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Article: Twins Option Five, Provide Clarity To Starting Staffs

stephen gonsalves adalberto mejia fernando romero john curtiss aaron slegers
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#41 FormerMinnasotan

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 01:53 PM

I don't get the Romero placement. He threw 125 innings last year at AA and was the best pitcher there outside of his last 3 starts where he was pushing well past his previous innings limit. To me it is just another indication that this FO doesn't value high upside as much as they do stability. That is very disappointing to me.

To me not pushing Romero to AAA shows a lack of trust that Romero has indeed improved over Spring Training from last year. Also there a quite a few organizational “fillers” in Rochester (Enns, Jaye, Jorge, Slegers) I mean 1 or more of those pitchers could be moved to the bullpen as it’s not nessisary to have that many organizational “fillers” in the rotation in Rochester. Also I thought by mid July last year that Romero had done enough to warrant a promotion to Rochester it was silly to watch how slow the FO was about this, in fact I thought they took too long to promote Gonsalves and should have promoted Romero (to AAA) and Thorpe (to AA) as well. And as for wanting Romero to develop his change and improve his slider well there have been reports out that part of Romero’s successs this Spring Training is from not over throwing his fastball, and use of better mechanics, an improved slider and change. I get being conservative with a player if they aren’t close to being ready for the Bigs. But from all I have heard Romero is much further along than they’d want to admit.

#42 caninatl04

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 02:40 PM

For the first time in numerous years the free agent acquisitions for the major League rotation allows for flexibility in the minor leagues.Its nice that at least ten pitching prospects can spend some time in the high (AA and AAA) minors to either a) stretch out and / or B) work on pitches.

 

On the one hand, there will be a need for starters in 2019.For example, Lynn's contract is only one year.On the other hand, what? there is a problem that the Twins have too many MLB starting pitchers?

 

The original article was great.Maybe I'm lazy (ok, I am certainly lazy), but maybe an update would include ages.

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#43 Dave The Dastardly

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 03:57 PM

 

For the first time in numerous years the free agent acquisitions for the major League rotation allows for flexibility in the minor leagues.Its nice that at least ten pitching prospects can spend some time in the high (AA and AAA) minors to either a) stretch out and / or :cool: work on pitches.

 

On the one hand, there will be a need for starters in 2019.For example, Lynn's contract is only one year.On the other hand, what? there is a problem that the Twins have too many MLB starting pitchers?

 

The original article was great.Maybe I'm lazy (ok, I am certainly lazy), but maybe an update would include ages.

"I'm glad I ain't afraid to be lazy." Augustus McCrae - Lonesome Dove

 

You could add me to the same fearless crowd.

 

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#44 DocBauer

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 04:33 PM

To me not pushing Romero to AAA shows a lack of trust that Romero has indeed improved over Spring Training from last year. Also there a quite a few organizational “fillers” in Rochester (Enns, Jaye, Jorge, Slegers) I mean 1 or more of those pitchers could be moved to the bullpen as it’s not nessisary to have that many organizational “fillers” in the rotation in Rochester. Also I thought by mid July last year that Romero had done enough to warrant a promotion to Rochester it was silly to watch how slow the FO was about this, in fact I thought they took too long to promote Gonsalves and should have promoted Romero (to AAA) and Thorpe (to AA) as well. And as for wanting Romero to develop his change and improve his slider well there have been reports out that part of Romero’s successs this Spring Training is from not over throwing his fastball, and use of better mechanics, an improved slider and change. I get being conservative with a player if they aren’t close to being ready for the Bigs. But from all I have heard Romero is much further along than they’d want to admit.


I am going to have to disagree somewhat, FM, even though I also commented about some of this on page 1. Just like the ML team, milb teams have guys hurt and banged up. Not uncommon to have a guy or two begin the season on the DL. In that case, you do need "filler" pieces. Jaye is one of those. Slegers and Jorge are not. Slegers may not be special, but he's a legitimate back of the rotation possibility. Jorge is as well, though could be better if he really gets a 3rd pitch down. At worst, he might be a nice bullpen arm. Enns is debatable, IMO. LH and breathing and newly acquired, you give him some time to see for sure what you have.

I'm disappointed in Romero beginning in AA, to be sure. But there is a bit of a numbers crunch, to begin the year at least, and he seemed to work well with the pitching coach there. I bet he's up in a month or so.
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#45 jorgenswest

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 06:28 PM

Rochester got hammered by weather early last year. I think they had something like 6 postponements in the first month. Romero in AA is much more likely to get regular work and be ready if needed early.

