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In Win-Now Mode, Twins Keeping Graterol in Bullpen

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#21 sloopjont

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 08:33 AM

-outside the box, I know-

Try having him be the opener for another pitcher who doesn't go long--like Odoh.Go three-four innings a start.3 or 4 innings times 30 starts=90-120 innings.Plus it saves a lot on the bullpen for Odoh's starts.

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#22 Possumlad

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 08:36 AM

 

In my opinion he is just as likely to blow out his arm throwing 100mph out of the pen. They can tell themselves they are protecting his arm and it might be the absolute best thing they can do or the absolute worst and anywhere in between. Is throwing 180 innings in 30 starts with a fastball at 96 better or worse than throwing 60 times out of the pen at 101? No way of knowing.Not surprising that throwing over 100 as a starter 5 innings at a time has caused some strain but no real science to back up that either.I was hoping he would start right out of the gate but he should be a significant asset out of the pen. Now we are talking Berrios, Odo, Bailey, Dobnak and Thorpe/Shmeltzer?

This isn't really an "in my opinion" question - given his lack of extended work, he's far more likely to to have arm issues starting & racking up innings over the course of the year.

 

There have been actual studies to this end, and luckily the Twins don't need to rely on your apparently un-researched opinion. Two examples of recent studies:

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm...es/PMC6350667/

 

and

 

http://harvardsports...tcher-injuries/

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#23 twinkiesfan11

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 08:45 AM

He's clearly ready to be a difference maker now but needs to continue to build up innings. Wes Johnson said he's bullpen bound but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll be used as a traditional single inning reliever. There are lots of ways they could deploy him as a multi-inning opener or reliever on somewhat of a rotation that could be mutually beneficial to the team and to his development. Maybe the Twins just feel that the best place for an arm this valuable but to date fragile is with the big league club where he'll get the best coaching, training, mentorship and nutrition the Twins can provide.

 

As a fan I can't wait to watch him make hitters look foolish all summer instead of just reading about it in the minor league forum game recaps. 

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#24 wabene

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 08:50 AM

I was advocating for him as an early season starter transitioning to the pen when the rotation fills up. Which would limit his innings. They must think either he doesn't have the pitches for that yet or can't handle the load yet or some combination of both. I'm on board with this move for 2 reasons. I love the new FO not wasting his bullets in the minors and this move can be temporary i.e. Santana. This is aggressive and decisive management!
Edit: Make that 3 reasons, I like him up with the major league staff and players.
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#25 stringer bell

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 08:56 AM

One result of committing Graterol to the bullpen this year would be the increased chance that Romero will not be in the Twins' bullpen, making him by far the most likely to be included in any trade the Twins make. Young, mid-nineties velocity, some experience and on his last option. I would think many clubs would want to take a flyer on him.

 

As for Graterol, the velocity is nice, but he doesn't get as many swings and misses as other guys who don't throw it as hard (SSS, I know). I like that the team is playing to win, but I wonder if eliminating a possible ace for this decade is worth having his stuff in the bullpen this year.

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#26 bowserthedog

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 08:56 AM

I support this decision.He could be brilliant in the pen this season and having an extra talent like that is going to make the bullpen vastly improved over last season. Compared to the pre trade deadline bullpen this group is vastly improved. 


#27 rdehring

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 08:57 AM

My question is if he is used this year out of the Twins pen, will he be pitching more than an inning in a lot of his appearances?Kind of a long set-up role where he comes in and pitches 1+ or 2+ innings?That would get his innings up this year to well over 100.

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#28 terrydactyls1947

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 09:04 AM

Adam Wainwright pitched 75 innings his first full year in the majors and 202 the following year. Graterol has never exceeded 111 innings so he is not ready to be a starter. I guess I don't follow the logic. Let the young man throw the ball.
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#29 Steve Lein

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 09:05 AM

I find myself going back and forth between "like" and "hate" this when it comes to a plan for Graterol in 2020.

 

I would rather the plan be use him as a starter until you have to limit his innings out of the bullpen, but that likely means he's not on the opening day roster, so there's the tradeoff.

 

But I would also consider that I don't really see him as being needed out of the gate in the bullpen, or that this scenario is likely to happen. I certainly don't take 9.2 innings in September/October as gospel for what he could or could not do out of the bullpen.

 

Thus, if he's not going to crack the opening day roster, he should be starting to begin the year.

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Scouting Report: Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 45, Speed: 45. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but will sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)


#30 MMMordabito

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 09:07 AM

Creativity in how to use Graterol to get meaningful outs (I guess they're all meaningful but at different levels) is needed in this situation.I'm definitely not in the camp of "just throw him out there until is arm falls off", but I don't think a hard innings limit should be penned in right out of the gate.

 

Steal a page from Dave Roberts or Craig Counsell and give him different situations to use his talents.Thinking out loud, I can envision a Hader/Maeda combination weapon of some kind.

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#31 bowserthedog

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 09:10 AM

 

I find myself going back and forth between "like" and "hate" this when it comes to a plan for Graterol in 2020.

 

I would rather the plan be use him as a starter until you have to limit his innings out of the bullpen, but that likely means he's not on the opening day roster, so there's the tradeoff.

 

But I would also consider that I don't really see him as being needed out of the gate in the bullpen, or that this scenario is likely to happen. I certainly don't take 9.2 innings in September/October as gospel for what he could or could not do out of the bullpen.

