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Article: Twins Daily Roundtable: Romero's Rotation Spot

fernando romero ervin santana trevor may stephen gonsalves
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#21 slash129

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 06:30 PM

Romero stays in the rotation. Lance Lynn makes this a non-issue with his well below replacement level contributions. If Romero's workload needs to be managed, there are many ways of doing that. The reason it may need be managed is that pitchers who have been injured are the most likely to get injured, not because of the verducci effect.

#22 caninatl04

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 06:53 PM

My problem with a six man rotation is a numbers issue.Six man rotation plus, what, eight man bullpen plus eight position players plus DH plus back up catcher = 24.

 

Maybe someone can explain how increasing the starting rotation would decrease the BP number.

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#23 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 07:23 PM

Romero stays in the rotation. Lance Lynn makes this a non-issue with his well below replacement level contributions. If Romero's workload needs to be managed, there are many ways of doing that. The reason it may need be managed is that pitchers who have been injured are the most likely to get injured, not because of the verducci effect.


Every pitcher in the rotation, except Berrios have been injured.
Lynn, Gibson, Romero have all had TJ, Odorizzi has had back injuries.

Every arm in baseball is a ticking timebomb. I've yet to see evidence that a specific method of managing innings or pitches or anything else changes that.
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#24 FormerMinnasotan

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 07:34 PM

At this point Romero HAS to stay in the rotation. He’s pitched well against very good competition. Now if he falls off and hits a mental wall then sending him back to AAA or putting him in the bullpen makes the most sense. I expect he’ll hit some rough patches, but he has a.the stuff, and b.the mentality to prevent him from losing his confidence to start in the Bigs. If anything Lynn needs to be released or sent to the bullpen. He hasn’t pitched up to his potential and sending him out is expecting to lose that game as he hasn’t shown anything that he’s the pitcher we envisioned when we signed him. Trevor May either has to continue rehabbing in the Minors or accept a bullpen role as of now. To be fair to May he doesn’t have anything right now that screams he’s a better starter than Romero. As with Santana I think once he gets back you have to go with a 6 man or drop the dead weight in the rotation, and for the money that dead weight looks like Lynn. If Romero hits his innings limit so be it, but with each start he has made the case that he belongs in the Minnesota Twins rotation, if the Twins botch this their season might not end up where they want it to, especially since Romero has given the rotation a shot in the arm recently.

#25 Darius

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 07:59 PM

If Romero continues to pitch like this, and they send him down to burn innings in AAA, I'll be convinced that I'm living in some long-con, Truman Show-like "punk'd" prank that the whole world is in on.

I look around me, and I'm nearly certain that's the case. But, that would really be the coffin nail.

#26 Darius

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 08:14 PM

The rotation considering optimal health, IMO, should be: Santana, Berrios, Romero, Gibson, Odorizzi.

May should be eased back in the bullpen this year. Lynn should be thrown out into the pen as well, but I have the feeling they'll give him 1 or 2 more starts then DL him if he can't pull it together. Phil Hughes is cooked, and shouldn't be on the team. It's ridiculous to think that he's returning any value in that 12 million by losing games. Cut bait.

If Santana struggles mightily, which I expect, you have Lynn there with Gonsalves ready for the call as well. I would also use those guys to skip Romero occasionally to keep his innings down. I would rather allocate more of those limited innings to the second half. I'd love to have that card up my sleeve for a 163, Game 1 of a playoff series, wildcard play-in, etc, even if that would be his final start of the year.

Thats the best rotation this team has had in a long, long time.
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#27 Darius

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 08:45 PM

There is no evidence that limiting innings growth prevents injuries.* If he pitches well, he should stay in the rotation.

Unsure about a six man rotation. I'd probably move Lynn to the bullpen, but I wouldn't disagree with a six man rotation if they go that way.

*The verducci effect is bunk. And no, we aren't taking about going from ten innings to two hundred.


I have a really hard time saying it's totally bunk. Just because it hasn't been conclusively proven, does not by any stretch mean it's been debunked. A guy following an incremental innings program blowing his arm isn't proof that it's never been an effective strategy for anyone.

I find it hard to accept that it's not true to some extent. Especially for guys throwing as hard as Romero.

It's like running, or anything else. You have to condition your body over a long period of time. Sure, maybe the act of throwing extra innings in a vacuum isn't a precursor to injury. But, if your body isn't conditioned for that load, you compensate, which opens you up for injury elsewhere. For example, if you're not feeling 100%, and may not get the explosion off the mound you normally would, you may try and horse you're way through the delivery with your back/shoulder/arm a little more.

There's just no way of knowing "it's bunk." People point to past, and to the higher number of blowouts now, but it wasn't the same back in those days. Pitchers didn't throw as hard, didn't throw as much in the offseason in a lot of cases, weren't as muscular and were more flexible, etc. It's nearly apples to oranges.

