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Article: Ryan Must React

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#1 Nick Nelson

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 11:25 AM

You can view the page at http://www.twinsdail...Ryan-Must-React

#2 Seth Stohs

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 11:33 AM

relievers that were available for $1.5 million or less are anything but guaranteed bullpen help. So I don't mind that the Twins didn't sign those types of guys. Zumaya had the potential to be a huge improvement, had he stayed healthy. That's the right kind of move. I'd be all in favor of going after Uehara because he is a difference-maker in the bullpen. Otherwise, I'm completely in favor of giving the guys you have here an opportunity to earn a spot.

#3 gunnarthor

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 11:36 AM

I don't want to bash GM Smith but we traded Young, Hardy, Ramos, and Slowey for relief pitchers. Individually, I think all the trades were defensible but as a group, that's a pretty bad return.

#4 Nick Nelson

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 11:41 AM

relievers that were available for $1.5 million or less are anything but guaranteed bullpen help. So I don't mind that the Twins didn't sign those types of guys.

Nothing is guaranteed, but Coffey and Qualls both have track records as consistent, durable relievers that get right-handed hitters out. I'm not sure why you would dismiss them based on the amount of money they got in a saturated market.

#5 TiberTwins

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 11:46 AM

I don't want to bash GM Smith but we traded Young, Hardy, Ramos, and Slowey for relief pitchers. Individually, I think all the trades were defensible but as a group, that's a pretty bad return.


You make an excellent point. Who and where are these pitchers we received for those players? Do any of them stand a real chance of helping the team this year?

#6 Seth Stohs

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 11:56 AM

Nothing is guaranteed, but Coffey and Qualls both have track records as consistent, durable relievers that get right-handed hitters out. I'm not sure why you would dismiss them based on the amount of money they got in a saturated market.


Coffey - in the last three seasons has had one bad year, one great year and one average year.
Qualls - in the last three seasons has had one good year, one really bad year and one average year.
Mike MacDougal - in the last three seasons, he has had one average year, one really bad year, and one really solid year.
Wheeler - was average last year after two pretty good years.

That's the nature of relief pitchers. We also don't know if the Twins talked to, or to what level they talked to these guys.

#7 Captain Kirkus

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 12:01 PM

Isn't this injury one of the reasons the Twins have so many pitchers in camp. Bringing in multiple guys will help create competition and allow different backup options in case of injuries. We have no idea what we would have got from Zumaya this year, same as the rest of the pitchers in camp. I think many fans feel they need to fill a void now that Zumaya went down. This is a guy who has not pitched in 2 years, so why were are expectations so high on him and not Burton, Gray and any of the other pitchers brought in. Ryan doesn't need to make a move because money is now freed up and trading for a reliever will only create a hole somewhere else on a team that is not expected to compete. Sit tight and take a long look at what we have in camp.

#8 Seth Stohs

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 12:05 PM

Captain Kirkus - I guess that's where I'm at. Let's see what the guys that they brought in can do before over-reacting to the Zumaya injury. Maybe the answer is nothing and on March 30th they can look into a trade. We'll see.

#9 dave_dw

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 12:26 PM

I think the Twins considered themselves serious contenders in the Central up until the Tigers signed Prince. Now they're stuck between rebuilding and contending, and given the sad news about Morneau's health, they really aren't a good righty reliever away from competing. They're better off hoping for bounce-back season from Mauer, Span, and Liriano, and trying to develop young players to fill the rest of their holes so they can contend in next few years.

#10 roger

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 12:59 PM

Is the new Twins Daily going to be another site where everyone 'bad mouths' everything Mr. Ryan and the organization does? Your site has only been around for a couple days and I for one am already tired of all the bitching! You stated that Zumaya was their sole bullpen signing. What about Jeff Gray, Matt Malony, Jason Bulger, Jard Burton, Sam Dedumo, Casey Fien, Luke French, Luis Perdomo, Aaron Thompson, Brad Thompson, Daryl Thompson, P. J. Walters and Brendan Wise? That is thirteen signings this winter, all who are candidates for the bullpen. Most have some major league experience with a couple having substantial experience. I expect that several from this group have as good of a chance at contributing this year as the players everyone is complaining about not having been signed. Last time I checked, spring training is less than a week old. Lets give management time to evaluate what they have before we all jump on the sky is falling bandwagon...please!

