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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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#41 DaveW

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 12:09 PM

New FO
Same stupid mind boggling decisions.

I fear this will never chane until the Pohlads sell.
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Aaron Hicks 2017 stats so far (5/17/17): .326 BA .464 OBP .616 SLG 1.080 OPS  7 HR 19 RBI 6 SB 22 BBs 1.8WAR
 


#42 spycake

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 12:11 PM

Three Rule 5 relievers have already been returned. Any of them more interesting than Tonkin or Haley?

 

Caleb Smith: http://www.baseball-...id=smith-005cal

 

Tyler Jones (former Twin!): http://www.baseball-...id=jones-002tyl

 

Hoby Milner: http://www.baseball-...id=milner001hob

 

Jones is actually slightly older than Tonkin...


#43 Vanimal46

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 12:13 PM

 

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

 

Yep. In fact, the bullpen is one of the easiest groups to patch together on a baseball team. There really hasn't been any excuse for the last 3 years. 

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#44 twinstalker

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 12:14 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.

 

I will raise my hand if someone asks who thinks Tonkin's been given enough rope.  I doubt  any "wow" reliever gets cut, so Tonkin basically gets one more chance to prove he belongs.  When he fails this last time, and a better option comes along, I would expect Tonkin to be a Cincinnati Red via waiver claim. Or, if the AL gets first shot, I would expect Tonkin to be a Cincinnati Red via waiver claim  (okay, maybe the Whities, A's or Angels give him a shot).


#45 birdwatcher

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 12:17 PM

 

I'm not giving them a pass. I question the Chargois move, for sure... but what bothers me the most was the acquisition of Belisle and Breslow, really.

 

Just go get a decent reliever and pay a few bucks. Big deal, this payroll is too low anyway. No $12m contract over two years is going to hurt this team in any meaningful fashion. Nick's latest article sold me a bit on the Breslow deal, though. Really good info in that piece but more could have been done with the bullpen and it wouldn't cost much to do it.

 

There was enough room in the pen to fit a decent reliever, a mediocre vet, and a young guy.

 

This is my one criticism of the new FO regarding the off-season. A sad carryover, but I hold hope it's a one-off phenomenon unlike the previous FO.

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#46 Mike Sixel

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 12:17 PM

 

This is my one criticism of the new FO regarding the off-season. A sad carryover, but I hold hope it's a one-off phenomenon unlike the previous FO.

 

we all hope that.

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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?


#47 Nick Nelson

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 12:24 PM

 

I've posted this before. Let's say you walk into a bar mid-conversation. You hear "He's a decent reliever that throws hard." Would you narrow that down to Tonkin? Or is that describing 7 other relievers available in the minors?

You think relievers with Tonkin's minor-league numbers, and a 10 K/9 rate over a full big-league season, grow on trees? 

 

And you're telling me that if he were to end up somewhere else on waivers, turning into the quality setup man that both his AAA numbers and MLB K/BB suggest is possible, you're not going to be wringing your hands about the Twins letting him go because they favored Alex Wimmers?

 

 

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.

Problem is that he's not often going to get a three-run lead, especially considering that this is the Twins. More often he'll be trying to guard a one or two run lead, and in those situations a few grounders with eyes can erase that lead in a hurry, by no real fault of his own.

You need K's in the 9th. Kintzler is a much better fit as a middle reliever, particularly since his efficiency makes him a good candidate to handle multiple frames.

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#48 Jham

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 12:25 PM

I didn't think we had much choice. I'm not sure we have ant young arms good enough and certainly not deserving enough to break with. Other than maybe Mejia/Duffy who they want to stat, and Chargois maybe. If Jay is ready, I'd like to project his service time anyway.

#49 spycake

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 12:26 PM

 

I would expect Tonkin to be a Cincinnati Red via waiver claim. Or, if the AL gets first shot, I would expect Tonkin to be a Cincinnati Red via waiver claim  (okay, maybe the Whities, A's or Angels give him a shot).

FYI, league is only the top priority for August trade waiver claims.  For outright assignment/release waiver claims, the first priority is record regardless of league.

 

http://www.thecubrep...xport/html/3525


#50 Vanimal46

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 12:36 PM

 

You think relievers with Tonkin's minor-league numbers, and a 10 K/9 rate over a full big-league season, grow on trees? 

 

And you're telling me that if he were to end up somewhere else on waivers, turning into the quality setup man that both his AAA numbers and MLB K/BB suggest is possible, you're not going to be wringing your hands about the Twins letting him go because they favored Alex Wimmers?

 

Yep. I think there's already a few of them down in the minors right now. 

 

Tonkin minor league career K/9 - 9.3

Melotakis - 8.6

Nick Burdi - 12.6

Jake Reed - 8.78

Jay - 8.7

 

All of them can be described as decent relievers that throw hard.

 

To answer your second paragraph.... No. Wouldn't wring my hands over Tonkin having a good season elsewhere. I know you've been a Tonkin apologist for a long time. He's a typical middle relief pitcher.  

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#51 spycake

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 12:39 PM

While looking at reliever stats, I noticed Minnesota native Brad Hand had a pretty good relief season with the Padres last year.  He was claimed off waivers from the Marlins last April.

