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#1 spideyo

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 12:22 AM

I've seen several people mention that one of the reasons we should dump Jeff Gray is because he's 30, implying that there is no way he'll improve beyond his career averages, and no way he could be a long term part of the Twins pitching staff. Why? Lots of players play well into their 30's and some into their 40's. And there ARE some guys who do improve considerably after they are 30. Perfect example: R.A. Dickey. He was drafted out of college when he was 22, played in the Rangers organization for 10 years doing nothing special, bounced around a bit, pitched for the Twins in 2009 and was largely written off as not a useful asset....and then in 2010, at the age of 36 he joined the Mets starting rotation and has spent the last few seasons being one of the better starting pitchers in the National League (and arguably better than virtually every Twins starter in that period). Now that is an extreme example, and I don't expect Gray to suddenly jump to the rotation and start striking out 10+ guys a night, but it seems awfully silly to use his age and his past struggles to completely write off the very good work he has done this year and discount any potential future benefit he could have for the club.

#2 twinsnorth49

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 07:40 AM

I've seen several people mention that one of the reasons we should dump Jeff Gray is because he's 30, implying that there is no way he'll improve beyond his career averages, and no way he could be a long term part of the Twins pitching staff.

Why? Lots of players play well into their 30's and some into their 40's. And there ARE some guys who do improve considerably after they are 30.

Perfect example: R.A. Dickey. He was drafted out of college when he was 22, played in the Rangers organization for 10 years doing nothing special, bounced around a bit, pitched for the Twins in 2009 and was largely written off as not a useful asset....and then in 2010, at the age of 36 he joined the Mets starting rotation and has spent the last few seasons being one of the better starting pitchers in the National League (and arguably better than virtually every Twins starter in that period).

Now that is an extreme example, and I don't expect Gray to suddenly jump to the rotation and start striking out 10+ guys a night, but it seems awfully silly to use his age and his past struggles to completely write off the very good work he has done this year and discount any potential future benefit he could have for the club.


I'm not sure people are necessarily writing Gray off as much as they are saying that considering some of the younger, promising bullpen arms in the organization, he's a bit redundant. Gray hasn't performed terribly but if the Twins are ultimately going to move forward they need to see what they actually have in those arms and eventually Gray holds up one of those spots. Who knows, if the perception remains that he has been pretty effective maybe we can package him up in a trade with Liriano or Pavano and get a half-ass throw in prospect.

#3 Boom Boom

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 07:56 AM

I think the majority opinion of Gray is that he's a replaceable arm who's had a good deal of luck. Given where he's been and his statistical history, his performance so far looks very fluky. I'm not going to say the Twins should dump him right now, but I don't believe he's turned a corner, either. Best case scenario is that he continues to pitch relatively well and gets spun off at the trade deadline for someone who can help the team for a couple years.

#4 Top Gun

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 07:59 AM

I don't care for Gray much either, but he is doing his job. What more can you ask of a player?

#5 Rosterman

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 08:33 AM

He is serviceable for the moment. We have young arms and all, but remember that the Twins (and all teams) do play the service-time game. If you can get that extra time out of someone, especially when rebuilding, you don't want all your "young" talent to come expensive at the same time when you are just hitting the winning circle strive. It's tough. Most seasons, the Twins could add one starting prospect, one bullpen prospect, one bating prospect, and run a couple people thru the system as part-timers. The Twins could conceivably have 10-12 home-bred rookies on the roster come years end, not to mention the holdovers (Mauer/Morneau) and a half-dozen minor league free agent pickups still getting time. Then they deep-six a couple more folks come arbitration and 40-man set the roster time. That's a biggy when you have to add more prospects on top of prospects.

#6 whydidnt

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 02:53 PM

As a knuckleballer, Dickey is a terrible example. They are the one oddity that you can't use to compare to other players. History is littered with quite a few knuckleballers that didn't find success until late in their career, including guys like Wakefield and J. Niekro. I don't think Gray is awful, but I don't think he's a guy you want to build your bullpen around either. His age, track record and stuff should make him expendable if the Twins have a young guy ready to move up to the majors, that's just how it is when you are struggling to win, you have to find out which of your young guys you can count on.

#7 IdahoPilgrim

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 03:07 PM

Why not stay with a proven quantity until it doesn't work? Maybe moving up a new guy will work, but maybe it backfires - that does happen sometimes. Because of who we have waiting in Rochester, Gray has little margin for error (and I'm sure he knows that), but his numbers are good enough to stay on the MLB roster. 1-2-3 inning today, including a K.

#8 whydidnt

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 03:27 PM

Why not stay with a proven quantity until it doesn't work? Maybe moving up a new guy will work, but maybe it backfires - that does happen sometimes. Because of who we have waiting in Rochester, Gray has little margin for error (and I'm sure he knows that), but his numbers are good enough to stay on the MLB roster. 1-2-3 inning today, including a K.

Because at this point wins in 2012 are pretty meaningless. It's more important for the team to evaluate young players to see if they can perform at the major league level than it is to keep a guy like Jeff Gray around. AND I'm the first to admit that to this point I was wrong about the bullpen this year. I thought it was going to be horrible and it really has been okay. Guys like Gray, Burnett and Burton have been better than I expected. It's too bad most of the time they are pitching when we are down by 3-4 runs - the last 3 games being the exception.

#9 IdahoPilgrim

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 04:25 PM

I have to disagree a bit with the "wins are meaningless" angle I'm seeing all around these boards. Tell that to those who are still attending games. If I'm going to pay money to go to the park, I'd like a 40-45% chance of seeing a win, even in a down year. I understand the argument that this is a good year to see what you have coming up, but can we go down that road later in the year, after the all-star break? Let's not pack it in in May; I'd still like to harbor the hope of getting back to .500 for a little while.:)

Edited by IdahoPilgrim, 30 May 2012 - 04:38 PM.


#10 IdahoPilgrim

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 04:34 PM

Besides, what message does it send to the team, veterans and especially prospects? That it's OK to give up before you've even reached halftime?

#11 Nick Nelson

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 04:43 PM

As a knuckleballer, Dickey is a terrible example. They are the one oddity that you can't use to compare to other players. History is littered with quite a few knuckleballers that didn't find success until late in their career, including guys like Wakefield and J. Niekro.

Not to mention that Dickey didn't become a knuckleballer until later in his career. If Gray were to transform himself into another style of pitcher entirely, it's possible he might be a quality player. I don't think anyone actually sees that happening, do they?

#12 snepp

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 04:53 PM

Cutting Jeff Gray is "giving up?"

#13 SwainZag

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 10:47 AM

I wouldn't say "giving up." Gray is a 30 year old MR on a league min contract who is sporting an ERA of 4.15, a WHIP of almost 1.40 and walking 4+ batters per 9. He is a serviceable but very replaceable arm at this point. It's the same reason Marquis was cut, yes chances are he isn't that bad of a pitcher and would have turned it around, while on the other hand this is obviously a lost season and what good is having a 35+ year old in the rotation when you can get similar/slightly less performance out of a younger option in AAA?