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Article: Report From The Fort: Berrios Gone, Duffey v. Mejia

jose berrios tyler duffey adalberto mejia
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#81 LA VIkes Fan

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 09:57 AM

Come on guys, this debate is really about a matter of degree. Of course Joe Maddon is right that development still continues at the MLB level and is important. Of course the Twins stayed with Frank Viola when he had ERAs over 5 two years in a row and that patience paid off. The question is whether Berrios has advanced far enough for "MLB development time" or the "Frank Viola treatment".

 

The empirical evidence suggest that he has not advanced far enough yet. Let's not forget his ERA last year was over 8 and he did not pitch well for Puerto Rico in the WBC. He also didn't pitch much at all in the WBC and isn't ready to start and give the team at least five or six innings at the beginning of season.His fastball control and command is not good enough yet for the major-league level. He needs to work on that and other things and AAA is the perfect place to do that in the short term. He can come up to the MLB level once he has better fastball command, at which point he will get cuffed around for a while. I think having him at the MLB level for two thirds of the season, getting 20 to 25 starts, and having an ERA south of 5.50 would represent a tremendous development year. I think we are kidding ourselves if we think were going to get anything better than that this year. Having said that, we need to get that this year,  not push it off the next year.

 

Sending Berrios tto AAA now is hardly an indictment of the new FO. The team will have the opportunity to bring him up, probably early, because of injury or effectiveness especially with this putrid rotation. The real test will be whether he gets that opportunity or the new FO continues to ride with the mediocre veteran starters hoping to get some minuscule trade value in July as the old FO had a tendency to do. I also agree with the earlier poster said that the loser of the Duffy versus Mejia  battle for the fifth starter will go to Rochester (Len3 says that Mejia will win and Duffy will get sent down) and that guy's starts will be spaced from Barrios, with the one on normal rest getting the first crack at the rotation when a spot opens. I think the true test here will be whether the new FO  will take that opportunity when it presents itself, followed by a subsequent move to get the other into the MLB rotation (all assuming both pitch well in AAA). I say let's keep our powder dry  until that opportunity presents itself and then  pass judgment on the new FO.

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#82 drjim

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 09:58 AM

it's almost like you missed the point on purpose.....people here keep typing that prospects don't develop in the majors, that's what the minors are for. Maddon disagrees.

You sure people are saying that?

No development in the majors?

Edited by drjim, 28 March 2017 - 10:02 AM.

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#83 FormerMinnasotan

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 11:38 AM

My concern is Rochester will do nothing to help his development along. Look at his numbers there last year, obviously Berrios qualified more as a AAAA pitcher than a AAA pitcher. There were times when I would read that Berrios "straightened himself out" in Rochester only to fail once he got back to the Bigs. Why is that? One thing I suspect is when he did well last year it was only because he could continue pitching "comfortably" with using his "bad habits" and getting away with it because AAA hitters are not nearly as skilled as MLB hitters. So my question is how can Berrios develop in AAA when he has advantage of pitching to inferior hitters and possibly not being coached the way the Twins want him coached.

Look if his stint in AAA works that's great, then that was a smart move. But if he looks as terrible as last year there needs an explanation as why he is failing. (Oh and personally I hope Berrios gets at least 20 starts this year, 25 would be better).

#84 drjim

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 01:49 PM

As an example of how run of the mill it is keeping a pitcher like Berrios down, Urias is starting in AAA for the Dodgers. He pitched about the same as Berrios in the bigs last year and is much better. Pretty standard stuff.
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#85 Mike Sixel

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 01:51 PM

 

As an example of how run of the mill it is keeping a pitcher like Berrios down, Urias is starting in AAA for the Dodgers. He pitched about the same as Berrios in the bigs last year and is much better. Pretty standard stuff.

 

Or maybe the Dodgers have one of the deepest rotations in the game?

 

They are number 1 overall in the Fangraphs WAR projections for starting pitching, filled with great or good pitchers, while the Twins are 26th.....

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


#86 drjim

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 02:00 PM

Or maybe the Dodgers have one of the deepest rotations in the game?

They are number 1 overall in the Fangraphs WAR projections for starting pitching, filled with great or good pitchers, while the Twins are 26th.....


And?

He was a very good performer at the end of the year, a consensus top prospect and was ready to go.
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#87 Mike Sixel

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 02:50 PM

 

And?