I'm not a proponent of of shutting him down at say, 150 innings. However, considering his upside and potential long-term value, I wouldn't be comfortable ramping him up to 200+ innings this year.
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#28 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 08:53 PM

I have a really hard time saying it's totally bunk. Just because it hasn't been conclusively proven, does not by any stretch mean it's been debunked. A guy following an incremental innings program blowing his arm isn't proof that it's never been an effective strategy for anyone.

I find it hard to accept that it's not true to some extent. Especially for guys throwing as hard as Romero.

It's like running, or anything else. You have to condition your body over a long period of time. Sure, maybe the act of throwing extra innings in a vacuum isn't a precursor to injury. But, if your body isn't conditioned for that load, you compensate, which opens you up for injury elsewhere. For example, if you're not feeling 100%, and may not get the explosion off the mound you normally would, you may try and horse you're way through the delivery with your back/shoulder/arm a little more.

There's just no way of knowing "it's bunk." People point to past, and to the higher number of blowouts now, but it wasn't the same back in those days. Pitchers didn't throw as hard, didn't throw as much in the offseason in a lot of cases, weren't as muscular and were more flexible, etc. It's nearly apples to oranges.

I'm not a proponent of of shutting him down at say, 150 innings. However, considering his upside and potential long-term value, I wouldn't be comfortable ramping him up to 200+ innings this year.


I don't think anyone is or would argue against your main point there. Mike is arguing against an arbitrary number, with no thought given to other variables - aside from, he threw x innings last year, so he has to only throw y innings this year.

And Romero would have to make 29 MORE starts this year to get to 200 total innings. That ain't happening, obviously.

#29 Riverbrian

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 09:05 PM

 

Pretty lame how many didn't answer the question by saying "Something will happen next two weeks to make the decision for you."

Even if that's true, answer the dang question. What do you do if they're all healthy? I only heard two good ideas:

 

1.) Lynn to the pen. He knows he has two weeks, if not he's pen bound.

2.) Six man rotation. This maybe makes you cut Hughes but that's something you might just have to do.

 

But overall, answer the question.

 

 

The question was: “What should happen to Fernando Romero when Ervin Santana returns?

 

Well... The latest estimates are Mid-June for Ervin. This makes it an extremely easy can to kick down that road. 

 

But if you want an answer? Based on what is going on right now on May 16: 

 

It's pretty easy... 4 guys are locked and ain't going anywhere. Romero, Berrios, Odorizzi and Gibson are pitching well. So the choice comes down to Lynn and Santana and the way Lynn is pitching... it isn't much of a choice. 

 

May hasn't pitched in awhile and he has an option so you can extend your look at him in the minors to gauge how helpful he might be later when we need him. 

 

Santana is the guy that gets the last spot because Lynn is struggling hard. So... you drop Lynn into the pen and you cut loose Magill even though he would not deserve it. You would certainly be obligated to cut Magill with a sincere apology note and a strong letter of recommendation. 

 

Everyone is focused on the rotation but I think the 40 Man Roster space is going to be the bigger issue. You can move an arm into the bullpen to relieve the rotation pressure but who do you cut to make room May and Santana.  

 

Castro can go on the 60 day and this will allow May to be rostered. For Santana to be moved off the 60 and reinstated, someone has to go and there isn't an easy cut right now. Magill is the only guy you would consider setting free and that is real tough break for him because he is pitching like he wants to stay. 

 

Now... If you want the question answered with predictions of what the landscape will look like a month from now: What do you do between Santana and Romero based on the predicted landscape? I predict that someone will be placed on the D.L and both Santana and Romero will be in the rotation. :)

 

 

 

 

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#30 DocBauer

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 10:31 PM

First, this is a tremendous addition to TD! Can't believe it wasn't suggested before, unless I missed it somewhere.

I agree with the consensus that these things tend to work themselves out because ultimately SOMEONE gets injured and needs a DL stint. But ultimately, Romero is absolutely in the rotation. And I get the various IP arguements...and I spoke about this in another thread a week ago, somewhere, lol...but it still has to be a consideration. Now that the tsunami/winter apocalypse that would never end seems to have ended there will probably be at least a game or two PPD, plus the All Star break, not to mention September roster expansion for Romero to skip a start or two.

Can we be honest for a moment? It doesn't necessarily change his IP, but as talented as he is, Romero could hit a rough stretch which demands a return to Rochester to right himself. Hope it doesn't happen, but it's a real possibility.

Unless his finger injury is just some tremdous handicap, come on, Santana is a fine pitcher. He, Berrios, Romero, Gibson and Odorizzi is your rotation. May has time and options on his side, and the Twins side. Lynn....i just don't know right now. But right now, trade or release or bullpen, he's the od man out.

