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Front Page: Do the Twins Really Need to Add Another Starter?

randy dobnak lewis thorpe brusdar graterol devin smeltzer josh donaldson
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#41 Cap'n Piranha

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 11:13 AM

I think the bullpen needs to be considered when discussing chances of postseason success as well.I think there's every reason to think the Twins could trot out, at minimum, 6 quality arms (Rogers, Duffey, May, Romo, Clippard, Littell).While Rogers, and maybe Duffey, are the only ones that potentially qualify as elite, having that kind of depth, before even considering options like Stashak, Graterol, Duran, or Alcala means we should be able to shorten the game for our starters in the playoffs.

 

Should the Twins attempt to add a game 1 starter?Absolutely.Do they need to add a game 1 starter?I don't think so.

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#42 DannySD

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 11:15 AM

Assuming health right now, Berrios would be the Game 4 playoff starter (until he fixes his late-season issues).

 

Adding a good new guy would make it like this and actually give us a shot:

Games 1 and 2 (in Yankee stadium of course): Hill or new guy, Pineda.

Games 3 and 4 at Target: Hill or new guy, Odorizzi.

 

So yes, if we want to compete in the postseason, we need one more starter. The question is whether the Baileys and Dobnaks of the world can get us to July in decent shape. 


#43 Cap'n Piranha

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 11:18 AM

 

Buxton - 3 years

Kepler - 5 years

Donaldson - 5 years

Polanco - 6 years

Arraez - 5 years

Sano - 4 years

Garver - 4 years

 

Until 2023, the Twins need to replace three "starters" on offense.Rosario and Cruz are actual starters, and I am including Gonzalez.It's better if the team has a Gonzalez type.  

 

Raley, Larnach, Rooker, Kirilloff, Lewis, Gordon, Blankenhorn and Celestino aren't all going to find spots on this team barring catastrophe.At least half of them need to be moved.Only Lewis and Blankehorn might profile as a Gonzalez type, and I'm sure that would look on the surface as a failure for Lewis.It might not be the worst way for him to start his career though. I'm not sure that Blankenhorn will have the defensive chops to be a super-sub.

 

They should really sell from this ridiculous outfield depth and get some pitching.I definitely have a tendency to say to myself, "No, no, not my precious Kirilloff!" However, max value via trade needs to occur.  

 

I would let them start their MiLB seasons and hope that a couple take off and then move them as soon as max value can be had. 

 

Unless a prospect is projected to take his turn on the mound every five games, he shouldn't be having the "untouchable" label at this point.Balazovic may be the only guy in that category right now.

 

Of the 8 prospects you named, its likely 3-4 of them won't ever be more than replacement level at the big league level.If the plan is to keep your elite offense humming by promoting from within, you probably need to keep all of them so you know which ones will actually translate.

 

I am not opposed to trading prospects for immediate big league help, I'm just very wary of draining our system for a rental.

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#44 PDX Twin

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 11:18 AM

 

The reason I would advocate for standing pat at this point is two-fold (and largely already addressed):

 

1. We have a plethora of starters, when you include the additional four of Smeltzer, Dobnak, Graterol and Thorpe.  Everyone says on one hand that they want to give the rising players a shot, and this is a locked-in way to do it.  Further, leaving room with players who have options in that rotation allows transportation up and down from Rochester.  Once Pineda and Hill join the rotation, we have five guaranteed contracts on the books already and a much better idea by mid-summer of who the top five might be and just how good (or bad).

 

2.The pickings are wickedly slim right now.  Not only don't we know for certain that we need someone else, but adding a guaranteed contract right now puts us in a horrible position for flexibility.  Sign someone now and then what do you do if Graterol blossoms, Dobnak stands tall, Thorpe keeps missing bats, and Alcala/Balazovic forces our hand?  I know, I know, good problem to have, but a problem.  No one wants to "waste" the first month of the season or treat it like old September when you could bring up a bunch of minor league guys and test them out.  I don't feel like our 4-5 starters fall into that category (and maybe that's where we differ most).  Plus, the number of teams designated for tanking in February, and the number of teams out of it in June/July are wildly different and if we are to find a solid trade of a frontline starter for prospects, I just don't see that happening now.

