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Article: Building A Super Bullpen

fernando rodney trevor hildenberger taylor rogers tyler jay jt chargois
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#21 Taildragger8791

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 12:24 PM

 

One year deals like the Twins have been doing are often just as successful when dealing with the pen. A bullpen is also very easy to supplement at the break - the Nats were a terrible pen team last year but made some moves to supplement that and turned it into a playoff strength - 2.16 ERA. Just because it starts out homegrown doesn't mean it ends homegrown. The Twins have enough fun young arms to throw some things at the wall, see what sticks and then supplement as needed.

 

My concern is we could lose several games in what should be a competitive season while throwing stuff at the wall. And it leaves us with no depth if things go wrong. I'd hope we could be better prepared than that. Let the minor leagues sort out the depth and wall-stickiness and then supplement mid-season with whoever forced their way to the top.

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#22 theJemmer

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 12:37 PM

 

Agree 100%on first two points.If Presley doesn't figure out how to get some movement to go with the high velocity, he'll never be better than he is.Get a 2-seamer that moves?Then he can be lights out.

Jesse Crain-wreck was like that early in his time with the Twins - they changed him to pitch backwards, lead with breaking stuff and finish off with fastballs, and he blossomed


#23 theJemmer

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 12:40 PM

 

In my opinion, a super bullpen also has a requirement that the pitchers be different.Just like players get used to a starting pitchers 2nd and 3rd time through the order, batters will start to get their timing on pitchers who are all similar.So, a bullpen of three hard-throwing right-handers with normal armslots and only sliders as an offspeed pitch, will find it hard to be dominating on a consistent basis.The Yankees had such a good combo because all the pitcher were so different.Betances is a big guy with a power fastball and slider.Robertson is a righty who throws cutters and 12-6 curveballs.Chapman is a lefty with a mega fastball. 

 

I think there's many factors against the Twins making a super bullpen, but they need more variety.Hildenberger has a different armslot, which helps, but has a similar repertoire to Rodney.The Twins don't have any good bullpen arms that can throw in the upper 90's.Ditto for lefty relievers.

Speaking of arm slot, when I watch Chagois I see a shorter Tonkin.Hope he is better.


#24 DocBauer

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 12:40 PM

Nobody wants to keep reciting or hearing the "wait and see" mantra, but it's often the best route to take overall. There are some really good arms on the roster, and the poor/unlucky health issues has to even out at some point.

We've all seen big contracts to solid/average/OK RP quickly look bad. Nothing wrong with additions and augmenting what you have. But you also have to put a little faith in what you have and allow for opportunity. We began to see the benefits of that last season.

That being said, the guy is like to see added is Watson. He and Rogers would give us a really nice 1-2 punch from the port side and buy time for Moya and Jay

"Nice catch Hayes...don't ever f*****g do it again."

 

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#25 mlhouse

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 01:06 PM

The approach is pretty clear.I agree with bringing in Rodney on a one year deal.Then you use the setup men as a competition to see who is going to be the future closer.  

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#26 Philip Burfeind

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 02:03 PM

One year deal for Liriano in the Bull Pen?  

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#27 Vanimal46

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 02:18 PM

The market rates are often awful though. Outside of signing the elite guys like Chapman, Jansen and co., so many of those contracts don't work out, even in the short term. Last year Mike Dunn got 3 years and $19 million and was awful in year 1 , Brad Ziegler and Junichi Tazawa each got 2 years and a combined $28 million from the Marlins to put up ERA+ of 85 and 71 respectively. In 2016, Tony Sipp and Antonio Bastardo were guys lots of people on TD wanted and they have collectively flushed $23 million down the tank.

One year deals like the Twins have been doing are often just as successful when dealing with the pen. A bullpen is also very easy to supplement at the break - the Nats were a terrible pen team last year but made some moves to supplement that and turned it into a playoff strength - 2.16 ERA. Just because it starts out homegrown doesn't mean it ends homegrown. The Twins have enough fun young arms to throw some things at the wall, see what sticks and then supplement as needed.

I'd rather see the Twins spend that money elsewhere. It might even help the pen - if they signed Darvish, for instance, one or more of the long line of starters competing for that spot might move to the pen. That would boost the pen anyways. Guys like May and Mejia might excel in the pen.


I can't argue with those examples being an overpay. A vast majority of middle relievers in FA are being offered 2 year contracts. Even if they're bad for a year, it's short term. The price isn't enough to hinder the Twins' ability to acquire other players.

I'm not comfortable handing MLB jobs to prospects with the concerns each of them have. Keep them as org depth until they force the issue or injury.

