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Article: Regression For Twins Is Likely, But Not Inevitable

miguel sano jose berrios adalberto mejia
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#21 drjim

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 10:01 AM

 

Did I miss something in regards to Gibson? He's getting called up again? 

 

They need a starter for Monday, either him or Wilk.

Papers...business papers.

#22 Thrylos

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 10:33 AM

When I am looking at term like "regression", I'd like to look at data that might so deviation to begin with.Here is some of that for the Twins, and their closest AL Central opponents:

 

Pitching:

Twins: 4.80 FIP - 4.31 ERA, Indians: 3.52 FIP - 3.98 ERA, Tigers: 4.57 FIP - 4.77 ERA

Twins: 72/7% LOB, 12.2% HR/FB, .269 BABIP
Indians: 73.9% LOB, 14.3% HR/FB, .308 BABIP
Tigers: 71.2% LOB, 12.3% HR/FB, .306 BABIP

Hitting:

Twins: .282 BABIP, Tigers: .294 BABIP, Indians: .278

 

How I would interpret that?Regression as far as hitting is not much of an issue (if anything players like Polanco and Buxton are likely to improve.)

 

As far as pitching goes, it is obvious that Santana and Santiaga (other than his last outing) have been playing over their heads, the bullpen is made out of band-aides and spit and Kintzler has a pact with the devil (or something.)

But, I hope that Berrios continuous where he starts to provide a serviceable number 2 behind Santana (at this point) and the one of Mejia (.360 BABIP) or Gibson (.359) rebounds (regresses? ;) ) .That is hopeful likely possible.  

 

The pen is a bigger story and the Twins need 2-3 late inning arms to keep it up, whether they come within the organization (Bard, Burdi, Chargois, Melotakis, etc) or outside.

 

But, I'd take first place any day :)

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#23 Nick Nelson

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 10:42 AM

 

Nick, I don't really get the "Kintzler isn't a closer" thing. With the Twins, he has entered the game with a one run lead in a save situation just ten times in the past two seasons (this was a quick scan of box scores so if I missed something, let me know). Eight of those times, the Twins left the game a winner. That's an 80% conversion rate on the most difficult of saves. Can we really expect better from a closer? Overall, he has 27 saves and only four blown saves.

No one’s denying that Kintzler has been very effective in the role up to this point. But I stand by my reservations about his poor fit there going forward. 5.3 K/9. .255 BABIP. 6.3% HR/FB. 86% LOB. Those numbers aren’t going to hold up. The things you’re saying about coming in with a clean inning, and requiring multiple hits in succession to score runs, are true for any reliever. I just believe that with all the contact allowed he’s more susceptible than most to giving up a run or two, even on a good day.

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#24 LA VIkes Fan

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 10:54 AM

I think Thylos has it right on the pitching but I quibble a little regarding the hitting. The Twins need someone to step up and be that consistent middle of the order bat to hit either 3 or 4 along with Sano. The good news is that it can come from an OF or the DH spot so the defensive side won't get in the way of a bat. We need either Vargas, Kepler, Rosario or Buxton to be that guy, or get Park, Palka or Garver to come up and be that guy.  I think there's a real chance this will happen, and my money is on Kepler.  

 

On the pitching, our hope has to be that between Berrios, Mejia, Gibson and Hurlbut/Slegers we can find a middle of the rotation starter to go with Santiago and a back end guy to go with Hughes (or 2 in one category with Hughes going). There is a less than 50/50 chance of 2 starters emerging but better than 50/50 of one.

 

On the bullpen, we need at least 2 quality arms, maybe 3, and that's assuming Breslow is for real.  Most teams, even good teams, only have five or six decent bullpen arms plus filler and we arguably have three, four if you count Pressly.  With our starting rotation we need at least five quality bullpen pieces and could really use six. We may be stuck with the eight-man bullpen all year.. We've got to find at least two quality bullpen pieces and 3 if possible from Chargois, Baxendale, Hildenberger, Burdi, Busenitz and Rucinski. Odds, not very good.   

 

Overall, there will be some regression but I think there's a good chance that the offensive improvement will be enough to cover some of the pitching woes and that the starting rotation will stabilize to average or close to it. The bullpen is a much bigger problem. Sounds like a roughly .500 team to me winning between 78 and 84 games.  Much better than last year and worth watching but not a real contender for the Wild Card. 

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#25 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 11:24 AM

No one’s denying that Kintzler has been very effective in the role up to this point. But I stand by my reservations about his poor fit there going forward. 5.3 K/9. .255 BABIP. 6.3% HR/FB. 86% LOB. Those numbers aren’t going to hold up. The things you’re saying about coming in with a clean inning, and requiring multiple hits in succession to score runs, are true for any reliever. I just believe that with all the contact allowed he’s more susceptible than most to giving up a run or two, even on a good day.

You're not wrong there, I guess we just have different priorities. If the Twins acquired two arms better than Kintzler, I'd be in favor of moving him out of the closer role. That would make Kintzler the fourth best reliever on the team (I'd currently put only Duffey in front of him).

I'm simply against moving Kintzler out of the closer spot before the Twins find two better relievers: one for the seventh, one for the eighth. I think those roles are more important than closer.
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#26 d-mac

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 12:57 PM

I hate to be Debbie downer, but the Twins pitching is still really, really bad. Of the 19 pitchers to throw a pitch for the Twins this year, just 5 have an xFIP of under 4. To put that in context, 9 Major League teams (4 AL) have a team xFIP below 4. That is nearly a 3rd of all teams. The Twins have 12 pitchers that have a xFIP over 5, including all but one starter (Santana, his was 4.52 but that'll be near 5 after today's game). The Twins are dead last in xFIP in all of baseball and nearly a third of a run worse than the next worst American league team. 