#11 Thrylos

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 12:59 PM

Let's see how spring training goes, and how the first month of the season go, and then I might agree that Ryan would have to react...

#12 denarded

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 01:37 PM

Last time I checked, spring training is less than a week old. Lets give management time to evaluate what they have before we all jump on the sky is falling bandwagon...please!

Exactly, and with Roger talking about the negativity on this site already. Yes, we're fans and we want out team to be the best it can be. But let's give this team a little time to sort itself out. This place is going to be brutal in June...
Wikipedia is for suckers

#13 Jim H

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 01:56 PM

"Is the new Twins Daily going to be another site where everyone 'bad mouths' everything Mr. Ryan and the organization does? Your site has only been around for a couple days and I for one am already tired of all the bitching!" Actually Roger, NicK and John have been doing quite a bit of bitching all winter. It is fine to have an opinion. It is even fine to go back and rehash the results when the move you didn't like, didn't work. But lets at least let things play out for awhile. I agree with Seth and others, there is a good chance this method will turn up a good bullpen. The guys Nick and John wanted may work out fine, but there is a pretty good chance that they won't be that good, and little chance they will be dominant. Personally I want to see how some of Ryan's pickups do. It is almost a certainty that the bullpen that starts the year won't be the one that finishes it. So lets all have a little patience, put away the offseason blueprints, and enjoy watching the Twins play.

#14 dave_dw

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 01:59 PM

What about Jeff Gray, Matt Malony, Jason Bulger, Jard Burton, Sam Dedumo, Casey Fien, Luke French, Luis Perdomo, Aaron Thompson, Brad Thompson, Daryl Thompson, P. J. Walters and Brendan Wise? That is thirteen signings this winter, all who are candidates for the bullpen.


What about these guys? Collectively they have a 4.72 ERA in the MLB. That's worse than the Twins' MLB worst 4.51 bullpen ERA last year!

Could some of these guys improve on their past performance? Maybe, but they aren't any better than the AAA guys we already have.

#15 TwinsMusings

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 02:56 PM

I'm with Seth and others who are interested in seeing how spring training works out for some of these guys. It's not like the Twins have never had success putting together a bullpen from their own developed player pool before, in spite of how bad last year was. I'm probably in the minority here, but I think the bullpen with Capps (rebounding from a down year), Perkins, Duensing, Swarzak, Burnett and two from the long list of possibilities, is already better than the opening day bullpen of 2011. And lest we all lose perspective on the loss of Zumaya, it is still going to be the starting pitching and offense that determines whether or not the Twins will be contenders this year.

#16 James Richter

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 03:19 PM

I understand the frustration with the missed opportunities in the RH reliever market this offseason. At this point, though, it would be a mistake to pay anything to bring in someone else. Until we see whether guys like Morneau & Liriano can bounce back to their pre-2011 form, we might as well assume that this team can't compete with Detroit. Why give up a good prospect to get Uehara's help for a non-contender? There are guys with upside in camp already. With Zumaya healthy, did you have Anthony Slama making the team? Is there anything in Slama's professional career that suggests he couldn't be a successful high-leverage ROOGY? He's dominated in the minors, and he's held the 21 RH batters he's been allowed to face in MLB to a .510 OPS with 5 K. He's as good a bet to fill that role as anyone, and he'll make the league minimum through 2014. If nobody steps up by the end of camp, there will be decent guys hitting the waiver wire at the end of March. As the season goes on, somebody from AAA might be ready to take over a slot. They could make a trade in July if they're in contention and the bullpen is killing them. But for now, it's best to just wait and see.

#17 Nick Nelson

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 03:20 PM

[quote name='roger']
You stated that Zumaya was their sole bullpen signing. What about Jeff Gray, Matt Malony, Jason Bulger, Jard Burton, Sam Dedumo, Casey Fien, Luke French, Luis Perdomo, Aaron Thompson, Brad Thompson, Daryl Thompson, P. J. Walters and Brendan Wise? That is thirteen signings this winter, all who are candidates for the bullpen. [/QUOTE]
The Twins had the worst bullpen in the major leagues last year. They needed impact additions. The guys you've listed are flawed minor-league players and long-shots to make any kind of significant impact in an MLB bullpen this season. If you're cool with the "quantity, not quality" approach, that's fine, and certainly there's a chance it might produce some diamonds in the rough, but I don't see it as an appropriate strategy for a club that's looking to build a contending bullpen.

