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2018 Rotation

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#1 Deduno Abides

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 08:41 PM

The 2018 rotation is one of the hottest topics underlying many discussions above 2017. "Trade Gordon or Santana"? How does it affect the 2018 rotation? "Bring up Romero to pitch in the bullpen"? How does it affect the 2018 rotation? "What position should Sano play"? "How to handle the trade deadline"? Same issue comes up.

As it is right now, perhaps only two pitchers look close to written in: Berrios at #2 and Mejia at #4. Perhaps three pitchers are the early leaders for #5, all of whom have great promise but also large question marks. Any of May, Gonsalves and Romero would probably be the best #5 the Twins have had since whenever, and even though each has large unknowns, the potential might be good enough that there will not be a need to give serious consideration to a Ryan Vogelsong or a Nick Tepesch (or a Pat Dean or a . . .) Let's just pause here and recognize how great an improvement that is.

The open spots are #1 and #3. If Ervin Santana is NOT traded, he should slot in at #3. He is still good, but he'll be 35 and he pitches like a late career Brad Radke more than a mid-career Justin Verlander. If the goal is to have a good shot to win the playoffs, as opposed to just making the playoffs, a true #1 power pitcher will be needed. Candidates will be available, depending on how much the team wants to pay or which minor league stars it's willing to trade. (Oh, wouldn't it be great if they had someone who could develop young pitchers like the Rays minor league teams do?) Even Madison Bumgarner may be available mid-season if the Giants don't turn around.

If the Twins do trade Santana, it may be easier to get a #3 this winter. Hopefully, they will also have a pitching coach like the Astros or Pirates, where they take relative scrap heap pitchers like Fiers, McHugh, Peacock, Morton, Burnett, Liriano, Nova, Happ and others and turn them into valuable starters on competitive teams. In fact, the pitching coach could be the most valuable first hire, because a great pitching coach who can expand the #3 candidate pool would reduce the need to pay full value - and take the financial risk of an injury - for a #3 pitcher that has fully maximized his skills and doesn't need assistance, enabling the team to spend on other positions, including a #1 starter and the bullpen.

Also, if the team trades Santana, and perhaps Kintzler or others, at this year's trade deadline, it is conceivable that a candidate for #3 starter is one of the pieces that comes back.

So here's how it lines up.

1. Open
2. Berrios
3. Santana or open
4. Mejia
5. May, Gonsalves or Romero

What do you think? Is that a reasonable beginning for a staff that could make some noise in the 2018 playoffs? What strategies could be used to fill the open slots, and when should those strategies be executed?
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#2 David HK

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 09:00 PM

flick

 

 

Wait-- I know this one!  I know this one!

 

There's Berrios, and then....  ummmmm...

 

Errrrr......

 

Then there's......

 

Just a sec, here....

 

 

 

 

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#3 Jaykay

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 09:24 PM

(Assuming no trades)

 

1. Santana

2. Berrios

3. May

4. Mejia

5. Gonsalves

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#4 Shaitan

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 09:48 PM

Even if May is back and performing, can he be counted on? He hasn't topped 100 IP in...3-4 years?

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#5 Twodogs

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 10:35 PM

I don't know if the Twins can even count on May until June or so?
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#6 USAFChief

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 10:41 PM

I don't think you plan on May being any part of the Twins in 2018. You hope he forces himself into the picture somewhere during the season, maybe June, but don't count on anything.

They really need to add two starters between now and opening day. Three if they trade Santana.
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#7 Danchat

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 11:06 PM

 

I don't think you plan on May being any part of the Twins in 2018. You hope he forces himself into the picture somewhere during the season, maybe June, but don't count on anything.

They really need to add two starters between now and opening day. Three if they trade Santana.

I think you could put May in the starters 8-10 slot on the 'depth chart'. You don't count on him contributing in 2018 but you hope he'll be able to get in there at some point.

Edited by Danchat, 12 July 2017 - 11:06 PM.