 

Here's how I look at the Twins starting pitching situation, assuming things go to form and there are no unexpected injuries (which, of course, there will be):

 

The suspension and injury-recovery to Pineda and Hill are a uniquely useful opportunity. We have at least four starting pitchers who are ready for auditions. We NEED to learn more about whether they are MLB capable. The two MIA veterans give us 20+ starts for these youngsters to make their cases in early-season games where there's not a lot of obvious pressure (though every game counts in the end). No doubt there will be additional opportunities for these kids with injuries later in the year, but those are often just single-game patches rather than an actual run in the rotation.

 

Then, in May/June, when the pennant race starts to take shape and the pressure begins to build, we have two excellent veterans coming in to fill any holes. Sounds like a perfect fit to me: young pitchers getting a chance to prove themselves at the beginning and solid veterans ready for the stretch run (and, if applicable, post-season).

 

Based on the youngsters' performances, we know much more about the situation going forward. Do we need to add a starter at the deadline? How many starters do we need next off-season and how aggressively should we pursue extensions for Odorizzi, Hill, and Bailey?

 

Without the early-season void created by the MIAs, we would still have the same lack of information about in-house prospects that we have now. I'd prioritize learning over buying a fill-in, unless the fill-in is obviously better than the expected performance of the best of whichever of the four youngsters turns out to be best.

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It's great to get out of the cellar ... as long as you bring something with you.


#45 rghrbek

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 11:19 AM

Lots of assumptions here, that we will cruise to a division title.  ESPN had an article where 2 of the 3 sports writers still had Cleveland as the favorites, even though we signed Donaldson.  Carasco is back, Clevenger is only going to be better, and they are loaded with starting pitching (assuming they do not trade Lindor as well).  

Also, Chicago will be better, and with a few jumps from the young kids can compete as well.  Division will not be quite as easy as last year.  That's a scary thought.  Wins and losses count in April/May, so waiting for two of our starters is a big deal.

 

My point is, there are no guarantees.  The Twins have a roster to compete for division titles.  They do not have a roster to compete for a World Series title, specifically starting pitching.  I do not think they have enough bankable starting pitching.  Their work is not done, and if we wait until the trade deadline, we could be 5 games out (or more), when we make a deal.  Always hard to make up ground late in the season.

 

The Twins reached up for the stars and got one guy via free agency.  Good stuff. However, continue to be aggressive and try to get a front line pitcher. Hard to make a deal for a front line pitcher, especially a controllable one, but we have tons of assets.  Now is not the time to stock pile.  Hopefully there are some willing partners if the price is right. 

 

I would've given Rui a 4th year without blinking.  We did it for Donaldson and they are similar in age.  Just saying.

 

 

 

 

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#46 Cap'n Piranha

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 11:19 AM

 

Assuming health right now, Berrios would be the Game 4 playoff starter (until he fixes his late-season issues).

 

Adding a good new guy would make it like this and actually give us a shot:

Games 1 and 2 (in Yankee stadium of course): Hill or new guy, Pineda.

Games 3 and 4 at Target: Hill or new guy, Odorizzi.

 

So yes, if we want to compete in the postseason, we need one more starter. The question is whether the Baileys and Dobnaks of the world can get us to July in decent shape. 

 

Are you really saying that Berrios, who despite his August struggles the last 2 years is our clear cut number 1 starter, proven by the fact that he started game 1 last year, would be demoted to the bullpen for the playoffs?


#47 tony&rodney

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 11:24 AM

Mike Clevenger, Shane Bieber, Adam Civale - why didn't the Indians go get another starter instead of using these guys?

 

At some point the Twins either need to see if one or two young pitchers has what it takes to succeed at the highest level of baseball or they need to abandon drafting pitchers in the first five rounds and just trade for or sign free agent pitchers. 

 

There will be a really good pitcher available in July. The Twins have the depth to make a trade, if necessary, even if they relinquish more than seems necessary.

 

Thorpe, Dobnak, Graterol, and maybe someone else should be given a shot this April and May. If we have confidence in our bullpen, let these guys throw six innings and analyze their potential for a competitive spot on a winning team.

 

I would like to see one young pitcher added to the rotation each of the next three seasons. 

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#48 spycake

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 11:29 AM

 

I think the bullpen needs to be considered when discussing chances of postseason success as well.I think there's every reason to think the Twins could trot out, at minimum, 6 quality arms (Rogers, Duffey, May, Romo, Clippard, Littell).While Rogers, and maybe Duffey, are the only ones that potentially qualify as elite, having that kind of depth, before even considering options like Stashak, Graterol, Duran, or Alcala means we should be able to shorten the game for our starters in the playoffs.

