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Article: Unanswered Questions

miguel sano trevor may glen perkins phil hughes
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#21 Brandon

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 09:27 AM

We have lots of rotation help coming up in about a year. Outside of Barrios we have 3 top 100 prospects starting at AA and more just below that. So the starting pitching for next season is figuring out can Hughes come back, Mejia will get a Chance. I hope Wheeler does too. Can May start? Gibson? I guess we bring back Santiago for another season. Albers will likely be ready to spot start. But towards the end of next season Gonsalves, Kohl Stewart, maybe Jay, may be Felix, Thorpe will be ready 2018 and there are more candidates. So while the rotation is a mess at least there are a lot of candidates to be the solution. To bad we don't get that instant fix we all crave.

#22 Doomtints

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 09:28 AM

 

It's not wrong, bad or evil.DH is a spot in the lineup that needs to be filled. Ortiz started being mostly a DH at age 24 and few bemoan his lack of chances to stay at a position.We could continue to try and make Sano a better fielder, with it likely not turning out.

 

In any event, last year when Sano was killing it in the majors, he was doing that mostly as a DH.It's where he'll end up sooner rather than later anyway.Hurting our defense by delaying the inevitable is, IMO, a bad idea.

 

The Twins front office under Ryan has avoided doing anything unconventional.  They failed to realize that if they did something unconventional and it worked out, they would look like geniuses.

With Sano they can sew up the DH position for the next fifteen years.  Who cares if it's not normal for someone his age to be a full time DH?  Boston happily took that deal with Ortiz.  How many trips to the DL might Ortiz have taken if he fielded regularly?

Edited by Doomtints, 09 September 2016 - 09:29 AM.

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#23 Vanimal46

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 09:32 AM

 

We have lots of rotation help coming up in about a year. Outside of Barrios we have 3 top 100 prospects starting at AA and more just below that. So the starting pitching for next season is figuring out can Hughes come back, Mejia will get a Chance. I hope Wheeler does too. Can May start? Gibson? I guess we bring back Santiago for another season. Albers will likely be ready to spot start. But towards the end of next season Gonsalves, Kohl Stewart, maybe Jay, may be Felix, Thorpe will be ready 2018 and there are more candidates. So while the rotation is a mess at least there are a lot of candidates to be the solution. To bad we don't get that instant fix we all crave.

Call me jaded, but I don't want to bank on all of our super awesome prospects coming up within a year or so. Fool me once with all of the super awesome RP prospects, shame on you. Fool me twice with all of the super awesome RP prospects..... 

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#24 BCW

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 09:37 AM

I think things should be put in perspective.TheTwinsare re-building.It takes time.

 

In 1981 the Orlando Twins had a great year.In 1980 those players began to move onto the Twins -Giatti, Laudner, Ruefel, Viola, and Hrbek from Visalia.The Twins won 60 games.Things were bumpy over the next years, with player performances going up and down.Finally in 1987 they won the series, though only 85 games for the year.

 

Chattanooga had a great year last year.The Twins started harvesting a good minor league system last year with Sano, Buxton and Rosario, andBerrios and Kepler this year.The Twins have had a number of bad years, but last year was really when the rebuild began.

 

The players will have bumpy rides -Viola's era was over 5 his first year, Giatti hit 5 homeruns in '84.There are few Trouts, who hit the majors at full speed.But I think has as much, if not more, promise as the 1982 Twins (and farm system, Puckett wasn't up yet).

 

Rebuilding requires patience.But the Twins will not get to the top any other way.They can't compete in free agency with New York and Boston.There will be many questions at the end of next year and probably '18, but I believe the best tact is let these young players take their lumps and learn


#25 Mike Sixel

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 09:42 AM

How much time?

 

This is year 4 or 5, depending on what you think was the "start" of the rebuild. 

One of the best opening day rosters in years. Now go get 'em.


#26 mikelink45

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 09:46 AM

When looking at starting rotations I believe we now have to look at least 7 deep.  If I look around the league I find it hard to see rotations that hold up all year and this, for most teams, is not performance based, but injury.  We cannot find a solid five, let alone 7 and I do not want to think beyond that number.  Bullpen - don't we keep reading about the great minor league relievers?  Get rid of the rest and let them sort it out this next year.  We are not going anywhere in 2017 - it will still be a sorting year.

 

And what about Walker - I think it is a crime he did not get at least bench time - and Palka.  What is the true threesome that is in the OF.  If Molitor is here we know one will be Rosario.

 

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#27 Thrylos

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 09:52 AM

I think that there is a larger fundamental question they have to answer before they answer any of these:

 

Will the Twins actually rebuild in 2017?

