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Article: Report From The Fort: Mejia Makes His Case

adalberto mejia joe mauer byron buxton
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#21 bighat

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 08:30 PM

Looking forward to seeing more of Mejia and Berrios over the next 2 weeks and I'd be pretty excited to see one of them crack the rotation.  Personally, I've seen enough of Duffey as a starter and would feel better with him in the 'pen.  But that's just like, my opinion, man. 

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#22 Taildragger8791

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 08:33 PM

 

Minor league games against other teams' minor league clubs started today :) Give it some time.

 

Sweet. I try to be patient but there's so much mystery around this guy for such a high-potential athlete. Can't help but stir my curiosity!

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#23 thegambler

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 10:44 PM

I've said this before, and I'll say it again.  Just because a pitcher can go 6-7 innings in a game, or 150-200 innings in a season, doesn't mean they should.  I was a firm believe that Francisco Liriano should have been turned into a late inning reliever. He's had seasons of brilliance.  Generally speaking though, Liriano has problems with batters the 2nd and 3rd time through a lineup.  Hector Santiago is very similar.  Yes, he has the endurance, but what good is endurance when you can't find the plate, or you're getting HAMMERED?  Hector Santiago should be in the bullpen.  He'd make an excellent late inning reliever.  He's got good stuff, but that stuff is generally only good when the batter is getting one look at him.  2nd and 3rd looks are not to be desired.  Move him to the pen, before he embarrasses himself like he has done in year's past.


#24 ThejacKmp

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 11:22 PM

Not arguing, but he chose to ride pine for team Puerto Rico for 3 weeks rather than being with the Twins to see what he can do. His choice.


I'm saying it doesn't matter if he sat out three weeks to play Magic the Gathering. Kennys Vargas is a prospect with upside. Matt Hague is a non factor - it is in no way a three way race.
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#25 ThejacKmp

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 11:29 PM

I've said this before, and I'll say it again.  Just because a pitcher can go 6-7 innings in a game, or 150-200 innings in a season, doesn't mean they should.  I was a firm believe that Francisco Liriano should have been turned into a late inning reliever. He's had seasons of brilliance.  Generally speaking though, Liriano has problems with batters the 2nd and 3rd time through a lineup.  Hector Santiago is very similar.  Yes, he has the endurance, but what good is endurance when you can't find the plate, or you're getting HAMMERED?  Hector Santiago should be in the bullpen.  He'd make an excellent late inning reliever.  He's got good stuff, but that stuff is generally only good when the batter is getting one look at him.  2nd and 3rd looks are not to be desired.  Move him to the pen, before he embarrasses himself like he has done in year's past.


Francisco Liriano was a legitimate #2 starter on multiple playoff teams, it's ridiculous to say he should have been a reliever. To say that is to ignore that even an average starter is incredibly more valuable than a dominant reliever. You may have a point about Santiago but Liriano is terrible evidence. It'd be like me arguing that an old Toyota should go to the junkyard because I once had a Ferrari that stalled.
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#26 FormerMinnasotan

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 11:37 PM

In my mind as of now the two front runners for the final rotation spot should be Berrios and Mejia. Vogelsong has pitched pretty putrid in spring training to the tune of a 7.94 ERA and since he doesn't have a set 40 man spot he shouldn't be in the running if he can't show the team something now (a 7.94 ERA shouldn't cut it). Berrios has looked somewhat better in his brief time in spring training and to be honest his rookie season looked an awful like Trevor May's rookie season, yet after May's rookie season he made the team as the #5 the following year out of camp so why not have some of the same patience with Berrios that they originally had with May? But as of now I would want to see Mejia get it as I feel he is most "deserving" of the spot based on his performance.
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#27 ThejacKmp

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 11:39 PM

Matt Hague in 2014 in AAA: .282/.371/.465 (.836) in 442 PA
Matt Hague in 2015 in AAA: .338/.416/.468 (.884) in 596 PA
He's had a total of 91 PA in MLB, most of which came in 2012.
If we had a guy like that in AAA (we don’t) we’d all be screaming to have him get a shot at MLB. I’m not that adamant, as it’s not really clear what he did last year, but if he gets some at bats this year it’s likely not the end of the rebuild.


