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Article: Rounding Out the Bullpen

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#1 Nick Nelson

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:28 PM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...Out-the-Bullpen

#2 TheLeviathan

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:13 PM

Bit disappointing that Ryan called this his second highest priority and has done.....um....what exactly?

That isn't to bash Ryan, just a bit strange considering there are and were options.

#3 Nick Nelson

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:30 PM

Yeah, I never gave much credibility to the notion that there was a great need to address this unit, but he's really failed to back up his rhetoric thus far.

#4 Chance

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:31 PM

I would take the unconventional approach and have a 13 man pitching staff. But they will probably start with 12.

Perkins- closer
burton- setup
duensing- setup
fien- middle relief
pressly- long relief
burnett- middle relief
swarzak- long relief

fairly soon after the opener
roenicke- middle relief

First, nothing about the Twins starts makes me believe that they will be able to throw more than 5-6 innings on a good day. I can't tell you how much I hope I'm wrong about that. The Twins bullpen could be relied on often so it would be best to have another arm out there.

I left harden off the list because I feel that a starter will pull a marquis and he will have to join the rotation (if he is finally healthy). Fien pitched well enough and struck out enough batters that I feel he can contribute right away but with regress a bit. Pressly will get a chance with the club unless he is horrendous, but we will probably end up having to work out a trade later so we can send him to AAA. There is no way the Twins don't keep swarzak and Burnett.

a month in the Twins might have an over-worked pen so I could see them adding another arm. Roenicke seem like he could put together a good camp and make an appearance early in the season.


This is my theory...... It's probably wrong.

#5 TheLeviathan

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:46 PM

Yeah, I never gave much credibility to the notion that there was a great need to address this unit, but he's really failed to back up his rhetoric thus far.


I'm starting to wonder if Harden/Pressly/Roenicke is what Ryan had in mind. And if the likes of Correia and Pelfrey were exactly what he meant by major changes to the starting rotation. Perhaps the problem is we interpreted the rhetoric the way an average mlb fan should and Ryan's version of that that entails is very, very different.

Just a disconcerting notion I'm starting to buy into these days.

#6 YourHouseIsMyHouse

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:11 PM

If it's three (and it probably is): Casey Fien, Ryan Pressly, and Tyler Robertson. If it's two: I'm afraid Pressly gets sent back.

#7 nicksaviking

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:11 PM

Burnett is going to be wasting a spot for sure. Hopefully he doesn't have a long leash. Sometimes Ryan, Gardy and co. are too deep into the forest to see the trees, but surely even they know Burnett survived last year on black magic alone.

Hopefully Ryan doesn't need his single SABR employee and his trusty intern to convince him.

#8 Jeremy Nygaard

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:46 PM

On WHAM 1180 tonight, TR was asked about Tim Wood. Ryan expects him to make the team out of ST. Surprising to me anyway.

#9 Shane Wahl

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 12:07 AM

Not sure why the Twins bothered with Tim Wood and Josh Roenicke. And Burnett has an option year. He was very good a few years ago in the minors and was pushed pretty quickly. Develop him as an actual setup man in Rochester, please. See if he improves, bring him up in September and make him contend in 2014. Meanwhile:

-Ryan Pressly (not to say he is Scott Diamond, but he is young enough and is worth a spot, especially over Swarzak who is older and could be traded for some C level prospect in low-A ball to take a chance on).
-Casey Fien (he can be a guy on a short leash in the majors in 2013, but if he repeats anything close to 2012 and that 8.2 K rate, keep him)
-Tyler Robertson (will get better and does throw hard--gave up too many walks but can be very useful against lefties)
-Anthony Slama (you know the story and what I think about the Twins stupidity regarding him)
-Brian Duensing
-Jared Burton
-Glen Perkins

Doesn't seem all that difficult.

#10 Shane Wahl

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 12:08 AM

(And eventually Oliveros, Guerra, Watts, Pugh, Albers can get a chance)

#11 jokin

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 12:26 AM

Not sure why the Twins bothered with Tim Wood and Josh Roenicke. And Burnett has an option year. He was very good a few years ago in the minors and was pushed pretty quickly. Develop him as an actual setup man in Rochester, please. See if he improves, bring him up in September and make him contend in 2014. Meanwhile:

-Ryan Pressly (not to say he is Scott Diamond, but he is young enough and is worth a spot, especially over Swarzak who is older and could be traded for some C level prospect in low-A ball to take a chance on).
-Casey Fien (he can be a guy on a short leash in the majors in 2013, but if he repeats anything close to 2012 and that 8.2 K rate, keep him)
-Tyler Robertson (will get better and does throw hard--gave up too many walks but can be very useful against lefties)
-Anthony Slama (you know the story and what I think about the Twins stupidity regarding him)
-Brian Duensing
-Jared Burton
-Glen Perkins

Doesn't seem all that difficult.


So Harden is a starter in your scenario?

Robertson, I believe has 3 options, there has to be KO-heavy lefty still available who would be more reliable.

Gardy has put Duensing into the SP mix, too (not sure how much sway he has left, or where Ryan comes down on that possibility).

