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Article: The Twins Bullpen Is Set (And You’re Not Going To Love It)

brandon kintzler matt belisle tayor rogers craig breslow ryan pressly
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#21 LA VIkes Fan

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 11:28 AM

 

I care less about the Opening Day bullpen than I do the front office's willingness to pull the rug out from under some of these guys in May.

 

That will be more telling than the motley crew of mediocrity they assembled out of the gate.

 

I don't mind occasionally winging it and hoping for the best - particularly in a situation as bad as the one they inherited last November - but I very much mind the refusal to cut loose bad players in a timely fashion.

This is the key analysis.  The FO  didn't have a lot of other options other than keeping Wimmers over Tonkin with neither being a particularly intriguing option. Chargois pitched himself to the minors this spring and we want both Duffy and Mejia to remain starters, albeit one in AAA. I didn't see a lot of other good options out there on the free agent market unless you went to the top and paid top dollar on a multiyear contract which seems to be setting yourself up for an albatross contract and also a waste of money since this team is not likely to contend. The bigger question is whether this FO will be willing to bring up younger guys doing well and cut loose some of the others, starting with Tonkin (unless he dramatically improves) and Breslow.  Boston wasn't willing to make a trade so we could keep Haley and I guess the  FO decided they wanted to see more, particularly when the other options were Tepesch and Wimmers.

 

Quick question. I see people complaining about Dan Santana on the roster and Duffy as a starter. Have those decisions been made and announced?

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#22 Vanimal46

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 11:35 AM

There were several bounce back candidates waiting and available in FA. They just decided to go with the same route as usual.... Mediocre placeholders hoping that the 3rd year is the charm waiting for these awesome RP prospects in the minors. 

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#23 mikelink45

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 11:36 AM

Nothing this spring gives the FO a worst grade than the bullpen.  Haley, Belisle, Breslow!  Is this analytics? As Haley and Beslow struggled it was still apparent they would stay which is similar to the old TR regime.  If we sign them they stay on the roster because otherwise we would not look good.

 

Tell me that we have not spent the last three years talking about all the relievers in the system to just be at this place in roster construction.

 

I understand that good teams roll with vets, we are not a good team and the vets are not good vets.  If we put our bullpen up for auction amongst the rest of mlb would we get back the value of their low contracts?

 

I am trying to figure out the music that will accompany them when they stroll to the mound.  I think the Beatles "Help!"  might be needed or the Isley Brothers - "Here we go again",  or Kris Kristofersons' "Why me Lord?"

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#24 Han Joelo

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 11:43 AM

Pretty meh.  Best case is that KBB (see what I did there?) hold serve until midseason and get traded for lottery tickets, as the Young Guns (Jake BurdoTakEnbergeRio).  Not to mention Tyler Jay.

 

Wimmers will be up if Tonkin flops one last time.

 

Haley still intrigues me.  Not just because he is a Rule V pick, but because the Twins maneuvered around so much to get him, essentially spending the top pick to get him.  (I haven't checked, but I'm pretty sure there are some Rule V picks pitching better than him this spring.)  Still hoping the braintrust saw something special in him and he's worth it.  Whatever they saw in him probably wouldn't show up in a smaller spring sample.

 

Thats the most lipstick I can smear on this, but like others have said, its not like we didn't see this coming- with the exception of Chargois choking and Duffy pitching himself back into the rotation.

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#25 Tom Froemming

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 11:44 AM

I actually kinda like Kintzler as closer. Out of 135 qualified relievers, he ranked 4th in BB% and 9th in GB% last season. A good amount of the time, you're just asking him to get three outs before he gives up three runs anyway. Looks like he entered the game with a three-run lead in eight of the 17 games he got saves in last year.

 

My bigger concern is getting to the save situations in the first place. Who's the shutdown guy you can turn to to get a key strikeout with runners on in the 6th/7th/8th innings to keep the game in reach? Pressly, I guess? Will be interesting to see how things shake out. 

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#26 wsnydes

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 11:47 AM

 

Other than Chargois, very little here surprises me.

 

So I guess it's not so much that I dislike the bullpen, it's more that I already resigned myself to this happening.