Funny how you don't get stats for 2016, when Matt Hague hit .231/.339/.346 (.685) . . . in Japan. Guy turns 32 in August. If a 30 year old hits .884 in AAA in a season that is not particularly near anything he's done before, I like to think that Twins Daily would not be screaming for a promotion. We would see him for the organizational filler he is.

Outside of injuries to park, Vargas, grossman, mauer AND palka, Matt Hague getting any at bats for the twins would be a travesty.
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#28 Oldgoat_MN

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 11:43 PM

 

Funny how you don't get stats for 2016, when Matt Hague hit .231/.339/.346 (.685) . . . in Japan. Guy turns 32 in August. If a 30 year old hits .884 in AAA in a season that is not particularly near anything he's done before, I like to think that Twins Daily would not be screaming for a promotion. We would see him for the organizational filler he is.

Outside of injuries to park, Vargas, grossman, mauer AND palka, Matt Hague getting any at bats for the twins would be a travesty.

As I said in my post, I wasn't really sure what he did in 2016.

He had 2 strong years in a row in AAA. If he didn't get his break with someone then he probably isn't ever going to get it.

I agree that Mauer, Vargas and Park are ahead of him. Not so sure about Palka.

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#29 ThejacKmp

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 07:05 AM

 

As I said in my post, I wasn't really sure what he did in 2016.

He had 2 strong years in a row in AAA. If he didn't get his break with someone then he probably isn't ever going to get it.

I agree that Mauer, Vargas and Park are ahead of him. Not so sure about Palka.

 

Two strongish years at AAA ... at age 29 and age 30. That clause at the end changes things. Those two years were so "strong" that he felt his best move financially and career-wise was to move over to Japan -- hardly a ringing endorsement of his game. The Twins have had any number of AAAA players who were strong in AAA but didn't have what it took to be in the majors. Hague is another of that long and illustrious line.

 

Palka should absolutely 100% be ahead of him, he has a chance to actually be a part of the Twins future. Heck, if (knock on wood) Park, Mauer, Vargas, Grossman and Palka all got hurt, the Twins should move Kepler in from RF and bring up Zach Granite to play every day in the OF. Or move Sano over to 1B, Polanco to 3B and give Vielma some time at SS. If the Twins have a non-contending year (likely) then Matt Hague should not be a part of it because youth should play. If the Twins have a contending year (possible), Matt Hague will not be a part of it because they aren't competing if the six guys ahead of him on the depth chart get hurt.

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#30 dbminn

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 09:17 AM

From what I've seen, Mejia is a more polished pitcher than Berrios. Mejia has been locating his pitches and staying cool with runners on base. Berrios has remarkable stuff but still needs work in those areas. I'm optimistic about both of them but right now I'd lean toward Mejia as the 5th starter.

 

From the TV games this last week, I thought Mejia looked a lot like a left-handed DeLeon.

 

 


#31 Vanimal46

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 09:59 AM

Anybody but Vogelsong. Let's go Mejia! 

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#32 Penthang

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 07:03 AM

My hope is that Vogelsong and Hague are players that the front office brought in as depth/emergency options knowing that they would have players out at the WBC and will be released/reassigned once those players return. My fear is that the spirit of Terry Ryan is still around somewhere and will let Vogelsong have a shot because Molitor is more comfortable with veterans.

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#33 thegambler

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 04:48 AM

Francisco Liriano was a legitimate #2 starter on multiple playoff teams, it's ridiculous to say he should have been a reliever. To say that is to ignore that even an average starter is incredibly more valuable than a dominant reliever. You may have a point about Santiago but Liriano is terrible evidence. It'd be like me arguing that an old Toyota should go to the junkyard because I once had a Ferrari that stalled.


Sorry, but I disagree. Liriano has has a couple solid season, but to say he is "average" is a stretch beyond imagination. For one, he's only reached 190 innings once in his career. Also take out the three anomaly seasons in Pittsburg, and his career ERA approaches 5.00. Considering that wherever Liriano has been, he's been traded for a bucket of balls, your argument about the "value" of a below average starter doesn't hold true. Liriano could have been developed into a dominant closer at some point, much more value than a starting pitcher who is both not durable, and not effective.

