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Front Page: Bumgarner V. Wheeler: Who Should the Twins Pursue?

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#61 h2oface

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 09:57 PM

 

How far is North Carolina from Atlanta in comparison to Minnesota from Atlanta? It would be like a kid who grew up somewhere in South Dakota choosing the Twins over the Braves because he is closer to home.

 

I find the team that becomes a kid's team really is not that much about the proximity, but about who their parent's team is..... and it trickles down. It could have been the Braves. The "brainwashing" affect. Baltimore, and Cincinnati were often choices for the folks that lived around there, too, for proximity, from my experience of living up the mountains in Blowing Rock in the 80s. But I don't know him..... I am betting it mostly hinges on the $, and the deal. 

Edited by h2oface, 12 November 2019 - 10:01 PM.


#62 ashbury

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Posted Yesterday, 12:28 PM

It's not entirely fair to remove pitcher PAs because generally, the worst batter also sits in the ninth spot in the AL. The difference between AL#9 and a pitcher is stark, but the numbers are still slightly shifted.

Oof, I don't want to turn this into a long digression, but I don't think #9 vs #9 is how to look at it. When the pitcher isn't in the lineup in the AL, it's because there's a DH in there - higher up in the batting order, so everyone shifts down (more or less), so you need to compare a slightly higher-quality bat at every spot in the order, or (more simply) just compare DH to pitcher for the aggregate difference.

 

If anything, taking out the pitchers from the stats might not be enough - you need to assume a better than average bat, not just an average one, taking the pitcher's place in the AL.

 

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#63 Tomj14

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Posted Yesterday, 01:23 PM

 


Odorizzi is a wildly underrated pitcher, which is why I want to keep him at almost any cost, but he's also coming off a career year. Wheeler has been good for quite some time while Odorizzi was expected to be a 3/4 going into 2019 and performed more like a 2/3 through the season. I'm not sure we should expect that going forward but he *should* be a better pitcher than what we counted on going into last season.

 

So, yeah, Wheeler isn't amazing compared to Odo but we didn't expect to get that Odo either, so it's something of a loaded point to make.

IMO, I don't see how a starting pitcher that averages less than 5 2/3 innings can be considered wildly underrated. He was pretty great for 5 innings but they still need to cover the ~100 - 120 innings he doesn't pitch in his starts. If a team is going to load up on starters that average that many innings you better invest in your bullpen because somebody has to pitch the other half of the game.

I would prefer Madison over Wheeler, but would like both and Odo and leave the 5th spot to the minor league guys.


#64 Mike Sixel

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Posted Yesterday, 02:03 PM

IMO, I don't see how a starting pitcher that averages less than 5 2/3 innings can be considered wildly underrated. He was pretty great for 5 innings but they still need to cover the ~100 - 120 innings he doesn't pitch in his starts. If a team is going to load up on starters that average that many innings you better invest in your bullpen because somebody has to pitch the other half of the game.
I would prefer Madison over Wheeler, but would like both and Odo and leave the 5th spot to the minor league guys.


Five and two thirds would be more innings than the average MLB start last year. I don't think people realize how few innings starters are throwing.
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#65 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted Yesterday, 02:36 PM

 

Oof, I don't want to turn this into a long digression, but I don't think #9 vs #9 is how to look at it. When the pitcher isn't in the lineup in the AL, it's because there's a DH in there - higher up in the batting order, so everyone shifts down (more or less), so you need to compare a slightly higher-quality bat at every spot in the order, or (more simply) just compare DH to pitcher for the aggregate difference.

 

If anything, taking out the pitchers from the stats might not be enough - you need to assume a better than average bat, not just an average one, taking the pitcher's place in the AL.

Good points all around.

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#66 spycake

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Posted Yesterday, 02:52 PM

 

If you look at the rosters of all the playoff teams, you will not find a single SP acquired in a trade as described above. Their are only two SPs of any significance (Cole / Paxton) acquired via trade and they were both for 2 years. IDK if teams just refuse to trade impact SPs with 3 years of control of if theprice teams are asking is just so crazy other teams won't do it. 

 

 

I failed to quote the post I was responding to that suggested we could acquire a player still under their 1st contract (cheap) with 3 years of control. This is why I said "as described above". 