I shoot straight. My blogs have never been a place for rosey-eyed optimism. I certainly haven't "bad-mouthed everything Mr. Ryan and the organization does" (in fact, for the most part I've been quite approving of his moves this offseason) but his approach with the bullpen has been objectively mystifying. If you're that sensitive to criticism, perhaps you'd be better off not reading my stuff.

[quote name='Jim H']I agree with Seth and others, there is a good chance this method will turn up a good bullpen. The guys Nick and John wanted may work out fine, but there is a pretty good chance that they won't be that good, and little chance they will be dominant.[/QUOTE]
I'm a believer in the value of a track record. Coffey and Qualls have each made 50+ relief appearances almost every single season, and have usually posted good numbers to go along with the workload. That means something.

[quote name='"Seth Stohs']Coffey - in the last three seasons has had one bad year, one great year and one average year.
Qualls - in the last three seasons has had one good year, one really bad year and one average year.
Mike MacDougal - in the last three seasons, he has had one average year, one really bad year, and one really solid year.
Wheeler - was average last year after two pretty good years.

That's the nature of relief pitchers.[/QUOTE]
Yes, that is the nature of relief pitchers. I'm curious what the point you're trying to make is. That you shouldn't sign them?

#18 ben

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 04:59 PM

that is the nature of relief pitchers


That's probably a good reason not to "take an aggressive step" with a trade for relief pitchers, at least for a team in the Twins' position.

#19 Thrylos

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 05:33 PM

The Twins had the worst bullpen in the major leagues last year. They needed impact additions. The guys you've listed are flawed minor-league players and long-shots to make any kind of significant impact in an MLB bullpen this season. If you're cool with the "quantity, not quality" approach, that's fine, and certainly there's a chance it might produce some diamonds in the rough, but I don't see it as an appropriate strategy for a club that's looking to build a contending bullpen.


Alright. And I shoot straight too and the universe knows that I am not a huge Ryan or Gardenhire fan (to put it mildly...), but I love to play Devil's advocate, so here is what I think:

I think that Perkins will be fine. I think that Duensing should have never been in the rotation in 2011 and will be fine in the pen as a LOOGY (as long as the manager of the millennium does not let him face too many righties). I think that Capps will be fine, if he feels good. I pretty much take those 3 as givens. Let me know if you disagree.

Rewind to 2004 Spring Training. The Twins had 2 left over pitchers (Romero and Rincon) and a bunch of "misfits", including a guy who they designated as their closer who was decent as a late inning reliever, an injury risk but not "established" (Nathan), 3 waiver wire/cheap signs (Guerrier, Roa, Fultz) and a kid (Crain). That pen on paper was very very iffy. Let me know if you disagree.

But they made it happen.

We both know that Burnett is better than what he has shown in the majors because he was rushed after a stellar season in New Britain at age 21. He might put it together this season. Always like Swarzak, but being a swingman in the pen took his toll on him. If they hand him a job and let him do it, he might surprise. Doyle has potential. Oliveros is 24 years old. All it will take is one of the others to step up...

I really do not see bringing is another washed up veteran benefiting this team at this point...
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#20 birdwatcher

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 06:06 PM

The nature of most relief pitchers, yes. For the fun of it, I'd love to see a season-end comparison of the ERA, FIP, and WHIP of the five guys not named Capps and Perkins that make up this years bullpen to these five guys: Lidge, Wheeler, Coffey, Quails, and MacDougal. No prediction here, but it may demonstrate the commodity-like nature of most relief pitchers. Under or over on whether the Twins have a median bullpen ERA? I might take the under myself, given the pessimism, the shher numbers of available options and Ryan's track record.

#21 gil4

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 06:09 PM

I don't want to bash GM Smith but we traded Young, Hardy, Ramos, and Slowey for relief pitchers. Individually, I think all the trades were defensible but as a group, that's a pretty bad return.


The Ramos and Hardy trades were indefensible on their own. Trading Young and Slowey for nothing were defensible, but it would have been nice to get slightly more than that. (I'm not sure we did.)

