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Enough Offense?

santana vargas arcia buxton
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#41 birdwatcher

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 10:56 AM

We know they won't sign any of the big three good pitchers, who does that leave? And, they are not getting rid of Nolasco.


Btw, there is room and money to work on both.....

We don't "know" this. Well, maybe you do. I'm betting a crisp $100 bill that they acquire a front-line starter over the winter, a player who is a consensus #1-2 or at least and more likely a #2-3 starter. Wanna take the other side?


#42 birdwatcher

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 11:23 AM

"they can't win the playoffs next year, so why bother signing players that make them better".....I am tired of that one. Had they bothered to sign good players each of the last four years, they would have won more games, and would be closer to being competitive, then everyone would be saying they should sign that last piece to go with Sano and Buxton. Instead, they went self-fulfilling prophecy, and did not sign elite players (or even good ones before this last off season).

The thread is about the offense and about the future, so we should probably pull you out of the past and into the present long enough to start a different thread to cover all this fresh material you've introduced about the past.;)

 

But I'm with you on the idea deeply embedded in your first sentence. Starting this winter, there are no bold moves that could happen too early. This will be the first time since the start of the rebuild three years ago (and well before) that the Twins have trade surplus to work with. So now, they can skin the cat using free agency and the trade market without seriously jeopardizing the strategy of building a sustainably superior ball club.


#43 SwainZag

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 11:31 AM

We don't "know" this. Well, maybe you do. I'm betting a crisp $100 bill that they acquire a front-line starter over the winter, a player who is a consensus #1-2 or at least and more likely a #2-3 starter. Wanna take the other side?

 

Not directed at me but.....as much as I would like it if they brought in a consensus #1-2 starter, I don't see it happening.  It would more than likely take a vast over payment of a free agent on the wrong side of 30.  Even with the money that should be freed up, I would take the other side of that.


#44 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 11:44 AM

There's also 26 year old Japanese pitcher Kenta Maeda - they could try to vastly over-pay for him, too.

 

In terms of an annual salary, how high realistically do we think the Twins will go? My guess is that the Twins will not spend $20MM per year on any player not named Joe Mauer.

 

It means they probably will not offer enough for Max Scherzer or Jon Lester.

 

They could certainly sign Melky Cabrera or Justin Masterson for less than $20MM per year.

 

They should be able to get James Shields for less than $20MM per year, he's not worth signing for more than that. Someone might pay him that much or more. It would not be the Twins.

 

Hey, Victor Martinez is going to be a free agent too - if everyone still wants to move Mauer to LF, the Twins could make VMart the DH, play Vargas at 1B, and Mauer in the OF. No? OK, fine.


#45 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 12:34 PM

We don't "know" this. Well, maybe you do. I'm betting a crisp $100 bill that they acquire a front-line starter over the winter, a player who is a consensus #1-2 or at least and more likely a #2-3 starter. Wanna take the other side?

I have a feeling you'll get more takers on this than you have $100 bills to offer.Twins pitching improved quite a bit this offseason.Unfortunately, so did major league pitching, and the Twins are no better off than last season (though admittedly, the games are more watchable).But with Hughes and Gibson earning their spots, large amounts of money dedicated to Nolaso and Pelfrey, the aquisition of Millone, and promising high upside/high minors guys in Meyer, May, and Berrios, I don't see the Twins doing much of anything.No one is taking on Pelfrey and Nolasco.They might get a taker on Millone, but thus far he hasn't exactly earned his keep either, and at the moment I wouldn't expect much more than a Sam Fuld type player.One thing the Twins are very loathe to do is to part with sunk costs. From a business standpoint, I can understand that.But even if they were to dump Pelfrey, Millone, and Nolaso, I'd imagine they'd largely go young, not take on another contract that they might later regret.

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#46 Cris E

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 12:36 PM

Twins put 42 runs on the board in the 4-game series against the Tigers this weekend.  With the exception of May, none of the Twins starters in those 4 games pitched into the 6th inning.  If that doesn't tell us where the offseason priorities should lie, I don't know what does.

That sounds good on the surface, but that 42 run DET series was backed up against a 20 inning scoreless streak that was only a couple weeks removed from another 19 inning scoreless streak.This offense is far from sound.We may be in the middle of the pack overall, but our pitching isn't good enough to survive low scoring games and there have been far too many.

