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Article: Hopes And Plans For Trevor May

trevor may john smoltz kyle gibson lewis thorpe fernando romero
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#21 Steve Lein

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 10:50 AM

 

This gets repeated a lot. Where is it coming from?

 

You can argue the Twins didn't give him enough of a chance (120 innings), but you can't argue he was performing acceptably as a starter (5.61 ERA, .817 OPS against). And don't forget, he was moved to the pen after a 6-run start where he only managed to get 1 out, and then a guy named Tyler Duffey was called up and kept exceeding expectations as a starter.

 

May probably deserves another shot (esp. if it's May v. Duffey), but some of us have a narrative on May that forgets everything that happened in 2015.

 

I'll show you where this narrative comes from:

 

That 6-run start you're talking about? That was preceded by a 7-start stretch where he went 5+ innings each game, 6+ in 6 of them, 7 innings in 2, and had quality starts in 5. His final start of the season after that game was also of the quality variety. He lowered his ERA in those games from 5.40 to 4.37 in 50.1 innings before they transitioned him, including that 6-run start you mentioned (he took the mound in that game at 4.03). 

 

He absolutely was pitching well at the time the move to the bullpen was made if you ask me.

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Scouting Report: Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 45, Speed: 45. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but will sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)


#22 Dantes929

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 10:50 AM

 

I think this is a pretty easy answer. He'll start the season as part of the rotation in AAA. Unless something goes horribly wrong, he'll be the first starter up when we need a new one. I think our AAA rotation will include Mejia, May, Gonsavles and Romero, which gives the team some depth.

I agree with this also except I don't see Mejia starting in the minors. I think he pitched well enough and did not miss enough time to be penalized such that I think he starts ST as either #4 or #5 on the depth charts depending on whether we get someone else.You could talk me out of it but Santana, Berrios, Gibson and ? and ?..If we don't pick someone up I suspect it will be Mejia and Gonsalves.Would be better than Santiago and Colon anyway.

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ... and it's all small stuff.


#23 Dantes929

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 11:03 AM

 

I'll show you where this narrative comes from:

 

That 6-run start you're talking about? That was preceded by a 7-start stretch where he went 5+ innings each game, 6+ in 6 of them, 7 innings in 2, and had quality starts in 5. His final start of the season after that game was also of the quality variety. He lowered his ERA in those games from 5.40 to 4.37 in 50.1 innings before they transitioned him, including that 6-run start you mentioned (he took the mound in that game at 4.03). 

 

He absolutely was pitching well at the time the move to the bullpen was made if you ask me.

Its not just this,which I agree with completely. His 2015 time with the Twins can be written off IMO. He was having a monster year as a starter in the minors until his calf injury. His bad start was probably due to nerves and maybe a little rust since he was brought up pretty quickly after his injury.To me, that 7 game stretch matches with his stuff and command when healthy. Those starts were against, the Cards, the Cubs, the Royals, the Red Sox, the White Sox the Rays and the Jays so not just bottom feeders.

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Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ... and it's all small stuff.


#24 Vanimal46

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 11:07 AM

 

I agree with this also except I don't see Mejia starting in the minors. I think he pitched well enough and did not miss enough time to be penalized such that I think he starts ST as either #4 or #5 on the depth charts depending on whether we get someone else.You could talk me out of it but Santana, Berrios, Gibson and ? and ?..If we don't pick someone up I suspect it will be Mejia and Gonsalves.Would be better than Santiago and Colon anyway.

 

Boy, that doesn't sound like a contending rotation to me. If the Twins don't go after a top of the rotation SP, they better have a boat load of depth. If Mejia and/or Gonsalves fails, they're back to the Adam Wilk's and Tim Melville's of the world. 

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#25 gunnarthor

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 11:22 AM

 

I agree with this also except I don't see Mejia starting in the minors. I think he pitched well enough and did not miss enough time to be penalized such that I think he starts ST as either #4 or #5 on the depth charts depending on whether we get someone else.You could talk me out of it but Santana, Berrios, Gibson and ? and ?..If we don't pick someone up I suspect it will be Mejia and Gonsalves.Would be better than Santiago and Colon anyway.

I think we pick up two pitchers this offsesaon. One in free agency for sure and maybe another in FA or through trade. So opening day it's something like - 

Darvish (sure)

Santana

Berrios

Cole (yep, that'll happen)

Gibson

 

Realistically, it's probably something like Cobb/Lynn and Odrozzi. 


