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Article: Twins Place Michael Pineda on DL, Devin Smeltzer Recalled

michael pineda martin perez devin smeltzer
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#21 MNT1996

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 12:37 PM

 

Perhaps they figured they didn't need Cruz vs the White Sox (correct), and they were postponing his activation until they did this little starting pitcher dance with Pineda and Smeltzer? Although some might say we could have used him vs Milwaukee...

 

Assuming they send down Smeltzer and activate Cruz before the Tampa series, that lets them keep Arraez, Astudillo, and all the current relievers on the roster too, until Garver or Pineda is ready to come back.

 

Garver sounds like he'll be ready to play for the weekend, Rocco says Pineda is only going to miss 1 start and Cruz might be ready to go for Tampa. So it'll probably be Smeltzer getting sent down after his start -> Garver being activated and possibly Arraez getting sent down after today's game -> Cruz being activated. When Pineda gets activated its probably going to be either Littel or Astudillo being sent down. 

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#22 spycake

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 12:46 PM

 

Garver sounds like he'll be ready to play for the weekend, Rocco says Pineda is only going to miss 1 start and Cruz might be ready to go for Tampa. So it'll probably be Smeltzer getting sent down after his start -> Garver being activated and possibly Arraez getting sent down after today's game -> Cruz being activated. When Pineda gets activated its probably going to be either Littel or Astudillo being sent down. 

It doesn't sound like Garver would return before Saturday:

https://www.mlb.com/...ehab-assignment

 

 

Garver was headed to Double-A Pensacola on Monday night for his rehab assignment. The plan is for him to use Tuesday as a workout day to run the bases and then to catch five innings Wednesday against Mississippi. Assuming no setbacks, Garver likely would not catch on Thursday but then catch a full game on Friday.

 

I would assume Cruz is ahead of that, but the last I read, he didn't swing a bat all weekend. (He previously took batting practice last week, though, so maybe it was just extra rest once they decided they weren't going to activate him for Milwaukee?)

https://www.cbssport...wings-with-bat/


#23 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 12:47 PM

wondering if Turtle is going to get sent down. Arraez is hitting the cover off the ball, and Turtle hasn't been hitting well lately.

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#24 Doomtints

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 12:49 PM

Reality check: He is really injured. You can't put a player on the IL without doctor approval and without player approval. If a team manages to pay off a doctor, the player can still object to the league which brings in the MLB's doctors to make a determination. Similarly, doctor approval and player approval is required to take someone off the IL, with the same escalation path to MLB doctors if there is a disagreement.

 

Putting someone on the IL is a lot of paperwork.

 

In other words, this isn't a ploy to give him some rest.

 

This is the same knee Pineda tore up late last year and it makes sense that it would be sore.

 

Pineda can probably have a sub-2.00 ERA as a bullpen arm and the Twins need someone who can do that. He would be the ideal setup guy. Move him there when he gets back. This is going to be a nagging injury if they keep putting him out there for long stretches, and the Twins have to consider Pineda's future as a ballplayer.

Edited by Doomtints, 28 May 2019 - 12:56 PM.

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#25 SomeGuy

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 12:52 PM

Adrianza .231/.333/.397 (.731OPS) 96 wRC+

Astudillo .264/.276/.396 (.671 OPS) 70 wRC+ (worst OPS and wRC+ on team, only Twins hitter with negative WAR)

 

Once/if the Twins are fully healthy I think the roster pinch solution is pretty obvious. Astudillo is currently the worst hitter on the roster. Whether he is reluctant to take a pitch or just that bad at pitch recognition, he needs to make some changes. Once Garver is activated (possibly this weekend), I would send Astudillo down and continue to give Arraez as many at bats as possible from a bench role.

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#26 Jaykay

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 01:01 PM

 

Adrianza .231/.333/.397 (.731OPS) 96 wRC+

Astudillo .264/.276/.396 (.671 OPS) 70 wRC+ (worst OPS and wRC+ on team, only Twins hitter with negative WAR)

 

Once/if the Twins are fully healthy I think the roster pinch solution is pretty obvious. Astudillo is currently the worst hitter on the roster. Whether he is reluctant to take a pitch or just that bad at pitch recognition, he needs to make some changes. Once Garver is activated (possibly this weekend), I would send Astudillo down and continue to give Arraez as many at bats as possible from a bench role.

 

Astudillo is an easy choice when Garver comes back. His bat is supposed to be his strength but it's been a weakness this year. He's also "versatile" but plays each position poorly. 

