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Article: Jose Berrios Flashes Something Special

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#41 Taildragger8791

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 06:08 PM

We see this argument with every prospect. If a guy has success for any length of time the calls for promotions start up and escalate in a hurry, with assertions that the Twins are insane, evil, and/or incompetent for holding the player back. But at the same time if players were promoted on potential before demonstrating they were ready there would be an equally loud chorus of criticism for being too aggressive and demanding proof of performance before handing out promotions. Especially if that player bombed at the next level. You can't have it both ways.

 

It was totally reasonable that Berrios started in the minors after completely failing in his debut season and doing nothing in spring training or WBC to show that he had made improvements. Why throw him back out there to fail again? Once you've decided to send him down to get comfortable you aren't going to pull him back in a week or two, he's there for a reason and adjustments don't happen instantaneously. Maybe they waited 2-3 weeks longer than absolutely necessary, but they wanted to be 100% sure his next promotion was successful and hopefully his last ever. Seems reasonable and responsible to me. If he goes on to have a 10+ year great career is anyone going to notice or care they he spent a couple extra weeks in AAA getting himself right?

 

Do we still look back at Torii Hunter's career and have heartburn that he bounced up and down to start out? I sure hope not. In the end this was a tiny blip on the radar of what is supposed to be a rebuilding season.

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#42 KirbyDome89

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 06:20 PM

 

No. A minor league season is not the same as a major league season. It's longer and more strenuous. There's more media attention. The Twins were absolutely right to want Berrios to hit the ground running and to think that some time in AAA might make that easier. 

 

No one is past that. Everyone was down on Park until he had a hot spring and now he's a TD darling. Spring training doesn't decide things but it does matter. The stats just aren't the thing that does it -- it matters what coaches and front office personnel see. I trust them more than your hindsight.

 

So should they go to a six man rotation? Seven? That would create more rest days. 

 

A good team but not the offensive powerhouse that Boston is. Cleveland was scuffling and again, the road vs. home thing works for Berrios in that situation. Get some confidence going and avoid a home booing.

So he couldn't be ready to start the season because there would be too much media attention?

 

I'm not saying it's meaningless, and I've been on the Park train since they won the right to sign him, but he clearly wasn't being considered for the 25 man going into ST. The same FO locked Hughes in after 2 poor starts. I'm not getting into the argument of how often true position battles should occur. Based on those type of moves it appears the FO knew who they were bring north before the games started. That's fine, but I'm tired of hearing that Berrios "did this to himself," by going to the WBC. 

 

Hyperbole much? There is a massive difference between bumping a starter back one game and running out some ridiculous 7 man rotation. I hope you can understand that difference...

 

Avoid a home booing? Really? How frail is he?  I seriously doubt they needed to hand pick his first start of the season. Reach.... 


#43 KirbyDome89

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 06:47 PM

 

We see this argument with every prospect. If a guy has success for any length of time the calls for promotions start up and escalate in a hurry, with assertions that the Twins are insane, evil, and/or incompetent for holding the player back. But at the same time if players were promoted on potential before demonstrating they were ready there would be an equally loud chorus of criticism for being too aggressive and demanding proof of performance before handing out promotions. Especially if that player bombed at the next level. You can't have it both ways.

 

It was totally reasonable that Berrios started in the minors after completely failing in his debut season and doing nothing in spring training or WBC to show that he had made improvements. Why throw him back out there to fail again? Once you've decided to send him down to get comfortable you aren't going to pull him back in a week or two, he's there for a reason and adjustments don't happen instantaneously. Maybe they waited 2-3 weeks longer than absolutely necessary, but they wanted to be 100% sure his next promotion was successful and hopefully his last ever. Seems reasonable and responsible to me. If he goes on to have a 10+ year great career is anyone going to notice or care they he spent a couple extra weeks in AAA getting himself right?

