reconcile it by viewing two different results - with a non-baseball man as GM, Gardy had too much say in the acquisition (and disposition!) area, while with a baseball man in the big chair, Gardy (and by extension his staff) isn't sufficiently invested in the roster decisions and then sours on an underperforming player quickly if he's not of the right personality.

#80 righty8383

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 01:39 PM

What have the Twins got out of their center fielders in the same time frame?


I'm not gonna look, but whatever it is, I think its reasonable to expect that Trevor May will eventually be a solid ML pitcher and he will easily cover any value that we've lost in CF since Revere was traded.

#81 tobi0040

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 02:16 PM

Here is my two cents. I am not a Rick Anderson fan. If we wanted to list players that were better elsewhere versus here, I think the better elsewhere list would be longer.

In any event, let's wait to chalk up Worley as an Anderson failure and lets see how sustainable this is. He had a 4.30 ERA in AAA this year and has pitched a total of 27 innings with the Pirates. In those 27 IP, he has left 87.7% of his runners on base and has a .225 BABIP. His K's per 9 of 5.9 is better than his number in the mid 4's here, but this is not screaming nanny nanny boo boo.

#82 spycake

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 02:18 PM

Right. The choice doesn't really make sense. So there must have been some sort of impasse. If we accept that not all coaches can work with all players, and we realize Worley isn't going to figure it out under Anderson, do we still simply hold onto Worley so other teams can't have him? Maybe Anderson is part of the problem, but the Worley situation is a murky indictment of his coaching prowess.

Look, I get that it kind of sucks that Worley goes on to be successful; it's bittersweet. For every Worley who goes onto succeed (after four games), there's a Slowey who is exactly what the Twins thought he was, and utilized his best years.

In fact, I remember similar arguments about Anderson and the Twins giving up on players emerging when Slowey had a short run of success a couple years ago.


Slowey was taking a 40-man roster spot and was due to be paid $2.75 million. If you think he's a longshot for MLB success, and you've had 6 years to work with him, then I generally support trading him (particularly if you can get a cheap, non-roster player in return).

Worley was already off the 40-man roster and was making the league minimum salary. And the Twins gave up on him, for nothing in return... due to "irreconcilable differences" after one year? They had a free year to send him to the minors and together work toward the mutual goal of winning him his first arbitration payday, just like the Pirates are doing now.

I get that not even the best coaches will see eye to eye with every player, and it's not necessarily any great shame to send such players on to other pastures, but the Twins seemed awfully quick to dump the malcontent here, particularly for a team in their position (i.e. rebuilding, with a league worst starting staff).

#83 spycake

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 02:29 PM

The Twins traded Worely because he was going to be buried here at AAA and be so far down the depth chart that it was addition by subtraction for us.


That seems like a way overconfident move by a team with the worst MLB starting staff in 2013.

The best spin might be that a few days after dumping Worley, Diamond accepted an assignment to AAA -- maybe he wouldn't have accepted if the Twins had another MLB veteran arm potentially above him on the depth chart. But, I think Worley was ticketed for the AAA bullpen at the time of his demotion anyway, and he could have easily gone to AA or extended spring training (he didn't make his Pirates minor league debut until May 6). And keeping Diamond's 6.45 AAA ERA wasn't exactly a "win" for the front office either.

#84 tobi0040

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 02:39 PM

btw, I'm ok with people saying be patient, but there has to be a timeline for goals, or they are not goals.


S.M.A.R.T. Goals.

Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time Sensative.

We have had none of the above.

#85 JB_Iowa

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 03:03 PM

What did we get for Craig Breslow?

Not that he's been fabulous but he was serviceable for the A's and then for the Red Sox (horrible year this year).

Isn't he another one where the personality issue seemed strong?

I'm not saying the Twins should have kept him ... just seemed to be in the same category as Worley (although reliever vs. starter is very different).

#86 jharaldson

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 03:11 PM

What did we get for Craig Breslow?


Nothing, he was outright released. A's picked him up for nothing.

#87 LaBombo

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 03:21 PM

Theo Epstein signed with the Cubs within a month of Ryan's return.

Theo's record with the Cubs: 165-245

Ryan's record with the Twins: 171-240

If Terry Ryan should be fired, Theo Epstein should be super-duper double fired.

Or maybe it just takes time to rebuild a franchise when you're doing it through the farm and draft.



Three years of rebuilding, and Epstein has put together a roster with 3 players over 30, and and the 6th youngest in baseball.

Three years of rebuilding, and Ryan has put together a roster with 11 players over 30, and the 6th oldest in baseball.

The quantity of young players on the MLB roster is clearly a lesser measure of the progress of a rebuilding effort than the quality of the prospects acquired and developed. But it certainly warrants consideration when comparing the two GM's.

And the Cubs are consistently ranked just behind the Twins among the top five farm systems in baseball. That was before the injuries to Sano and Buxton, and before Epstein acquired one of the top-ranked shortstop prospects in the minors, along with the OF the A's took in the first round last year, and a 25 year old starter with 190 K's in 230 MLB innings.

#88 old nurse

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 03:32 PM

What did we get for Craig Breslow?

Not that he's been fabulous but he was serviceable for the A's and then for the Red Sox (horrible year this year).

Isn't he another one where the personality issue seemed strong?

I'm not saying the Twins should have kept him ... just seemed to be in the same category as Worley (although reliever vs. starter is very different).


The dreaded control problem. They tried to sneak him through waivers so he could work on the control in Rochester. Didn't work out as planned. His replacement was Sean Henn, who didn't work out as planned.

#89 old nurse

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 03:57 PM

Three years of rebuilding, and Epstein has put together a roster with 3 players over 30, and and the 6th youngest in baseball.

Three years of rebuilding, and Ryan has put together a roster with 11 players over 30, and the 6th oldest in baseball.

The quantity of young players on the MLB roster is clearly a lesser measure of the progress of a rebuilding effort than the quality of the prospects acquired and developed. But it certainly warrants consideration when comparing the two GM's.

And the Cubs are consistently ranked just behind the Twins among the top five farm systems in baseball. That was before the injuries to Sano and Buxton, and before Epstein acquired one of the top-ranked shortstop prospects in the minors, along with the OF the A's took in the first round last year, and a 25 year old starter with 190 K's in 230 MLB innings.


Epstien has a nice roster. Still losing. They will be losing more as they dealt 2 of their top starters.
The ballplayers over 30 likely to be with the club next year are Nolasco, Perkins and Mauer. Fien and Pelfrey remain to be seen.
For the long term of the club, the continued emphasis on the average age of the club is meaningless. If Hicks could hit, there would be no Sam Fuld. If Tonkin pitched better there would not be Guerrier. Numerous under 30 players have had a chance to work out They did not. You grab what you can find. That would be older players. There is no intent to build with them, only to field as competitive team as possible for this year.

Edited by old nurse, 07 July 2014 - 04:00 PM.


#90 TheLeviathan

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 04:02 PM

If Hicks could hit, there would be no Sam Fuld. If Tonkin pitched better there would not be Guerrier. Numerous under 30 players have had a chance to work out They did not.


Many of the over 30 guys haven't either. What is meaningful about the age of the roster is that it gives an indication of how many players on the roster are part of the future which can give an idea of how close the future might be.

Not always, but it's meaningful. Many young guys have not contributed. The roster average age of 30, boosted by a bunch of old guys not part of the future, has done nothing but lose 90 games for several seasons and likely another. Why be old and not very good if you're looking to the future? That's not meaningless.