Sorry to be insensitive, but Hughes should have already been gone, freeing up a spot for someone else who can actually get guys out.

Liked the Lynn signing. Think most of us did. But Romero has arrived, or at least partially so, TBD. Santana will be back. Slegers, May, Gonsalves and Littrell wait in the wings. There is just no room for him, soon.

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#31 Dantes929

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 10:58 PM

 

I have a really hard time saying it's totally bunk. Just because it hasn't been conclusively proven, does not by any stretch mean it's been debunked. A guy following an incremental innings program blowing his arm isn't proof that it's never been an effective strategy for anyone.

I find it hard to accept that it's not true to some extent. Especially for guys throwing as hard as Romero.

It's like running, or anything else. You have to condition your body over a long period of time. Sure, maybe the act of throwing extra innings in a vacuum isn't a precursor to injury. But, if your body isn't conditioned for that load, you compensate, which opens you up for injury elsewhere. 
 

But for running or anything else you don't build up and then shut down. To train for a marathon you don't build up to run 5 miles by July and then shut down until the end of the year and then next year build up to 10 miles by June and then shut down until the following year and then to 15 the following year and so on.  Ok, I don't run so maybe you actually do it that way but I am guessing not. If you say a pitcher needs to condition his arm or body over a long period of time with regards to throwing a 100 pitches or more I would think that is reasonable. Maybe the problem is the incremental increases in pitches or innings thrown inSpring Training from start to start is too high. Maybe optimally Romero is only throwing 70 pitches per start by this point and only builds to 100 by mid June.  I don't know what is optimal but that is the part I agree with you in terms of the need to condition the body. 

 

 " For example, if you're not feeling 100%, and may not get the explosion off the mound you normally would, you may try and horse you're way through the delivery with your back/shoulder/arm a little more."   

 

I agree with this completely and alluded to it in an earlier post. This is the part that should be monitored and has little to do with innings accumulated in a given year. It might happen after building up to 20 pitches or 80 pitches. It might happen after 50 innings or 150 innings. If a pitcher is doing this that is the time to skip a start and work on mechanics or just give the arm a rest for a few days. Not the time to shut them down completely.

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#32 IndianaTwin

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 11:10 PM

First, I like the premise of this new series. I think it has the potential for some great discussions.


Second, I wrote a lot of this in today’s game recap thread, but it may fit better here.


A lot of the responses above use the “cut Hughes” language. Sorry, but I’m not ready to give up on him.


He’s retired 10 of 12 in his four one-inning stints in the pen, and thrown the vast majority of his pitches for strikes after less than 60 percent for strikes as a starter. Two strikeouts and no walks. The first two games were the ninth inning in blowouts, but Monday was the first time he was tested in a game that was still in the balance. He succeeded, getting three outs on nine pitches with the team down just 1-0 in the ninth. He had a strikeout and two weakly hit balls.


It’s true that the two batters he hasn’t retired in relief have each hit homers. But they were each solo, because he hadn’t allowed any other runners. Overall, I think he was probably able to leave each of the four outings with a sense that he had taken at least a small step forward.


Those are the incremental steps toward getting the confidence of your manager. I think he’ll get a few more outings in low-leverage situations, but if he is able to continue progressing, I could see him moving into the mix.


But to the original question, I think the bigger issue at this point is how much longer they can afford to run Lynn out there every five days. Most of the posts have also focused on the Santana question, rather than the May question. But May threw 58 pitches on the 12th — is he scheduled to go tomorrow night? Whenever he goes, I assume the goal is 75 pitches or so.


This front office has seemed to operate by making their decisions at the last possible minute. Witness the way they played day-by-day on when they actually had to roll out Hughes as a starter amidst the postponements. We didn’t have large amounts of lead time on the fact that Romero was going to get a start.


Put all those pieces together, and I could see the following. Lynn pitched today and May potentially tomorrow? With a Twins off day tomorrow, Lynn and May are essentially on the same scale. Eventually optioning May is a legit possibility, and I could see wisdom in that, but if May pitches well in the next two rehab starts and Lynn struggles (again) next Tuesday, I could also see making the switch to May on the 28th when he is eligible and Lynn’s turn comes around.


In other words, one more guaranteed start for Lynn. If he pitches well on the 22nd, he gets to stay around. If not, May on the 28th.


Then what do you do with Lynn? The optimist in me says that I think Hughes can work his way into the legit bullpen options group by then. The realist in me says that someone is going to get hurt or pitch their way back to Rochester. Either way, Lynn slots into the current Hughes role, seeking to regain his effectiveness in low-leverage situations. He wouldn’t be the first starter forced to make that transition. And if Hughes and Lynn could both actually make that transition, that has the makings of a deep pen!