 

Do we still look back at Torii Hunter's career and have heartburn that he bounced up and down to start out? I sure hope not. In the end this was a tiny blip on the radar of what is supposed to be a rebuilding season.

I haven't seen a single post calling the team insane, evil, or incompetent. I wanted Berrios sooner, and I wish Mejia would've been given a longer leash. Isn't that having it both ways? Can't I want a top pitching prospect up and also want to see him given every opportunity to perform well? 

 

Why throw him back out there to fail again?

I'll say it again, every argument for this being the "right," or "responsible," handling seems to come from the above belief. His last few starts don't validate that view anymore than they support him starting the season in the rotation. However, they're conveniently being used as affirmation that the repeat of AAA was necessary. 

 

That has been my argument the whole time. They couldn't know how he was going to fare until they let him throw against MLB hitters. I wish they would've done it sooner. Who knows how it would've turned out, but just as I can't proclaim he would've pitched like this in April, nobody else can say he's doing this because he wasn't up at that time. 

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#44 jorgenswest

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 06:53 PM

It sure sounds as if they were waiting for him to repeat something mechanically with consistency. I believe I last heard Falvey reference it is the Inside Twins show.

While no one would know how he was going to fare, they would be able to assess whether he was consistent with the mechanics they were trying to establish. I think that is the "readiness" they were seeking.

Edited by jorgenswest, 20 May 2017 - 06:53 PM.

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#45 Taildragger8791

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 06:56 PM

 

I haven't seen a single post calling the team insane, evil, or incompetent. I wanted Berrios sooner, and I wish Mejia would've been given a longer leash. Isn't that having it both ways? Can't I want a top pitching prospect up and also want to see him given every opportunity to perform well? 

 

Why throw him back out there to fail again?

I'll say it again, every argument for this being the "right," or "responsible," handling seems to come from the above belief. His last few starts don't validate that view anymore than they support him starting the season in the rotation. However, they're conveniently being used as affirmation that the repeat of AAA was necessary. 

 

That has been my argument the whole time. They couldn't know how he was going to fare until they let him throw against MLB hitters. I wish they would've done it sooner. Who knows how it would've turned out, but just as I can't proclaim he would've pitched like this in April, nobody else can say he's doing this because he wasn't up at that time. 

 

The words "insane, evil or incomptent" aren't used explicitly but the complaints and sentiment levied at the team is generally along one of those veins. As opposed to assuming they did it for actual defensible reasons like wanting to be convinced he had his head on straight and worked out his very serious problems he had demonstrated up until now.

 

There are legitimate things to criticize the Twins on with prospects but I don't see this as being an example to build your case around. They saw Berrios absolutely, 100%, completely BOMB in almost every one of his 14 starts last year and did absolutely ZILCH in spring training to show that was behind him. Why would you automatically insert that guy into the MLB rotation and assume things are hunky dory? That would be irresponsible and risky and everyone would have torn apart the front office if he'd struggled all over again out of the gate. He openly stated himself that he wasn't comfortable with the MLB baseball and was too far inside his own head last year. Sending him down to get comfortable with the new baseball in his side sessions while he gets in a successful rhythm just makes so much sense that I'm flabbergasted people are lambasting the team like it was an obvious mistake.

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#46 KirbyDome89

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 07:10 PM

 

The words "insane, evil or incomptent" aren't used explicitly but the complaints and sentiment levied at the team is generally along one of those veins. As opposed to assuming they did it for actual defensible reasons like wanting to be convinced he had his head on straight and worked out his very serious problems he had demonstrated up until now.

 

There are legitimate things to criticize the Twins on with prospects but I don't see this as being an example to build your case around. They saw Berrios absolutely, 100%, completely BOMB in almost every one of his 14 starts last year and did absolutely ZILCH in spring training to show that was behind him. Why would you automatically insert that guy into the MLB rotation and assume things are hunky dory? That would be irresponsible and risky and everyone would have torn apart the front office if he'd struggled all over again out of the gate. He openly stated himself that he wasn't comfortable with the MLB baseball and was too far inside his own head last year. Sending him down to get comfortable with the new baseball in his side sessions while he gets in a successful rhythm just makes so much sense that I'm flabbergasted people are lambasting the team like it was an obvious mistake.