Edited by jorgenswest, 14 March 2018 - 06:28 PM.

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#46 Carole Keller

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 06:54 PM

I don't mean to brag or anything, but...I'm so excited about being just a couple hours away from Chattanooga! I'll be making it a point early on this season to catch a few of these guys pitch this year.


You should take all the AA pitchers in Adopt-a-Prospect! ;)
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#47 IndianaTwin

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 07:20 PM

I like Romero in AA to start the season. He had a good year there last year, but I don’t think of it as dominant. WHIP of 1.35 and K/BB of 2.66. Good numbers both, but not outlandish. Innings will also be a factor after 0 in 2015, 90 in 2016 and 125 in 2017.

I could see a progression that shoots for about 160. Perhaps something like this:

10 starts in Chattanooga. That gets you to somewhere around 60 innings around May 17. By that time, at least two of the following will happen in Minnesota or Rochester:
*Hughes proves that he doesn’t belong in the rotation.
*Santana is not yet healthy.
*Gibson proves that he doesn’t belong in the rotation.
*Somebody in the Twins rotation gets hurt.
*Somebody in the Rochester rotation gets hurt.

That opens at least one spot in Rochester. If Romero has indeed proven he deserves it, and there’s every reason to think he will, he gets promoted. Then 15 starts there, averaging 5 innings, gets to 135 for the year and somewhere around Aug. 7. If he gets skipped a time or two in either location or if they use a 6-man rotation for any time, the date is a little later.

And by then, if he’s earned it, he joins the Twins bullpen for the final six weeks (or after roster expansion on Sept. 1) for the final 25 innings or so of relief work.

Edited by IndianaTwin, 14 March 2018 - 07:32 PM.

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#48 IndianaTwin

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 07:25 PM

While we’re at it, I’m not the first to suggest Romero ending the season in the Twins bullpen, but I haven’t seen the same suggestion about Gonsalves. His innings count is 134, 140, and 110 over the past three years. That doesn’t sound like a jump much past 160 or so either. So if 25 starts gets him to around 140 innings or so by mid-August, he too could get some seasoning with a few weeks totaling 20+ in the Twins pen.

And during the time in Rochester, he would be a nice candidate for bringing up as the 26th man for any doubleheaders, just to get his feet wet. That is, unless Mejia is still down, in which case he seems the obvious person to bring up instead.

Edited by IndianaTwin, 14 March 2018 - 07:34 PM.


#49 spycake

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 09:08 PM

Rochester got hammered by weather early last year. I think they had something like 6 postponements in the first month. Romero in AA is much more likely to get regular work and be ready if needed early.


I'm not sure how extra rain last April would mean extra rain is more likely this April.

In any case, with his innings limit, Romero doesn't need to be on any strict 5 day schedule for his 1st month in the minors this year. 1 start every 7 days or so would be best, to potentially lengthen his season later. You could shorten that up just before a potential MLB promotion.

#50 Oxtung

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 11:01 PM

 

I like Romero in AA to start the season. He had a good year there last year, but I don’t think of it as dominant. WHIP of 1.35 and K/BB of 2.66. Good numbers both, but not outlandish. Innings will also be a factor after 0 in 2015, 90 in 2016 and 125 in 2017.

I could see a progression that shoots for about 160. Perhaps something like this:

10 starts in Chattanooga. That gets you to somewhere around 60 innings around May 17. By that time, at least two of the following will happen in Minnesota or Rochester:
*Hughes proves that he doesn’t belong in the rotation.
*Santana is not yet healthy.
*Gibson proves that he doesn’t belong in the rotation.
*Somebody in the Twins rotation gets hurt.
*Somebody in the Rochester rotation gets hurt.

That opens at least one spot in Rochester. If Romero has indeed proven he deserves it, and there’s every reason to think he will, he gets promoted. Then 15 starts there, averaging 5 innings, gets to 135 for the year and somewhere around Aug. 7. If he gets skipped a time or two in either location or if they use a 6-man rotation for any time, the date is a little later.

And by then, if he’s earned it, he joins the Twins bullpen for the final six weeks (or after roster expansion on Sept. 1) for the final 25 innings or so of relief work.

He struggled in his last three games, innings 111-125, which isn't too surprising since his previous high was 90 innings pitched. 

