I agree with this, but then this is true for all teams.If Aroldis Chapman goes down, the Yankees playoff odds would take a massive hit. I'm not sure the Bosox would have won the World Series last year without Kimbrel.The Astos would probably have a few more losses if it weren't for Pressly.
Otherwise, in general, when I looked this up before, playoff teams on average need around 30 starts from outside of their top 5 pitchers.Basically, they need to plan for functionally a full season's worth of starts going to another pitcher.Another way to look at that is that if you need MORE than one season's worth of starts outside of your top five, you are statistically very unlikely to make it into the playoffs.I mean, what team can withstand trying to replace two of their opening day rotation pitchers?
As such, my priority is for the twins to patch their current holes, have a contingency plan or two for key positions, and then plan for health, because if you aren't healthy you aren't winning it all anyway.
What you say is true if teams allow it to be true. I'm too far gone on the depth kick to change now.
The Yankees for example... if they lost Chapman... Still have Britton, Ottovino, Kahnle, Green and Betances if healthy to pick up the slack. The Twins if they lose Rogers... They have Parker, May, Harper and ???
Speaking of Betances... the Yankees are an example of what I'm talking about. Take a look at their DL... they are building an entire new wing on the hospital to house the patients.
5 Starters on the DL. Paxton, Sabathia, Severino, Montgomery and Loaisiga. They have a rotation of 3 currently and are relying on 40% bullpen games just to get through and it's working because they have that bullpen that can absorb the loss of Betances and the loss of Chapman if it should happen. It ain't much better with the position players either. Judge, Stanton, Gregorious, Andujar, Bird, Tulowitski and Ellsbury are all on the DL.
The Yankees have a current record of 32-17. It's a myth that you have to die when injuries occur. Depth can keep you alive but you have to prepare for the possibility by committing to depth and creating it.
I don't doubt your research and I appreciate and respect the points you are making but the times are changing and baseball has been locked into a 5 man rotation come hell or high water for decades now and I'm not sure if that traditional model applies anymore.
The Dodgers reached the World Series when every single one of their starters spent significant time on the DL.
The Brewers almost reached the World Series with one starter and a damn good bullpen.
The 2018 and 2019 Rays are an example that can't be discounted.
There are new ways to skin a cat.
Pressly has been awesome this year... But the Astros also have Osuna, Rondon, Harris, Devenski, James and Valdez.
The Red Sox... it is not my intention to diminish the value or talent of Kimbrel... I'd be all smiles if the Twins signed him but... when you say "I'm not sure that the Red Sox would win the series without Kimbrel". You are placing a lot of value on someone who threw 10.2 innings in the playoffs and coughed up 7 runs. I'd be more inclined to make that statement and apply it to Eovaldi or Steve Pearce who the Red Sox picked up at bargain prices at the trade deadline.
In total... I'm more inclined to say that the Red Sox made the playoffs and won the World Series because they had depth.
14 Position players made significant contributions during the regular season.
8 starters started more than 10 games... 6 were above average... 1 was average and 1 was bad (Pomeranz).
12 Bullpen arms pitched in a significant amount of games over the course of the season and of that dozen... only one (Thornburg) would have been classified as bad.
It is my strong opinion and many can attest that I've been unbending, unabashed and frequent expressing it. Depth and flexibility is the silver bullet. If a team doesn't have the ability to cover for injuries and poor performance... it is the fault of the front office and it can be avoided.