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Front Page: Dyson Drama: The Case of the Mystery Injury

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#1 Nick Nelson

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 08:37 PM

The Minnesota Twins acted at the deadline and acquired the impact relief help they badly needed. One week later, in the wake of a catastrophic series of events, they are heading into their most important series of the season without their premier addition at their disposal.

The fishy circumstances behind this situation reflect poorly on either Sam Dyson, the Twins, the Giants, or perhaps all three parties. Whatever the case, it's very bad news for Minnesota.He wasn't the sexiest pickup in everyone's eyes, but from all available evidence, Dyson was the high-caliber reinforcement this bullpen required at a minimum. He's been a mostly consistent performer at the back end of MLB bullpens for the past five years and was enjoying an excellent season as setup man for San Francisco, ranking among the league's leading relievers in Win Probability Added.

Against this backdrop, Dyson's immediate collapse for the Twins was a total shock to the system. He completely imploded in his debut, blowing a three-run save against the Marlins in an eventual loss, which carried the added negative of burning a Taylor Rogers appearance.

The following night, he came back out against a similarly bad Royals offense and looked similarly terrible, coughing up three runs on four hits while recording only two outs, endangering a blowout victory.

In both games, the performance matched the results. Dyson didn't look as bad as the assortment of Quad-A relief arms who've briefly passed through Minnesota this year – he looked worse. The right-hander's execution was nonexistent as he consistently missed targets and fell behind in counts before serving up beach balls.

When news surfaced on Sunday that Dyson was battling biceps tendinitis and would be heading to the injured list, the revelation wasn't surprising, but it was upsetting. And the details we've seen bleed out in the days since cast an ominous cloud over the entire ordeal.

To recap...

Dyson told reporters on Monday he's been dealing with "an issue" in his shoulder that dates back to around two weeks before he was traded, adding that he was "just grinding through it the whole time" while costing the Twins dearly in his two appearances.



By all accounts, the Giants were not explicitly aware of Dyson's ailment. Although La Velle doesn't sound entirely convinced in his tweet here:



As I see it, there are three possible explanations for what happened here.

1: The Giants did in fact know, or suspect, that Dyson was playing hurt before they traded him, and failed to inform the Twins of it. Not unprecedented, but this would be grounds for Minnesota to seek recourse through the league office, and there've been no rumblings of such.

2: The Giants knew or suspected that he was hurt and made it known to the Twins, who traded for him anyway. This isn't unthinkable, because the ailment affecting Dyson – if it's indeed only a routine bout of tendinitis – isn't all that uncommon or concerning on its face. But I find this hard to believe. Is a front office that's known for fiercely protecting its minor-league assets going to trade three prospects for a guy with an aching arm? And even if so, are they going to throw him into a game right off the plane with said bum wing? Then AGAIN the next day after he looked horrendous in his debut?!

I find it impossible to believe the Twins were aware of this affliction until after his second appearance. Which leads us to our third and most likely scenario...

3: Dyson did not tell the Giants he was hurting, and also gave the Twins no indications of it until he'd been walloped in two straight outings.

This would be fairly typical for a professional ballplayer – gutting it out in the name of "toughness" while hurting yourself and your team in the process. It's a toxic mindset, and one that this new Twins front office has admirably rooted out. The 2019 Twins have largely avoided lengthy absences and setbacks because they seem to foster an open, honest environment where players are forthright about nagging pains and noticeable discomfort. Minnesota's strategy of playing it cautiously at almost every turn has worked out well.

So if this is indeed what happened, Dyson is bringing an immediate culture clash that is far more problematic to me than a couple of rough pitching performances. That I can handle. But taking the mound in important spots for a contending team when you know something's wrong (and this wasn't exactly minor; he claims he could feel it when "picking a plate up in the kitchen or putting [his] (expletive) clothes on")? Pretty inexcusable in my eyes. A terrible first impression from a guy who was too stubbornly focused on creating the opposite.

Having said all that, I have a hard time letting Derek Falvey and Thad Levine off the hook entirely, even if they weren't made aware of this arm problem. I remarked in my Week in Review column on Sunday, published before Dyson revealed that the issue had been affecting him for half a month, that his "issue actually appears to date back a ways; in his last four appearances with the Giants, he got only one swing-and-miss on 42 pitches after inducing 18 in his first eight July outings (15% rate)."

