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Brusdar Graterol's Strange Journey: What Did We Learn?

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#41 DocBauer

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Posted 10 February 2020 - 10:00 PM

What did we learn?

Everything is fluid.

Graterol, with a lightening arm, is a TANTALIZING prospect! To think, even for a moment, that the Twins didn't like him is foolish. And he is talented enough, and young enough, that if nurtured and brought down the right path, he might yet turn out to be a good to fantastic SP. If he does, the Twins don't look so great here. At worst, he could be a good to great BP arm.

And I am NOT disparaging Graterol or hoping for poor results or a poor career from him. But I was recently reminded about Prior and Alex Meyer. Prior had the perfect build, the perfect delivery, and was the next can't miss stud All Star, Ace, possible HOF SP. And he was done by about 25yo. Meyer was imperfect, but had real top of the rotation potential. There were even crazy comparisons as to him being a RH Randy Johnson given time.

You just never know. Initially, after some setbacks, limited IP, the Twins decided Graterol, for NOW at least, felt he was a quality pen pitcher. Only time will tell if they were wrong. Other scouts and experts felt this would be his role. Maybe Graterol proves everyone wrong and becomes a stud.

But TODAY, he is not. TODAY he is a lightening armed young pitcher with potential. And sometimes you give up potential and hope for something more proven and substantial and hope it turns out. The Twins did that.
"Nice catch Hayes...don't ever f*****g do it again."

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#42 h2oface

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 01:40 AM

There was a reason Maeda couldn't crack the Dodgers starting rotation when eveyone was healthy. He just is not much for a #3 prospect. I know they got a bit more, but the Dodgers got Raley back too. I hate this trade. An innings eater for a star prospect that is ready for the show and to be the next Kenley Jansen. So much for getting a great pitcher with all that money available. Damn.


#43 JLease

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 09:10 AM

 

There was a reason Maeda couldn't crack the Dodgers starting rotation when eveyone was healthy. He just is not much for a #3 prospect. I know they got a bit more, but the Dodgers got Raley back too. I hate this trade. An innings eater for a star prospect that is ready for the show and to be the next Kenley Jansen. So much for getting a great pitcher with all that money available. Damn.

 

Except that's not the reason the Dodgers kept shifting him to the bullpen: they did it because they thought he was better suited to handling it than any of their other pitchers, not that he was necessarily the worst of their starters.

 

And Raley is pretty irrelevant, unfortunately. He's 25 and hasn't played a day in MLB yet. In the Twins org he's got 2 LH OFs ahead of him trying to get a 4th OF spot in Wade & Cave, and he's already been passed in the prospect pipeline by Kirilloff and Larnach (also LH bats). For Raley to crack the roster would take something catastrophic. He's the epitome of a surplus, marginal prospect I'm afraid. 

 

You made the kenley jansen comp: which Kenley is Graterol going to be? The one in 2016 & 2017 was one of the best closers in the game and fantastically valuable. The one from the last 2 years? Trevor May has been better. My goodness, Blake Parker was better over the last 2 years than Jansen and we cut him. It's one of the dangers with relievers: their value can seriously fluctuate. Even during Jansen's peak run, he had a couple of years where he was good but not elite.

 

A good starter is more valuable than a good reliever. A good starter is about as valuable as a great closer. A good starter is more consistently valuable over time than relievers.

 

I guess if you don't think Maeda will be a good starter, period, then there's not much else to say? But the numbers and track record suggest differently. 

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#44 spycake

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 11:49 AM

 

Except that's not the reason the Dodgers kept shifting him to the bullpen: they did it because they thought he was better suited to handling it than any of their other pitchers, not that he was necessarily the worst of their starters.

Looking at the Dodgers rotations entering the postseason each year from 2017-2019, it does look like Maeda was no better than 6th best performing SP.

 

Now, that may be due more to Dodgers SP depth than any failing on Maeda's part -- he's certainly better than virtually every 6th or even 5th SP around the league, so I wouldn't dismiss his value on those grounds. But his upside value is likely capped a bit by average range performance and age.

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#45 h2oface

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Posted 11 February 2020 - 06:58 PM

 

Except that's not the reason the Dodgers kept shifting him to the bullpen: they did it because they thought he was better suited to handling it than any of their other pitchers, not that he was necessarily the worst of their starters.

 

Well, I listened to (radio) and watched tons of Dodger games the last two years, and heard tons of "Dodger Talk" programs, and that is the main spin, for sure. And he wasn't the only one. Same with Ross Stripling (15 starts), who had a great run as a starter last year. Hey, the Dodgers had a very deep staff. Still will with Urias (8) and May (4) and Gonsolin (6) and Ferguson (2) coming up. But let's get real. You don't get pushed to the pen if you are one of the top four starters, unless it is for a spot inning in the post season. It was to his credit that he could handle the pen pretty well. But Maeda (26) was not one of the top 4 starters, even, but the ones that were were on the IL. Being 5,6, or 7 out of 11 that they used to start games last year is not the worst, either.

 

Blake Parker better than the last two years of Kenley? Seriously?

I won't even answer "which Kenley Jansen....."


#46 JLease

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 10:09 AM

 

 

Blake Parker better than the last two years of Kenley? Seriously?

I won't even answer "which Kenley Jansen....."

 

Blake Parker bWAR: 2018 1.0, 2019 0.3. 

Kenley Jansen bWAR: 2018 0.6, 2019 0.2

 

(the number of appearances are similar across both years)

 

I'm not saying I want Blake Parker over Kenley Jansen. My point is about how variable relief pitching can be in MLB. Jansen was one of the top relievers in the game, looked like he might be on a HoF track...and he's been just another guy the last 2 years. He might, in fact, be cooked which is one of the reasons Maeda went to the pen and why Graterol is attractive to them...but even for the Dodgers they're not loving paying a reliever $18M. Sure, he might bounce back, but it doesn't take a lot for a reliever's performance to fall off a cliff and fast.


#47 spycake

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 10:41 AM

 

Blake Parker bWAR: 2018 1.0, 2019 0.3. 

Kenley Jansen bWAR: 2018 0.6, 2019 0.2

You're right that Jansen has been mortal the past two years, and not worth $18 mil per year, but bWAR may not tell the whole story.

 

2018-2019

fWAR (Fangraphs, based on FIP)

Jansen 1.5

Parker 0.0

 

FWIW, Jansen has a notable advantage is leverage usage too (1.64 vs 1.18) -- I don't think that's a factor in fWAR, although it should be a factor at B-Ref, so I'm not sure what's going on there.

 

For fun, since I just remembered it existed:

 

WARP (Baseball Prospectus)

Jansen 3.3

Parker 0.5




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