So by disagreeing with the move I'm calling the FO evil? Seems extreme...

 

The whole pitching staff was garbage. They were looking to bring back in it's entirety what was one of the worst starting rotations in baseball. Included in that staff was a guy coming off major surgery who looked like a shell of himself and a rookie who had thrown all of 2 innings at the major league level. You don't have to dig too hard to see why it might make sense to give your top prospect, who also happens to be a pitcher and was absolutely dominant for over 200 innings in AAA a shot at the 5 spot. There was no risk involved. They cut bait on Mejia after 3 games. There were a lot of players that are still on this team who were bad last year. If the performance of the previous year was grounds for removal they wouldn't have been able to field a 25 man. 


#47 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 07:15 PM

 

2 fewer innings than Santiago? It certainly wasn't an issue of "getting stretched out," which was what we were told. 

Dude, Santiago is an established veteran with 750 career IP. Berrios barely burned through his rookie eligibility in 2016 and was absolutely horrible while doing it.

 

There's nothing to compare between those two guys.

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#48 Taildragger8791

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 07:19 PM

 

So by disagreeing with the move I'm calling the FO evil? Seems extreme...

 

The whole pitching staff was garbage. They were looking to bring back in it's entirety what was one of the worst starting rotations in baseball. Included in that staff was a guy coming off major surgery who looked like a shell of himself and a rookie who had thrown all of 2 innings at the major league level. You don't have to dig too hard to see why it might make sense to give your top prospect, who also happens to be a pitcher and was absolutely dominant for over 200 innings in AAA a shot at the 5 spot. There was no risk involved. They cut bait on Mejia after 3 games. There were a lot of players that are still on this team who were bad last year. If the performance of the previous year was grounds for removal they wouldn't have been able to field a 25 man.

 

No, I didn't say that. Twisting my words doesn't help the discussion. I said most of the arguments against the Twins handling of Berrios and prospects falls into one of those categories. I didn't say anything about you or your reasons specifically. Although if I wanted to slot your statements into a category it would apparently fall into the 'incompetent' slot for not knowing how to handle or evaluate one of their most promising players.

There were many statements that the Twins are keeping him down because they want to punish him for playing in the WBC or want to limit his MLB service time or success to save money. To really believe that you have to believe the Twins' brass is vindictive and Scrooge-like towards their own players. That's basically the 'evil' category I was referring to.

 

And I disagree that there was no risk. The risk was that he gets shelled and his confidence is destroyed, and he doesn't find his comfort zone with the unfamiliar MLB baseball because every time he throws it near an MLB hitter he nearly pulls a muscle in his neck watching it fly back over his head at 98 MPH. There is little to no room for error at this level. That is not a conducive environment to making major adjustments.

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#49 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 07:22 PM

 

And I disagree that there was no risk.

There was a ton of risk in putting Berrios in the rotation on Opening Day. What happens if he posts four consecutive <5 IP starts with an ERA of 8+ again?

 

He goes back to Rochester. The process starts over. We don't see Jose until July. That's quite a risk, in my opinion.

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#50 KirbyDome89

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 07:55 PM

 

Dude, Santiago is an established veteran with 750 career IP. Berrios barely burned through his rookie eligibility in 2016 and was absolutely horrible while doing it.

 

There's nothing to compare between those two guys.

Dude, the point was they threw the same number of innings so "getting stretched out," to start the season was clearly possible...


#51 KirbyDome89

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 08:09 PM

 

No, I didn't say that. Twisting my words doesn't help the discussion. I said most of the arguments against the Twins handling of Berrios and prospects falls into one of those categories. I didn't say anything about you or your reasons specifically. Although if I wanted to slot your statements into a category it would apparently fall into the 'incompetent' slot for not knowing how to handle or evaluate one of their most promising players.