#26 Dantes929

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 11:25 AM

 

Good luck competing with Cleveland, Houston, and the Yankees; not to mention the Dodgers, Cubs, Expos etc. with this rotation in a short series or in one game series

 

They need two pitchers better than Berrios to compete and Santana is not one of them.

 Santana's ERA against Cleveland was 0.38 in 24 innings.2.08 in 13 innings against the Astros. 3.18 against the Yankees in 6 innings.Small sample size?What are the playoffs if not that? Just because Santana did not beat the Yankees does not mean he was not capable of doing so. Aren't we expecting Berrios to get better? Getting to the playoffs is still the challenge. I am ok with Santana or Berrios in a short series.Often all it takes is good luck.Heck, against the Yankees it might have all hinged on a blown 3rd strike call before Gregorius' home run.All of this is debatable. The odds of us getting two top of the rotation guys is less debatable.If Santana is not top of the line then the only top of the line starter out there is Darvish with Arrietta being on the border.What are the odds of getting both of those guys?

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Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ... and it's all small stuff.


#27 Sconnie

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 11:31 AM

(emphasis added). YES YOU ABSOLUTELY CAN.

May Career as starter: 3.85 FIP 4.09 xFIP, .354 BABIP
May 2015 as starter: 3.35 FIP, 3.96 xFIP, .344 BABIP

Yes, his numbers as a reliever are significantly better, but that is true of almost any pitcher, and he pitched as a reliever after another year of development, when he may have been improving somewhat as a starter as well had he stayed in that role.

Compare:

SP A starter year X: 7.88 K/9, 20.3 K%, 1.94 BB/9, 5.0 BB%, .86 HR/9
SP B starter year Y: 8.59 K/9, 22.6 K%, 2.97 BB/9, 7.8 BB%, .93 HR/9

Which would you rather have? It is pretty close, but I'd go with starting pitcher A, because of the significantly lower BB% and very slightly lower HR/9 rate, even despite the lower K rate. But I'll grant that it is debatable.
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SP A is Trevor May as a starter in 2015. SP B is Jose Berrios in 2017.

as a starter, k rate aggregates to more Ks over a season. He’s absolutely more valuable as a starter if he can get healthy and stay healthy.

#28 Dantes929

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 11:40 AM

 

Boy, that doesn't sound like a contending rotation to me. If the Twins don't go after a top of the rotation SP, they better have a boat load of depth. If Mejia and/or Gonsalves fails, they're back to the Adam Wilk's and Tim Melville's of the world. 

No doubt. I can see where the last half dozen years have jaded fans but I am not expecting Gonsalves or Mejia to fail. I am expecting Berrios to get better and May to be good.Doesn't mean I wouldn't like to see Darvish. I would also feel pretty good about Cobb. All seasons depend on guys developing and progressing or just playing well. We saw in 2016 what happens when no one plays well. We saw in 2017 what happens when many of the players do have good seasons.Most rotations have 3 good performers.I don't know which ones they will be but I expect that out of 7 decent options 3 of them will step up and 2 more will be adequate. I can see where the list doesn't comfort people though.I would like them to add one guy. It can make a huge difference.

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ... and it's all small stuff.


#29 Dantes929

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 11:44 AM

 

I think we pick up two pitchers this offsesaon. One in free agency for sure and maybe another in FA or through trade. So opening day it's something like - 

Darvish (sure)

Santana

Berrios

Cole (yep, that'll happen)

Gibson

 

Realistically, it's probably something like Cobb/Lynn and Odrozzi. 

I've said this before but there are just too many teams that want pitching and too few top pitchers for me to think the Twins will land two of them. There is no history of them even landing one. New management gives me some hope that we will add one of the 5 guys you have listed.If you gave me one as a sure thing against the possibility of getting one or more I would bank the sure thing in a heart beat.

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ... and it's all small stuff.


#30 IndianaTwin

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 11:44 AM

I'm not going to get too worked up about who will be in the opening rotation until we have a chance to see how the dust settles with trades and free agents. But long-term, I'd like to see them give May a chance to start. 

 

However, we have to be realistic about his workload for the year. From 2011-13, he threw 149.2+ innings each year. Then he threw 144 innings in 2014, 114.2 in 2015, 46.1 in 2016, and 0 in 2017.

