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Christensen: Twins Weighing Options With Blackburn

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#1 John Bonnes

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 08:31 AM

http://www.startribu.../166663226.html

With Nick Blackburn seemingly out of answers for how to end his season-long struggles, the Twins are weighing options such as sending him back to Class AAA Rochester, having him skip a start or moving him to the bullpen.


I can't imagine he would be an asset in the bullpen, and AAA is almost over. What options are there?

#2 Rosterman

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 08:33 AM

If you send him to Rochester and he blows their playoff chance...whoa! I hope the Twins go with a six-man rotation in September thru season's end. AT this point, keep throwing the guy out there to see what you have. The more games the Twins lose, the more they can spend on draft picks next year, too.

#3 gunnarthor

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 09:01 AM

I think moving him to the pen and seeing if he can get anything done there. Probably not but it's worth giving him a shot for a month or so.

#4 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 09:31 AM

Gardy seems to be getting pissy about people ripping his favorite pitcher. Front office needs to take the decision away from him

#5 John Bonnes

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 09:36 AM

Gardy seems to be getting pissy about people ripping his favorite pitcher. Front office needs to take the decision away from him


Blackburn's continued presence in the rotation has a lot more to do with the contract that he has than Gardy's attitude towards him. And that contract was not given by Gardy. If you want to blame someone for the harm that Blackburn has inflicted on this pitching staff, the line begins with the front office, not the coaching staff.

#6 Roaddog

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 09:39 AM

Gardy seems to be getting pissy about people ripping his favorite pitcher. Front office needs to take the decision away from him


Blackburn's continued presence in the rotation has a lot more to do with the contract that he has than Gardy's attitude towards him. And that contract was not given by Gardy. If you want to blame someone for the harm that Blackburn has inflicted on this pitching staff, the line begins with the front office, not the coaching staff.


I agree. I realize with the contract he probably not going anywhere, but i say either move him to the bullpen or shut him down for the year.

#7 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 09:40 AM

Moving him to the pen is a waste of time, keep him in the rotation until Sept 1st, if he hasn't rebounded by then, then stick him in the pen as a mop up guy once the rosters expand.

Let him work in the off-season and come back to try to win a big league spot in 2013, if not just stash him in AAA. I suppose you could just cut him outright, but I don't see the point really. Maybe he can pull it together again, but the odds are against him.

#8 IdahoPilgrim

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 09:46 AM

At this point, you also have to consider how his continued struggles affect the rest of the team. If you just keep trotting him out there every fifth day, are you just basically telling the team that you are giving away every fifth day as a loss? Is his continued presence in the rotation affecting morale? I can imagine that, even trying to keep a professional attitude, and even if you like the guy personally and he's an asset in the clubhouse, it's bound to get old knowing that every fifth day is thrown away before it even starts. There's been some talk on other threads about whether or not the Twins have given up. I'm not willing to say that, but keeping Blackburn in the rotation can't be helping that.

I think you have to take a serious look on whether he should just be released, if not now than during the off-season. Yes, you take a hit on the salary, but that's a sunk cost - it can't be recovered. At some point you have to just write that off and do what you can to put a better product on the field. Even somebody with a consistent 5.00 ERA would be an improvement - there's gotta be one of those out there for only a million or two for next year.

#9 IdahoPilgrim

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 09:48 AM

Moving him to the pen is a waste of time, keep him in the rotation until Sept 1st, if he hasn't rebounded by then, then stick him in the pen as a mop up guy once the rosters expand.

Let him work in the off-season and come back to try to win a big league spot in 2013, if not just stash him in AAA. I suppose you could just cut him outright, but I don't see the point really. Maybe he can pull it together again, but the odds are against him.


Is that an option next year? Or will he have enough major league service time (5 years) to be able to veto such a move? They could do it this year because he was at 4+ years.

Edited by IdahoPilgrim, 19 August 2012 - 09:50 AM.


#10 Top Gun

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 09:48 AM

Gardy could care less, the F. O. can sit on it.

#11 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 10:21 AM

Gardy seems to be getting pissy about people ripping his favorite pitcher. Front office needs to take the decision away from him


Blackburn's continued presence in the rotation has a lot more to do with the contract that he has than Gardy's attitude towards him. And that contract was not given by Gardy. If you want to blame someone for the harm that Blackburn has inflicted on this pitching staff, the line begins with the front office, not the coaching staff.

No question this is Bill Smith but the Terry Ryan era front office is trying to justify the contract from their buddy.
If TR wants to turn this team around, they need to get rid of Bill Smith trash that is Blackburn/Nishi's deals & move on

#12 DPJ

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 10:25 AM

DFA seems like a perfect options.

#13 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 11:09 AM

DFA seems like a perfect options.

would be the best sign of faith towards the fans that the organizaiton is serious about getting back to bein a winner

#14 twinsnorth49

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 11:19 AM

I can't wait until I've seen the last of Nick Blackburn.

#15 Highabove

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 11:56 AM

Is it possible that the Man just can't pitch?

Will there be a time that the Front Office comes to this conclusion?

#16 DAM DC Twins Fans

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 12:25 PM

Skip next start--or give him at least a weeks rest...then give him one more start to show he belongs in the rotation in Sept. If he has one more bad start either shut him down or stick him in the pen in a mop up role. He has one more year on his contract. Not sure under latest player union deal if you can DFA him next year or not but if he continues to suck, just DFA him spring 2013.