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#8 Dantes929

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 11:10 PM

You don't need the traditional 1-5.  2008 -2010 did pretty well because they had guys that could occasionally pitch like aces but basically were 3 guys that pitched like either 2's or 3's in Pavano, Liriano and Baker and guys like Slowey, Blackburn and Duensing that were back of rotation guys but were better than other team;s back of rotation guys.  Anything that adds up to 15 or less is desirable.  Santana looks like he is in pretty good shape and was just an all star.  Berrios, and Santana at #2 Romero at # 3 and May and Meijia pitching like Good 4's or ok 3's gets us there. Not that I am opposed to getting another good pitcher.  I dispute the idea that you need a power #1 pitcher to do well in the playoffs.  First, I don't know why a power #1 is better than a non power #1 and the Twins have beaten guys like Sale before and a #2 guy pitching well gives you a chance any game. I would love to have an ace but it is no guarantee of success and not having one is not a guarantee of failure.

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#9 Twodogs

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 11:39 PM

Of the FA's I have seen mentioned, Lynn is the most intriguing guy that I see, first year off surgery and he is doing well, usually guys don't completely bounce back until year two. A staff of
Lynn
Berrios
Santana
Mejia
Whoever/(May after All Star Break) would be serviceable

Or pick up another low grade FA along with Lynn to be that 5th guy or to push Mejia to the 5th guy and bridge the gap to when May might be ready and then Gonsalves, Romero, Jorge etc... Are the AAA guys who provide depth next year and start to fill in the year after when guys like Santana are gone.

Edited by Twodogs, 12 July 2017 - 11:45 PM.

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#10 Deduno Abides

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 07:00 AM

Even if May is back and performing, can he be counted on? He hasn't topped 100 IP in...3-4 years?


If May gives 90 good innings in the back half of the year, that will be satisfactory for a 5th starter. Look at 2006, which is perhaps the best of the Gardy playoff teams, where Boof Bonser and Scott Baker averaged around 90!mediocre innings each as the #5 starter. Between May, Romero and Gonsalves, hopefully the team can patch #5 together at least that well. The big issue is what they do about #1 and #3. Santana as #1 will not be a competitive playoff team, and there may be team-development reasons to trade Santana now (sell high) and replace him with a #3 starter.

#11 Deduno Abides

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 07:04 AM

Of the FA's I have seen mentioned, Lynn is the most intriguing guy that I see, first year off surgery and he is doing well, usually guys don't completely bounce back until year two. A staff of
Lynn
Berrios
Santana
Mejia
Whoever/(May after All Star Break) would be serviceable
Or pick up another low grade FA along with Lynn to be that 5th guy or to push Mejia to the 5th guy and bridge the gap to when May might be ready and then Gonsalves, Romero, Jorge etc... Are the AAA guys who provide depth next year and start to fill in the year after when guys like Santana are gone.


That could be a way to start the year, but then they should be prepared to make a big upgrade at mid-season. Lynn is OK, but he seems like the lower-cost guys that Terry Ryan used to get, like Rick Reed, who were good enough to keep you in contention for the division or wild card, but not good enough to improve the odds of success in the playoffs.

#12 Mike Sixel

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 07:44 AM

I don't think ESan is this good next year, or the year after, but let's stick him in spot 3 for now.

 

The Twins seem set with Berrios and Mejia (back end) and spots 6-9 with the guys in AAA and AA (though I'd have them up at AAA now). May should not be counted on. Hughes is done and should not be counted on imo. I think Gibson and Santiago are non-tendered, but I would not be surprised if one of them is kept, alas.

 

Berrios

ESan

Mejia

 

I think they need 2 new SPs. I would expect one FA signing, though I am betting we are all underwhelmed with the name.

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#13 gunnarthor

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 08:33 AM

I believe Santiago is a FA at the end of the year. Twins will keep Gibson b/c he's a warm body and has another option for next year, if needed (I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure we didn't use them in 2014-2016 and he doesn't have 5 years service time yet). The Twins will probably sign someone in the 4/45m-ish bin. Pineda, maybe? 

 

Santana

Berrios

Mejia 

Pineda

Gibson

May/Gonsalves/Romero/Jorge/Hughes?

 

 

 


#14 Mike Sixel

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 08:37 AM

 

I believe Santiago is a FA at the end of the year. Twins will keep Gibson b/c he's a warm body and has another option for next year, if needed (I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure we didn't use them in 2014-2016 and he doesn't have 5 years service time yet). The Twins will probably sign someone in the 4/45m-ish bin. Pineda, maybe? 

 

Santana

Berrios

Mejia 

Pineda

Gibson

May/Gonsalves/Romero/Jorge/Hughes?