 

I don't know if it's any particular valuation of SPs that causes that result -- I suspect it's just too many qualifiers. There aren't that many trades period, so can't expect to find many traded players, meeting specific criteria, on a small sample of teams in a single year. I mean, using your same criteria but looking at position players, you'd only find, what, two matches? (Yelich and Eaton?) Is that meaningful, compared to Cole/Paxton? And there are twice as many position players per team as SP.

 

If you look at last year's playoff teams, there was Sale, Quintana, and perhaps Alex Wood meeting your criteria. Plus Sonny Gray had 2.5 years of control when traded to NYY, and of course signed a reasonable extension when traded to CIN.

 

In any case, I agree it's not easy to get a young controlled SP in trade -- but it's not easy to get a young controlled anything in trade.

 

Edit: just realized this post was 4 days old. Man, I am slow. :)

Edited by spycake, Yesterday, 02:53 PM.

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#67 spycake

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Posted Yesterday, 03:05 PM

 

If anything, taking out the pitchers from the stats might not be enough - you need to assume a better than average bat, not just an average one, taking the pitcher's place in the AL.

Not too much better -- AL DHs only had a 105 wRC+ last year. And 111 and 94 the two years prior -- which demonstrates the volatility of looking at something like this. Even beyond the DH, it's really going to depend on who a guy faces, and when -- a pitcher facing the current Detroit squad a few times a year might still face a few pitcher-level bats. :)

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#68 spycake

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Posted Yesterday, 03:08 PM

 

Five and two thirds would be more innings than the average MLB start last year. I don't think people realize how few innings starters are throwing.

Yeah, 5.2 isn't bad anymore, but I'd be curious how much openers might be shifting the average too. I seem to recall a site that had an opener/primary split but I can't find it now....


#69 LA VIkes Fan

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Posted Yesterday, 03:20 PM

 

I always wonder about the NL to AL move.

Should we ignore the plate appearance against opposing pitchers? Is that reasonable?

If you take out the pitcher plate appearances Odorizzi was much more successful in 2019 than Wheeler or Bumgarner and both pitch in parks that have been considered favorable to pitchers.

Wheeler’s strike out rate against non pitchers drops to 21.5%. His numbers take a hit when you take out his 28 strike outs (against 0 walks) against pitchers. Odorizzi stays at 27% when you take out the 4 pitcher at bats. Bumgarner gets a similar NL bump.

Not only does facing pitchers help your strikeout numbers but it lengthens your outings and reduces those longer high pitch count innings.

I don’t know if it is appropriate but I always take out plate appearances against other pitchers when comparing. If we can expect a similar performance from each of the three in 2020 Odorizzi would be my target.

This is an very interesting approach to trying to smooth out the differences between the two leagues. Kudos!


#70 Tomj14

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Posted Yesterday, 03:51 PM

 

Five and two thirds would be more innings than the average MLB start last year. I don't think people realize how few innings starters are throwing.

Completely understood, but that doesn't change the fact that on most nights you still have to get almost 4 innings from your bullpen. Which means you better invest in your bullpen because the front office should know they need quality pitchers to pitch the other half the game.

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#71 Battle ur tail off

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Posted Yesterday, 04:10 PM

 

I always wonder about the NL to AL move.

Should we ignore the plate appearance against opposing pitchers? Is that reasonable?

If you take out the pitcher plate appearances Odorizzi was much more successful in 2019 than Wheeler or Bumgarner and both pitch in parks that have been considered favorable to pitchers.

Wheeler’s strike out rate against non pitchers drops to 21.5%. His numbers take a hit when you take out his 28 strike outs (against 0 walks) against pitchers. Odorizzi stays at 27% when you take out the 4 pitcher at bats. Bumgarner gets a similar NL bump.

Not only does facing pitchers help your strikeout numbers but it lengthens your outings and reduces those longer high pitch count innings.

I don’t know if it is appropriate but I always take out plate appearances against other pitchers when comparing. If we can expect a similar performance from each of the three in 2020 Odorizzi would be my target.

 

Ordorizzi is a given. He 100% needs to be a Twin. They need to outbid everyone if they have to, in order to keep him. This is more about Odorizzi, then who?