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#27 frightwig

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 02:34 PM

Sano has 2.3 fWAR through 34 games, 2nd best in the AL and on pace for 10.96 WAR/162. If he keeps it up the whole year, and never slumps or gets hurt, obviously that would be a huge lift. Does it seem probable? Steamer projects 3.3 fWAR the rest of the season; ZiPS just 2.3 fWAR. He may not slow down that much, but he'll probably cool off to some significant degree. Something like 4-5 WAR the rest of the season seems more likely than 8+ WAR.

 

The rest of the lineup already seems to be performing about as well as I'd expect. Dozier has a 115 wRC+, matching his ZiPS projection for RoS and a bit higher than Steamer. Kepler and Rosario are meeting their projections. Vargas probably won't get much better if he doesn't get back to drawing walks. Grossman does draw walks but doesn't bring much else to the game. Polanco's line might improve some if his BABIP goes up, but his peripherals are as good as you could reasonably expect. Castro is what he is. Mauer has been hot in May, while pulling a lot of groundballs but posting a 50% HR/FB (LOL). Do I believe that Good Joe Mauer is back to stay? Come on.

 

I think Buxton is the one hitter who could get significantly better this season. On the other hand, his 96 wRC+ this month is already higher than his projections, and he's stopped drawing any walks for some reason. .242/.242/.515 (0 walks, 29.4 K%, 25% HR/FB) may be about as good as he gets this year.

 

On the pitching side... yeah, I don't see how it's not going to be the undoing of the team. Of course Santana is a prime candidate for big regression, even if he's not traded in July. Santiago is a back-end guy who depends on the team defense to prop him up--and it's been great, but he can't rely on the defense to always be there for him, as much as he does. Hughes is barely hanging on. If they can fix Gibson, great, but he was a marginal starter last year, too. Berrios had a nice outing in the bright glare and shadows last Saturday afternoon (although his xFIP for the game was 5.64), but after last season I'm still skeptical that he can make the jump until I see him pull it together for at least a couple months.

 

Meanwhile, the bullpen is one of the weakest in the league but somehow has been getting by because it has just 3 blown saves (tied for 3rd-AL). You know that's not gonna last.

 

There is some good young talent on the roster, and maybe the Twins can be contenders within a few years if Sano/Buxton/Kepler/Polanco reach their potential and Falvine are able to overhaul the pitching staff, but is it happening this year? It would take a lot of luck, and Falvine choosing to keep Dozier and Santana--and I'm not sure that I want to see that happen, either. Honestly, I hope the regression kicks in well before the trade deadline, so there's no doubt about whether the Twins should be sellers.

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#28 Darius

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 03:00 PM

I think we're already seeing the regression. The pitching is spiraling out of control.

#29 Rosterman

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 03:21 PM

They still haven't played every team. They have three solid starters that SHOULD be good. The bullpen is a mess. Who knows what the lineup will be. No rhyme or reason why certain people are batting certain places at certain times and not sure how you can arrange it so the Twins do get their hits and walks more strung together. 

 

See how they fare against ALL the teams. They MIGHT have a chance with their own divisional play, if they can get a 4th solid starter and the bullpen under control. But lots of holes, or lots of pieces not filling those holes...correctly.

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#30 Thrylos

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 03:25 PM

 

I think Thylos has it right on the pitching but I quibble a little regarding the hitting. The Twins need someone to step up and be that consistent middle of the order bat to hit either 3 or 4 along with Sano.

 

And that should really be the "All-Star second baseman" who was supposedly worth more in trade than the Dodgers offered.Unfortunately he sucks on big time situations, like today, when he came up with 2 on and 2 out twice and left all 4 on base.But he has been great in hitting solo HRs when the game is not on line.About addition by subtraction time as far as Dozier is concerned...

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#31 Nick Nelson

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 05:21 PM

http://m.mlb.com/vid...n-homer-in-10th

 

http://m.mlb.com/vid...s-it-in-the-9th

 


#32 Doomtints

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 05:32 PM

 

And that should really be the "All-Star second baseman" who was supposedly worth more in trade than the Dodgers offered.Unfortunately he sucks on big time situations, like today, when he came up with 2 on and 2 out twice and left all 4 on base.But he has been great in hitting solo HRs when the game is not on line.About addition by subtraction time as far as Dozier is concerned...

 

Someone is bound to fight this one and show the exceptions, but the numbers don't lie. Most of his homers are with no one on base or with the Twins win already assured. He could do some damage on the right team where people ahead of him are always on base, probably, but on the Twins he is useless. He is probably the least feared 40 home run hitter in history.

Edited by Doomtints, 18 May 2017 - 05:50 PM.

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#33 Thrylos

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 05:56 PM

 

 

 

Sure.Those are 2 PAs from years past.

 

How about his 2 PAs today with men on? 

 

Or his .192 last season and .200 this season batting average in high leverage situations?

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#34 Nick Nelson

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 05:58 PM

Dozier drove in 99 runs last year and had an .856 OPS with RISP. What are you people talking about 


#35 Thrylos

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 06:10 PM

 

Dozier drove in 99 runs last year and had an .856 OPS with RISP.

 

Which dropped down to .739 with 2 outs and RISP, .672 in high leverage situations, and .532 in "Late and close" situations.

 

That's what "we people" are talking about...

 

And BTW, Here is the big one about his HR last season:

Men on: 12 HR / 248 AB (20.7 AB/HR) .Nobody on: 30 HR / 367 AB (11.5 AB/HR)

His career numbers: Men on 35 HR in 1104 AB (31.5 AB/HR), nobody on: 87 HR in 1732 AB (19.9 AB/HR)

 

Numbers do not lie.

Edited by Thrylos, 18 May 2017 - 06:13 PM.

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