 

If they do, a lot of those are easier to answer.Btw, here is data comparing Plouffe's and Sano's defense at third.Sano makes more errors (and expected, since he did not see many balls at third base while he was preparing as a right fielder), but he is a better overall third baseman, and will only improve.At this point Sano is better than Plouffe and better than what Koskie was in his first full season in the position.

 

Polanco should be their shortstop, no discussion.There is zero reason that he should not be.

 

If the Twins flip May and Duffey, they will make both their rotation and their pen better, and keep May healthy.

 

I think that Perkins has pitched his last pitch in the majors.If his velocity does not come up to the mid 90s, he should not come up either, and a rational front office would have not counted on him in 2016.

 

Hughes is a wild-card, but they should plan like they cannot count on him, because they cannot.Enough for the Twins' planning being living on a prayer...

 

As I said is the Twins decide to rebuild and trade Santana and Dozier et al, holes at the rotation and catcher can potentially be filled, even though letting Murphy and Garver battle for the starter role in ST and come up, might be a decent option. 

 

A rotation of some of Berrios, Gonsalves, Mejia, Jay, May and a new good arm for 2017 does not look too bad for me if they are rebuilding, neither a pen of some of Rogers, Melotakis, Duffey, Chargois, Reed, Light, Burdi, Jones, Peterson, Anderson, does not look awful for a rebuilding team, neither does a lineup of Garver, Vargas, Rosario, Polanco, Sano, Palka, Buxton, Kepler, Mauer/Park...

 

But they got to decide what they want to do, and don't do it half-whatevered again...

 

 

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#28 Kwak

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 09:53 AM

Some of these questions have answers--some don't.

 

Sano--he has played 3B in the minors for a couple-three years. Defense there = defense in the majors. he's not very good at it. But, he needs to play--someplace. 1B/DH is overstaffed, so it's 3B--or back to the OF. Defensive bumps and bruises will have to be tolerated for the next two years. Since there are so many other problems this can be tolerated--for now!

 

May--many questions--like, can he even be counted-on to pitch an entire season anyplace? I guess they could try him in the rotation because the need is so great there. We just have to accept that May won't be great there--he may stink, and he may breakdown.

 

Bullpen--most teams have questions there. A change in pitching and philosophy may help--but the Twins are not known to be an "innovative" team--so I'm don't anticipate anything there.

 

Hughes-Perkins--just accept this is a lost cause. Perkins gets released and Hughes becomes "the long guy".

 

Rotation--Only one consistently quality pitcher there. Basically only questions there. There won't be enough solid answers next year anyway.

 

Jay--not worthy of discussion.

 

Catcher--Might as well bite the bullet and play what's in-house.

 

SS--same as catcher. everybody is questionable at best, below MLB average.

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#29 markos

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 10:19 AM

 

I guess I don't really agree with the idea that his season at Single-A was all that encouraging. He pitched well (not dominantly), as you would expect from a Top 10 draft pick out of college. But he broke down late in the year despite the Twins stringently managing his workload.

 

I know a couple of people say he doesn't fit on this list, but I chose to include him because his development is quite important to turning this rotation around and I don't think we have any more clarity now on whether the conversion is going to work out. Personally, I'd say it's more doubtful than before. 

I kind of disagree with this take. As you alluded in the original article, going into this season there were two big question marks with Jay: will his stuff hold up as a starter, and will his body hold up. From everything I've read (and please correct me if I'm wrong), the answer to the first question was 'yes'. His velocity was still above-average as a starter, and his breaking stuff was still above-average to plus. And he kept his stuff throughout starts despite regularly throwing 90+ pitches and facing 20+ batters. That was one pretty big hurdle that he needed to cross, and I think that he cleared it.

 

But the question of durability is still pretty open. He was injured and shut down early. Well, that obviously isn't good. But pitchers get hurt all the time, so it is hard to know if this injury is strong evidence one way or the other about starting. It isn't a good sign, that's for sure. But it certainly isn't a death sentence on his starting career. So in his path on transitioning to a starter, I think, overall, that it is less doubtful than at the start of the season. More doubt with durability for sure, but the is a lot less doubt about his stuff. So I feel like Jay moved one full step forward (stuff held up!) and a half step back (sore shoulder). And that is a net positive.

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#30 Seth Stohs

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 10:41 AM

 

Absolutely. And, worse case if he's not a starting pitcher after all, we just wasted several hundred innings on that arm. As we know, the shelf life of a bullpen arm isn't that long. It's a big question mark for sure. 