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#27 MNT1996

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 01:01 PM

 

Adrianza .231/.333/.397 (.731OPS) 96 wRC+

Astudillo .264/.276/.396 (.671 OPS) 70 wRC+ (worst OPS and wRC+ on team, only Twins hitter with negative WAR)

 

Once/if the Twins are fully healthy I think the roster pinch solution is pretty obvious. Astudillo is currently the worst hitter on the roster. Whether he is reluctant to take a pitch or just that bad at pitch recognition, he needs to make some changes. Once Garver is activated (possibly this weekend), I would send Astudillo down and continue to give Arraez as many at bats as possible from a bench role.

 

Gonna have to disagree with this one. Sure Astudillo is in a little bit of a slump since getting of IR, but he adds a lot of versatility to the field, especially since Garver will have just gotten off IR and Twins will need a little more flexibility at catcher. Arraez will benefit much more from a player development standpoint by playing everyday at AAA. Sure it's nice to have his bat, but the Twins don't really need it right now. They'll have Cruz and Garver back soon, which are two of our best hitters.


#28 MNT1996

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 01:04 PM

 

Astudillo is an easy choice when Garver comes back. His bat is supposed to be his strength but it's been a weakness this year. He's also "versatile" but plays each position poorly. 

 

The notion that Tortuga plays each position poorly is just not true. He's got a good arm behind the plate and has a 1.000 field percentage in 197 innings played.

Edited by MNT1996, 28 May 2019 - 01:05 PM.

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#29 Doomtints

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 01:08 PM

First a reality check: Astudillo is hitting like a catcher and he is a catcher. Comparing his bat to others who are not catchers, well....

 

Molitor started playing Astudillo everywhere except his natural position, for some reason, and he did well enough for that practice to continue. This doesn't mean he isn't primarily a catcher.

 

In any case, yes Astudillo should be sent down when Garver comes up if they need to open up a spot. He could use regular at bats. He knows he is on the fringe of the roster and he's not going to be upset about it. His role this year can be the AAAA guy who bounces between the majors and minors as needed. If he plays sharp the rest of the way, his role can be different next year or even later this year.

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#30 MNT1996

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 01:13 PM

 

First a reality check: Astudillo is hitting like a catcher and he is a catcher. Comparing his bat to others who are not catchers, well....

 

Molitor started playing Astudillo everywhere except his natural position, for some reason, and he did well enough for that practice to continue. This doesn't mean he isn't primarily a catcher.

 

In any case, yes Astudillo should be sent down when Garver comes up if they need to open up a spot. He could use regular at bats. He knows he is on the fringe of the roster and he's not going to be upset about it. His role this year can be the AAAA guy who bounces between the majors and minors as needed. If he plays sharp the rest of the way, his role can be different next year or even later this year.

 

I just don't think it's smart to send down our 3rd catcher when our primary catcher just got off the IR. Garver will not be able to do the catch/not catch/catch/not catch rotation for a couple weeks so he can get readjusted. You're gonna need Tortuga until Garver is at full strength. Keeping Astudillo up keeps stress off of both Garver and Castro. 

 

I think Littel should be sent down before Tortuga.

Edited by MNT1996, 28 May 2019 - 01:14 PM.


#31 SomeGuy

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 01:18 PM

 

Gonna have to disagree with this one. Sure Astudillo is in a little bit of a slump since getting of IR, but he adds a lot of versatility to the field, especially since Garver will have just gotten off IR and Twins will need a little more flexibility at catcher. Arraez will benefit much more from a player development standpoint by playing everyday at AAA. Sure it's nice to have his bat, but the Twins don't really need it right now. They'll have Cruz and Garver back soon, which are two of our best hitters.

They won't need to carry 3 catchers. Castro can step into a bigger role if needed. Garver shouldn't be activated if he can't physically handle at least a backup role as catcher.

 

Astudillo is worse with the bat than Adrianza, and Gonzalez plus they offer plenty of defensive versatility themselves. No brainer IMO.


#32 yarnivek1972

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 01:26 PM

There's really not much to it. Cruz has a sore wrist and Twins want to rest him. Offense has been doing fine without Cruz so there's no need to rush him.


I think I would rather have seen him take a professional at bat in the 9th last night as opposed to the “swing first, swing second, swing some more and MAYBE if a pitch is a foot outside don’t swing” approach used by Mr. Rosario and Mr. Sano.

#33 MNT1996

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 01:28 PM

 

They won't need to carry 3 catchers. Castro can step into a bigger role if needed. Garver shouldn't be activated if he can't physically handle at least a backup role as catcher.

 

Astudillo is worse with the bat than Adrianza, and Gonzalez plus they offer plenty of defensive versatility themselves. No brainer IMO.

