Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Photo

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

randy dobnak lewis thorpe brusdar graterol devin smeltzer josh donaldson
  • Please log in to reply
135 replies to this topic

#121 Cap'n Piranha

Cap'n Piranha

    Senior Member

  • Member
  • 2,522 posts

Posted 17 January 2020 - 11:07 AM

 

Again, you're relying on ERA estimators and K-BB%. All teams with good bullpens will probably have pretty good K-BB% ratios and FIPs. I'd argue the teams with the best K% and best hit prevention among those teams would probably be the best pens, even if another team with fewer walks and Ks edges them in K-BB% or FIP.

 

And I think pens do have some control over hits -- look at batting average against, and you'll generally see better pens at the top, and worse at the bottom. The Twins pen was in the middle-bottom half for 2019 by this measure -- I think their strategy of throwing strikes results in more hits, fewer walks, higher BABIP, better ERA estimators, but maybe not the very best pen in real world terms. (Although they've gotten good enough at missing bats recently that it's definitely closed the gap significantly.) It's going to be subjective, of course. If you prefer the ERA estimators and K-BB%, that's subjective too -- and there's nothing wrong with it, we simply disagree. I'm just laying out my position.

 

To repeat, I still think it's a very good pen, but in the context of a postseason series, I'm not sure it's going to be a relative *advantage* over the recent pens of the Yankees and Astros, at least not enough to offset not having an ace starter, which is I believe how this tangent got started.

 

If all teams with good bullpens have good k/bb ratios and ERA estimators, doesn't it follow that those are therefore good indicators that a bullpen is good?After all, would we ever look at a bullpen with bad k/bb ratios or ERA estimators, and deem it a good bullpen?And if they are good indicators of a bullpen's quality, wouldn't it be reasonable to declare that a team which performs better in these metrics than another team who also performs well, but not as well, has a superior bullpen?I agree they don't tell the whole picture, but that being said, when one team is invariably first, at a certain point that starts to matter.

 

Furthermore, I disagree that batting average against is a particularly useful standalone metric, as it cannot rule out the effects of defense, which the Twins were strongly below average at, particularly at 2nd, 3rd, and short; in the second half you can add center field to that list too.This story is told by the fact that the Twins had the 6th worst BAA in the second half, but the worst BAABIP.While you're correct that the Twins threw more strikes in the second half (44.1% zone percentage) than any other team, they actually had the 7th lowest zone contact percentage, because they had the 5th highest swinging strike rate--Twins relievers stayed in the zone because they could avoid contact and get swinging strikes.By-the-by, that swinging strike rate of 13.1% was better than either the Astros OR the Yankees.

 

In short, as best as I can tell, the only statistical metric you actually want to use to gauge bullpens' relative value is batting average against, which, given the fielding dependent nature of that metric, seems at best flawed.Outside of that, your dismissal of the Twins bullpen as potentially being an advantage over Houston or New York seems to come from bias and assumption.


#122 Tomj14

Tomj14

    Rochester Red Wings

  • Member
  • 1,165 posts

Posted 17 January 2020 - 11:11 AM

 

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

Kluber, Salazar, Carrasco, Bauer

 

Clevinger is 29 and has been in the starting rotation on and off since 2016, when he started 10 games and then 21 in 2017 then 32 and 21.

Bieber is 24 and started 19 then 33.

And Civale started 10 games last year and one might assume because of the injuries to Kluber, Salazar, Carrasco and Clevinger and the trade of Bauer is how that happened.

You might say they were brought along slow and forced their way into the rotation because they were good not because starting spots needed to be filled.


#123 tony&rodney

tony&rodney

    Cedar Rapids Kernels

  • Member
  • 183 posts

Posted 17 January 2020 - 11:34 AM

 

Kluber, Salazar, Carrasco, Bauer

 

Clevinger is 29 and has been in the starting rotation on and off since 2016, when he started 10 games and then 21 in 2017 then 32 and 21.

Bieber is 24 and started 19 then 33.

And Civale started 10 games last year and one might assume because of the injuries to Kluber, Salazar, Carrasco and Clevinger and the trade of Bauer is how that happened.

You might say they were brought along slow and forced their way into the rotation because they were good not because starting spots needed to be filled.

 

Exactly that, and Kluber, Carrasco, and Bauer were brought along in trades but not as aces. Cleveland has developed pitchers. We should agree on that. I am all for trades for pitchers like Alcantara knowing he is not that great right now and needs to develop, but the Twins might even have trouble gaining these #3-5 slot pitchers right now.

I would love to get an ace in a trade but there hasn't been a single credible proposal. I want to be surprised too. Does anyone know of an available ace right now?

The Twins will need to bring along those prospects who they identify as good, hopefully soon.