This is kind of my mindset.  Not getting excited about the opening day bullpen was pretty much a foregone conclusion when I read the names reporting to camp and figuring that the youth movement wouldn't happen.  Just more of the same...hard to get overly excited about much on this team.  

 

Yet, here I am anxiously awaiting Opening Day anyway!!!

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#27 jimbo92107

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 11:47 AM

Justin Haley looks like a bright spot this spring. He's big, strong, young, works fast, downward plane, stays around the zone, live arm. If Haley takes the long man role from Tonkin, that allows Tonkin to work more as a setup guy, keeping his arm fresher. 

 

Otherwise, the only reason I see to start the season with a back end of older veterans is if the Twins aim to replace them in coming months with guys like Chargois, Wimmers and whoever gets hot in Rochester or Chattanooga. 

 

Speaking of AAA and AA, take a look at their pitching rosters. Whew, there's a lot of young arm talent bubbling up! I didn't realize all these guys were now in AA...

Seven youngest pitchers on the Lookouts:

 

Fernando Romero 
Kohl Stewart 
Stephen Gonsalves
Randy Rosario
Tyler Jay
Felix Jorge
Nick Burdi

 

That's half a future pitching staff right there. Then combine that with these guys...

Four youngest pitchers on the Red Wings:

 

Jose Berrios 
Jake Reed
Mason Melotakis
J.T. Chargois

 

The future looks pretty good.

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#28 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 11:47 AM

I actually kinda like Kintzler as closer. Out of 135 qualified relievers, he ranked 4th in BB% and 9th in GB% last season. A good amount of the time, you're just asking him to get three outs before he gives up three runs anyway. Looks like he entered the game with a three-run lead in eight of the 17 games he got saves in last year.

My bigger concern is getting to the save situations in the first place. Who's the shutdown guy you can turn to to get a key strikeout with runners on in the 6th/7th/8th innings to keep the game in reach? Pressly, I guess? Will be interesting to see how things shake out.

Provided Kintzler is who he was in 2016, I don't hate him as the closer. Outside of swing and miss stuff, he has the traits you want in a pitcher who enters a game with the bases empty. He puts the ball on the ground, forcing multiple hits to score runs. He doesn't issue free base runners. He doesn't give up cheap homers, scoring easy runs.

And it allows the best bullpen arm to operate in more flexible situations based on need.
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#29 Respy

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 11:53 AM

This bullpen should get us by until some young talent comes up.  But barring injury or some horrendous showings, I'm largely not expecting that until September or next season. It certainly will not be good enough to support a playoff or .500+ caliber team.  

 

 

They have the first pick in waivers.

 

Do they have the first pick all season long?

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#30 USAFChief

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 11:53 AM

Given the options, this isn't surprising.

What's disappointing is...these were the options.

I realize there weren't too manyoung ways to fix the starting pitching this winter. They've only been on the job a couple months....etc etc etc.

But I DID expect a stronger effort to improve the pen. And from the rule 5 draft to FA dabbling instead of investing, little to nothing.
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#31 adorduan

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 11:53 AM

Not a fan of keeping Tonkin, IMO he's always going to be more potential than results.  Don't know why we had to get Breslow either. O'Rourke can get lefties out.

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#32 Danchat

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 11:54 AM

This bullpen is probably going to fall like a house of cards. It all depends on the development of guys like Chargois, Melotakis, Reed, Jay, and others in AA and AAA who could make an impact on 2017 and 2018. If a chunk of them can figure things out, then I'm not too worried about the future of the bullpen. But if the guys come up to the majors and look like 2016 Berrios, 2016 Pat Light, or Spring Training 2017 Chargois (having no ability to throw strikes or have any command/control), then I'm worried.

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#33 Danchat

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 11:55 AM

 

Not a fan of keeping Tonkin, IMO he's always going to be more potential than results.  Don't know why we had to get Breslow either. O'Rourke can get lefties out.

To be fair, O'Rourke's hurt and will start the season on the DL. Not a fan of keeping Tonkin around either.


#34 jud6312

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 11:56 AM

Very little about this bullpen surprises me, and even less impresses me.

 

I can't wrap my head around continued for success for Kintzler due to his inability to miss bats.