 

There have been eight games of 10+ runs scored vs ten times shut out, but 101 runs in those 18 games (5.6 runs/game) has only netted a 8-10 record. Nine other games we only scored 1 run, which did produce one win, but that only reinforces my point (4.0 r/g should get you more than 9-18.)

 

The measure of an offense is similar to the measure of a starting pitcher: did it gave the team a chance to win? People (rightfully) complain about the crappy rotation, but games where we score 0 or 1 run are going to be losses, and there have been a lot of very flat stretches where this offense gave no chance for a win.

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#47 drjim

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 01:29 PM

Ryan has signed five free agent pitching contracts, traded for May, Worley, Meyer, Milone and Gilmartin, and they are still awful.......oh, and they graduated their top pitching prospect from the last drafts more than two years ago.....and they are still awful. Maybe we are looking at the wrong source of the problem......

 

Personally, I think this shows the complete and utter rot that Ryan inherited. Completely rebuilding a major league rotation and minor league depth takes time.

 

I would go big on a free agent pitcher and get a stopgap for lF.

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#48 drjim

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 01:37 PM

"they can't win the playoffs next year, so why bother signing players that make them better".....I am tired of that one. Had they bothered to sign good players each of the last four years, they would have won more games, and would be closer to being competitive, then everyone would be saying they should sign that last piece to go with Sano and Buxton. Instead, they went self-fulfilling prophecy, and did not sign elite players (or even good ones before this last off season).

 

Tired of beating up strawmen?

Papers...business papers.

#49 Mike Sixel

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 01:48 PM

That was in a post right before I posted it....that they should not sign a guy because he would not help them win enough games to be in the playoffs next year. How is that a stawman, if someone just typed it?

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#50 drjim

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 02:19 PM

That was in a post right before I posted it....that they should not sign a guy because he would not help them win enough games to be in the playoffs next year. How is that a stawman, if someone just typed it?

 

Fair enough, responding to an extreme minority position and acting like many people hold it is indeed better.

 

And the lack of quotes confuses me.

Edited by drjim, 25 August 2014 - 02:20 PM.

Papers...business papers.

#51 TwinsCD

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 02:36 PM

Hughes, Gibson and Nolasco will all be around next season.  You have your top prospects in May and Meyer as well.  Not to mention Pelfrey and Millone.  

 

Relievers under contract: Perkins, Fien, Thielbar, Pressley, Swarzak, Tonkin and Duesing is arb eligible.  

 

Which 75% do you want gone?  

 

 

75% was obviously a frustrated liberal number.  Of the 14 pitchers on the ML roster, I would be fine with seeing Gibson, Hughes, May, Milone, Perkins, and MAYBE Pressley, Duensing, and Thielbar.  This is all going based on the feelings I get when I see the individual on the mound.  Burton's no good.  Deduno hasn't been the same since his arm injury, which is a shame because he had some smoke before he got hurt.  Fien does nothing for me.  Nolasco has to have some trade value.  Swarzak is a small tic below Burton on the frustration meter.  Pino could be a reliable reliever but I don't think he grades out as a starter.  Keep in mind, these are opinions.  My brain gets lost very quickly in the cesspool of metrics and if a pitcher can't get a 3rd out because of bloops or shots pinballing off walls, then I'm gonna lay the blame on him.  Actual errors are different.


#52 Mike Sixel

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 02:51 PM

Fair enough, responding to an extreme minority position and acting like many people hold it is indeed better.

 

And the lack of quotes confuses me.

 

Have a hard time quoting on my phone for some reason......I should always remember that when I am responding to something......good advice.

I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#53 SwainZag

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 03:35 PM

75% was obviously a frustrated liberal number.  Of the 14 pitchers on the ML roster, I would be fine with seeing Gibson, Hughes, May, Milone, Perkins, and MAYBE Pressley, Duensing, and Thielbar.  This is all going based on the feelings I get when I see the individual on the mound.  Burton's no good.  Deduno hasn't been the same since his arm injury, which is a shame because he had some smoke before he got hurt.  Fien does nothing for me.  Nolasco has to have some trade value.  Swarzak is a small tic below Burton on the frustration meter.  Pino could be a reliable reliever but I don't think he grades out as a starter.  Keep in mind, these are opinions.  My brain gets lost very quickly in the cesspool of metrics and if a pitcher can't get a 3rd out because of bloops or shots pinballing off walls, then I'm gonna lay the blame on him.  Actual errors are different.

