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Article: Shoring Up Twins Bullpen Will Be a Mighty Challenge

taylor rogers ryne harper fernando romero
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#21 Riverbrian

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 08:28 AM

Presly might have been a mistake in Hindsight. But at least we got something back.

The real organizational mistake was not providing opportunity for Anderson, Burdi and even Chargois and of course others.

Bullpens across the league are full of players who are getting opportunity after not getting opportunity elsewhere.

Identify your own guys before they are tossed aside. Getting better at this will fix your bullpen at a much lower cost.
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#22 Han Joelo

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 09:31 AM

Developing effective relievers is the current high value commodity in MLB.  Or maybe it has always been.  The Twins cashed in on Pressly, probably in error.  Now they are going to have to pay through the nose to acquire someone else's Pressly, or Edwin Diaz, or Ken Giles, or David Robertson/Tommy Kahnle (I'm talking about the first time these guys were traded.)

 

Judging from the list of options, I don't think it is out of the realm of possibility that somebody else's castoff can become something of value to the Twins, however.

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#23 birdwatcher

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 10:11 AM

 

All of which strongly suggests that

1) trading away a good reliever that still had a year of team control was foolish.

2) the organization should be doing more than it has been to develop it’s own relievers. Falvine have been at the helm for 3 years now. They were billed as pitching gurus. Where are the results? Of the 13 man pitching staff, only 5 are products of the Twins pipeline.

 

 

I agree 100% with your first point.

 

But how many drafts have taken place since Falvey took over? How many pitchers from those drafts in all of baseball are now successfully holding down a spot in any team's bullpen?

 

It's not realistic to think Falvey has some secret sauce regarding pitching. Other teams develop pitchers well too. And even if he IS some sort of guru, successful development is ultimately a function of extracting the best from real talent, and we know the raw pitching talent at the upper levels is a bit thin.

Edited by birdwatcher, 25 June 2019 - 10:12 AM.

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#24 jimbo92107

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 10:30 AM

Duffey and Littell look more reliable than May.

There is still time to try out a few minor league starters and bring back a few guys like Hildy, Mejia and Moya before testing the FA market. Smeltzer looks crafty enough to go a couple innings, and Romero can just go with high heat for an inning. 

Morin and Parker I don't trust. Both seem shaky. 

Some days I'm glad I'm not Twins FO. Mediocrity abounds when it comes to relief pitching. 

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#25 birdwatcher

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 10:38 AM

 

Presly might have been a mistake in Hindsight. But at least we got something back.

The real organizational mistake was not providing opportunity for Anderson, Burdi and even Chargois and of course others.

Bullpens across the league are full of players who are getting opportunity after not getting opportunity elsewhere.

Identify your own guys before they are tossed aside. Getting better at this will fix your bullpen at a much lower cost.

 

 

This is just me, but like your adamant view on the flexibility and opportunity issue, I'm a rigid believer that there is not an acceptable prospect return for a MLB stalwart (Pressly) when losing him converts a pothole into a sinkhole. Not anticipating being in contention in 2019? I certainly HOPE this FO doesn't think like that, although they gave us reasons to be suspicious with their clumsy sell/buy antics at the deadline two years ago. So yeah, getting what we hope will be a good return will take some of the sting out of this lousy decision, it's far from consoling me in the present.

 

I have a bigger problem with letting all those relief prospects walk without some semblance of a return than I do with not giving them a chance. They may have simply concluded in some cases that they didn't have great futures, I don't know. And in one or two cases, the timing simply boxed them into a corner because of injury complications in particular.

 

In Hindsight, Bard might be the one who got away, although he sports a 0.1 YTD WAR (not the perfect metric, but good enough for this). None of the others, given opportunities with new teams, are lighting it up. Anderson, -0.1 WAR; Chargois, -0.1 WAR; Burdi, -0.5 WAR; Curtiss, 0.0 WAR and DFA'd; Derek Rodriguez, -0.5 WAR; Randy Rosario, -0.2 WAR.

 

My guess is that if this FO picked any of these guys up today as unfamiliar names to test them as bullpen options, we'd hear a lot of screaming about it.

 

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#26 rdehring

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 10:46 AM

Great article, Nick.

