Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email
Photo

Yes...optomistic about the rotation

  • Please log in to reply
40 replies to this topic

#1 DocBauer

DocBauer

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 3,533 posts

Posted 20 March 2017 - 09:41 PM

Maybe I shouldn't say this so loud. Maybe, with the "Jay to the bullpen" growing by leaps and bounds it's not the right time to say this. Maybe I'm just an eternal optomist with Twins-red colored glasses and/or I'm just nuts! And all of these are very possible! Nonetheless, I'm actually feeling oddly optomistic about the rotation for 2017.

Please let me be clear, I am not speculating the Twins will put together any sort of playoff rotation this season. I am not saying there are not serious questions going forward, or areas that may need addressing. And as we all know, as informed baseball fans and readers of TD, the Twins could STILL have one of the worst starting staffs in 2017 and STILL be better in 2017. But just beyond a new Marshall and Sheriff in town implementing their new laws and ways of doing things, let me state my reasons for optomism.

Hughes: Can we forget about the contract extension already? It's become almost as redundant as the Mauer contract debate. His signing for 2014 was considered, by most, as smart, and maybe a bit of a steal. Turned out to be true. His 2015 was not nearly as good, and we know now he was begining to suffer effects from his injury that would eventually require surgery. 2016 was a nightmare for all involved. And all off season, I labeled him as a dark horse who shouldn't be counted on for anything, and would probably be some sort of DL, EST, milb rehab candidate who could potentially figure in down the road. Except, he lost weight, has been throwing easy, and has been working hard on his change while regaining velocity. Sometimes ST stats mean something, and sometimes they don't. But he is a young-ish veteran SP regaining his velocity, reportedly in the 90-92 range, rehabbing, working on his arsenal, seemingly healthy...all very much to my surprise at this point...getting ahead of most hitters. He may not be "finished" just yet, but don't you have to admit he's exceeded all previous expectations thus far?

Santana: A consulate professional with a solid and productive career coming off a very good season. Indeed, overall, his Twins career has been very solid. There remains nothing, to this point...as some have speculated or predicted...that his stuff will suddenly disappear or that his arm will suddenly fall off. The WBC has kept him away from the Twins for most of ST, but again, there is nothing to indicate he has suddenly "lost it".

Gibson: This is simple to me, and a bit perplexing. As I stated in another post, we have a highly regarded draft choice with an excellent milb track record pre-surgery. Post-surgery, he looked very good and everyone was clamoring for his promotion. He got it, and he got rocked. This happens to a lot of prospects. But he had a fine "rookie" season in 2014 and pitched even better in 2015 despite his W-L record. 2016 was an injury filled mess, as was most of the season/team. He is healthy again, working on different aspects of his training and repertoire, and has mostly looked pretty good. IMHO, we are looking for the best Gibson we've seen thus far. I'd bet real money that ability and pre-2016 Gibson is far better than 2016 Gibson.

Santiago: Look, I don't know what to think here either. He's made an all star team, and has flat out pitched above his peripherals. None of his numbers or his career is great, but the results are...solid. he was pitching very well when the Twins acquired him. He stunk when he came here. And then he finished the season with a string of solid starts.

I'm still not sure what we have. A couple of years ago, we'd have been excited to have someone like Santiago in the rotation vs Corria, for example. Now he's a "get rid of" candidate. If the cards fall right, he will pitch well and be the first pitcher me move on from in favor of someone else, via trade and promotion. Followed by Santana to a needy and contending team.

Berrios/Mejia: Mejia has looked good,mostly, and Berrios is just SO talented. There has to be room for at least one of these two soon, if not immediately. And they both have options. Up, down, up again, is it really so hard to see each of these youngsters spending at least half a season establishing themselves at the ML level this season?

So a healthy Hughes, normal Santana, a healthy improved Gibson, a so-so but potentially decent/solid Santiago and a couple of decent prospects ready to make their mark...am I really crazy to be optomistic about the rotation? At least compared to where we've been?
  • luckylager, Loosey, Mike Frasier Law and 5 others like this

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

 

--Lou Brown


#2 Thrylos

Thrylos

    They Finally fired ’em. Play Ball!