 

I guess, but his "downside ceiling" (if I can use that term), is like Andrew Miller, who started for several years out of North Carolina and then finally became a dominant reliever. Health is obviously one of the biggest concerns for any pitcher.


#31 jimmer

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 10:47 AM

Miller is arguably the best reliever in the game, all things considered.That's a heck of a ceiling to assign to Jay :-)

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#32 Deduno Abides

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 11:14 AM

Sano is good at what he's good at, and not good at what he's not good at. I don't understand why people prioritize his improving his weaknesses over mastering his strengths. His strengths can be pretty amazing. I'd prefer he spend the winter working on pitch recognition, so he can become more selective, like Dozier, in swinging at the pitches he can crush and laying off the ones that give him trouble.


Bullpen: Rogers has done a nice job - against lefties. Like a lot of lefty specialists, however, he needs to be taken out when a right handed power hitter comes up. Bad results from that match-up are on the manager. Similarly, it seems obvious that Kintzler can be effective for one inning. Therefore, use him for one inning, but don't be disappointed when he tires in a second inning or the day after pitching in multiple innings. Again, play your players to their strengths; don't get frustrated when they fail when used in ways they are weak.
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#33 dxpavelka

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 11:36 AM

 

Maybe the solution to the reliever & starter issues is to not screw with what your guys are used to.

 

Duffey & Jay were RPs in college. May has done nothing but start prior to midway last season. You're basically moving pieces around into more comfortable roles.

 

Not too complicated.

Amen.


#34 Mike Sixel

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 11:39 AM

I too would probably mostly use Rogers against lefties, and not against really good righty HR hitters....

One of the best opening day rosters in years. Now go get 'em.


#35 Nick Nelson

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 11:41 AM

 

From everything I've read (and please correct me if I'm wrong), the answer to the first question was 'yes'. His velocity was still above-average as a starter, and his breaking stuff was still above-average to plus. And he kept his stuff throughout starts despite regularly throwing 90+ pitches and facing 20+ batters. That was one pretty big hurdle that he needed to cross, and I think that he cleared it.

That all may be true but it's anecdotal. The numbers don't bear out any particular level of dominance. His 23.6% K-rate ranked 24th among FSL pitchers with 50+ innings. The strikeouts also tailed off significantly after the first 2 months. His other secondary markers were good-not-great. 

 

I realize these may seem like harsh assessments but when we're talking about a 22YO first-round draft pick out of college playing in Single-A, it seems warranted to me. I know not everyone agrees. 

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#36 Vanimal46

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 12:34 PM

 

That all may be true but it's anecdotal. The numbers don't bear out any particular level of dominance. His 23.6% K-rate ranked 24th among FSL pitchers with 50+ innings. The strikeouts also tailed off significantly after the first 2 months. His other secondary markers were good-not-great. 

 

I realize these may seem like harsh assessments but when we're talking about a 22YO first-round draft pick out of college playing in Single-A, it seems warranted to me. I know not everyone agrees. 

That, and he only pitched 97 innings this year. Even with a modest 15-20% increase in IP, we're still a couple of years away from him being a legitimate 180-200 inning pitcher. 

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#37 jimmer

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 12:37 PM

 

That, and he only pitched 97 innings this year. Even with a modest 15-20% increase in IP, we're still a couple of years away from him being a legitimate 180-200 inning pitcher. 

let's do the math.

 

A 20% increase would be around 117 innings (2017).20% from that, 140 innings (2018).20% from that 168 innings (2019).

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#38 Vanimal46

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 12:40 PM

 

let's do the math.

 

A 20% increase would be around 117 innings (2017).20% from that, 140 innings (2018).20% from that 168 innings (2019).

Oh boy! By the time he's 26 he'll be up to speed and handle an average MLB SP workload. 

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#39 TheLeviathan

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 12:44 PM

 

We knew that. But it would have been nice if this year could have been spent identifying some of that help. Outside of Santana, not one single starter has been even decent. 

 

I don't disagree, I was just responding to the idea that the rotation is an "unanswered" question.  I think the answer is there, it's just not one we like.

 

As far as particular pitchers are concerned I'd agree there are some questions - Will we move May back?  And do we move Santana?

 

But regardless of those answers, the question of "Do we need pitching help" is an obvious "Yes.  Lots of it"  That one is answered.


#40 Mike Sixel

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 12:55 PM

I'll be shocked if he pitches less than 140 innings next year, if healthy. Shocked. 

 

the 20% increase thing is a terrible piece of bad science.....

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One of the best opening day rosters in years. Now go get 'em.




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