#22 Roger Sterling

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 06:26 PM

Anthony Slama is not even in major league camp. There's no chance the Twins are considering him for a bullpen spot to open this season, and I'd imagine there's very, very little chance he ever pitches for the Twins again. Whether you agree with them or not, they've never thought particularly highly of him.

#23 Thrylos

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 06:33 PM

Trading Young and Slowey for nothing were defensible


in which way?
other than the fact that they were not liked by Gardy?
I'd rather see them trade Gardy than those two...
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#24 SCBackroads

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 06:51 PM

It is what it is. I'd play the cards dealt because Twins teams over the past decade have done more with less. Remember all the complaining on the web when Joe Nathan was anointed as the closer? Holy moley! I thought a rabid group of fans with pitchforks ans torches was going to sack the dome. That deal turned out just fine. This bevvy of righthanders they've got might surprise...like that little know Breslow kid did a few years ago.

#25 Steer

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 07:04 PM

Not to high on Gardy either. Stubborn ways were o.k. when winning but a few more losing seasons and the chorus will be louder for his hide. Waiting to see a few games.

#26 Nick Nelson

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 07:18 PM

Rewind to 2004 Spring Training. The Twins had 2 left over pitchers (Romero and Rincon) and a bunch of "misfits", including a guy who they designated as their closer who was decent as a late inning reliever, an injury risk but not "established" (Nathan), 3 waiver wire/cheap signs (Guerrier, Roa, Fultz) and a kid (Crain). That pen on paper was very very iffy. Let me know if you disagree.

Nathan had not been "decent" as a late-inning reliever, he was flat-out dominant. The prior year in San Francisco he'd posted a 2.96 ERA and 83/33 K/BB ratio in 79 innings while holding hitters to a .186 average. Granted, shifting him into the closer role was an experimental risk, but that's the kind of guy I'll take my chances on. Romero and Rincon were both established big-league relievers and Crain was a Top 100 prospect in baseball. That bullpen might've been somewhat iffy, but it doesn't compare to this year's group, which has one player who was successful in the major leagues last year. One.

That's probably a good reason not to "take an aggressive step" with a trade for relief pitchers, at least for a team in the Twins' position.

I see a lot of comments like this. It's interesting that I'm the one getting accused of negativity when in fact I seem to be one of the few who actually believes the team could contend this year. It's because of that fact that this kind of inaction frustrates me.

Do I believe one relief pitcher is going to be the difference-maker for this team? No. But having an established guy that you can somewhat count on to complement Perkins in the late innings gives you a lot more margin for error with some of the other guys they'll be trying out.

#27 mike wants wins

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 07:58 PM

I think it odd people put credence in spring training, but not years of performance in the minors and majors....They blew it by not taking advantage of the oversupply of RH RPs when they had the chance. Now, I'm not interested, even a little, in trading a potential MLB position player for a RP. I think this team is unlikely to be contending, so let's not sell the future for the present. That time was 3-10 years ago, and they Ryan didn't do it then to close gaps on very good to great teams. I don't think it's likely he does so on a team that looks iffy.

#28 Pitz

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 08:43 PM

I'm curious who the Rangers would want from the Twins in return for Koji. I agree that Koji would be a great addition to the bullpen but I'm not sure the price is right in terms of who the Twins would trade to get him.

Edited by Pitz, 27 February 2012 - 08:53 PM.


#29 Highabove

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 10:06 PM

This is a Market where much of the Media tows the Company line. You will not get an alternate view from the likes of Phil Mackey. The Centric Guys will give you a point of view which you may not see with the main stream media. If you want Kool Aid, there's plenty to chose from.

#30 gil4

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 10:59 PM

in which way?
I'd rather see them trade Gardy than those two...


Unfortunately, Gardy wasn't going anywhere based on one bad season. Slowey seemed to have annoyed more than just Gardy, although it might have been just Gardy and Souhan. The case could be made that he had burned bridges and had to go, and nobody was going to give up much to get him.

Young's salary was starting to become significant and he doesn't do enough well to justify it. I would have preferred to see him in RF to see if his arm could offset some of his defensive shortcomings (like it did for Cuddyer), but he didn't hit enough to justify a spot as a DH or corner OF.