 

Does anyone think a rotation like this, is a really good one that can help carry the slightly above offense to the playoff land?

 

There are people here arguing that those AA pitchers can't help at all next year, let alone start some 30+ games between them.

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#15 Cory Engelhardt

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 08:53 AM

Here is my optimistic and probably not realistic stab at a 2018 rotation...

 

1) Yu Darvish

2) Berrios

3) Pitcher they've acquired in trade, I'll say Kevin Gausman or Dan Straily, but it could be anyone. They've used at least Gonsalves in the deal, along with other prospects.

4) Pitcher they have acquired for Ervin Santana. I'll guess Luis Ortiz of the Brewers.

5) Mejia

 

May and Romero and Derek Rodriguez and Kohl Stewart are all ready at AAA/bullpen to step in.

 

 

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#16 gunnarthor

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 08:57 AM

 

Does anyone think a rotation like this, is a really good one that can help carry the slightly above offense to the playoff land?

 

There are people here arguing that those AA pitchers can't help at all next year, let alone start some 30+ games between them.

Probably depends on what Pineda and Santana would be.

 

Honestly, if those two and Berrios and Mejia can combine for 750-800 innings and an above 100 ERA+, I think yes, they could be a playoff team. (Heck, they could be a playoff team this year and aren't anywhere close to that). Pineda has a 104 ERA+ in 8 starts this year. Mejia a 102 ERA+ in 13 starts. Santana will regress but would hopefully be a good innings eater near a 100 ERA+. Berrios is a stud. So it is possible. But if they can't reach those innings, then it gets dicier. Romero is close but neither he nor Gonsalves is ready to make 30 ML starts. But 10 or so solid starts down the stretch (ala Boof in 06) is possible. I'm not sure Gibson is anything other than a hope and prayer at this point. So there isn't a lot of room for error in that kind of rotation but if they have four solid ML pitchers, then they could be ok.

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#17 Pardon My Dinger

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 09:14 AM

If we sign Shohei Otani, he can switch off as Pitcher/DH every other day. That way, you really only need 2-3 more SPs.
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#18 Mike Sixel

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 09:16 AM

 

If we sign Shohei Otani, he can switch off as Pitcher/DH every other day. That way, you really only need 2-3 more SPs.

 

good one. seriously. made me laugh.

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#19 Mike Sixel

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 09:17 AM

 

Probably depends on what Pineda and Santana would be.

 

Honestly, if those two and Berrios and Mejia can combine for 750-800 innings and an above 100 ERA+, I think yes, they could be a playoff team. (Heck, they could be a playoff team this year and aren't anywhere close to that). Pineda has a 104 ERA+ in 8 starts this year. Mejia a 102 ERA+ in 13 starts. Santana will regress but would hopefully be a good innings eater near a 100 ERA+. Berrios is a stud. So it is possible. But if they can't reach those innings, then it gets dicier. Romero is close but neither he nor Gonsalves is ready to make 30 ML starts. But 10 or so solid starts down the stretch (ala Boof in 06) is possible. I'm not sure Gibson is anything other than a hope and prayer at this point. So there isn't a lot of room for error in that kind of rotation but if they have four solid ML pitchers, then they could be ok.

 

I'm going to get tired of trying not to lose trades, and being "ok", and not trying to win. This is the window we have all been "promised" by various experts. If not when you have Sano and Berrios, when?

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#20 snap4birds

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 09:17 AM

 

That could be a way to start the year, but then they should be prepared to make a big upgrade at mid-season. Lynn is OK, but he seems like the lower-cost guys that Terry Ryan used to get, like Rick Reed, who were good enough to keep you in contention for the division or wild card, but not good enough to improve the odds of success in the playoffs.

I'm a Cardinal fan, and I think Lance Lynn is somewhat underrated.  Missed last season (Tommy John?), but otherwise is pretty consistent.  Will give you 175-200 innings, average about 3 BB & 8 K's per 9.  I think he's a solid #3 starter, so maybe not a great fit for the Twins, who seem to need a #1 or #2.  Columnists who cover the Cardinals estimate he'll be asking for a Mike Leake size contract (roughly 6 years, 80 million), and they assume the Cardinals will give him a QO, so he'd cost a draft pick.  He definitely adds good depth to a rotation, and I think the Cards will miss his dependability.  But they feel they've got enough good, young pitchers to replace him.

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