 

Thus, if he's not going to crack the opening day roster, he should be starting to begin the year.

It might be more important that they have him early in the season with Pineda and Hill out.Could be part of some bullpen games and such. 

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#32 dex8425

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 09:19 AM

 

I was advocating for him as an early season starter transitioning to the pen when the rotation fills up. Which would limit his innings. They must think either he doesn't have the pitches for that yet or can't handle the load yet or some combination of both. I'm on board with this move for 2 reasons. I love the new FO not wasting his bullets in the minors and this move can be temporary i.e. Santana. This is aggressive and decisive management!
Edit: Make that 3 reasons, I like him up with the major league staff and players.

Agreed. I was thinking he'd start in April-May, then transition to the pen depending on who is pitching well and who is healthy. They must not think his secondary pitches are good enough or are really concerned about workload. We could always do the Chris Paddack type workload limit as a starter though. 


#33 Shaitan

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 09:22 AM

While the only way for a team (not in LA or NY) to get an ace is to develop one, I think this is probably the best move.

 

1) I'm not sold that he has enough pitches to be an effective starter yet. 

2) As another poster already say, we kept waiting for Meyer and Romero to build up their innings levels too. If it hasn't happened by the time he reached AAA, it's not a sign it's going to happen.

3) In an era of Andrew Miller, Josh Hader, and openers, there are more opportunities for innings. In theory, he could throw 70-90 IP as a reliever instead of the 50-60 standard of a few years ago.

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#34 JW24

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 09:31 AM

 

I've been impressed with the Twins approach to communicating expectations for players. However anyone feels about the choice, at least Graterol can prepare for camp understanding their plans for him. 

 

I hope they avoid using Graterol as a "fireman" to start the season. IMO, irregular work might be as hard on his arm as starting. I'd rather see him pitch multiple innings in tandem with the 5th starter.

 

It would be fun to see Graterol in combination with Smeltzer to start the season. Smeltzer throwing low velocity, high spin fastballs mixed with three offspeed pitches. Graterol following with 99 MPH sinkers and ferocious sliders from the right side. I can't think of a more radical difference in styles. Either one could start and the change would be jarring to hitters.

I like your idea of pairing Graterol with a starter, and Smeltzer is a good option since their pitching styles are vastly different. I would also be interested in having Graterol paired with Odorizzi. Jake can get 18 outs extremely consistently. Graterol could basically show up to the ball park knowing he needs to be ready to take over in the 7th inning and try to finish the game. This could help build both his routine as his stamina.

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#35 ChrisKnutson

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 09:32 AM

Imagine if Romero bounces back and Graterol performs as expected...
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#36 Nick Nelson

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 09:38 AM

 

Adam Wainwright pitched 75 innings his first full year in the majors and 202 the following year. Graterol has never exceeded 111 innings so he is not ready to be a starter. I guess I don't follow the logic. Let the young man throw the ball.

It's about what the body is conditioned to handle. Wainwright, prior to pitching as a reliever his rookie year, had thrown 160+ IP in the minors three times. 

 

"Let the young man throw the ball" is simply not a blueprint the Twins can follow with Graterol. They need to be extremely thoughtful and careful about his usage and strain level. This is a vital asset to their future, no matter his role. 

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#37 Aerodeliria

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 09:52 AM

It certainly would be nice to have a hard throwing starter. Maybe they will ease him into the starter's role.

As far as blowing out an arm, I think it depends on how he is used and if he is susceptible to it or not. Some players just blow their arms out not because of any faulty coaching but because they are susceptible to it.

Others can pitch until their arms fall off without many problems. For example, the Blue Jays have signed Yamada who has been pitching for the Yomiuri Giants for the past two years. He's basically a junk ball pitcher who throws sinkers, sliders, forks, curves, splitters as well as two-seam and four-seam fastballs. He is regularly allowed to throw +120 pitches in games and has exceeded +140 in at least two games that I watched. For some reason, he doesn't seem to get injured (but he did look tired in the WBC). In any case, Toronto while knowing all of this, ponied up the cash.

#38 mikelink45

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 10:40 AM

Interesting article and the comp of Johann Santana starting in the pen is a good one.I would still like to see him get a few starts or be a Hader BP pitcher - throwing more than one inning and gaining some of that important development towards being a starter. 


#39 In My La-Z-boy

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 10:41 AM

 

It's about what the body is conditioned to handle. Wainwright, prior to pitching as a reliever his rookie year, had thrown 160+ IP in the minors three times. 

 

"Let the young man throw the ball" is simply not a blueprint the Twins can follow with Graterol. They need to be extremely thoughtful and careful about his usage and strain level. This is a vital asset to their future, no matter his role. 

I took this post "I guess I don't follow the logic. Let the young man throw the ball" to mean put him in the major league bullpen vs putting him in AAA as a starter. 

Let the young man throw the ball in the major leagues is I think what he was saying. And I agree. This doesn't in any way preclude him from becoming a starter.


#40 Monkeypaws

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Posted 21 January 2020 - 10:42 AM

Worked for Johan, it can work for Brusdar.

 

Santana spent 4 years, age 21 to 24, working primarily out of the bullpen, while starting more games each year.

 

His innings ramped up from 86 to 158 over that time.

 

Games started from 5 to 18.

 

When he moved over to full time starting at 25, he won the Cy Young.

 

Let him spot start once in a while. May as well be the beneficiary of that arm while he gradually increases his innings.

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