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Year to year SP improvement

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#1 Mike Frasier Law

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 08:54 AM

I'm sure I'm not alone in being frustrated with the slow rebuilding process, but as an optimist, I always look for an excuse to hope. I knew our starting staff was historically miserable last year, so I decided to compare how our staff is this year. Then I decided to go on a wild goose chase. Whoops!

 

Here is a link to the SP lines for each year since 2010 for the Twins. The first thing I noticed was how shudderingly awfur the last two years were. Our starters did not pitch 900 innings. They didn't notch 40 wins. And of course team ERA of 5.26 and 5.40 just make me sad (along with the 2.8 and 4.7 total WAR. You read that right. Starting pitching team WAR of 2.8 in 2012.)

 

Here's why I was happy when I looked at it. This year we are back on pace to pitch more than 900 innings. The 5.93 k/9 ratio is the best since 2010. The 2.39 bb/9 ratio is the best since 2010. The staff has already accumulated 7.6 WAR, to go along with an ERA (barely) under 5. The 4.19 xFIP is better than most years, and significantly better than the last 2. And it looks like the staff is only getting stronger.

In the last 30 days, our starters have 6.35 k/9, 2.00 bb/9, 4.07 xFIP, and 1.9 WAR.

 

And reinforcements have not yet arrived!

 

When we trim the remaining fat and replace them with budding prospects, we could be getting back to the heyday of Twins pitching (see 2005 - 2007). Can't wait!

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#2 drjim

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 09:09 AM

I'm sure I'm not alone in being frustrated with the slow rebuilding process, but as an optimist, I always look for an excuse to hope. I knew our starting staff was historically miserable last year, so I decided to compare how our staff is this year. Then I decided to go on a wild goose chase. Whoops!

 

Here is a link to the SP lines for each year since 2010 for the Twins. The first thing I noticed was how shudderingly awfur the last two years were. Our starters did not pitch 900 innings. They didn't notch 40 wins. And of course team ERA of 5.26 and 5.40 just make me sad (along with the 2.8 and 4.7 total WAR. You read that right. Starting pitching team WAR of 2.8 in 2012.)

 

Here's why I was happy when I looked at it. This year we are back on pace to pitch more than 900 innings. The 5.93 k/9 ratio is the best since 2010. The 2.39 bb/9 ratio is the best since 2010. The staff has already accumulated 7.6 WAR, to go along with an ERA (barely) under 5. The 4.19 xFIP is better than most years, and significantly better than the last 2. And it looks like the staff is only getting stronger.

In the last 30 days, our starters have 6.35 k/9, 2.00 bb/9, 4.07 xFIP, and 1.9 WAR.

 

And reinforcements have not yet arrived!

 

When we trim the remaining fat and replace them with budding prospects, we could be getting back to the heyday of Twins pitching (see 2005 - 2007). Can't wait!

 

This is the key to me. Terry Ryan has really rebuilt the depth up and down the system, should pay dividends for years.

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#3 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 09:23 AM

I love goose chases such as this :)
When I hear a pitcher is throwing a “simulated game” my first thought is that he repeated the opposing lineup 10,000 times. - Jonathan Judge

#4 tobi0040

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 09:33 AM

This is the key to me. Terry Ryan has really rebuilt the depth up and down the system, should pay dividends for years.

 

While I am optimistic about the depth and ceiling of a few of the guys, I can't get over the fact that it is 8/5 and Meyer and May have ERA's around 3.00 with 9-10 K's per 9, very low BA against and are still in AAA.

 

I liked the Milone pickup in a vacuum. I think he is a #5 starter at least and for a 4th OF, what a steal.But he will be the first guy up.Meyer may not be up this year, which is frustrating with his numbers and now 7 consecutive starts at 6 IP, 0-2 ER.May had a 4 ER performance last night, so that will be the excuse for him.He needs to be more consistent. 