 

  • Major League Ready likes this

#124 Tomj14

Tomj14

    Rochester Red Wings

  • Member
  • 1,165 posts

Posted 17 January 2020 - 11:53 AM

 

Exactly that, and Kluber, Carrasco, and Bauer were brought along in trades but not as aces. Cleveland has developed pitchers. We should agree on that. I am all for trades for pitchers like Alcantara knowing he is not that great right now and needs to develop, but the Twins might even have trouble gaining these #3-5 slot pitchers right now.

I would love to get an ace in a trade but there hasn't been a single credible proposal. I want to be surprised too. Does anyone know of an available ace right now?

The Twins will need to bring along those prospects who they identify as good, hopefully soon.

You asked "why didn't the Indians go get another starter instead of using these guys?"

 

The answer was because they hada solid rotation (the guys I mentioned and Tomlin a few years back) and prospects in the minors, they didn't hand one of those pitchers you mentioned a spot in the starting rotation let alone two like the twins are, they all came up and earned it

(This year they seem to be doing what the Twin are doing and that is putting both Plesac and Civale in the starting rotation,which as a Twins fan I hope end up like it does when teams go with two rookies in the starting rotation, not very good)

I have always been on board with Dobnack as the number 5 starter, I think he came up last year and earned it, I don't think Thorpe, Smeltzer or Graterol did enough last year to earn a starting rotation spot. They still have work to do in my mind.

 

Everything else you mentioned I agree with.


#125 Battle ur tail off

Battle ur tail off

    Pensacola Blue Wahoos

  • Member
  • 686 posts

Posted 17 January 2020 - 12:03 PM

 

It is not that I do not agree with your assessment that the Twins could trade any or all of the prospects, it's that there doesn't seem to be any actual proposals to bring in an ace and that seems understandable because teams are holding on to what they have right now. A Syndergaard is not available and it will almost certainly be a few months before teams re-assess their direction. 

Like many, I am willing to be surprised by an acquisition of Gray, Syndergaard, Snell, Castillo, or others.

 

Right. I am with you. And Synergaard is just a name I threw out. I want one of those types of pitchers. Whether they can be had now, later or never is the question. I do however think that with as many position player prospects and young guys we have around, it wouldn't hurt to move 1-2 of them in order to get this type of player in here. 


#126 Cap'n Piranha

Cap'n Piranha

    Senior Member

  • Member
  • 2,522 posts

Posted 17 January 2020 - 12:12 PM

 

Be honest: you knew, as we all did, that Berrios was going to lose the Yankees in game 1.

A healthy Rich Hill, a deadline-deal ace, an unsuspended Pineda, and Jake Odorizzi all would have a better chance at beating them. That's all I'm saying. No agenda, and I hope he proves me wrong. 

 

I had no idea, and neither did you.If you knew, you'd be setting lines in Vegas, not posting on a Twins message board.Was I optimistic the Twins would win? No, but the Twins defense giving up 2 unearned runs didn't help Berrios, nor did Kyle Gibson giving up 3 runs in his one inning, nor Zack Littell getting no one out in the 5th, and putting Duffey in a tough spot.The Twins were tied with the Yankees when Berrios left the game, and still only 1 run behind going to the bottom of the sixth when Stashak served up two homers.Berrios didn't lose to the Yankees in game 1, and while we all hoped for more, he remains far and away our best bet to start a potential game 1 in 2020, barring a huge trade between then and now.Pineda, Odo, or Hill will not be better options.


#127 Craig Arko

Craig Arko

    Baseball and thought

  • Member
  • 8,917 posts
  • LocationThe ballpark of the mind

Posted 17 January 2020 - 12:28 PM

Perhaps this question might be better phrased as: Do the Twins Really Need to Add Another Starter Before the Trade Deadline?

 

Since most folks seem to be concerned about a potential playoff rotation.

Update your priors.


#128 Chico Escuela

Chico Escuela

    Elizabethton Twins

  • Member
  • 1 posts

Posted 17 January 2020 - 12:43 PM

Yes, the Twins desperately need another starter.

Regarding the topic of in-house candidates, I'd propose another name: Trevor May.

I recall listenting to an interview Falvey gave in spring training the first year he took over. I was waiting to hear which player he would mention first. It was Trevor May, and he talked about May's potential as a quality starter. I have to believe Falvey  hasn't  completely written off this idea.  May  broke in as a starter of course  and was effective for a short stretch.I would challenge the notion that he's now locked into the role of a reliever.  Other in house candidates such as Dobnak, Thorpe, Littlel do nothing for me. Graterol isn't ready yet. Smeltzer's a possibility but an unproven one. 


#129 spycake

spycake

    Senior Member

  • Moderator
  • 18,169 posts

Posted 17 January 2020 - 01:28 PM

 

If all teams with good bullpens have good k/bb ratios and ERA estimators, doesn't it follow that those are therefore good indicators that a bullpen is good?After all, would we ever look at a bullpen with bad k/bb ratios or ERA estimators, and deem it a good bullpen?

We're not talking about good vs bad bullpens, though. We're talking about finding separation between good bullpens. If you present me with two bullpens, and all I know is that one has a better K/BB ratio and FIP but both rank well in those categories relative to league, I can't really conclude which is the better bullpen without additional data.