There were many statements that the Twins are keeping him down because they want to punish him for playing in the WBC or want to limit his MLB service time or success to save money. To really believe that you have to believe the Twins' brass is vindictive and Scrooge-like towards their own players. That's basically the 'evil' category I was referring to.

 

And I disagree that there was no risk. The risk was that he gets shelled and his confidence is destroyed, and he doesn't find his comfort zone with the unfamiliar MLB baseball because every time he throws it near an MLB hitter he nearly pulls a muscle in his neck watching it fly back over his head at 98 MPH. There is little to no room for error at this level. That is not a conducive environment to making major adjustments.

There was no twist, I was simply following the reasoning you laid out. Hmmm, maybe the incompetent one isn't me....

 

He becomes disgruntled, looses focus and his performance slips. He is bitter and holds the demotion against the Twins and they subsequently have no shot to keep him after his rookie deal expires....

That sounds like ridiculous speculation right? Well so does "he has to start on the road to avoid home boos," "he would lose all confidence," "he couldn't get comfortable with the MLB baseball,"....


#52 ashburyjohn

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 08:09 PM

There isn't an answer for those points other than the Twins for some reason weren't keen on having one of their better pitchers in the rotation....

So by disagreeing with the move I'm calling the FO evil? Seems extreme...
 
The whole pitching staff was garbage....

Moderator's note: This is not directed solely toward you, but also to several others participating in this thread. The inclination to imply opposing viewpoints must be idiocy, or to express your ideas in the strongest possible terms, has the opposite effect on your readers, who then discount what you say to compensate. Please tone down the heated rhetoric, everyone. (And please don't compound the problem by responding to this post in-thread.)

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#53 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 05:38 AM

 

Dude, the point was they threw the same number of innings so "getting stretched out," to start the season was clearly possible...

Possible? Sure. I don't think anyone should dispute that it was possible.

 

A good idea? I don't think it would have been a good idea.

 

The new front office who didn't have any hands-on experience with Berrios. He was absolutely terrible last season. He barely pitched in Spring Training so the new front office left March still barely seeing the guy. It made all the sense in the world to give that guy a few weeks of observation in Rochester before deciding whether he was MLB material.

 

We don't even know if Berrios was working on anything specific in MiLB so that's another reason why they may have wanted to see him in Rochester for a month.

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#54 HitInAPinch

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 06:49 AM

 

Possible? Sure. I don't think anyone should dispute that it was possible.

 

A good idea? I don't think it would have been a good idea.

 

The new front office who didn't have any hands-on experience with Berrios. He was absolutely terrible last season. He barely pitched in Spring Training so the new front office left March still barely seeing the guy. It made all the sense in the world to give that guy a few weeks of observation in Rochester before deciding whether he was MLB material.

 

We don't even know if Berrios was working on anything specific in MiLB so that's another reason why they may have wanted to see him in Rochester for a month.

Totally agree.  People seem to be missing the point that this new FO got a late start and were playing catch-up.  I don't quibble too much about Berrios choosing to play in the WBC over SP.  Not sure if he took a hard look at what might happen with the Twins.  Overall,  worked out OK.

 

If I remember correctly, the main thing the FO and Twins coaches were looking for from Berrios in the MiLB was consistency; repeatable mechanics.  So far, so good. So, so very good  ;)

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#55 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 07:40 AM

 

Totally agree.  People seem to be missing the point that this new FO got a late start and were playing catch-up.  I don't quibble too much about Berrios choosing to play in the WBC over SP.  Not sure if he took a hard look at what might happen with the Twins.  Overall,  worked out OK.