#5 drjim

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 10:13 AM

While I am optimistic about the depth and ceiling of a few of the guys, I can't get over the fact that it is 8/5 and Meyer and May have ERA's around 3.00 with 9-10 K's per 9, very low BA against and are still in AAA.

 

I liked the Milone pickup in a vacuum. I think he is a #5 starter at least and for a 4th OF, what a steal.But he will be the first guy up.Meyer may not be up this year, which is frustrating with his numbers and now 7 consecutive starts at 6 IP, 0-2 ER.May had a 4 ER performance last night, so that will be the excuse for him.He needs to be more consistent. 

 

I agree, but slow call ups don't have much to do with the work in building up depth throughout.

 

May should make his next start in the bigs. Meyer should get a taste in the pen.

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#6 birdwatcher

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 10:34 AM

While I am optimistic about the depth and ceiling of a few of the guys, I can't get over the fact that it is 8/5 and Meyer and May have ERA's around 3.00 with 9-10 K's per 9, very low BA against and are still in AAA.

 

I liked the Milone pickup in a vacuum. I think he is a #5 starter at least and for a 4th OF, what a steal.But he will be the first guy up.Meyer may not be up this year, which is frustrating with his numbers and now 7 consecutive starts at 6 IP, 0-2 ER.May had a 4 ER performance last night, so that will be the excuse for him.He needs to be more consistent. 

I know the Meyer case is a source of frustration, but I think it's very feasible that, given his walk rate, he'd get eaten alive up here by the middle of the order and even struggle with the bottom of the order guys. The argument has been belabored for sure, but it feels like everybody just assumes any struggles he has will be nominal.


#7 spycake

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 10:39 AM

And reinforcements have not yet arrived!

 

When we trim the remaining fat and replace them with budding prospects, we could be getting back to the heyday of Twins pitching (see 2005 - 2007). Can't wait!

Agreed.  Hughes and Gibson look like they should be legit average (or slightly better) MLB starters, which has mostly been lacking here for a few years.

 

Would be even nicer if a few reinforcements were here already, though, positioning themselves to start strong in 2015.


#8 mike wants wins

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 10:41 AM

I assume Meyer will struggle, but improve with more time in the majors.....hence my desire for him to get some of the "nerve based" struggles out of the way this 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. :) Also, I am NOT trying to convince anyone I am correct, I'm just talking here, not arguing.


#9 Boom Boom

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 10:42 AM

I know the Meyer case is a source of frustration, but I think it's very feasible that, given his walk rate, he'd get eaten alive up here by the middle of the order and even struggle with the bottom of the order guys. The argument has been belabored for sure, but it feels like everybody just assumes any struggles he has will be nominal.

 

I think at this point people just want to see the kid pitch, whether he struggles or not.


#10 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 10:44 AM

I can understand some hesitation for the Twins to call up Meyer... But both May and Meyer? Nah, I'm over waiting for either of those guys to show up in Minnesota.

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#11 spycake

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 10:44 AM

I know the Meyer case is a source of frustration, but I think it's very feasible that, given his walk rate, he'd get eaten alive up here by the middle of the order and even struggle with the bottom of the order guys. The argument has been belabored for sure, but it feels like everybody just assumes any struggles he has will be nominal.

You mean the walk rate that's ~2 percentage points higher than Darnell, May, and Johnson?  And ~3 percentage points higher than Pino?

 

I've mentioned this to Seth a few times -- if Meyer's walk rate was any better, he might be a top 5 prospect in all of MLB.  (Don't get me wrong, that would be awesome, but it's a pretty high bar for promotion, and not at all evidence he would get "eaten alive" if he's less than that.)


#12 jharaldson

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 10:49 AM

I think we also need to acknowledge that an overall improvement in pitching has happened the last few years and that offense is down this year.  If you look at ranking of the Twins to other teams as opposed to the raw numbers it tells a less optimistic story.