I think Slama could have a 13.4 K/9 and a 0.52 WHIP in ST and they still wouldn't give him a shot.

I liked the somewhat unexpected shot in the arm that Fien provided, kudos to Ryan on that get, hope he builds on 2012 and doesn't fall backwards.

I would love to see lightining strike with Pressly, they eminently need the Twins vision of Swarzak that Swarzak, sadly, will never be.

Don't you think an 8th RP is a possible likelihood with their uncertain SP situation?, their love affair with Burnett and to a lesser degree, Swarzak, almost guarantees that they both are going to be on the opening day roster. (I like your idea about changing Burnett's mindset in Roc., he seems a little lost as to his role.)

Edited by jokin, 09 January 2013 - 12:30 AM.


#12 grumpyrob

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 02:11 AM

Would really like to see Slama brought up. Does anyone know exactly why he has never been given a chance at the ML level?

#13 Brandon

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:21 AM

I think Burnett is a given and Fien is practically a given out the gate and I think the third spot is Harden's as long as he is capable of pitching and wins the competition in spring training. If Harden isnt ready yet or one of the other 2 drops the ball then I think Roeneckie wins out followed by Robertson then Wood, Pressly, and Slama are aat the back if all else fails. Though I would like to see what Slama can do as a majorleaguer.

I think Terry Ryans goal for the bullpen was to make sure there was enough competition for spots as the bullpen was effective but doesnt appear to be strong. Harden has a chance to make a huge statement in the pen and be a huge upgrade.

#14 edavis0308

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:26 AM

Not sure why the Twins bothered with Tim Wood and Josh Roenicke. And Burnett has an option year. He was very good a few years ago in the minors and was pushed pretty quickly. Develop him as an actual setup man in Rochester, please. See if he improves, bring him up in September and make him contend in 2014. Meanwhile:

-Ryan Pressly (not to say he is Scott Diamond, but he is young enough and is worth a spot, especially over Swarzak who is older and could be traded for some C level prospect in low-A ball to take a chance on).
-Casey Fien (he can be a guy on a short leash in the majors in 2013, but if he repeats anything close to 2012 and that 8.2 K rate, keep him)
-Tyler Robertson (will get better and does throw hard--gave up too many walks but can be very useful against lefties)
-Anthony Slama (you know the story and what I think about the Twins stupidity regarding him)
-Brian Duensing
-Jared Burton
-Glen Perkins

Doesn't seem all that difficult.


There isn't a snowball's chance in hell that Swarzak can be traded for anything remotely useful.

#15 gunnarthor

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:30 AM

Over the years, Ryan and the Twins have picked up some nice cheap bullpen arms through waivers or minor league free agency. Reyes, Brewslow, Guierrier, Burton, Fein, heck even Brian Bass was helpful. Guys that we picked up this year, like Vasquez, Wood and Augenstein can hopefully be like that.

#16 70charger

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:37 AM

Why is everyone so down on Alex Burnett? I watched him all of last year, and it was only his inconsistency that bothered me. A stellar first half was backed up by a bad second half, but in the end, his stats are pretty good.

Burnett 2012: 71.2 IP; 3.52 ERA; 116 ERA+.

His strikeout numbers have been trending downwards, but so have his walks. I actually think there's room for improvement with Burnett. Am I the only one?

#17 The Wise One

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:46 AM

There isn't a snowball's chance in hell that Swarzak can be traded for anything remotely useful.


A low A ball C level prospect would in 4 years become an Anthony Swarzak. Not an unreasonable proposal, nor impossible. Swarzak does have a 91-93 MPH fastball

#18 beckmt

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:46 AM

If Pressly has a decent spring Swarzak is toast. The first sign of improvement will be if Swarzak and Burnett do not make the Twins out of spring training.

#19 gunnarthor

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 09:55 AM

Why is everyone so down on Alex Burnett? I watched him all of last year, and it was only his inconsistency that bothered me. A stellar first half was backed up by a bad second half, but in the end, his stats are pretty good.

Burnett 2012: 71.2 IP; 3.52 ERA; 116 ERA+.

His strikeout numbers have been trending downwards, but so have his walks. I actually think there's room for improvement with Burnett. Am I the only one?


Yeah, I've always like Burnett. He gets a ton of grounders and doesn't give up any homers and he ate a lot of innings. He'll be 25 next season. Still cheap and has options, if he struggles. He also seems to have a good mentality on the mound.

#20 edavis0308

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:32 AM

A low A ball C level prospect would in 4 years become an Anthony Swarzak. Not an unreasonable proposal, nor impossible. Swarzak does have a 91-93 MPH fastball


Why would anybody give up a player of value for him when they could just claim him when he ultimately gets DFA'ed? We can't trade him to ourselves. He has a career K/9 below 5.5. A career ERA of 5.03. ERA+ of 82. Only thing in his favor is that he is young and cheap.

I'll admit that I would expect his stats to improve this year as he gets a little older, but I don't see him having any trade value.