Now back to the original question. If from the mix of Romero, Berrios, Odorizzi, Gibson, Lynn, and May, there are five that are pitching effectively, add Santana and go to six. If not, Santana replaces the fifth most effective.


If Romero isn’t among the top four, send him back to Rochester for a few starts and to protect innings, with the possibility of coming back as a starter if needed, or as reliever if not, since 150ish innings is likely the limit.


(And by the way, if somehow they get through a six-man rotation for a few turns and all are effective, that sounds like a trade brewing, with either Odorizzi or Lynn hitting the road for prospects.)


Finally, let’s remember that all of these options are better than last year’s choices!

Edited by IndianaTwin, 16 May 2018 - 11:13 PM.

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#33 launchingthrees

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 01:20 AM

I'd really hate to straight up drop a 29 year old with a 3.4 career era but Lynn has been that bad. I don't see any other option.


#34 jokin

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 03:03 AM

 

If Santana struggles mightily, which I expect,

 

Is there any evidence to suggest this as the most likely outcome for Santana?

 

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#35 TL

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 04:23 AM

Setting aside risk of injury for a moment the questions becomes one of effectiveness. I think you need to keep Romero’s innings low to make sure his arm is not fatigued come Sept/Oct. Really like the idea of piggybacking him with May initially, and then perhaps Santana does the same with Berrios for a while. After the all star break you can reassess and hopefully young and previously injured guys are ready for the stretch run. Interesting question whether that is a better strategy for keeping a guy fresh versus skipping a turn in the rotation now and then.

#36 Don Walcott

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 04:39 AM

Why would innings be used to measure a pitcher’s work load? Why not pitch count? Some innings are 30 pitches and some are 10. Why would they be considered the same work load? Some guys need 100 pitches to get through 5 innings, while others get through 7. Is the more efficient pitcher putting more stress on his arm by getting more outs per pitch?

Edited by Don Walcott, 17 May 2018 - 04:40 AM.


#37 Platoon

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 04:54 AM

Since the question was based on who goes in the event nothing else changes, it would most likely be Magill. If it's not him it will probably be Romero. If its not Magill you have Lynn and Hughes in the pen, and Molitor will truly burn up the front end of the pen. Btw, kudos to the poster who pointed out the bad math trying to get by with a 6 man rotation. You still need the same size BP, and then your bench is really short.
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#38 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 05:26 AM

Is there any evidence to suggest this as the most likely outcome for Santana?


Most likely outcome? Probably not. I believe he was giving his opinion.
I share that opinion.
Why? Surgery to the most important finger on his pitching hand. When the surgery was announced I said I didn't think he'd ever be the same pitcher again, as I think he'll struggle to find his feel for the slider.
As we're seeing with Lance Lynn (who was almost equally as bad last year, just extremely lucky- hence the lack of offers), some pitchers just aren't the same following major surgery.

#39 Penthang

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 06:08 AM

It seems like everyone is so ready to bail on Hughes and put Lynn in his bullpen spot. Lynn’s ERA is almos a whole run worse than Hughes, and his WHIP is 2.04 to Hughes at 1.45 … so which one do you dump first. I’m not saying that right now either of them have a spot on a competitive team but please don’t replace bad with worse. Santana to the rotation, May to the bullpen if a rotation spot doesn’t present itself, 4 inning starts for Romero every other time out piggy backed with May and dump the dreck. Rogers may also be a replacement candidate and Gonsalves is looking good and could also spot start if Romero needs to skip a start or two along the way.

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#40 jokin

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 06:57 AM

 

Most likely outcome? Probably not. I believe he was giving his opinion.
I share that opinion.
Why? Surgery to the most important finger on his pitching hand. When the surgery was announced I said I didn't think he'd ever be the same pitcher again, as I think he'll struggle to find his feel for the slider.
As we're seeing with Lance Lynn (who was almost equally as bad last year, just extremely lucky- hence the lack of offers), some pitchers just aren't the same following major surgery.

 

This is from an article written by Doctor of Physical Therapy, Lucas Seehafer, shortly after Santana's surgery in February:

 

 

All things considered, an MCP release with debridement is a pretty straightforward procedure and one that Santana should bounce back from. The healing process is rather long, but as long as full range of motion is returned, there shouldn’t be many, if any, lingering effects.

 

He doesn't seem to concur your Santana-career-threatening concerns. Are other journalists leaning your guys' way, I haven't heard of any to this point.

 

Joyous, fact-based and tireless Twins fan for 40+ years, who unfortunately has been characterized as-

 

"forcing Twins fans to endure more bitter, baseless, and tiresome cheap shots about the Twins FO."




Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: fernando romero, ervin santana, trevor may, stephen gonsalves