 

Before he got tired, he was the most dominant starting pitcher in the Twins organization above Elizabethton.

 

111IP 2.60ERA 3.3BB/9 9.3K/9 3HR .631OPS 54%GB .316BABIP

 

An elite ground ball rate, an above average strikeout rate and he threw more innings than Gonsalves last year. Those numbers are right in line with what he threw in rookie ball, low A and high A, too. In addition the scouting reports agree he has front of the rotation potential, which nobody else has in the organization, excluding Graterol.

 

Maybe he isn't ready for the Twins yet, I can accept that. I don't get why he is starting at AA though. Nobody has his combination of stuff, stats and scouting. Not Gonsalves, Slegers, Jorge. Certainly not Jaye or Enns. The Twins have worked hard to rebuild their pitching depth, they aren't going to bypass the guys at AAA to dip down for Romero. By starting him at AA it means he is behind most of the AAA starters on the depth chart currently. That is wrong.

 

Bruce Wayne doesn't take the Toyota Corolla to the party when the Lamborghini is ready to go.

Edited by Oxtung, 14 March 2018 - 11:02 PM.


#51 Original Whizzinator

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 04:04 AM

Weren't people worried about berrios in AA too long? Then he was arguably brought up too soon and struggled mightily. Some have said that a guy with a lesser make up might have been ruined. Who knows? I don't think anybody can say for sure yet this FO is slow with anything. Romero's going to get his chance, maybe this year, I hope he's ready. One thing I would wager is he will struggle some when he gets the call and he isn't someone who should or could be counted on to help in a pennant race this year.
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#52 IndianaTwin

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 05:23 AM

 

Weren't people worried about berrios in AA too long? Then he was arguably brought up too soon and struggled mightily. Some have said that a guy with a lesser make up might have been ruined. Who knows? I don't think anybody can say for sure yet this FO is slow with anything. Romero's going to get his chance, maybe this year, I hope he's ready. One thing I would wager is he will struggle some when he gets the call and he isn't someone who should or could be counted on to help in a pennant race this year.

 

Yeah, the way I could see him contributing in a pennant race is by helping keep the higher-leverage guys fresh. Maybe he gets the 8th inning when the team's down by three or the eighth and ninth when up by four, etc. Not quite mop-up, but those games when the win probability is 80-90 percent either way. 

Edited by IndianaTwin, 15 March 2018 - 05:23 AM.


#53 spycake

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 06:01 AM

Maybe he isn't ready for the Twins yet, I can accept that. I don't get why he is starting at AA though. Nobody has his combination of stuff, stats and scouting. Not Gonsalves, Slegers, Jorge. Certainly not Jaye or Enns. The Twins have worked hard to rebuild their pitching depth, they aren't going to bypass the guys at AAA to dip down for Romero. By starting him at AA it means he is behind most of the AAA starters on the depth chart currently. That is wrong.

Bruce Wayne doesn't take the Toyota Corolla to the party when the Lamborghini is ready to go.

I get that concern too. They have dipped down to AA for position players before, but that's a different beast than SP. Jorge was basically a desperation move last year, after we trotted out some of our worst starters, and before we added Littel and Enns and promoted Gonsalves to AAA. (And now demoted Mejia to AAA.)

Edited by spycake, 15 March 2018 - 06:01 AM.


#54 IndianaTwin

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 06:24 AM

 

He struggled in his last three games, innings 111-125, which isn't too surprising since his previous high was 90 innings pitched. 

 

Before he got tired, he was the most dominant starting pitcher in the Twins organization above Elizabethton.

 

111IP 2.60ERA 3.3BB/9 9.3K/9 3HR .631OPS 54%GB .316BABIP

 

An elite ground ball rate, an above average strikeout rate and he threw more innings than Gonsalves last year. Those numbers are right in line with what he threw in rookie ball, low A and high A, too. In addition the scouting reports agree he has front of the rotation potential, which nobody else has in the organization, excluding Graterol.

 

Maybe he isn't ready for the Twins yet, I can accept that. I don't get why he is starting at AA though. Nobody has his combination of stuff, stats and scouting. Not Gonsalves, Slegers, Jorge. Certainly not Jaye or Enns. The Twins have worked hard to rebuild their pitching depth, they aren't going to bypass the guys at AAA to dip down for Romero. By starting him at AA it means he is behind most of the AAA starters on the depth chart currently. That is wrong.