 

Should the Twins attempt to add a game 1 starter?Absolutely.Do they need to add a game 1 starter?I don't think so.

True, but most other contenders have a comparable bullpen these days too (and likely better, if you factor in recent postseason performance), so it's not a relative advantage.


#49 GP830

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 11:31 AM

Howbout Larnach and Enlow to Miami for Alcantara?

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#50 spycake

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 11:37 AM

 

Mike Clevenger, Shane Bieber, Adam Civale - why didn't the Indians go get another starter instead of using these guys

Because they're cheap?

 

Seriously, no one here is saying the Twins should emulate Cleveland's most recent financial decisions. :)

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#51 cmoss84

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 11:55 AM

Aces are scarce. Period. 

If there is ever an ace available, any team trying to win should absolutely try to acquire them. 

If there is any moment between now and the trade deadline to get a front of the rotation SP, the answer needs to be YES. FO SHO. Give up the farm? Maybe not...but we can make a damn good offer. 

 

That being said, there might be none available. We might not have a choice other than to make due with what we have.

 

I am really liking the idea of having 2 games out of the rotation with a primary/secondary pitcher (at least until Pineda is back). It also might not be a bad idea to not put them back to back, in hopes of making for a more efficient bullpen.

 

1. Berrios (please go 7 every game!)

2. Graterol/Smeltzer (love the contrast)

3. Jake

4. Homer

5. Liriano/Dobnak (laugh all you want. I get it. But I think Liriano could be a band-aide at the beginning of the year and then a veteran lefty for the rest of the year. Might not be a mad mentor to Smeltzer/Thorpe either).

 

Long relief: Thorpe 

 

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#52 DannySD

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 12:00 PM

 

Are you really saying that Berrios, who despite his August struggles the last 2 years is our clear cut number 1 starter, proven by the fact that he started game 1 last year, would be demoted to the bullpen for the playoffs?

 

If our "clear cut number 1 starter" can't pitch well late in the season, then Yes, he's in the bullpen. And probably not a number 1 starter. No use wasting a postseason game just because we've labeled him. 

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#53 Mike Sixel

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 12:03 PM

 

Mike Clevenger, Shane Bieber, Adam Civale - why didn't the Indians go get another starter instead of using these guys?

 

At some point the Twins either need to see if one or two young pitchers has what it takes to succeed at the highest level of baseball or they need to abandon drafting pitchers in the first five rounds and just trade for or sign free agent pitchers. 

 

There will be a really good pitcher available in July. The Twins have the depth to make a trade, if necessary, even if they relinquish more than seems necessary.

 

Thorpe, Dobnak, Graterol, and maybe someone else should be given a shot this April and May. If we have confidence in our bullpen, let these guys throw six innings and analyze their potential for a competitive spot on a winning team.

 

I would like to see one young pitcher added to the rotation each of the next three seasons. 

 

It has pretty much been the philosophy of this FO not to draft pitching early.......

It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#54 spycake

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 12:08 PM

 

If our "clear cut number 1 starter" can't pitch well late in the season, then Yes, he's in the bullpen. And probably not a number 1 starter. No use wasting a postseason game just because we've labeled him. 

He wasn't perfect, but he showed enough in game 1 last year, and over his career in general, that he should certainly be part of our top 4 starters, and thus in our playoff rotation.

 

I agree it might be nice to have an even better option start game 1, if at all possible.

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#55 Twins33

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 12:13 PM

Rotation for the first month: Berrios, Odorizzi, Bailey and two rookies. 
 

rotation for 2021: Berrios, Pineda, three fill in the blanks. 
 

Yes, they do NEED another pitcher. I don’t believe they’ll have to worry about the White Sox, but the Indians still have good pitching and will still be a threat. I think the Twins can win the division but I don’t think it will be as easy as 2019. 
 

they need a starter who is a 1-3 in the rotation. One who has at least two years of control. They need him ASAP so he can help them win. Waiting until the deadline is an option, but then you miss out on that players production earlier in the season by not acquiring him sooner. Plus, the Twins can’t count on the rotation being as healthy as it was in 2019.

 

i don’t know who this mystery pitcher will be. That’s for the Twins to figure out and acquire but as I said, it needs to be done ASAP. 