  • Members
  • 8,504 posts
  • LocationLehigh Valley, PA, USA
  • Twitter: thrylos98

Posted 20 March 2017 - 10:01 PM

I am with you here.Can this rotation be as good as 2010?Not sure, though.

-----
Blogging Twins since 2007 at The Tenth Inning Stretch
http://tenthinningst...h.blogspot.com/
twitter: @thrylos98

#3 Rosterman

Rosterman

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 2,620 posts

Posted 20 March 2017 - 10:03 PM

I was actually excited last year with the Twins coming out of spring training and it actually looked like they may have a rotation that was capable of going beyond 5 innings,and then it fell to pieces and Berrios didn't move boulders and we are where we are.

 

The season starts in two weeks and we have to hope the rest of the division is weak.

 

Again, last year thought it was going to be one of the tightest divisions in baseball myself, with like 7-10 games separating ALL the teams.

 

But what did I know.

 

  • Oldgoat_MN and mikelink45 like this

Joel Thingvall
www.joelthingvall.com
rosterman at www.twinscards.com


#4 Riverbrian

Riverbrian

    Goofy Moderator

  • Twins Mods
  • 17,198 posts
  • LocationGrand Forks, ND

Posted 20 March 2017 - 10:43 PM

Yes

You are crazy... Clearly crazy

But... The world needs more of your kind of crazy!
  • nicksaviking, Oldgoat_MN, DocBauer and 2 others like this

A Skeleton walks into a bar and says... "Give me a beer... And a mop".

 

President of the "Baseball Player Positional Flexibility" Club 

Founded 4-23-16 

 

Strike Zone Automation Advocate


#5 Han Joelo

Han Joelo

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 795 posts

Posted 20 March 2017 - 11:04 PM

I like optimism, and I agree with the takes from that angle.  A normal year for Santana, a repeat of Hughes' good year, Santiago Midnight Moonlight, and Castro turning Gibson into a Kuechal (?) like pitcher who finally fulfills his pedigree...why not.  Add in the young guys, and no wonder Jay was moved to the pen.  No room in the rotation.

 

Ahh, spring.  Last year I finally understood what T.S. Eliot meant when he wrote, "April, the cruelest month."  When the season is pretty much over by May, it can be cruel to be a baseball fan.  I think the cruelty will hold off until at least July this year.

  • ChiTownTwinsFan and tarheeltwinsfan like this

#6 Mike Sixel

Mike Sixel

    Now living in Oregon

  • Members
  • 22,501 posts

Posted 21 March 2017 - 08:14 AM

I am a ESan believer. It boggles the mind no contender made a strong run at him, to me at least.

 

I think Gibson deserves at least one shot with a good defense (in the OF) and a good catcher. I think he can be league average. But, I've always been higher on him than his outcomes might justify.

 

Santiago? Well, it seems to me he pitched poorly when they tried to make him a control type. Then they let him just throw it, and he was better. They then instituted a "you have to show control or you can't pitch" rule this year. So, I have no idea what to expect. I'm guessing here, but I think solid number 4/5 type.

 

Hughes? No idea. I personally have strong doubts about his ability to be good, let alone great, following this surgery. But, as long as he's throwing over 91, he should get a shot. I'd bet he ends up in the bullpen at some point this year, even if just from fatigue.

 

I think Meija or Berrios should be the fifth starter, with the other in AAA. Neither is a finished product, but then we are told constantly that we shouldn't expect instant success from young players (then are told they should be down until they are ready, sigh). I don't know what I'd do with Duffey. I think he's a 5th starter at best, but could be a good RP. If they had one more veteran type in AAA, I'd probably put Duffey in the MLB bullpen. But, if they really are lacking depth, I'd have him in AAA. He's not so great a RP or SP that he needs to be in MN, I think. 

 

 

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


#7 ChiTownTwinsFan

ChiTownTwinsFan

    Rawr!

  • Twins Mods
  • 17,809 posts
  • LocationChiTown, where else?

Posted 21 March 2017 - 08:25 AM

I like optimism, and I agree with the takes from that angle.  A normal year for Santana, a repeat of Hughes' good year, Santiago Midnight Moonlight, and Castro turning Gibson into a Kuechal (?) like pitcher who finally fulfills his pedigree...why not.  Add in the young guys, and no wonder Jay was moved to the pen.  No room in the rotation.
 