In my mind, when a pitcher who's accustomed to missing bats suddenly stops doing so in such stark fashion, it's one of the clearest indicators something is wrong. One swinging strike on 42 pitches is egregious; by comparison, Ehire Adrianza got two swinging strikes on 14 pitches when he threw an inning against the Mets in July. Now, after pitching twice for the Twins, Dyson has induced two whiffs on his last 80 pitches.

He's broken. He was starting to break before he got here. But because he failed to report it and the Twins failed to notice it, he yielded two costly meltdowns on the hill, and is unavailable for the most pivotal stretch of the season.

Hopefully the bullpen can get by without him, and a little rest serves as the fix he needs. But for now, this is looking like one of the biggest deadline duds in memory, and a fiasco that – unlike most of Byron Buxton's bad breaks – could've and should've been avoided.

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#2 DocBauer

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 09:05 PM

IMHO, point 3 seems to be the accurate one. He was pitching through a problem and gutted it out and didn't tell anyone.

I know physicals take place before any player is signed or traded for. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe I am. However, if this would be a "soft tissue" injury, such as tendonitis or something similar, that would not be caught in any rudimentary exam. That would indicate Dyson was "gutting it out" as an athlete or being deceptive. How else could you paint it? He has openly admitted the situation.

The Twins have filed no grievance at this point. That means rules state they can't because it slipped through. OR, they believe the injury is insignificant enough to allow rest and rehab time to contribute the remainder of this season and the next.

I will root like he'll for a healthy Dyson. But right now, he's not looking so good to me.
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#3 Cooper Carlson

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 09:14 PM

This whole thing with Dyson has seemed odd to me since it began. I considered point two as a possibility but you did a good job of debunking that. It certainly does not feel like Dyson will be playing a pivotal role in the bullpen anytime soon. If that is true, this deadline goes from a B grade to a D grade.

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#4 corey

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 09:24 PM

I know physicals take place before any player is signed or traded for.


I know they take physicals before signings, but I believe for trades (especially deadline trades that come together 15 minutes before the deadline like this one) they don't have time for an actual physical and just exchange medical information. So in this case either they legitimately didn't know, or withheld the information on the medical report they shared.
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#5 Matt Braun

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 09:36 PM

At the end of the day, someone was reckless in how the situation was handled and that doesn't sit well with me. The only bright side is that if the issue truly is just a fairly standard tendinitis one, then just getting him healthy could fix the problem and put this mess behind us, hopefully.

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#6 Nate Palmer

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 09:49 PM

The culture point is an angle of this I hadn’t thought about. Just have to hope at this point he gets healthy and will be effective when he returns and that there isn’t any toughing out that creeps into the rest of the team.

#7 operation mindcrime

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 10:04 PM

I miss Jaylin Davis!
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#8 rghrbek

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 10:13 PM

I won't care much if he rests up and comes back and pitches to his norms a week or two from now.

 

Hopefully our starting pitching can survive, as well as our bullpen.  

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#9 Jham

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Posted 07 August 2019 - 10:54 PM

There's a 4th explanation... his pride hurts mor than his arm. He wasn't good to begin with. Oracle illusion.
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#10 jimbo92107

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 01:24 AM

Agree with rghrbek that if we have a simple case of tendinitis, then rest and plentiful massages should get him back on the mound in good shape in a couple weeks, maybe three weeks tops. 

 

The nightmare scenario would involve a gradually increasing level of seriousness and delays, featuring dubious new medical terminology like "bilateral vehicular shoulder phlebitis" or some other such crap. The Twins did not trade two valuable prospects in return for an obscure medical educational experience. 

 

Okay Dyson. Rest up, eat some steak, get your rub downs and stretching, hot packs, pills, etc. See you in a couple weeks, or we will want to know why. 

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#11 yarnivek1972

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 06:30 AM

I’d say 1a is most likely. The Giants probably suspected something was wrong for the same reason you noted. All of a sudden he wasn’t getting swings and misses. But it was probably too SSS for them to pursue it further by asking Dyson about it.