 

Off the top of my head, Will Harris was an Astros waiver claim from the 2014-2015 offseason and has turned out pretty good too.

 

Hopefully the Twins can make some good claims in the next month (and hopefully they have the lowest waiver priority in the league after that :) ).

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#52 spycake

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 12:45 PM

 

Yep. I think there's already a few of them down in the minors right now. 

 

Tonkin minor league career K/9 - 9.3

Melotakis - 8.6

Nick Burdi - 12.6

Jake Reed - 8.78

Jay - 8.7

 

All of them can be described as decent relievers that throw hard.

 

To answer your second paragraph.... No. Wouldn't wring my hands over Tonkin having a good season elsewhere. I know you've been a Tonkin apologist for a long time. He's a typical middle relief pitcher.  

I wouldn't quite put Tonkin in that group today.  Beyond K rate, he's actually dominated in the high minors and shown signs of success in MLB too.  And not necessarily because he's older -- he first reached AAA and MLB at age 23, although he's hung around now for a few years.

 

He's obviously not a sure thing, but I think he clearly deserves one more chance over the alternatives available today.  Even if reliever moves are by definition pretty low-margin, I would have been upset had we cut him today in favor of Wimmers.

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#53 Vanimal46

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 12:49 PM

 

I wouldn't quite put Tonkin in that group today.  Beyond K rate, he's actually dominated in the high minors and shown signs of success in MLB too.  And not necessarily because he's older -- he first reached AAA and MLB at age 23, although he's hung around now for a few years.

 

He's obviously not a sure thing, but I think he clearly deserves one more chance over the alternatives available today.  Even if reliever moves are by definition pretty low-margin, I would have been upset had we cut him today in favor of Wimmers.

 

Must have missed that success in between the moon shots from his off-speed pitches. If others will feel better looking at Tonkin for another 2 months before deciding to pull the plug, that's fine. I jumped off the bandwagon about 15 miles ago. 

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#54 grant171

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 12:51 PM

 

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.

More or less my thoughts.  Bullpen should be the last piece of roster construction.  As long as they are trotting out Ervin Santana and a bunch of 4/5s to start, there is no point to spending money on a bullpen.  Figure out the starting rotation, let some of the young bullpen arms come up over the next year or two when they are ready, and fill in the gaps via trade/free agency down the road.

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#55 spycake

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 12:56 PM

 

Must have missed that success in between the moon shots from his off-speed pitches. If others will feel better looking at Tonkin for another 2 months before deciding to pull the plug, that's fine. I jumped off the bandwagon about 15 miles ago. 

10 K/9 over a full MLB season, versus only 3 BB/9, is a sign of success.  If Chargois or one of the relievers you listed had already done that, I'd probably want them on the roster too.

 

Is there a better alternative than Tonkin to plug in today?  Surely not Wimmers.  Probably not quite Chargois yet either.  I could have gotten behind a theoretical winter acquisition taking his spot, but today I just don't see one in the org.  No point in flushing that away today for no good reason.

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#56 DaveW

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 01:10 PM

Tonkin much like slowey before him is the quintessential AAAA pitcher.

It's time for the Twins to move on.
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Aaron Hicks 2017 stats so far (5/17/17): .326 BA .464 OBP .616 SLG 1.080 OPS  7 HR 19 RBI 6 SB 22 BBs 1.8WAR
 


#57 DaveW

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 01:12 PM

10 K/9 over a full MLB season, versus only 3 BB/9, is a sign of success. If Chargois or one of the relievers you listed had already done that, I'd probably want them on the roster too.

Is there a better alternative than Tonkin to plug in today? Surely not Wimmers. Probably not quite Chargois yet either. I could have gotten behind a theoretical winter acquisition taking his spot, but today I just don't see one in the org. No point in flushing that away today for no good reason.


5.02 ERA
1.63 hr/9
1.45 whip
10 h/9

Are bigger signs of failure imo.
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Aaron Hicks 2017 stats so far (5/17/17): .326 BA .464 OBP .616 SLG 1.080 OPS  7 HR 19 RBI 6 SB 22 BBs 1.8WAR
 


#58 Mike Sixel

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 01:13 PM

I have a bit of hope for Tonkin, if he's used in 1 inning bursts....call me naive and overly hopeful, but I do.

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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?


#59 wsnydes

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 01:17 PM

 

I have a bit of hope for Tonkin, if he's used in 1 inning bursts....call me naive and overly hopeful, but I do.

This is where I sit too, but I'm not going to give him much rope.  I want to see early results and move on quickly if its just more of the same.

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#60 Twinfan & Dad

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 01:32 PM

I will give the new FO a pass on this one. You can't make a good chicken salad if you are starting with chicken sh##. The young guys weren't quite ready and until we show improvement What vet wants to sign with us. This bullpen will be totally turned over by the mid season mark. I am hopeful that the new FO is looking at this with the approach of evaluate as we go and then make the harder decisions. Our young guys aren't quite ready but they will be solid.

Edited by Twinfan & Dad, 29 March 2017 - 01:36 PM.

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