Ahh, spring.  Last year I finally understood what T.S. Eliot meant when he wrote, "April, the cruelest month."  When the season is pretty much over by May, it can be cruel to be a baseball fan.  I think the cruelty will hold off until at least July this year.


This is close to my 'Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, that there is still possibility, until there isnt' philosophy. On some level, I know the probabilities and what's wrong and where we're at, but until we're there, I prefer not to defend the probabilities until they've happened.
  • Han Joelo, Oldgoat_MN and Taildragger8791 like this

“Concern yourself not with what is right and what is wrong but with what is important.” ~Unknown


#8 Brock Beauchamp

Brock Beauchamp

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 18,457 posts

Posted 21 March 2017 - 08:54 AM

I think a best case scenario for this rotation is a bottom third finish in the AL.

If that finish is in the 10-12 range, I'll be thrilled. That, in itself, should be worth at least a half dozen wins this season.

#9 nicksaviking

nicksaviking

    Billy G.O.A.T

  • Twins Mods
  • 10,545 posts

Posted 21 March 2017 - 09:00 AM

Hughes needs a working off speed pitch with his current velocity levels so his change has to improve dramatically, it's never been a very good pitch for him.

 

Gibson needs to stop relying on his sinker, it's not his best pitch and the new strikezone is the top of the knees now which is going to hurt guys who work down in the zone most. I haven't seen or heard enough in spring training to know if he has adjusted his repertoire/approach.

 

I'd have some hope if these two things occur.

  • Mike Sixel likes this

#10 70charger

70charger

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 3,340 posts

Posted 21 March 2017 - 09:31 AM

 

Gibson needs to stop relying on his sinker, it's not his best pitch and the new strikezone is the top of the knees now which is going to hurt guys who work down in the zone most. I haven't seen or heard enough in spring training to know if he has adjusted his repertoire/approach.

 

I'm pretty sure I read that he's using his slider a lot more and getting good results with it. Anyone with more knowledge want to confirm?

  • nicksaviking likes this

#11 nicksaviking

nicksaviking

    Billy G.O.A.T

  • Twins Mods
  • 10,545 posts

Posted 21 March 2017 - 09:47 AM

 

I'm pretty sure I read that he's using his slider a lot more and getting good results with it. Anyone with more knowledge want to confirm?

 

Good. His slider and changeup are pretty decent pitches. Gibson and Dallas Keuchel have a pretty similar repertoire with a sinker/slider/change. Keuchel's sinker is much better than Gibson's though, at least until last year when Keuchel's sinker also went belly up. If Castro is as good of a catcher as advertised hopefully he learned something from Keuchel's struggles and now has an idea about sequencing, location, pitch selection or something else that will get Gibson back on track.

  • Mike Sixel and Loosey like this

#12 ThejacKmp

ThejacKmp

    Wing Commander

  • Members
  • 1,346 posts

Posted 21 March 2017 - 10:09 AM

My hope for Santiago is that he strings together enough good starts that there's a market for a low-commitment back-end starter by June. Hopefully Mejia/Berrios are pitching well enough that the Twins can get a decent relief prospect of an A ball pitcher for Santiago.


#13 Sconnie

Sconnie

    From the "right" side of the St Croix

  • Members
  • 2,989 posts
  • LocationNW Wisconsin

Posted 23 March 2017 - 02:08 PM

I think Gibson deserves at least one shot with a good defense (in the OF) and a good catcher. I think he can be league average. But, I've always been higher on him than his outcomes might justify.

Hughes? No idea. I personally have strong doubts about his ability to be good, let alone great, following this surgery. But, as long as he's throwing over 91, he should get a shot. I'd bet he ends up in the bullpen at some point this year, even if just from fatigue.

its too bad Gibson is a sinkerballer (generally) and the infield is looking to be pretty poor, especially SS and 3b combination.

I'm with you on Hughes. I have doubts. Reports are he's throwing upper 80s yet, but maybe that has changed.