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#72 ewen21

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Posted Yesterday, 04:13 PM

 

I'm tired of the narrative that says we cannot go out and get Cole personally... I want Cole or Strassburg (if he opts out).

And I wanted a big red fire engine for Christmas in 1972 and ended up getting an Etch-a-Sketch box

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#73 Vanimal46

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Posted Yesterday, 04:24 PM

 

Completely understood, but that doesn't change the fact that on most nights you still have to get almost 4 innings from your bullpen. Which means you better invest in your bullpen because the front office should know they need quality pitchers to pitch the other half the game.

 

The Twins need to invest in a bullpen regardless. I was bothered before about Odorizzi's inability to pitch deep into ballgames... Then I realized the innings he does pitch are usually really good. He doesn't give up crooked numbers, and keeps the team in the game on most of his starts. There's a lot of value in a pitcher who can give you 5-6 good innings every 5 games. 

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#74 Major League Ready

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Posted Yesterday, 05:55 PM

 

I don't know if it's any particular valuation of SPs that causes that result -- I suspect it's just too many qualifiers. There aren't that many trades period, so can't expect to find many traded players, meeting specific criteria, on a small sample of teams in a single year. I mean, using your same criteria but looking at position players, you'd only find, what, two matches? (Yelich and Eaton?) Is that meaningful, compared to Cole/Paxton? And there are twice as many position players per team as SP.

 

If you look at last year's playoff teams, there was Sale, Quintana, and perhaps Alex Wood meeting your criteria. Plus Sonny Gray had 2.5 years of control when traded to NYY, and of course signed a reasonable extension when traded to CIN.

 

In any case, I agree it's not easy to get a young controlled SP in trade -- but it's not easy to get a young controlled anything in trade.

 

Edit: just realized this post was 4 days old. Man, I am slow. :)

 

Perhaps I failed to convey it but I was trying to make the exact point you just made.


#75 DocBauer

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Posted Yesterday, 06:40 PM

The Twins need to invest in a bullpen regardless. I was bothered before about Odorizzi's inability to pitch deep into ballgames... Then I realized the innings he does pitch are usually really good. He doesn't give up crooked numbers, and keeps the team in the game on most of his starts. There's a lot of value in a pitcher who can give you 5-6 good innings every 5 games.


Really like this post! Beyond the current mantra that the game has changed...it has...ERA is a useful measurement tool employed forever in the game. It is not be all or end all, and there are numerous additional measurements available today. But it is still a viable reference at our disposal, IMO. If Odorizzi simply had or learned to better economize his pitches and could be counted on for just a few more outs, his already impressive numbers would be that much better.

He is not a 1-2, we know that. But he often pitches like he is for that 5+ IP. He is a valuable arm, more or less on hand, and needs to be retained. I'm happy if he is our #3, ecstatic if he could be our #4.
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#76 DocBauer

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Posted Yesterday, 06:49 PM

There have been various comments made, some real and some perhaps tongue in cheek, about NOT choosing between Bumgarner and Wheeler and signing both.

FACT, the Twins have the financial ability to do so, and still retain Odorizzi, without blowing up the rest of the team, or escalating the payroll above $150M. But even if the Twins make quality offers to both, and even if we are a talented team on the rise and both guys are very open about coming on board, it would still be very difficult to do so. And that's a reality we have to accept. Someone could make a crazy offer. Either could choose a matching offer in a place closer to home they prefer. We just don't know how it will play out.

I say take your shot for both and see if you can pull it off. But land at least one...and I'm still torn on which one I'd prefer...keep Odorizzi, and then find the best 4th rotation piece you can.
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#77 ewen21

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Posted Yesterday, 09:18 PM

Verlander is a unicorn. It is very rare that a SP maintains this level of performance at age 36. We all know the normal decline and when it starts so to ignore because one or two guys defy the odds is not a good decision making practice.


It is like using Tom Brady as a benchmark for quarterbacks. For every Verlander there are literally hundreds of others every generation who’ve hung it up by the time they reach his age. I would not draw comparisons to him with any free agent arm out there now.

Edited by ewen21, Yesterday, 09:19 PM.

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