 

Is it possible the biggest help will come from within the organization?Perhaps May or Duffey or Littell take that final step and becomes a shut down reliever the last 60 days of the season.They still have to go out and try to bring in some help, but maybe one of the three will step up.

 

One avenue you haven't mentioned is if a current starter would be converted to the pen.That could happen should their big move being a trade for a young starter who would be protected for a couple years.Not real certain if Pineda or Perez would be any better than what we have seen.But could be a partial fix.


#27 Mike Sixel

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 12:12 PM

I agree 100% with your first point.

But how many drafts have taken place since Falvey took over? How many pitchers from those drafts in all of baseball are now successfully holding down a spot in any team's bullpen?

It's not realistic to think Falvey has some secret sauce regarding pitching. Other teams develop pitchers well too. And even if he IS some sort of guru, successful development is ultimately a function of extracting the best from real talent, and we know the raw pitching talent at the upper levels is a bit thin.

Of course, they have also traded for players for three or four years, and which of those is helping the bullpen right now in a big way?

Missing in the, the RP FAs stink analysis..... How are the random players across the league doing that have been called up, as am alternative? Like, all the AA and AAA relievers, and on the teams that acquired FAs, how would the next minor league player do? That's a hard analysis..... But that's the alternative.

Pitching is really hard in the RP area. It's possible that there are only so many arms on the planet that can get out ML hitters. As teams ask RP to do twice as much as they used to, maybe there just aren't enough quality pitchers?

Edited by Mike Sixel, 25 June 2019 - 12:14 PM.

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#28 Shane Wahl

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 12:26 PM

I so want Liam Hendriks to come back. Anyway, it is indeed very tricky.


#29 jimbo92107

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 12:27 PM

 

...there is not an acceptable prospect return for a MLB stalwart (Pressly) when losing him converts a pothole into a sinkhole. 

20/20 hindsight tells me that the Pressly trade was a major blunder, probably for the reasons birdwatcher suspected - the FO didn't think the Twins would be competitive in 2019. 

 

As luck had it, the mlb journeymen the team picked up turned out a lot better than expected, and the young core players came back healthy and mostly improved. Imagine how the Twins would look today if you added Pressly to the pen. Suddenly you'd have stability at closer, meaning Rogers or May could be the setup guy. 

 

On the other hand, the two guys Houston coughed up might still turn out pretty good. Alcala is a mid-90's flame thrower in AA, and Celestino...is hitting .217 in low A. Oh, hell. 

 

Well, project guys sometimes make good. But Pressly sure would good right now in the bullpen...

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#30 Tomj14

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 12:59 PM

I am over the Pressly trade, less than 2 years ago half of the people (including me) were ready to cut or trade the 28 year old former rule 5 guy with a .470 ERA.

Now I want them to go out and get a few relievers for prospects like two weeks ago.

If they would have done that, they could have been evaluating if they actually needed another starter with a good bullpen. Now they are sitting in a position with Cleveland actually trying to chase them down and 3/5 of the starting rotation looking shaky and the bullpen being the shaky bullpen it has been all year.

Edited by Tomj14, 25 June 2019 - 01:00 PM.


#31 yarnivek1972

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 01:31 PM

20/20 hindsight tells me that the Pressly trade was a major blunder, probably for the reasons birdwatcher suspected - the FO didn't think the Twins would be competitive in 2019.

As luck had it, the mlb journeymen the team picked up turned out a lot better than expected, and the young core players came back healthy and mostly improved. Imagine how the Twins would look today if you added Pressly to the pen. Suddenly you'd have stability at closer, meaning Rogers or May could be the setup guy.

On the other hand, the two guys Houston coughed up might still turn out pretty good. Alcala is a mid-90's flame thrower in AA, and Celestino...is hitting .217 in low A. Oh, hell.

Well, project guys sometimes make good. But Pressly sure would good right now in the bullpen...


If that were the case, Kyle Gibson should also have been dealt. He was at his ultimate peak value and still had 1 1/2 years of control. If the haul for Pressly was pretty good, the return on Gibson should have been much better.
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#32 markos

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 01:43 PM

 

If that were the case, Kyle Gibson should also have been dealt. He was at his ultimate peak value and still had 1 1/2 years of control. If the haul for Pressly was pretty good, the return on Gibson should have been much better.