 

Starter ERA

2014 - 28th

2013 - 30th

2012 - 29th

 

Hovering around last in Starter ERA isn't great.  Yes there are guys in the minors who may help and some peripherals are up but the end result this year is the same end result the last 2 under Terry.

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#13 spycake

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 11:13 AM

Hovering around last in Starter ERA isn't great.  Yes there are guys in the minors who may help and some peripherals are up but the end result this year is the same end result the last 2 under Terry.

I hear you.  But, by starter ERA, they were generally a bad outlier the past two years.  Now they're just more normal bad.  Mild progress to be sure, but some progress (which couldn't be said of the team in 2011, 2012, or 2013).

 

By starter ERA- (lower is better, adjusted for park and league) and MLB rank:

 

2014: 127 (30th rank)

2013: 132 (30th)

2012: 132 (30th)

2011: 114 (24th)

2010: 101 (16th)

 

Okay, that doesn't look good either.  But we're almost to 2011 levels by FIP- and xFIP-, though!  (Do we believe in FIP and xFIP? :) )

 

They were generally between 90 and 100 (above average) in ERA-, FIP-, and xFIP- for the period 2001-2010.


#14 TheLeviathan

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 11:14 AM

I know the Meyer case is a source of frustration, but I think it's very feasible that, given his walk rate, he'd get eaten alive up here by the middle of the order and even struggle with the bottom of the order guys. The argument has been belabored for sure, but it feels like everybody just assumes any struggles he has will be nominal.

 

And yet our offense is littered with guys that AA pitchers were fanning at alarming rates and up they came!  I just don't get that double standard.


#15 tobi0040

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 11:16 AM

I know the Meyer case is a source of frustration, but I think it's very feasible that, given his walk rate, he'd get eaten alive up here by the middle of the order and even struggle with the bottom of the order guys. The argument has been belabored for sure, but it feels like everybody just assumes any struggles he has will be nominal.

 

BB per 9 of 4.5 + H/9 of 7 > BB per 9 of 3.5 and H/9 of 8.   Reason being the BB is only one base and that additional hit could be a 2B, 3B, or HR.But I guarantee you this concern and prediction that Meyer will struggle would not be happening if his BB rate was 3.5 and he was allowing 8 hits per 9.  

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#16 tobi0040

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 11:17 AM

And yet our offense is littered with guys that AA pitchers were fanning at alarming rates and up they came!  I just don't get that double standard.

 

Your expectation of logic will be your downfall.

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#17 zwiefz

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 11:35 AM

When discussing the starting pitching, where it is right now, and where it is going don't forget about Nolasco.With his contract he isn't going anywhere any time soon.I hope that his poor results this season so far really were due to his arm issues and that he will end up being the guy the Twins paid for. 

 

A rotation including some combination of  the Nolasco(the pre-2014 version), Hughes, Gibson, Meyer, May, and Milone with guys like Pelfrey, Berrios, Darnell, Johnson, Pino around as depth may not compete with the A's or Tigers, but would still be a pretty darn good group.

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#18 Thegrin

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 12:05 PM

Looking only at Quality Starts.

 

Correia 12

Hughes 12

Gibson12

Nolasco6 ??? do uremember 1.???

Pino      3!!!


#19 iTwins

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 12:15 PM

Looking only at Quality Starts.

 

Correia 12

Hughes 12

Gibson12

Nolasco6 ??? do uremember 1.???

Pino      3!!!

 

I DO remember one of Nolasco's quality starts - the April 12th game against KC - and the ONLY reason I remember that game is because I was there. (So, that's kind of cheating, I suppose) For what it's worth, he looked absolutely dominate in that game. I was hoping it was the sign of things turning around. Not so much...


#20 kdrupp09

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 12:22 PM

Looking only at Quality Starts.

 

Correia 12

Hughes 12

Gibson12

Nolasco6 ??? do uremember 1.???

Pino      3!!!

 

Didn't Nolasco throw the Twins first complete game of the season?