 

Good response.  Obviously the guys you listed you would be fine with seeing back, will be back.  You have to remember that Thielbar and Pressley both have under 100 IP under their belt.

 

I understand the frustration with Duensing.  While he hasn't been bad, his BB/9 is up and K/9 is down and is 31.  I would not be surprised if the Twins didn't offer him arb.

 

Outside of a bad April, Burton has been very solid, but turning 34 next year and that team option of $3.4M, he is probably gone.  Fien statistically has been the best reliever on the team outside of Perkins for 2 straight seasons now.  At his cost, I'm not sure what there isn't to like about him.  Swarzak is your usual long man who won't see very many critical innings.

 

Overall the bullpen has actually been fairly solid.  I would be all for a group led by Perkins, Fien, Pressley, Thielbar and maybe Swazak with letting Burton and Duensing walk.

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#54 drjim

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 03:36 PM

75% was obviously a frustrated liberal number.  Of the 14 pitchers on the ML roster, I would be fine with seeing Gibson, Hughes, May, Milone, Perkins, and MAYBE Pressley, Duensing, and Thielbar.  This is all going based on the feelings I get when I see the individual on the mound.  Burton's no good.  Deduno hasn't been the same since his arm injury, which is a shame because he had some smoke before he got hurt.  Fien does nothing for me.  Nolasco has to have some trade value.  Swarzak is a small tic below Burton on the frustration meter.  Pino could be a reliable reliever but I don't think he grades out as a starter.  Keep in mind, these are opinions.  My brain gets lost very quickly in the cesspool of metrics and if a pitcher can't get a 3rd out because of bloops or shots pinballing off walls, then I'm gonna lay the blame on him.  Actual errors are different.

 

Fien seems like a better bet than Milone, Pressly, Duensing and Thielbar going forward.

 

But it would be a good time to turn over the bullpen, I don't think Swarzak/Duensing/Burton are back, Deduno is unlikely, which leaves Perkins, Pressly, Theilbar, and Fien and 3-4 new slots.

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#55 Monkeypaws

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 03:53 PM

By ERA he is 8% better than average. If you want to argue bad luck after looking at his peripherals I won't argue. On the other hand how confident are you that he'll walk less than a batter per game next season?

 

OTOH, he is 10th in the AL in Strikeouts, tied for 2nd in Wins, 13th in IP. Pitching for this team.


#56 Sconnie

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 07:20 PM

Not directed at me but.....as much as I would like it if they brought in a consensus #1-2 starter, I don't see it happening.  It would more than likely take a vast over payment of a free agent on the wrong side of 30.  Even with the money that should be freed up, I would take the other side of that.

so would I, suddenly signing player to a 48 mil contract doesn't mean TR will jump it up to 100.

#57 DocBauer

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 08:30 PM

I'd say Hughes has been more than just "average."


Definitely

Personally, I'd put Gibson in the "good" category. He is young, in his first full season, and still has a good deal of upside. He's certainly had some stinker games, but that's to be expected here and there. Even the best pitchers have bad games. I know it's easy to say, "when he's on he's really been good", because that's a very arbitrary comment that can be said of most pitchers. Still, the truth is, when he HAS been on, he's shown flashes of near dominance at times. Based on his age, stuff, potential, I think he rates above average at this point. And I know there is debate as to whether WINS truly exemplifies the quality of a pitcher's performance, however, they are supposed to pitch well enough for their team to actually win, aren't they? And don't wins, or more to the point, having a winning record, mean maybe a little more as a measuring stick when playing for a losing record team?