#14 mikelink45

mikelink45

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 1,096 posts

Posted 23 March 2017 - 03:11 PM

Now this is the ultimate Spring Training optimism.  We are undefeated until we lose.  So we pencil in Hughes best - 18 wins, Gibson 13, Santana 16. and Santiago 13.  Not bad.  Wish I could believe in their past and not their present and also knew where the other wins would come from. 

 

So as the Grinch of 17 I can only hope I am wrong and you are right. 

  • Oldgoat_MN likes this

#15 GP830

GP830

    Ft Myers

  • Members
  • 345 posts
  • LocationMinneapolis

Posted 23 March 2017 - 03:55 PM

 

its too bad Gibson is a sinkerballer (generally) and the infield is looking to be pretty poor, especially SS and 3b combination.

I'm with you on Hughes. I have doubts. Reports are he's throwing upper 80s yet, but maybe that has changed.

I'm wondering how Sano's D at 3B has been this Spring? Haven't heard much about it since the articles about him losing weight and how he was "ready to take third" came out. Any one able to give an eyeball test, or see him working on the backfields? Same with Polanco?

  • Sconnie likes this

#16 jandersh

jandersh

    Cedar Rapids

  • Members
  • 130 posts

Posted 23 March 2017 - 04:07 PM

I'd be more optimistic if the rotation didn't have so far to climb to get to even average. If the rotation improves last season's ERA by half a run they would still be 29th in baseball. It would take cutting a full run off their ERA from last season to even get to the middle of the pack.(a full run reduction would have made the Twins 17th in starter ERA last season). Since we didn't make any significant additions to the rotation it would take a lot things to break the Twins way to get to mediocre (bounce back seasons from the vets Hughes, Gibson, and Santiago along prospects being successful).

  • Mike Sixel and ToddlerHarmon like this

#17 Oldgoat_MN

Oldgoat_MN

    Baseball Games. Life is good!

  • Members
  • 1,722 posts

Posted 23 March 2017 - 04:17 PM

You are clearly feeling good, reading a book called "How Optimist Survive" through Twins rose colored glasses while enjoying a fine glass of Twins Kool-Aid. And yes, we pretty much know you're nuts.

 

That aside, it's great to remember that things really can go better than expected and that these young men are all going to do their best to be competitive. 

Go Twins!

  • Sconnie, DocBauer and Doomtints like this

Don't believe everything you read on the Internet just because it has a name or a photo you recognize.

- Abraham Lincoln


#18 Doomtints

Doomtints

    Doom By Design | Tints By Joe™

  • Members
  • 1,838 posts

Posted 23 March 2017 - 06:32 PM

Thing

 

You are clearly feeling good, reading a book called "How Optimist Survive" through Twins rose colored glasses while enjoying a fine glass of Twins Kool-Aid. And yes, we pretty much know you're nuts.

 

That aside, it's great to remember that things really can go better than expected and that these young men are all going to do their best to be competitive. 

Go Twins!

 

Sure, but consider that things went "better than expected" two years ago and such luck was short lived. Talent > magic. :D

  • Oldgoat_MN and Sconnie like this

#19 Riverbrian

Riverbrian

    Goofy Moderator

  • Twins Mods
  • 17,198 posts
  • LocationGrand Forks, ND

Posted 23 March 2017 - 06:54 PM

 

Thing

 

 

Sure, but consider that things went "better than expected" two years ago and such luck was short lived. Talent > magic. :D

 

I was watching a one on one basketball game between David Blaine and Lebron James. Everytime Lebron touched the basketball. Blaine would make the ball disappear. 

 

Blaine won the game 8 to nothing. 

  • Oldgoat_MN and Doomtints like this

A Skeleton walks into a bar and says... "Give me a beer... And a mop".

 

President of the "Baseball Player Positional Flexibility" Club 

Founded 4-23-16 

 

Strike Zone Automation Advocate


#20 tarheeltwinsfan

tarheeltwinsfan

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 334 posts

Posted 23 March 2017 - 07:06 PM

"When the sky is a bright canary yellow, I forget ev'ry cloud I've ever seen, so they call me a cockeyed optimist, immature and incurably green....But I'm stuck like a dope with a thing called hope, and I can't get it out of my heart."Thank you Nellie Forbush -in  "South Pacific".

  • Oldgoat_MN and ToddlerHarmon like this