He was a very good performer at the end of the year, a consensus top prospect and was ready to go.

 

You don't see any difference in finding room on the Dodgers' rotation, the best in the baseball, than on the Twins' rotation? 

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


#88 drjim

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 03:13 PM

You don't see any difference in finding room on the Dodgers' rotation, the best in the baseball, than on the Twins' rotation?


It's not like the backend of the Dodgers opening day rotation is anything special. They're throwing vets out there to see what sticks and keeping the young guys as AAA depth.

Sounds pretty familiar actually.
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#89 Mike Sixel

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 03:20 PM

 

It's not like the backend of the Dodgers opening day rotation is anything special. They're throwing vets out there to see what sticks and keeping the young guys as AAA depth.

Sounds pretty familiar actually.

 

It's not like the front, middle, or back end of the Twins' rotation is anything special. The Dodgers are projected to be the best staff in the game, even with Urias held back....it makes good sense to hold him back, use him less early, and have him ready for the playoffs. That all makes sense for the MLB roster this year, and the future.

 

I guess we just disagree that having 1 number 3 and 4-8 number 5 starters, is the same as having the Dodgers rotation. 

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


#90 spycake

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 03:26 PM

As an example of how run of the mill it is keeping a pitcher like Berrios down, Urias is starting in AAA for the Dodgers. He pitched about the same as Berrios in the bigs last year and is much better. Pretty standard stuff.


I don't have a dog in this particular fight, but I suspect the Dodgers have innings concerns about Urias which would not apply to Berrios.

#91 drjim

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 05:20 PM

I don't have a dog in this particular fight, but I suspect the Dodgers have innings concerns about Urias which would not apply to Berrios.


That is probably true. I thought even before the WBC the Twins would look to start Berrios in the minors to manage innings (or at least keep them lower stress).

Really hard for a pitcher that young to answer the bell from day one and make it through the season.
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#92 mlhouse

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 06:24 PM

 

This is like saying privileged kids should all start in the 2nd grade. Sure they'll be behind, but they'll figure out it. First grade is for the kids who have lower ceilings!

 

Rebuilding teams tend to have a lack of depth. I think you may have witnessed rebuilding teams putting players in the majors who are not ready yet. They do this out of necessity. This is not strategy, it is desperation. The Twins of the past 5 years have proven this to be the wrong plan. Pitchers like Berrios who have not yet learned control need to be in the minors.

 

Berrios has already had many "failures" in the majors and won't learn by having more of them. There is nothing to be gained by Berrios playing in the majors and continuing his MLB ERA of 8.00 or whatever godawful number it is. I think we all agree that Berrios is not an 8.00 ERA guy.

The Twins saw enough of Berrios to know if he is ready or not. If they say he isn't ready, I believe them.

Regarding Viola, your comparison is unfair on a few levels:

 

1) As others have said, that was a different era.

2) Viola flashed brilliance right out of the gate, His problem at the beginning was his tendency to give up home runs at the wrong time. Berrios has control problems, a completely different problem to tackle.

3) Frank Viola's ERA over his first two seasons would have made him the 2nd best pitcher on the 2017 team. Berrios is nowhere near where Viola was as a rookie.

4) Viola pitched in college and high school.

Look, we all know Berrios is going to be pitching for the Twins this year. There is zero reason to worry about that. It is completely inconsequential to the Twins playoff hopes if he stretches out in the minors first. Give the kid a chance to succeed!

If you have this "sink of swim" mentality sometimes you run across some very competent people who sink because they're simply not ready yet. Think of the future, not what you want right now. Didn't you watch Willy Wonka as a kid?

 

 

1.  A rebuilding team (that knows what htey are doing) doesn't put their prospects in the majors out of desperation, they put them there to develop and evaluate them.  They realize that it is far better for your future competitiveness to take your lumps right now, rather than play replacement level baseball players and take them anyways.  Let Kent Hrbek and Gary Gaetti make the mistakes in the year that you are going to lose 102 ball games rather than have them make those same mistakes later.  