 

Bruce Wayne doesn't take the Toyota Corolla to the party when the Lamborghini is ready to go.

 

Thanks for the context in giving the stat line before those last starts. That's a helpful distinction, though it may also add fuel to the notion that they don't want to rush him. It's easier to manage innings in the minors. 

 

But while Bruce Wayne might want to take the Lamborghini, he shouldn't take it if the airbags and seat belts aren't installed. And it's going to take an entire fleet to get the team from here to there on a consistent basis, so I don't want to put all the gas in the Lamborghini while not doing the oil changes on the Corollas or letting them rust. Some others have mentioned the good work that the pitching coach in AA has done with Romero, so perhaps they'd also like the next month or so to finish the paint job and install the fuzzy dice on the Lamborghini (This metaphor is going to, uh, break down somewhere, I know!) 

 

Point being, with the number of innings Jorge, Gonsalves, and Slegers have at AA (all 160+) and AAA/MLB (all have at least some experience there, with Slegers at 160+) and their ages, I suspect all will get a shot before Romero, no matter whether Romero starts at AA or AAA. Probably Enns too, given that he's pushing 160 IP in AAA and is someone they traded for. Jaye seems the definition of AAA depth.

 

I'm not saying Romero couldn't start at AAA. I'm also not saying that a best-case scenario doesn't speed up what I suggested a couple posts ago. I just think that what I described may be the most likely scenario for him (and more importantly, the entire team) to succeed. I wouldn't want to put all the eggs in his basket while not taking into account that the other guys I mentioned have a significant chance of succeeding at some level, and some of them (most notably Gonsalves and Jorge) have a reasonably high ceiling, even if not as high as Romero. 

 

Romero's progression is important, but it has to be looked at in context. Between Mejia, Gonsalves, Jorge, Enns, and Slegers, which would you send to AA to make room for him in Rochester? (And keep in mind that May isn't on this list anywhere.) 


#55 spycake

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 06:57 AM

I've posted this elsewhere, but I like the McCullers 2015 plan for Romero, giving us the option of keeping him starting in Minnesota through September and hopefully into October (assuming he performs, of course):

https://www.baseball...e=pgl&year=2015

#56 Doctor Wu

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 07:15 AM

There is always a lot of uncertainly during the course of the season. Poor performances combined with injuries, creates the need for calling up replacements. But after what looks like several astute signings this off-season, I just hope there isn't as much need to call up so many arms from the minors (or elsewhere, like picking up castoffs like Colon) during the season ... at least at not as much as last year. The body count got a bit ridiculous by late summer (okay, those 26-man double headers helped to increase the count also, but still ...). Hoping that guys like Romero, Gonsalves, and Thorpe thrive in the minors this season and are ready to contribute to the big league club in 2019.


#57 FormerMinnasotan

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 07:54 AM

The problem I have with Romero in AA is there is nothing indicating that the Twins FO will be aggressive in promoting Romero. I mean look to last year, Stephen Gonsalves pitched MOST of last year in AA even after dominating AA the year before. It’s that over cautious, conservative mindset that has me doubting that Romero will be moved faster this year. Let’s be honest, as long as he’s healthy this year the goal should be for Romero to start next year as a part of the Twins rotation. For that to happen he should get at least some cameo time for the Twins this year, how will that be possible if he burns most of his innings in AA he’s not going to pitch at all for the Twins. From what I have seen, it is rare that the Twins call up a AAer to pitch for the Twins.

#58 gunnarthor

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 08:11 AM

 

The problem I have with Romero in AA is there is nothing indicating that the Twins FO will be aggressive in promoting Romero. I mean look to last year, Stephen Gonsalves pitched MOST of last year in AA even after dominating AA the year before. It’s that over cautious, conservative mindset that has me doubting that Romero will be moved faster this year. Let’s be honest, as long as he’s healthy this year the goal should be for Romero to start next year as a part of the Twins rotation. For that to happen he should get at least some cameo time for the Twins this year, how will that be possible if he burns most of his innings in AA he’s not going to pitch at all for the Twins. From what I have seen, it is rare that the Twins call up a AAer to pitch for the Twins.

I'm not sure Gonsalves is quite a fair comp here. Gonsalves started the year with shoulder soreness and didn't pitch until the end of May. Gonsalves and Romero are also different stuff-wise. Romero is the better pitcher who might move more rapidly (like Berrios). I'm not convinced that Gonsalves will make the majors ahead of Romero despite being at AAA.

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