Edited by yarnivek1972, 08 August 2019 - 06:30 AM.

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#12 VivaBomboRivera!

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 06:39 AM

Caveat emptor.

 

Regardless of how urgently the arm is needed, any team can stipulate that a final deal is subject to results of examination by the team doctor/trainer and the pitching coach.Soft tissue or no, trained professionals will likely spot a twinge if motion as simple as putting on a shirt or lifting an object is causing pain.Management has an obligation to carefully evaluate every player before paying.

 

Dyson was needed to help stiff-arm (sorry, couldn't resist) the Cleveland push to catch-up in the division.Net result so far is that we are at least a game worse off.The Twins _should_ be 5W - 2L through 7 August, not 4 - 3. A case could be made that were Dyson healthy Perez could have been pulled after the Donaldson walk to stop the bleeding and give our bats a chance to win with the 7 runs they pounded out.Instead we ran up a white flag for fear we'll be short of arms over the weekend.

 

Shame on Dyson if he was faking it.He'll have to get with the program to earn his teammates and fan trust.But as far as the team's performance goes, this screw-up is 100% on the front office. 

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#13 USAFChief

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 06:44 AM

Perhaps one lesson to be learned is, waiting until 5 minutes before the store closes before shopping can lead to poor purchase decisions.

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#14 sloopjont

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 06:48 AM

Despite the fact that others might share some blame in this, since he knew he was injured, at the point he found out he was traded, he should have let both teams know he was currently injured. If he did do that, both teams made the trade with open eyes.If he didn't, he contributed the most to this mess.

--And they wonder why Minnesota fans are always waiting for the other shoe to drop--;>)

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#15 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 06:57 AM

Perhaps one lesson to be learned is, waiting until 5 minutes before the store closes before shopping can lead to poor purchase decisions.


Do you actually believe that's when the Twins started shopping?
Or is it more likely that's when the selling teams finally began accepting reasonable prices for their goods?
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#16 SQUIRREL

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 07:00 AM

Perhaps one lesson to be learned is, waiting until 5 minutes before the store closes before shopping can lead to poor purchase decisions.


I don’t think that’s the right lesson, or rather not specific enough. I’d say the lesson is, don’t wait until the trade deadline to actually build a bullpen, but rather use it to add that one special piece.
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#17 mikelink45

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 07:17 AM

In this business planning needs to be started long before trade deadline - Spring Training is a time to address needs and they weren't.Romo was a good pickup and should have been the only one needed if we had taken preemptive action early on.  

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#18 Vanimal46

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 07:19 AM

I blame the manager for the reckless and DANGEROUS decision to have him pitch the same day he took a 2 hour 40 minute flight. No human being on Earth can handle those conditions.

I also blame the person who sat next to Dyson on the plane. Clearly they bumped his arm during turbulence and it's wrecking his tenure with his new team.

#HawtTaeks
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#19 VivaBomboRivera!

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 07:29 AM

 

Perhaps one lesson to be learned is, waiting until 5 minutes before the store closes before shopping can lead to poor purchase decisions.

 

The Chief has it right. 

 

Think about it.The Yanks got Encarnacion and the Mets got Stroman cheap because they knew what they wanted, they knew how much they were prepared to pay, and they acted on their own timetable, doing business early before things heated up as the deadline loomed.Because they took the initiative, their moves also influenced the rest of the market, taking valuable pieces coveted by other teams off the table, raising prices on what remained.

 

We should have done our shopping in April and May.

Edited by VivaBomboRivera!, 08 August 2019 - 07:33 AM.

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#20 SQUIRREL

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Posted 08 August 2019 - 07:30 AM

 

Do you actually believe that's when the Twins started shopping?
Or is it more likely that's when the selling teams finally began accepting reasonable prices for their goods?

Yes, I believe it's when the Twins started shopping seriously because the BP was something that was not addressed earlier, i.e. in the offseason.

 

And no, I don't think prices ever became reasonable, as the best out there weren't moved, with one or two exceptions.

 

But, I think the Twins got the best that was attainable at this time, because 1) they didn't address it sooner, and 2) the best wasn't being sold for reasonable prices

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