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#56 amjgt

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 12:18 PM

"Need" can be whatever you want it to be in this thread. My frustration with the "we need impact pitching" crowd is that they presume that success in the postseason is impossible without it.. It's not. Having an ace makes success more likely, but definitely not assured. What about thinking about it in terms of percentage success?

 

I'll use my preferred Ace-ish target, who is Jon Gray, but it can be anyone of that caliber.

 

If the Twins trade for Jon Gray right now.

Our chances of winning the central go up, but really, probably not all that much. Say 65% to 75%?

What about winning in the first round of the playoffs? 40% to 60%?

World Series 35% to 50%?

 

I want an ace just like almost everyone else does, but I get tired of the same old boring "we can't go anywhere in the playoffs without better pitching" take. It's just not true. Odds will go up, but it's not a binary either/or.

 

Now go get Jon Gray! Pay what it takes. But if you don't, I've got other reasons to believe the Twins can win the WS without him.... he just makes it a little more likely. 

 

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#57 Mike Sixel

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 12:20 PM

 

"Need" can be whatever you want it to be in this thread. My frustration with the "we need impact pitching" crowd is that they presume that success in the postseason is impossible without it.. It's not. Having an ace makes success more likely, but definitely not assured. What about thinking about it in terms of percentage success?

 

I'll use my preferred Ace-ish target, who is Jon Gray, but it can be anyone of that caliber.

 

If the Twins trade for Jon Gray right now.

Our chances of winning the central go up, but really, probably not all that much. Say 65% to 75%?

What about winning in the first round of the playoffs? 40% to 60%?

World Series 35% to 50%?

 

I want an ace just like almost everyone else does, but I get tired of the same old boring "we can't go anywhere in the playoffs without better pitching" take. It's just not true. Odds will go up, but it's not a binary either/or.

 

Now go get Jon Gray! Pay what it takes. But if you don't, I've got other reasons to believe the Twins can win the WS without him.... he just makes it a little more likely. 

 

35-50% is a nearly 50% increase in odds....that would be massive. Massive.

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It's been a fun year so far, GO Twins. 


#58 woolywoolhouse

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 12:23 PM

If the answer to the question posed is "No" from Falvey and Levine, then they need to be prepared to change the answer to a "Yes" when an all-but-mathematically-eliminated team comes to them before the trade deadline, offering their top pitcher for Prospects X, Y, and possibly Z.

 

 

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#59 KirbyDome89

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 12:39 PM

 

Last year, the three teams that won over 100 games in the AL were also the teams that scored the most runs - Yankees, Twins and Astros, in that order. Yes, it's great to have shut-down pitching, but it's also evident from this result that you can win a lot of games by scoring a lot of runs.

And only one of those 100 win teams failed to win a single playoff game. Shockingly enough it was the team that started Randy Dobnak in game 2 of the ALDS. 

 

MN feasted on a historically terrible division to win 100+ games. Win total is a hollow comparison amongst MN, Houston, and NY.The Twins were the only AL playoff team with a losing record against clubs over .500 last year if you want to dig a little further. I'm all for racking up easy Ws while the opportunity presents itself, but this rotation, as currently constructed, looks set up to repeat the postseason failure we've become all too familiar with.  

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#60 Doctor Gast

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Posted 16 January 2020 - 12:47 PM

 

I think there is some hope in Bailey. He's shown enough at various times, including recently. He's a #4 at best, probably, and he makes them better than what Gibson or Perez was in 2018. 

 

I agree that we all agree that they don't need to sign the Ivan Nova's of the world. Again, my point is to give the 24, 25 years olds a shot to be just as good... and gain some confidence thanks to a strong offense. 

 

And no one is saying everything will go perfect. I pointed that out multiple times throughout the article. It's also OK to give guys opportunities when you have given yourself some great depth. 

 I don`t like to disagree w/ Seth but I don`t think Bailey will not be able to produce as well as Gibson or Perez in 2019, he doesn`t have the ability to SO & his style isn`t advantageous to the Twins even w/ Donaldson. 

 But I totally agree that w/ this offense will produce an excellent opportunity for this year & years to come to give young pitchers a chance to prove themselves. Like I stated before we need more impact arms (on page 2, I gave my reasons & examples) so why not trade w/ Pirates & or Marlins for some high upside projects for now & future. Near the end of the deadline we can evaluate, keep what will be an impact arm & trade what won`t




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