Yeah, I think it is much more likely that the FO doubted that Pressly would become a top-10 reliever going forward. And that is a problem with the hindsight argument - there is no guarrantee that the Twins would have been able to unlock Pressly's full potential in the same way that the Astros did. 

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#33 VATwinsFan

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 01:59 PM

MLBTraderumors reporting Moya was just DFA'd to make room for Torreyes(?!).

Edited by VATwinsFan, 25 June 2019 - 01:59 PM.


#34 spycake

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 01:59 PM

 

Yeah, I think it is much more likely that the FO doubted that Pressly would become a top-10 reliever going forward. And that is a problem with the hindsight argument - there is no guarrantee that the Twins would have been able to unlock Pressly's full potential in the same way that the Astros did. 

Pressly was pretty great for the Twins leading up to the trade, and our pitching coaches have done well (the Taylor Rogers turnaround last year, and Johnson's work this year). I mean, obviously it's a hypothetical with no way to test it for certain, but I think it's safe to assume that Pressly would have continued being pretty great in a Twins uniform.

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#35 nicksaviking

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 02:07 PM

 

 

There are compelling cases to be made for several of the above, plus some others who haven't yet been covered. I myself am quite high on Raisel Iglesias. But no matter who I might favor, data shows there's an overwhelming chance I'll be wrong. The same is true for you. Again, I apologize for the bluntness.

 

 

I agree that relief arms are the biggest crapshoots, but here's hoping they put that data to use. Don't chase trades based on name and reputation, those things are fleeting with this position. Go for the guys who data suggests have the repertoire, peripherals, velocity and make up to transition to a new situation.

 

And that might still be the big names, I'd like Iglesias too.

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#36 nicksaviking

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 02:10 PM

 

 

BTW..."lethal flamethrowers??"

 

That's why batting helmets are not optional.

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#37 USAFChief

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 02:16 PM

 

That's why batting helmets are not optional.

54d45b11e2041_-_nypdhires.jpg?resize=480

 

"Lethal flamethrower."

 

I guess it's sort of like "grave" danger.

 

Is there any other kind?

 

 

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#38 VATwinsFan

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 02:17 PM

Carlos Torres, not Ronald Torreyes.

 

I doublechecked, it's Torreyes.Torres is not mentioned.

 

 


#39 USAFChief

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 02:21 PM

 

Yeah, I think it is much more likely that the FO doubted that Pressly would become a top-10 reliever going forward. And that is a problem with the hindsight argument - there is no guarrantee that the Twins would have been able to unlock Pressly's full potential in the same way that the Astros did. 

It's not hindsight for many.

 

This sounds to me like an argument that the current Twins coaching staff needs upgrading. Is that your point? The Twins don't have the staff to get the most out of players?

 

Not to mention, there's no guarantee Pressly needed any "unlocking." As Spycake and others have pointed out, Pressly was already really good, and getting better, when dealt.

 

 

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#40 Nick Nelson

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Posted 25 June 2019 - 02:22 PM

 

20/20 hindsight tells me that the Pressly trade was a major blunder, probably for the reasons birdwatcher suspected - the FO didn't think the Twins would be competitive in 2019. 

 

...

 

On the other hand, the two guys Houston coughed up might still turn out pretty good. Alcala is a mid-90's flame thrower in AA, and Celestino...is hitting .217 in low A. Oh, hell. 

I'm about as critical of the Pressly trade as anyone -- I think it's easily the worst move this front office has made, period. But there's a part of me that wonders if they thought he was a really high injury risk, with the high velocity and extreme spin rates. Seems like that's been the logic in moving on from some other seemingly promising bullpen arms who have since been plagued by injury (Nick Burdi comes to mind).

 

Anyway, if that was the motivation they've obviously been wrong about it so far. But I'd be a little more comfortable knowing that was part of their calculation, and they didn't just completely whiff on the player evaluation.

 

As for Alcala, in light of the current discussion, I wonder if it's time to just move him to the bullpen and be done with the starting thing. Relief has always seemed like his eventual role anyway. He hasn't completed 6 innings in a start at AA this year and his results have been really underwhelming. 

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