 

 

In short, as best as I can tell, the only statistical metric you actually want to use to gauge bullpens' relative value is batting average against

Not true at all. I want to look at a lot of measures -- just not FIP and K-BB% exclusively.

 

I think we've both said our case. This is an argument that's going to involve some level of subjectivity, and it's okay to disagree. I'll drop it now.


#130 jorgenswest

jorgenswest

    Senior Member

  • Member
  • 4,757 posts

Posted 17 January 2020 - 05:19 PM

Bailey was pitching mostly every 6 days after mid August when his ERA peaked at 5.58. He is one of the worst starting pitchers in the last 5 years. What rose color glasses. Sure he will do ok against KC, Detroit and Baltimore. Who doesn't?


You might want to watch his 2 August starts against the Yankees or his September start against the Astros.

Can you find a starter that was more effective against the Yankees last year? I am certain no one wearing a Twin uniform was more effective or even close to as effective.

#131 drivlikejehu

drivlikejehu

    Senior Member

  • Member
  • 2,214 posts

Posted 17 January 2020 - 05:56 PM

 

First off, we're straying off topic here. Another poster was making the claim the Twins pen could be significantly better than that of the Yankees or Astros, enough to offset not having an ace SP in a postseason series. If you or anyone else wants to say the Twins have a comparable pen to those clubs, I would probably agree. So I'm not really talking about anyone being "far better", if anything that is what I am arguing against. If my language or examples suggested otherwise, I apologize and would like to re-focus on that point.

 

That said, as a general example, the Yankees top 5 relievers entering the postseason last year threw 295.2 innings in the regular season; the rest of their relievers threw 369 innings. Theoretically, I don't think it's controversial to suggest the worst 56% of innings could offset some of the success of the best 44%, in terms of overall season numbers. The Yankees top RP by innings was a long man who was barely a factor in the postseason; their 3rd and #8-11 RPs by innings didn't even make their postseason rosters.

 

Again, I don't know if that's really the case between the Yankees and Twins in 2019. I didn't mean to imply that the Yankees top 5 are that much better than the Twins top 5. More like, their pens are probably comparable, so it's going to be a challenge for the Twins to stake out a big advantage in that area in a postseason series.

 

That's fair. I misunderstood your point, and don't disagree. I would say that, in general, quality differences are less as you tick down the list (i.e., clubs have more variation in their top 3 relievers than in relievers 6-8). 

 

The Twins could potentially get creative in the post-season, it's just too early to say whether that's going to be a viable strategy . . . all kinds of variables related to health, prospect development, etc.

  • spycake likes this

If you ain't got no haters, you ain't poppin'.


#132 ashbury

ashbury

    Twins fan for life!

  • Member
  • 25,939 posts
  • LocationNatick, MA

Posted 17 January 2020 - 06:46 PM

E Rodriguez - this one wont Bloom.

Just wanted to say...I've seen some posts in my day, but this. Is. Awesome.

Chaim inclined to agree.
 

  • USAFChief and tvagle like this

A mistake made more than once starts to look like a decision.


#133 diehardtwinsfan

diehardtwinsfan

    G.O.A.T.

  • Moderator
  • 15,114 posts
  • Locationthe charred ruins of BYTO

Posted 17 January 2020 - 07:13 PM

 

Perhaps this question might be better phrased as: Do the Twins Really Need to Add Another Starter Before the Trade Deadline?

 

Since most folks seem to be concerned about a potential playoff rotation.

yes to your point... I also think most of us assume they won't pay the price to get one. 


#134 Mr. Brooks

Mr. Brooks

    Senior Member

  • Member
  • 8,244 posts

Posted 17 January 2020 - 07:20 PM

I'm surprised this thread has gone this far given the title.

IMO the clear answer is yes. The end.

#135 howeda7

howeda7

    Senior Member

  • Member
  • 2,195 posts

Posted 17 January 2020 - 09:43 PM

 

Last year he had a 4.55 FIP 1.318 WHP and 6.9 SO/9. Does not sound like a front of the rotation guy to me. What am I missing?

Last year was his first full season. I'm willing to take a chance on his upside. 


#136 jimbo92107

jimbo92107

    SeƱor Member

  • Member
  • 4,693 posts
  • LocationSan Diego

Posted 17 January 2020 - 10:45 PM

Well, this IS the Twins, so whomever they sign will need to be a bargain basement special. I'm surprised they don't stalk every Tommy John case around their hospital, asking if they're sure they'll get their fastball back, and that the Twins would be willing to make a speculative deal...

 

Or they could look on Craigslist for Used Pitchers. 

 

Realistically, they'll probably go with a big rotation of Dobnak and pals, hoping the offense can sustain their 10 runs per game pace. No problem. Right?????

The door opened. A woman screamed. Someday, my mom would learn to knock.



Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: randy dobnak, lewis thorpe, brusdar graterol, devin smeltzer, josh donaldson