 

So I think you have to approach 2018 with an assumed innings limit. With that decreased workload and coming back from surgery, I don't think there's any way he can be a full-time starter for the entire year. It's hard for me to see him pitching more than perhaps 140 innings. And if he's not going the entire season, it makes more sense to be conservative and back-load the season.

 

What does that look like? Maybe something like about 10 starts of 5 innings and another 15 starts of 6 innings, give or take. So about 25 starts. 

 

Look at the Twins schedule. If they keep four starters on regular rotation, they need a No. 5 on April 11, then not again until April 24, 29, and May 4. Then not again until May 22, just over a quarter of the way through the season.

 

From there, they have a number of off days in June, but not enough to skip starts. But effectively, most starts in June will come on 5 days rest, which could be helpful for a guy coming back from injury. 

 

So my response to May is to say,

  • "You will not make a start until May 22. On the four times we need a No. 5 guy before that, we will make do, perhaps giving Gonsalves, Romero, or Hughes a spot start if need be. Heck, even Duffey could be lengthened for one of those." (That assumes no pickups via trade/free agent. If so, perhaps it's Mejia or Gibson getting those No. 5-guy starts.)
  • "If your rehab goes well, you will start a game on May 22. If our ML rotation has thrived and remains healthy, you will pitch in Rochester. If the more likely scenario of an injury or two has happened, you will start against the Tigers, which is essentially a AAA game anyway."
  • "Assuming you are effective enough to stay in the rotation, your first 10 games or so will be limited to 70-85 pitches, which will take us essentially to the All-Star Break."
  • "Following the break, if you are still healthy enough and effective enough to stay in the rotation, we will up your pitch count to 80-100 pitches for the rest of the year, maxing out when you get to 140 innings. That will get us through the rest of the year. We may need to move you back to the bullpen for the playoffs, which we plan to take part in." 

That's looking at May in a vacuum, but in reality, I think that's what you have to do -- figure out the optimal usage for each individual pitcher and then start at the top, working them into the team context. For example...

  • Santana and Berrios (and Darvish, etc.) pitch every fifth day for the entire season, adjusting as needed.
  • Workload-wise Gibson is in the same boat, though effectiveness is the question.
  • Mejia is not yet ready for 180 innings, but if a top 4 starter is picked up, Mejia might be able to take the early season No. 5-starts and then slide into the full rotation, etc. If you haven't picked up a top-4 starter, the team context probably says that you have to start Mejia in the rotation and start thinking about Plan B for if/when he starts to break done.
  • And you've done the same thing with the minor league guys, starting them in Rochester and starting to move them up as openings occur and as they earn it.
  • And then keep Bartolo's number on speed dial, just in case. :-) Just kidding!!!
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#31 SF Twins Fan

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 12:23 PM

May shouldn't even be in the equation for the start of the season rotation. If I were the Twins I'd let him know that he's going into the season as a starting option so that he prepared to be a starter but I would also let him know that he's probably going to start the season on the DL or in AAA so he can build up his arm strength. The Twins can't afford to waste games at the start of the season with his "try outs".


#32 HitInAPinch

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 12:28 PM

Hi ya'll.Back from a self-imposed sabbatical.  

 

If memory serves, May has a lower back issue.As a RP, he had time to heal.As a SP, the lower back issue was exacerbated, i.e.longer stints throwing.

 

I'm not sure there is a way to fix lower back issues.Especially, if your profession is MLB pitcher.

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#33 Shane Wahl

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 01:57 PM

He had other health issues as a reliever. Hell, relieving might have caused this problem anyway. He should be starting by mid season or so.


#34 BuxtonBandwagon

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Posted 05 December 2017 - 02:57 PM

 

 

I'm not going to get too worked up about who will be in the opening rotation until we have a chance to see how the dust settles with trades and free agents. But long-term, I'd like to see them give May a chance to start. 

 

Great in-depth post here. I love the plan drawn out. As I was reading this I was thinking about how I am expecting the twins will add one pitcher but I am really hoping they're able to add two. One signing and one via trade w/o giving up pitching prospects. Then heading into the year if they have Santana, Berrios, Mejia, Gibson, Romero, Gonsalves, Jorge and two outsider players. Obviously I don't plan on the last three getting a lot of starts, but I feel confident if they need to make a few cuz someone is on the DL.




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