Sure, I'd like to see money spent anywhere that helps the 2018 pitching staff. A good rotation can mask an okay bullpen, or vice versa. It all depends if you want to spend cash, or prospects in July.
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#28 gil4

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 04:32 PM

 

One year deal for Liriano in the Bull Pen?  

I wouldn't mind a year or two for him, bullpen or rotation.I could even break out my #57 jersey again.

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#29 savvyspy

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 04:53 PM

The Twins seem to be taking a "Wait & See Approach" to building a below average bullpen. 

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#30 BuxtonBandwagon

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 05:12 PM

 

One year deal for Liriano in the Bull Pen?  

Yes exactly what I was thinking. Even as a starter to begin the year. One year deal would be a great fit.

 

Say we get Darvish and we have Darvish, Santana, Berrios, Liriano, Gibson.

 

Then we can start Mejia in AAA or in the pen. When Liriano struggles a little bit or Mejia lights up AAA move him to the pen.


#31 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 05:28 PM

I wouldn't mind a year or two for him, bullpen or rotation. I could even break out my #57 jersey again.


I thought Frankie was #47 for the Twins?

#32 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 05:29 PM

Well the Twins have a long way to go just to reach passable bullpen. I don't think a super bullpen is in the cards, for 2018 anyway.
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#33 Monkeypaws

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 05:31 PM

 

One year deal for Liriano in the Bull Pen?  

Actually, excellent idea - look at Eckersley.


#34 twins_89

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 05:31 PM

I think a super bullpen is beyond our reach, I'd be ecstatic if we can piece together an average bullpen next season (after having a bullpen with ERAs ranked in the 20s for the last 4 years).

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#35 birdwatcher

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 06:02 PM

 

Maybe.I'd say the forgotten guy is Trevor May, but he'll likely be healthier/better in 2019.

Yeah, he's one for sure.

 

They have plenty of "forgotten" men in May, Hughes, Chargois, and Jay. They have plenty of guys "ready to take the next step" in Hildenberger, Busenitz, Moya, Pressly, Duffey, and others. They have plenty of prospects who are "promising but unproven" like Curtiss, Reed, Kinley, anda half dozen others. They have a bunch of long shots, guys like Hackimer, Vasquez, Jones, and Anderson. They have a few come-back possibilities too, in Pineda, Burdi, and Bard.

 

People have been scoffing at the concept of a "proven closer" for a few years now, but that's precisely what they needed to focus all their attention on in terms of relief help this offseason. Rodney doesn't meet my standard in that regard, and it appears they're choosing to pass on the elite FA relief arms. I think that's a mistake. Maybe a big one too. Different bullpen objective last off-season, but in my view they failed and got away with it last year.

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#36 gman

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 06:18 PM

The Twins will very probably have an 8 man bullpen in 2018, with I think Pressly being the longest tenured member. A 50% or more turnover in the pen over the course of the season because of poor peformance, injury or hopefully pressure from improved minor league pitchers seem reasonable to expect. Since its not very likely they sign even 3 good free agent relievers, nor do they have 3 "known" dominant relievers on the roster, the bulk of the bullpen will be indevelopment stage. In other words, I think wait and see is the story.

 

 


#37 DocBauer

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 08:28 PM

Yeah, he's one for sure.
 
They have plenty of "forgotten" men in May, Hughes, Chargois, and Jay. They have plenty of guys "ready to take the next step" in Hildenberger, Busenitz, Moya, Pressly, Duffey, and others. They have plenty of prospects who are "promising but unproven" like Curtiss, Reed, Kinley, anda half dozen others. They have a bunch of long shots, guys like Hackimer, Vasquez, Jones, and Anderson. They have a few come-back possibilities too, in Pineda, Burdi, and Bard.
 
People have been scoffing at the concept of a "proven closer" for a few years now, but that's precisely what they needed to focus all their attention on in terms of relief help this offseason. Rodney doesn't meet my standard in that regard, and it appears they're choosing to pass on the elite FA relief arms. I think that's a mistake. Maybe a big one too. Different bullpen objective last off-season, but in my view they failed and got away with it last year.


Absolutely love this post right up until the end where I disagree somewhat on the closer situation.

Kintzler was a surprise at the end of 2016 and continued to be one in 2017. Belisle, more or less, stunk early. (Though proof shows a lot of his "bad" was in a few outings). But he found himself and was pretty much just as good as Kintzler once given the closer role. In fact, the bullpen...by the numbers anyway...was much better the second half of the season than the first, without Kintzler, and with the promotion and usage of a couple young guys, and Pressly pitching much better. (That is NOT a knock on Kintzler).

