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Shipley: Blackburn aware he might be released

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#1 Parker Hageman

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 04:53 PM

Nick Blackburn's past few years have not gone well at all. Since signing his new contract heading into the 2010 season, he has thrown 408 innings (averaging 136 per season) and has posted a 21-31 record, a 5.56 ERA and a disappointing 186-to-120 strikeouts-to-walks ratio.

In that time, among all MLB starters who threw a minimum of 400 innings, he has allowed the highest amount of home runs per nine innings (1.48), possesses the highest ERA (5.56) and FIP (5.24) while missing the fewest bats (89.5% contact rate). When discussing his future in baseball, Blackburn was acutely aware of what could be in store:

[FONT=Georgia]"I don't think anybody's going to pick me up because of the money I'm owed, but the Twins can't be happy with the way I've performed. I've been terrible," he said. "I'm very aware that I could be released. I'd be upset, but I can't say I'd blame them with the way I've produced since they gave me a very large amount of money."[/FONT]

Terry Ryan made it sound as if the organization was rooting for him to rebound but will not include him in any long term plans:

[FONT=Georgia]"Right now we're going on without him; it's up to him to get back in our good graces," Ryan said. "It's not work ethic, and it's not that he's not a good guy and he's not a good teammate; he's all of the above. Now it's time for him to get the job done on that mound. In fact I'm rooting for him, and not just because we've got a lot invested in him. I'm rooting for him because he's a good guy.[/FONT][FONT=Georgia]"I'd like to see him succeed here. We can use his help. I'm positive that he knows all that; hell, it doesn't take much to look at our pitching situation and realize there is ample opportunity, especially for someone with his experience."[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]If the Twins do indeed cut ties with him prior to spring training, Blackburn's $14 million dollar contract will go down as one of the organization's worst in terms of value received for the salary. Using Fangraphs.com's valuation, Blackburn has provided the team with $1.6 million in value, meaning they "overpaid" by $12.4 million.

The honor for worst contract handed out will remain with Joe Mays. In 2002, the Twins rewarded Mays' 17-13, 3.16 ERA with a four-year, $20 million dollar deal. Injuries and then ineffectiveness led to Mays providing the team with just $4.9 million in value, a net loss of $15.1 million for the Twins.

"You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." -- Jim Bouton, "Ball Four"

#2 darin617


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Posted 22 September 2012 - 05:00 PM

Like he cares. They still have to pay him. Some National League team will take a chance on him.

#3 Mr. Ed

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 05:00 PM

Please,please release him. One less option that this team needs to consider.

#4 twinzgrl


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Posted 22 September 2012 - 05:08 PM

He'll be back in the Twins starting rotation next season based on a good showing in spring training and a complete lack of depth in pitching. I hope I'm wrong.

#5 Lesser Dali

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 05:10 PM

Good guy, bad pitcher, bad contract, and no use to hold out anymore hope. Maybe Blackburn is one of the black clouds that float over this organization. Maybe he now signifies a bad omen for the Twins. The reason the Twins are no good is a small part his fault, but so minute you can barely see it under a microscope. He cannot and should not be given the opportunity to show he is able to prove he can get the job done.

Blackburn is Game Over.

#6 Thegrin


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Posted 22 September 2012 - 06:12 PM

Why release him? We have to pay him anyway. Work with him and hope he finds his mojo.

#7 DaveW


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Posted 22 September 2012 - 09:52 PM

Why release him? We have to pay him anyway. Work with him and hope he finds his mojo.

Yeah there is really no reason to just cut him, its not like the 40 man roster will be over jammed with talent and you can just stash him in AAA and hope he can somehow regain some of his prior form, if not, then he is no worse in your AAA rotation then a Luke French or whatever. My expectations are dead low, but I am still a Blackburn fan, it would be nice to see him contribute at some point in 2013, even if it is just for a spot start or so.

#8 snepp


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Posted 22 September 2012 - 09:59 PM

40 man roster doesn't matter anyway, he doesn't have to be on it.

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#9 Thrylos


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Posted 22 September 2012 - 10:16 PM

OK. For the record (whatever that might be) :

- I do like Nick Blackburn as a person. And in more than one occasions I wrote about his unlikely assent to the majors (he was the guy on the bike then).
- That said, I still do not believe that he belongs to a major league rotation (and I said that since before the Twins signed him to that contract) but he might actually find his way into a pen and be very effective. He never relieved in the majors. I saw him throw 94 as a starter, so he can dial it up (think Perkins, and, sorry Glen, Perkins was a worse pitcher as a starter.)
- Big ahem and political correctness here, but I feel that it is necessary because there were some quotes attributed to Nick. Here is how it goes: Please folks, take these with a huge grain of salt because Nick is a great guy but he is not the sharpest knife on the block. /Done and over and out
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#10 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 10:02 AM

Like he cares. They still have to pay him. Some National League team will take a chance on him.

From what I know of Nick Blackburn from interviews and whatnot, I think he very much cares. No one with a conscience likes to think they're essentially stealing money from their employer.

#11 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 10:04 AM

40 man roster doesn't matter anyway, he doesn't have to be on it.

Nope. No one is going to claim him. The org may as well keep him around in the small chance that he rebounds.

#12 glunn


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Posted 23 September 2012 - 05:02 PM

Since he is already paid for, it seems to me that at the very least he might win a lot of games for the Red Wings.

#13 CDog


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Posted 23 September 2012 - 10:35 PM

Like he cares. They still have to pay him. Some National League team will take a chance on him.

This post says nothing about Nick Blackburn, but screams volumes about the writer.

#14 joeboo_22


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Posted 23 September 2012 - 10:38 PM

I don't get releasing him. He can sit at AAA, or AA, hes not blocking much in the organization and its not like Terry Ryan wouldn't go out and get another similar style reliever and stick him at AAA.

The thing that makes Blackburn's deal worse then Joe May's is that he was under team control for these years. The Twins were bidding against themselves.Blackburn's agent deserves an award ford that contract because even if he would have pitched well during that contract he wasn't going to be getting much more in arbitration.

I disagree with the Glen Perkins comparison/ move him to the pen talk. Perkins is a lefty (more valuable). Plus Perkins has an out pitch. However I wouldn't be against giving it a shot. Can't really hurt much.