#17 drivlikejehu

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 12:45 PM

The guy can't pitch, end of story. We know it, they know it, he knows it. They may as well stick him in the bullpen and see if he could be a semi-serviceable 12th pitcher, because that's his absolute ceiling at this point. He doesn't even make sense for that role except for the contract.

#18 darin617

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 12:53 PM

Bullpen or AAA? It should be more like bullpen or DFA.

#19 Bark's Lounge

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 01:11 PM

I side with the DFA crowd. I don't know how many more million dollars he is owed on his contract, but I would guess that the amount that is due to him is a fun night out on the town for the Pohlad boys. This marriage is dead... let's start writing up the divorce papers and end this once and for all - Pretty Please?

#20 m12589

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 01:46 PM

If the Twins are serious about competing next year, they need to sever ties with Blackburn. Cutting him will cost $5.5 million that's he's due next year, but at least the Twins would open up a spot on the 40 man roster. The same with Nishi. Why keep these two players on when they have no shot of helping the team? Especially if itt means exposing 2 prospects to the rule V draft?

#21 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 01:50 PM

A a 12th man/mop-up guy, Blackburn is as good as anything else you'd throw out there, I guess. And since you're paying him anyway, that's $400k you don't have to pay some other schlub.

If they keep him as a long relief guy, I won't cry too much about it just so long as the team still has room on the 40 man while not exposing a prospect (and I think they do).

But there's no reason for him to be starting games right now. He has been given more than enough opportunities and has failed for two consecutive seasons.

#22 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 02:11 PM

I think the message that it sends by keepin him on the roster instead of cutting him is horrible to the fan base.
There is nothing to be gained by keeping him.
As a 12/13th/longman mopup guy on staff.....we already have those currently & may need out of option guys like Sam DeDuno or Esmeril Vasquez to do that.....Burton/Swarzak/Burnett/Perkins/Duensing/Robertson will be 6 of the 7/8 pitchers in pen next yr

#23 Highabove

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 02:22 PM

[quote name='greengoblinrulz']I think the message that it sends by keepin him on the roster instead of cutting him is horrible to the fan base.
There is nothing to be gained by keeping him.
As a 12/13th/longman mopup guy on staff.....we already have those currently & may need out of option guys like Sam DeDuno or Esmeril Vasquez to do that.....Burton/Swarzak/Burnett/Perkins/Duensing/Robertson will be 6 of the 7/8 pitchers in pen next yr[/QUOT

Robertson has not proven that he is a Major League Pitcher. The Bullpen has not been great lately. Another Major League proven arm will be needed next year.

#24 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 02:27 PM

I think the message that it sends by keepin him on the roster instead of cutting him is horrible to the fan base.
There is nothing to be gained by keeping him.
As a 12/13th/longman mopup guy on staff.....we already have those currently & may need out of option guys like Sam DeDuno or Esmeril Vasquez to do that.....Burton/Swarzak/Burnett/Perkins/Duensing/Robertson will be 6 of the 7/8 pitchers in pen next yr


I can see your point but I'm just not sure it's a smart thing to do. In case of emergency, Blackburn isn't the worst guy to have around and some time in the pen might make him a better pitcher (probably not but there's a remote chance of it happening).

Either way, I just don't care that much. All I ask is that Blackburn be removed from the rotation. If he's the 12th guy out of the pen, it doesn't matter. The 12th guy out of the pen almost never matters on a major league ballclub.

#25 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 03:28 PM

Love the numbers
start the season
7starts 1W 4L 33.1IP 46h .333BAA 8.37ERA 19k 13b 7HRs (.953OPS)....sent to DL, that was the problem
After his DL stint
6starts 3W 1L 30IP 44h .333BAA 7.80ERA 11K 9bb 8HRs (.982OPS), sent to minors to correct the problems
Sent to minors/recalled
6starts 0W 4L 35.1IP 53h .351BAA 6.11ERA 12k 4bb 8HRs (.943OPS), now noticing the problem

These last 6 starts are the BEST he's pitched in over a calender year & there are NOW wondering whats wrong!!!!!;)

#26 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 03:59 PM

More numbers
Twins love to say that Nick needs to get his sinkerball working 'again'. Went back & looked at his 'good' years in 08/09, per fangraphs
08...Ground ball rate of 44.9% for 38th best in MLB (only the qualified pitchers of 162IP)
09...Ground ball rate of 45.8% for 27th best in MLB (only the qualified pitchers of 162IP)
10...Ground ball rate of 50.8% for 20th best in MLB (160IPs as that what Nick had).... Liriano 11th, Pavano 15th in MLB
11...Ground ball rate of 53.5% for 13th best in MLB (140IPs as thats what Nick had)
12...Ground ball rate of 45.2% for 66th best in MLB (90IPs as thats what Nick has)..Diamond 6th
More groundballs he throws, the worse he has pitched

of the 800 IPs over that 5 yr period tho, Nick is 5th in GB% w/47.9%, but is last in Ks (4.24/9) among the top 30 ranked (Buerhle 4.89, JSaunder 4.99 next 2)....last in ERA @ 4.81 (Nolasco 4.5, AJ Burnett 4.43 next 2 )
5 of the top 10 (last 5 yrs) K more than 7per (King Felix/Halladay/Lester/Ubaldo/AJBurnett)...so you can K guys & be a groundball pitcher
20 of top 30 have ERA's under 4....cant find anything to 'hang your hat' on Nick