I do not dismiss the role of the closer, though it may be changing somewhat. The modern ML bullpen construction is starting to resemble a batting order, fits, options, tendencies, usage, etc. Rodney has had spurts of Ron Davis syndrome, but come on, this guy has had a very nice career with quality numbers, multiple All Star appearances and still brings it. Because hes not 28 and signed for 5 more years at a steal of a salary he's a bum? Perspective people!

But as I mentioned earlier, and Bird mentions here, there ARE horses in the barn!

Especially for relievers, who often struggle as starters before finding their role in the pen, and then begin in lower leverage situations initially, there is nothing old or dismissive about Duffey, Pressly or Rogers. In fact, they were pretty good for stretches last season. What can another year and a new coach do to help?

Busentiz, and especially Hildenberger got opportunity and ran with it. How much better could they be in 2018?

Curtiss has mad stuff. Reed, Jay and Chargois have as much, or barely lag, and just need some better health-luck to take the next step and are oh-so-close to making a mark. You can't ignore what Moya did in the minors, showed a taste at the ML level, and there are others just behind him, RP or SP who could convert, even initially. Hell, either or both of Burdi and Bard could even be back. Regardless, I just don't feel this pen is at all "dry" of arms, talent and potential. I feel what it needs is a combination of opportunity and experience. The opportunity is there. The talent is there. The potential is there. Rodney absolutely provides production, leadership and a helpful bridge. I think one more really good arm does a lot though. And there a few guys out there to do that.

And I am hoping for at least one more good signing, still looking at Watson at least, but I don't think this bullpen is that far away from being really good.
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"Nice catch Hayes...don't ever f*****g do it again."

 

--Lou Brown


#38 KirbyDome89

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 01:13 AM

 

I can't argue with those examples being an overpay. A vast majority of middle relievers in FA are being offered 2 year contracts. Even if they're bad for a year, it's short term. The price isn't enough to hinder the Twins' ability to acquire other players.

I'm not comfortable handing MLB jobs to prospects with the concerns each of them have. Keep them as org depth until they force the issue or injury.

Sure, I'd like to see money spent anywhere that helps the 2018 pitching staff. A good rotation can mask an okay bullpen, or vice versa. It all depends if you want to spend cash, or prospects in July.

Agreed, they're past the point of "wait and see." The time for that was when they were losing 90+ games a season. I was as vocal as anybody in regards to shedding veterans and seeing what they had in youngarms/bats, but that's a "luxury," a bad team can afford. A team that has real playoff aspirations shouldn't be banking on question marks and unproven players filling out a bullpen or rotation. One or the other in a few spots is acceptable but a rotation and bullpen that are revolving doors don't instill much confidence in a serious playoff run, The new FO seems quicker in some cases to remedy ineffectiveness so I'm ok at this point with younger arms forcing their way into playing time. This core only has a few seasons left before FA. I'd rather not watch the pitching staff burn another one. 

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#39 old nurse

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 06:10 AM

 

It looks good at first glance to throw a list like that out there, but a plan based around that can fall apart in a hurry.

 

Duffey was very inconsistent this year. Chargois isn't and may never be healthy. Moya is largely an unknown. Jake Reed still has control problems. Melotakis was removed from the 40 man roster for a reason. Jay is a health risk and didn't exactly light the AFL on fire. Nick Anderson is a lotto ticket. Rodney is...Rodney. The that leaves you with 4 young unestablished relievers that you're counting on all performing this year, which can quickly fall to 2-3 due to injury or non-performance. And those aren't the kinds of arms you should be taxing when your starter only went 4-5 innings for the 4th time that week.

To fill out the bullpen there wille be Boshers, Pressly. Then there is what a team usually signs. That isthe aging veteran they sign for a couple of million, the aging vets they sign to minor league contracts, the never were that have promise never achieved that they try


#40 beckmt

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 07:56 AM

I agree that the Rodney signing probably took us out of the top tier relievers market.However I am very concerned about the pen, losses in April and May while sorting things out make difficult runs later in the year.Twins have 57 games against teams that are rebuilding in our division, let's take advantage of this and move now to make the playoffs.Pitching wins, and a top flight starting rotation is not in the cards for a few years, bullpen is easier to build, but want a least 1 if not 2 more guys to be here to start than risk a bad couple of months early sortingthe pen out.  

Maybe the new wonder boys in the front office have a plan or know where they are going, but in this case I am in the 'show me' camp. 




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