 

2.  In other words, the lack of depth isn't the problem, it is how you attempt to solve the depth problems.  Why the Twins prefer to play guys like Shane Robinson and Logan Schaffer over their own prospects is a true answer for why this rebuilding is going so badly.  One case in point I bring up is Adam Brett Walker. I doubt that Walker was ever going to be a player that made it at the major league level.  He had huge problems in making contact that almost certainly would get worse at the MLB level.  But the Twins never gave him a chance.  Not a single PA with the major league team despite the fact that teh kid hit 25+ home runs at every level of our minor league system and had a career minor league OPS of .796.  We found PA for Logan Schafer, a 29 year old journey man's journey man with a career .611 OPS and 32 total minor league home runsin 2500 minor league PAs. We found room in 2015 for Jordan Schafer, a career major league .615 OPS and 40 minor league home runs in 2200 minor league PAs and lest we forget Shane Robinson, a 30 year old guy with a career .595 MLB OPS and 24 minor league home runs in 2048 career minor league PA (if you are totalling their home run count, in over 6000 minor league PAs these guys dont combined do not have many minor league home runs as Walker).  Maybe Walker would have swung and missed badly at every pitch he saw, but we never gave him a chance.

 

3.  Of course Berrios wasn't ready. Frank VIola wasnt ready either.  The difference is that in 1982 the Twins management REALIZED that being ready wasn't today wasn't what was important, and they had the patience and understanding to work with the young player until HE WAS READY.  They gave a "not ready" Viola 340 innings at the major league level before he became Frank Viola.  

 

4.  Speaking specifically at your comparison of Berrios and Viola, what really should be the most troubling aspect is your last comment. It really is an indictment of the Twins minor league development. Sure, Viola was a college pitcher when the Twins drafted him versus a high schooler from Puerto Rico,  but he made his MLB debut at the age of 22 just as Berrios did.  But Viola only pitched 97 innings in AA during the 1981 (his draft year) and 58 innings in AAA in 1982 before he was called up for the Twins forever.  Berrios on the other hand has spent the bulk of 5 years in the Twins minor league program that you are basically saying is incompetent compared to a college program in developing major league pitching.  I agree with this because internally developed minor league prospects arrive after years of methodical movement through the minor leagues with a severe lack of readiness for playing in the major leagues. 

 

5.  A player who unexpectedly proves this is Brian Dozier.  Our modern day Dozier is nothing like the college infielder we drafted in the 8th round.  Looking at his minor league statistics, the guy only hit 16 minor league home runs in 4 years (1.1% of ABs).  But then, he only struck out 184 times (13.1%).  If Dozier would have continued the minor league version of Brian Dozier he would have been a .600 OPS guy that washed out a long time ago.  Instead, he compeletely changed his approach to the plate and became pull hitting threat and has hit home runs in 4.3% of his ABs (almost 4 times higher than his minor league level) while striking out significantly more (21.8%).  

 

Dozier is a significant player because he is going to be about the only player to make his pro debut between 2011 and 2015 that will have any impact going forward for the Twins.  When you consider that  except for the fluke of 2015, the Twins have lost more than 90 games in every season since 2011, that is sad, sad tale of organizational inadequacy.  (Maybe Gibson is on that list?????).

 

6.  And a significant amount of the problems the Twins have had in developing players is the lack of patience.  Aaron Hicks makes a mistake....damn it Shane Robinson is my starting CF.  It was as if they just simply could not put up with the youth, that they did not want to risk using young players, and almost had a comfort level of playing rejects like Robinson and Clete Thomas on the field so that whatever issues there was with their drafted/minor league developed players would not be in the spotlight.

 

7.  As I stated before, one of the main reasons to rapidly move your players in a rebuilding organization is to be able to quickly evaluate them and find the keepers and the goners.  But, that doesn't mean that all the failed players will never make it.  One of my favorite players Jim Eisenreich eventually made it back to the major leagues after he conquered his issues.  I also think that there are a handful of players that in special circumstances should take a slower route to the majors.  I would have moved Stephen Gonsleves through the minor leagues to the majors by now, but I would have moved Kohl Stewart slower to work on his secondary pitches and get more baseball experience.  

 

8.  The record and these arguments more than demonstrate that the approach that the Twins management  attempted has failed.  And that is why Terry Ryan was fired this past season, although the current management seems to be following in with the same approach at the margin I think they need time to develop their own system throughout the organization.

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#93 drjim

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 09:02 PM

A very real counter to all I've said is going down in Cincinnati. Amir Garrett and Rookie Davis both made the opening day rotation despite no major league experience.

I think this ends poorly, but it is a good example of a team having no chance throwing the young guys out there. Will be interesting to follow.

Also looks like Stuart Turner makes the team, at least initially.
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