#34 ThejacKmp

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 06:13 AM

 

Sorry, but I disagree. Liriano has has a couple solid season, but to say he is "average" is a stretch beyond imagination. For one, he's only reached 190 innings once in his career. Also take out the three anomaly seasons in Pittsburg, and his career ERA approaches 5.00. Considering that wherever Liriano has been, he's been traded for a bucket of balls, your argument about the "value" of a below average starter doesn't hold true. Liriano could have been developed into a dominant closer at some point, much more value than a starting pitcher who is both not durable, and not effective.

 

I can't believe this is even an argument. You're cherrypicking and making a case with major holes.

 

A.) 190 once (though 186 another year makes that 190 number a bit of a cherry-pick). And he's reached 150 six times. You'd rather have 60 innings than 150? That's why starting pitching is always better than relieving. That's why even the great Mariano Rivera was tried as a starter first. Same with Glen Perkins. And Joe Nathan. And Dennis Eckersley. Clubs realize that good pitching should start until it proves it can't. And before you say "And all of those guys were better relievers" - (1) that's obviously a best-case sample, there are dozens of okay starters who never work out in the pen and (2) You predicate this on Liriano being a dominant reliever, which is unproven. It's not some magical truth where decent starting pitcher = dominant closer. We'd have all dominant closers then.

 

B.) I'm not sure a person can call three seasons an anomaly - that's a good pitcher. An anomaly is a year, maybe two at max. And it's not three years - he had two good years with the Twins as well. So a 5 season anomaly? In some places we call that a career. He's received Cy Young votes twice (9th and 11th place finishes). Your argument makes no sense - a starting pitcher with Cy Young votes in multiple years should not become a reliever unless you're sure he's going to be one of the best closers in baseball. Do you truly think that?

 

C.) The trade thing makes no sense either. He got traded for Eduardo Escobar, a nice MLB player. Not sure that's a bucket of balls. And it was only that low because he was a 2 month rental for the White Sox before hitting free agency. The trade to Toronto was a salary dump by a franchise with limited spending. They decided to try to go young - it's also interesting that the trade was universally panned for the Pirates at the time and has been ridiculed in every article I've seen since. Trade markets are more complicated than free agency - you're competing against who is available at that weird moment in time with teams overvaluing and undervaluing guys based on what the team's needs are (see Eaton, Adam). The free agency market is a much better concept of what guys are worth because there are more options and teams can take their time. Liriano has signed a big money starting pitching contract (3 years $30 mill and only that small because he had an extra year on a make-good deal and had less bargaining power) and the Pirates would sign that deal again in a heartbeat.

D.) On that vein, the market says it all. 4th and 5th starters get paid $8-10 mill/year. Jason Hammel got $16 over 2 yrs. Ivan Nova got $26 mill over 3 years. Edison Volquez got $22 mill for 2 years. The only relievers who touch that are big-time closers and the occasional dominant set-up man. The best starters blow those guys out of the water.

 

Starting Pitching > Relief Pitching and nothing in Liriano's career suggests he shouldn't have been starting for most of his career. If a team wants to transition him to the pen late in his career, that makes some sense. He's a lefty and could extend his career a half decade. But none of that should be applied retroactively to the first half of his career.


#35 Joe A. Preusser

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 06:52 AM

My 2 cents:

Liriano has had a fine SP career. The idea that he would have been better off as a reliever is pretty silly. For long stretches he has been absolutely dominant. Unfortunately for him, he's also been very inconsistent. And when he's bad, he's really bad. But he has enough elite equity built up where I'd never go back in time and convert him to a releiver from the get go.

I also disagree that a dominant releiver isn't as valuable as an average starting pitcher. Dominant releivers can have a huge effect on a season, just as much as your #3 starter. If I had to choose I'd take a staff of average starters and elite relievers over a staff of very good starters and average relievers. The Royals have proven this model with their 2 great runs, and I still don't understand why they didn't do more to keep that elite pen intact.



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