 

I dont see the reason to add stress on Castro and Garver by sending Astudillo down. Twins offense has been great with him. They're gonna need to rest Castro and Garver as much as possible to keep them fresh down the road. Arraez and Littel will benefit much more from playing in AAA than Astudillo will. Tortuga is a utility bench guy. 


#34 MNT1996

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 01:30 PM

 

I think I would rather have seen him take a professional at bat in the 9th last night as opposed to the “swing first, swing second, swing some more and MAYBE if a pitch is a foot outside don’t swing” approach used by Mr. Rosario and Mr. Sano.

 

I'd rather have Cruz taking professional at bats in October at full strength than him taking painful at bats in May that could further deteriorate his recovery process.  

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#35 twinstalker

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 01:36 PM

This looks like a "give everyone lots of rest because we're up 10 games and if we don't do it now we'll regret it later" kind of move.We'll probably know for sure if Pineda makes a start on the first day eligible.

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#36 SomeGuy

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 01:38 PM

 

The notion that Tortuga plays each position poorly is just not true. He's got a good arm behind the plate and has a 1.000 field percentage in 197 innings played.

Just the nickname implying that he has the speed of a turtle should tell you how capable he is in the field. I will give him props he has stepped into any position we asked and not been a liability but he isn't the best choice at any of the positions.

 

He could field these positions if needed and right now with the way he is hitting plus our other options probably having more range at the same positions, it is not needed.

 

Hasn't most of his "versatility" come from us trying to fit his bat into the lineup. Right now there is no need to find him at bats.Gonzalez and Adrianza should be viewed as the superior defenders (and hitters).


#37 spycake

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 01:39 PM

 

Reality check: He is really injured. You can't put a player on the IL without doctor approval and without player approval. If a team manages to pay off a doctor, the player can still object to the league which brings in the MLB's doctors to make a determination. Similarly, doctor approval and player approval is required to take someone off the IL, with the same escalation path to MLB doctors if there is a disagreement.

 

Putting someone on the IL is a lot of paperwork.

 

In other words, this isn't a ploy to give him some rest.

 

This is the same knee Pineda tore up late last year and it makes sense that it would be sore.

I don't doubt Pineda's knee is actually sore. But I'm guessing lots of ballplayers experience similar soreness without it necessarily warranting an IL trip. Whether or not to put a player on the IL is the subjective part, and all kinds of factors can influence that subjective decision: the ready availability of a replacement, innings control, upcoming off days, other roster moves, etc.

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#38 MN_ExPat

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 01:39 PM

Optimistically, I'm thinking it's a great strategic move that...

  • Buys a skipping of the rotation one time on Pineda, who, as Spycake notes above, is on pace for an innings total that approaches career highs, which is particularly significant when bouncing back from injury. It does the skip when, on the way back from injury, he may building up a backlog of fatigue that could be addressed well with the skip.
  • Picks up an "off day" in the schedule for Perez, Berrios, Odo, Gibson, when there haven't been many off days over the past six-seven weeks.
  • Rewards Smeltzer for the great work he's done in the minors and gives him a taste of MLB.
  • Happens at a time when the bullpen is relatively rested and headed
Pessimistically...
  • Wait, at 35-18, I don't do pessimistically.

36-17 :)
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#39 stringer bell

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 01:43 PM

I said in another thread, I'd rather have Astudillo on the bench than Arraez. To amplify this remark, let's consider how the DH position has been handled with Cruz on the shelf. At least half a dozen different guys have been the DH, almost everyone but Castro and Buxton. When Cruz is back, he will take the lion's share of DH plate appearances. Having Gonzalez with no specified position will provide days off for the corner infielders and outfielders and perhaps Buxton. Adrianza would be the first choice to give Polanco a day off. So, where does Arraez get plate appearances? If the Twins are going to have a bench player getting very occasional at-bats, I think Astudillo is the right choice, not Arraez. Keeping Astudillo provides flexibility with the catchers (Baldelli would be comfortable running or hitting for the starter or occasionally starting Garver as the DH). 

 

Arraez has looked very good in his short time with the club. He has been afforded the chance to get plenty of playing time because of the rotation of players through the DH slot, but that is going to go away. When Cruz returns, it is best for him and the team for Arraez to go to Rochester and get more development time.

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#40 spycake

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 01:45 PM

 

Pineda can probably have a sub-2.00 ERA as a bullpen arm and the Twins need someone who can do that. He would be the ideal setup guy. Move him there when he gets back. This is going to be a nagging injury if they keep putting him out there for long stretches, and the Twins have to consider Pineda's future as a ballplayer.

That's a pretty bold forecast, for a guy who's never made a relief appearance in his MLB career. I'm not sure it's that straightforward, either in terms of performance or effects on his knee.

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