I'm a bit torn on Nolasco, mostly because I'm not overly familiar with him, never having really followed him, or the Marlins, previously. I've looked at his numbers, and I've read variable reports on the type of pitcher, and various opinions of his quality/worth. Up until this season, he has been reliable to take the mound and eat innings. And that is a good thing. Some feel being able to "eat innings" means you can't win, but can toss a lot of in vs in a losing effort simply to save the bullpen for another day. But it doesn't. It means you are reliable to take the mound, and usually pitch well enough to keep your team in the game, and don't shoot all your bullets in 5 innings. I see nothing dominate in Nolasco's stats, but I do see a winning career mark despite pitching for some pretty bad Marlins teams. I see more hits than I'd like, and a BA against higher than I'd like, but a decent Whip and a good SO/BB ratio.

Despite a lost season, magnified all the more being his first with the Twins after a nice FA contract, I think we have to do a better job of separating disappointment with past career reality and potential for 2015 and beyond. None of these 3 guys are in the true #1 category, though considering age and potential still not met, Hughes has the potential to at least come close. Point is, I think these 3 are a very good place to start in building a rotation.

Could the Twins add another high quality arm this next offseason via trade or FA, yes. Do they have the finances to do so, and the marketable prospects if they go the trade route, again yes. Do I think the Twins should continue to horde as many quality prospects as possible for at least another year and then maybe make a big move somewhere? Again, yes. In no way would I be upset or disappointed if the Twins made some move for a high quality starter to add to the rotation. But...with May getting his feet wet, Meyer a little behind him, Milone and Pelfrey as a couple fall back/temp options, and Berrios possibly ready at some point in 2015, I just wonder if it's a prudent move to make for a team getting younger and rebuilding.

"Nice catch Hayes...don't ever f*****g do it again."

 

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#58 Oxtung

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 08:56 PM

For those who are set to roll with Gibson, Hughes, and Nolasco what ERA or ERA+ or Fip or xFip, whatever you're most comfortable with, do you think is a reasonable expectation next season for these players?


#59 Willihammer

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 09:14 PM

Doc, can you condense your posts? I drank a lot in college and my brain loses focus after about 500 words.

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Well, there's that.

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#60 DocBauer

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 09:21 PM

This thread IS about "enough offense", though pitching is definitely part of the team equation.

In a return to the original intent of the conversation, going to address more toward this point. The potential of the Twins offense over the next couple of seasons could be top notch! Of course, the exact start date this actually happens remains unknown. It could begin in 2015, even without Buxton and Sano initially in the lineup. Wherever he ends up playing, LF, CF or SS, I think we have to factor Santana in there somewhere. Can we just stop betting against this kid? Even with regression, he could actually show improvement by walking more and stealing more bases. Dozier is the real deal. Mauer is looking like Mauer...and that's the reason for my recent post reminding us all of what he brings to the table. How much better does the lineup look next season with him being himself for 140-150 games as our 1B and occasional DH.

Arcia still possesses massive potential, and we may be seeing some of it to close out 2014. I'm a big believer in Vargas and have been for a while. But these two kids are still very young, and each pretty much jumped to the majors with little or no AAA time. There are still questions about consistent production over an entire 2015 season. Plouffe has grown in to a good to very good defensive 3B, and while he hasn't hit great, he hasn't hit bad, is turning in to a big doubles maching, and still has some untapped HR potential. Suzuki could regress 25 points in BA and still hit in the .270's with contact and some discipline. I could go on, but the point is, there is a lot of potential even with Buxton and Sano slowed by a half to full season. But there are still questions and openings.

Some argue that RBI is an arbitrary and almost meaningless stat. And there absolutely statistics that can be used to make some arguement in this area. But RBI being meaningless is all well and good until your team doesn't have enough of them! Quote measurements and stats all you want, but when your team doesn't drive in a runner from second, or third, with less than 2 outs on a consistent basis, then talk to me how unimportant RBI is as a statistic. Despite potential in our lineup, and better run production this season, we've also suffered some bad stretches where we just couldn't score. And BTW, no matter how good your starting staff, they are even better when the team scores runs for them.

I'm not sure who or what or how the answer is brought, but how much deeper and better is the Twins lineup next season with an experienced bat playing LF...ideally with good defense...hitting behind Mauer, and ahead of Vargas, Arcia, Plouffe and others?

There have been some really interesting ideas posed here. And top of the cap to Dave for the Markakis idea as I totally blew who broached the idea. :)

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