 

If I remember correctly, the main thing the FO and Twins coaches were looking for from Berrios in the MiLB was consistency; repeatable mechanics.  So far, so good. So, so very good  ;)

Another thing we've lamented in past years is how the front office so often put guys in situations where failure was likely. Alex Meyer springs to mind and the ridiculous call-up he got two years ago (I think it was two years ago, anyway). Aaron Hicks is another example. Maybe even Buxton in the third spot this season is an example (but it was fixed so quickly that it's hard to complain too much about it).

 

Whereas this front office gave Berrios every chance to succeed instead of fail. They let him go to the WBC because he wanted to do so. They put him in Rochester and let him dominate, something he probably needed after his disastrous rookie season. Then, just 40 days into the season, they called him back to Minnesota and he's killing it up here. Berrios looks like a different pitcher today. Maybe he would have been that pitcher that on Opening Day but given how little he pitched in March and how bad he was in 2016, I'm skeptical that would be the case.

 

Letting a promising young prospect get his feet back under him before exposing him to MLB opposition after a disastrous rookie campaign isn't something we should be criticizing.

 

Now, if it was July 1st and Berrios had just made his first start after tearing Rochester to pieces for three months, that's something to complain about. But Jose made his first start on May 13th.

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#56 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 07:51 AM

Another thing we've lamented in past years is how the front office so often put guys in situations where failure was likely. Alex Meyer springs to mind and the ridiculous call-up he got two years ago (I think it was two years ago, anyway). Aaron Hicks is another example. Maybe even Buxton in the third spot this season is an example (but it was fixed so quickly that it's hard to complain too much about it).
 
Whereas this front office gave Berrios every chance to succeed instead of fail. They let him go to the WBC because he wanted to do so. They put him in Rochester and let him dominate, something he probably needed after his disastrous rookie season. Then, just 40 days into the season, they called him back to Minnesota and he's killing it up here. Berrios looks like a different pitcher today. Maybe he would have been that pitcher that on Opening Day but given how little he pitched in March and how bad he was in 2016, I'm skeptical that would be the case.
 
Letting a promising young prospect get his feet back under him before exposing him to MLB opposition after a disastrous rookie campaign isn't something we should be criticizing.
 
Now, if it was July 1st and Berrios had just made his first start after tearing Rochester to pieces for three months, that's something to complain about. But Jose made his first start on May 13th.

And there sure seems to be pretty strong evidence that some in the organization did want Berrios to remain in the minors for a while. Most of us are glad that clearer heads prevailed. I still remember the main reason Berrios started in AAA was to stretch him out.....
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#57 drjim

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 08:20 AM

And there sure seems to be pretty strong evidence that some in the organization did want Berrios to remain in the minors for a while. Most of us are glad that clearer heads prevailed. I still remember the main reason Berrios started in AAA was to stretch him out.....

That was the necessary reason.

Also clearly stated reasons by the front office were they wanted him to tighten command and also dominate for a stretch following his brutal debut.

Edited by drjim, 21 May 2017 - 08:21 AM.

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#58 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 08:21 AM

...He becomes disgruntled, looses focus and his performance slips. He is bitter and holds the demotion against the Twins and they subsequently have no shot to keep him after his rookie deal expires....

Very possible these things do happen. Something similar might have happened with Meyer who actually pitched pretty well in 2014 in Rochester but never got a call up. In hindsight it looks like Meyer was not as good a prospect as Berrios, and I'm just glad that the front office got Berrios up before his window closed.
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#59 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 08:28 AM

That was the necessary reason.
Also clearly stated reasons by the front office were they wanted him to tighten command and also dominate for a stretch following his brutal debut.

Sure, maybe, but pretty much every pitcher except 2014 Phil Hughes could stand to tighten their command a little, so I didn't put as much into those words as maybe I should have.
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#60 drjim

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 08:35 AM

Sure, maybe, but pretty much every pitcher except 2014 Phil Hughes could stand to tighten their command a little, so I didn't put as much into those words as maybe I should have.


Perhaps, but the command difference between this year and last year is huge. Maybe the front office was on to something.
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