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.