 

Breslow hasn't been good for a while, Belisle has been OK the last few years, but late-30s pitchers scare me as they can drop off quickly.

 

Rogers = cool.

 

Pressly = cool.

 

Tonkin, I'm lukewarm on. If he can do something about giving up long balls at a Radkeian pace, and it'd be nice to see the inherited runs % drop some more. I do, however, like his arm and am hopeful that not being a de facto long man will help.

 

Haley? I don't think they would've really missed out on much by letting him go back to Boston, but is there anyone better and ready for that role right now?

 

I think this is going to be rough season on the mound.

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#35 70charger

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 11:59 AM

 

It’s not difficult to justify each of these players having a spot in a major league bullpen.

 

Sure, singly. But a whole bullpen full of them?

 

Here's hoping for some short leashes and some continued success for the upside guys in the minors.

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#36 spycake

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 12:05 PM

I too would have liked more interesting options acquired this winter.

 

But not much more you could do with this group, right now.

 

Given their past usage of Tonkin, I don't think they will hesitate to drop him when a better option comes along, so that's good.  In the meantime, might as well roll with him again.

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#37 twinstalker

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 12:05 PM

Weird title, as if we thought Andrew Miller might sneak in there.

 

The bullpen is the last place the Twins should be addressing right now.  Falvey and Levine are under no illusions about this team's chances.  They have a Herculean task of finding a pitching staff for an eventual contender, and I'm sure out of that, a few relievers will be found.  They also will have the full year to make those acquisitions a bad team can make (waiver claims, etc).

 

More interesting is the rotation, because Santana, Hughes, and Santiago will in no way be a part of the eventual contender.  So the questions are all about whether Gibson will show anything positive, and who among Berrios, Duffey, Mejia, Gonsalves (!), and Romero will be considered true rotation guys for that contender.  It will be a long wait for Hunter Greene, so who will emerge or be acquired in the meantime?

 

The relief is a question for one or two years from now.  If the Twins somehow blow our minds and contend this year, well, you can't spend your time and resources preparing for the flukey when there are so many important issues to address.

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#38 Mike Sixel

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 12:07 PM

 

Weird title, as if we thought Andrew Miller might sneak in there.

 

The bullpen is the last place the Twins should be addressing right now.  Falvey and Levine are under no illusions about this team's chances.  They have a Herculean task of finding a pitching staff for an eventual contender, and I'm sure out of that, a few relievers will be found.  They also will have the full year to make those acquisitions a bad team can make (waiver claims, etc).

 

More interesting is the rotation, because Santana, Hughes, and Santiago will in no way be a part of the eventual contender.  So the questions are all about whether Gibson will show anything positive, and who among Berrios, Duffey, Mejia, Gonsalves (!), and Romero will be considered true rotation guys for that contender.  It will be a long wait for Hunter Greene, so who will emerge or be acquired in the meantime?

 

The relief is a question for one or two years from now.  If the Twins somehow blow our minds and contend this year, well, you can't spend your time and resources preparing for the flukey when there are so many important issues to address.

 

A team can work on the bullpen and the rotation and hitters all at the same time. This thread is about the bullpen

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#39 Brandon Warne

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 12:08 PM

 

Ugh, why are we rolling with 30 somethings in the bullpen when we wont contend? Wimmers, shaggy and mejia should be on this team, but I'm guessing Duffey will be the 5th starter and we'll keep DanSan

 

Wimmers is 28 and far from a high-ceiling guy. 

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#40 Brandon Warne

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 12:09 PM

 

I actually kinda like Kintzler as closer. Out of 135 qualified relievers, he ranked 4th in BB% and 9th in GB% last season. A good amount of the time, you're just asking him to get three outs before he gives up three runs anyway. Looks like he entered the game with a three-run lead in eight of the 17 games he got saves in last year.

 

My bigger concern is getting to the save situations in the first place. Who's the shutdown guy you can turn to to get a key strikeout with runners on in the 6th/7th/8th innings to keep the game in reach? Pressly, I guess? Will be interesting to see how things shake out. 

 

I want a guy like that putting out fires in the sixth, not creating them in the ninth. 

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