#21 ThePuck

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 10:36 AM

Why would anybody give up a player of value for him when they could just claim him when he ultimately gets DFA'ed? We can't trade him to ourselves. He has a career K/9 below 5.5. A career ERA of 5.03. ERA+ of 82. Only thing in his favor is that he is young and cheap.

I'll admit that I would expect his stats to improve this year as he gets a little older, but I don't see him having any trade value.


Basically, slightly worse than Correia's career numbers in regards to ERA+ and K/9.

#22 Shane Wahl

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 05:43 PM

Why would anybody give up a player of value for him when they could just claim him when he ultimately gets DFA'ed? We can't trade him to ourselves. He has a career K/9 below 5.5. A career ERA of 5.03. ERA+ of 82. Only thing in his favor is that he is young and cheap.

I'll admit that I would expect his stats to improve this year as he gets a little older, but I don't see him having any trade value.


That "player of value" is likely a 40-50 prospect in their system and is 4 years away, and Swarzak could be considered as a 5th starter by some teams and is ready for that now.

#23 Shane Wahl

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 05:51 PM

As far as Burnett goes, he was extremely lucky to keep the ERA as low as it was in 2012. His k rate and k/bb rate are going in the wrong direction. I would like to see him improve in Rochester since he can be optioned this year.

#24 savvyspy

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 07:41 AM

Swarzak probably would have been DFAd by 25 or so teams last year. He's as next to worthless as you can be on a major league roster. I'd go with Pressley, Wood, and Slama and maybe Harden and just see what happens for a couple of months. Maybe one of them develops and is an option down the line. On a 3rd straight 90+ loss team the only thing the Twins should be doing is testing out young talent and trading assets like Morneau and Willingham for more upside guys for when the team is competitive.

#25 kab21

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 10:24 AM

Yeah the problem with Burnett is that his K rate has plummetted and is approaching Blackburn levels.

Fien is the guy that intrigues me the most. He has a history of K'ing guys in the minors so it's possible that he could be a solid 7th inning guy. Right now I see a solid 8th/9th and a bunch of long relievers and mop up men in everyone's lists.

#26 nicksaviking

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 10:44 AM

The Indians somehow just traded Jeanmar Gomez. Under the right circumstances, the Twins could get something for Swarzak, he can't be any less desirable than Gomez.

#27 twinsnorth49

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 10:55 AM

I'm hoping Fien improves on what we saw last year, the k rate is a nice thing.

I think Robertson will improve, cut down on his walk rate and there is lots to like about him.

For the love of god can we just see Slama already and get it over with one way or another.

I'd love it if Pressley became what Swarzak should be. If so, I can't see getting anything for Swarzak if he doesn't get a roster spot, the vultures will be waiting. They would need to decide now.

Be interesting to see what they do with Harden, can't see his arm holding up as a starter although that would be nice.



Burnett is maddeningly inconsistent and I agree with Shane in that he could use some Rochester time.

If Duensing can just stay in the pen this year he is very effective, he was lights out last April and May before he was shifted to the rotation and after that he was a human yo-yo, I don't think that helped him. His velocity in relief is impressive.

Wood and Roenicke in the mix will make things interesting and Oliverios and Guerra can't be far off.

Obviously Perkins and Burton are givens.

The arms are there, a lot needs to go right but there appears to be enough to work with.

#28 ashburyjohn

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 11:54 AM

The Indians somehow just traded Jeanmar Gomez. Under the right circumstances, the Twins could get something for Swarzak, he can't be any less desirable than Gomez.


Looking things up... Swarzak is more than 2 years older than Gomez, which makes a lot of difference in desirability. And all the Indians got was what looks like a fourth round draft outfield prospect who didn't excel in AA at age 23 and maybe is viewed optimistically as "perhaps a change of scenery will help" - upside at this point might be as a fourth outfielder. I think it was Bill Veeck or Frank Lane who had the phrase "dog and cat trade", which is what this one sounds like. Yes, the Twins might get "something" for Swarzak but it won't affect the Twins' fortunes significantly.

#29 ashburyjohn

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 12:16 PM

Would really like to see Slama brought up. Does anyone know exactly why he has never been given a chance at the ML level?


If you use the search box in this website and type "Slama" you'll find that this is among the most frequently raised topics ever. In a nutshell, the Twins' brass have stated that they don't think his tools translate well to the majors - of particular note is that many of his strikeouts are of the "called" variety and they don't think he'll have the same success with that up with the big club. That sounds to me like a glass half-full/half-empty dilemma, but Twins scouts have more experience than I, and I suspect Slama would bear out their forecast.

#30 old nurse

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 09:20 PM

Why would anybody give up a player of value for him when they could just claim him when he ultimately gets DFA'ed? We can't trade him to ourselves. He has a career K/9 below 5.5. A career ERA of 5.03. ERA+ of 82. Only thing in his favor is that he is young and cheap.

I'll admit that I would expect his stats to improve this year as he gets a little older, but I don't see him having any trade value.

If Swarzak has no value then wouldn't trading Swarzak for a prospect that eventually pitches like him be trading Swarzak for nothing?