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Mackey: Low Risk or Not, Twins are Taking a Philosophical Gamble

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#1 East Coast Twin

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:02 AM

Interesting article about the Twins signing of Kevin Correia.

"But I have a lot of faith and trust in people that have seen him, and they were adamant that this guy can help us. He's a little bit better than a fifth starter. ..."

Mackey: Twins Taking a Philosophical Gamble

#2 snepp

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:02 AM

This article makes me sad.

#3 Rosterman

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:54 AM

Stats and Live Scouts. Creates confusion, or so it looks. Correria was lucky. He got an offer from the Twins that was more than serviceable and grabbed it without question.
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#4 twinsnorth49

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:32 AM

If he is better than his numbers, then why isn't he...like, better?

Ouch, painful to read.

#5 GCTF

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:56 AM

Counting the days until the "> Kevin Correia " thread. appears.

#6 Top Gun

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:01 AM

Sounds like Ryan is already starting to pass the buck.

#7 gmarais66

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:07 AM

If he is better than his numbers, then why isn't he...like, better?

Ouch, painful to read.


I'm not saying Corriea is going to be great, but this is where all you guys that decide everything about players, by looking at stats, are missing the boat. Scouts and those who have experience playing/coaching baseball, know there can be much more value to a player than what's recorded on the stats sheet. From what I've seen of Corriea, he's a lot like Carl Pavano. Pavano put up similar numbers in his first two years with the Twins. They weren't impressive, but you knew, every time out that the Twins had a shot to win when Pavano was on the mound. Why? He'd get into tough situations (which contributed to his less than eye-popping numbers), but he knew how to get out of those situations. He looked ugly at times, but he could get guys out when he had to. He may give up five or six runs, but he kept his team in the game and gave the Twins a chance to win. It's cliche', but he was the bend, not break type of pitcher. You won't find any of this in the stats sheets, because there's no line for toughness or fortitude or instinct. I'm sure many will laugh at this, but it is true. Baseball isn't played on paper. It is a game of stats, but the stats don't always tell the whole story of what happens on the field.

#8 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:14 AM

He may give up five or six runs, but he kept his team in the game and gave the Twins a chance to win. .


You had me right up until this part.

#9 Nick Nelson

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:14 AM

From what I've seen of Corriea, he's a lot like Carl Pavano. Pavano put up similar numbers in his first two years with the Twins. They weren't impressive, but you knew, every time out that the Twins had a shot to win when Pavano was on the mound.


Pavano's stats in his first two years with the Twins were actually pretty good, far better than anything we've seen from Correia. Not a strong comp.

#10 whydidnt

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:39 AM

Uggh, this is why I have such little confidence in TR ability to build the Twins into a World Series contender. I hope I'm wrong about this, but any serious run at rebuilding has to be based upon a combination of scouting and stats. It seems over and over again when those two are in conflict, Ryan choses the scouts, and over the last few years, that has been disaster, yet he doesn't seem to learn from it.

#11 JB_Iowa

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:53 AM

Interesting that Mackey may be on the "Free Slama" bandwagon. And why does "runs every transaction past the Twins internal statistical department" not inspire me about the USE of those statistics?

Also love that they are "airming for 2014 more than 2013". I suppose so but I don't think 2014 looms as a very big target for this group either.

#12 ThePuck

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:11 AM

Interesting that Mackey may be on the "Free Slama" bandwagon. And why does "runs every transaction past the Twins internal statistical department" not inspire me about the USE of those statistics?

Also love that they are "airming for 2014 more than 2013". I suppose so but I don't think 2014 looms as a very big target for this group either.


Ryan says he runs everything past their main stat guy, but he says he believes in some stats and not others. In other words, if the stat guy says we shouldn't a player Ryan wants to get based on X stats, then he doesn't believe in those stats and gets him. If the stats guy says we should get a guy Ryan wants to get based on X stats, then he agrees with them. Basically, I'm gonna run it past the stats guy, but it doesn't matter what he says, I'm gonna do what I'm gonna do.

#13 edavis0308

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:16 AM

Counting the days until the "> Kevin Correia " thread. appears.


Why wait?

Tongue frozen to flag pole > Kevin Correia

#14 josecordoba

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:42 AM

I'll defend Terry Ryan here.

Teams are getting more aware/advanced with stats all the time. Even the Stats that Smart Baseball Fans tend to reference such as xFIP tend to pale in comparsion to the resources for a major league team. Scouting will be able to create more of a Market Inefficiency overtime. I'll hold out to the possibility there are things about Kevin Correria I can't grasp looking at stats. Could there be bad luck where he hits his spots? I can't say for certain.

I fully realize that this post might look stupid by the 1st of May. I just get frustrated when people assumes that General Managers go into anything with a reckless thought process.

#15 Willihammer

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:51 AM

I don't understand how scouting could even enter the equation. We're talking about a 10 year pro.

The only possible information edge that the Twins might have here is the reference to the ballpark. Maybe someone saw a spray chart and thinks Target Field will contain some of the HRs that otherwise would be gone at AT&T, PNC, and Petco. If that's the case, color me dubious.

#16 nicksaviking

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:51 AM

WTF, did Ryan really try to imply Correia's poor 2012 production was due to being moved to the bullpen? Where he pitched all of 10 innings?

Nothing more to say about this situation that hasn't already been said but this boils my blood. This is the closest a member of the media has come to pointing out that Ryan is making poor decisions. Hopefully more members of the media now see they can constructively criticize the Twins and start the process of holding Ryan accountable for this BS.

#17 Boom Boom

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:59 AM

The "he's a little bit better than a fifth starter" line is so sad it's almost funny.

Especially considering Correia wasn't even in the Pirates' top 5.

#18 josecordoba

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:00 AM

I don't understand how scouting could even enter the equation. We're talking about a 10 year pro.

The only possible information edge that the Twins might have here is the reference to the ballpark. Maybe someone saw a spray chart and thinks Target Field will contain some of the HRs that otherwise would be gone at AT&T, PNC, and Petco. If that's the case, color me dubious.


Pitchers can do improve and supplement their skill-set all the time. Pitchers lose velocity then remake themselves. Pitchers get better with certain pitches. The Twins must feel their is something here that hasn't reflected itself yet in the numbers. The main point is the Twins reached their conclusion based on information not available to Phil Mackey or Ourselves.

#19 UCLA_YANKEE_COLA

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:26 AM

Do pitchers get markedly better 10 years into their career? Or when they move to a tougher league? Maybe it happens (I can't think of anyone off hand) but if it does it's not something you can count on. What could the Twins have possibly based this move on other than what he's done on the field?

He's not going to reinvent himself Whether we like it or not he's going to be as bad, or worse, in 2013 as he has been over the last 10 years.

#20 nicksaviking

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:28 AM

Pitchers can do improve and supplement their skill-set all the time. Pitchers lose velocity then remake themselves. Pitchers get better with certain pitches. The Twins must feel their is something here that hasn't reflected itself yet in the numbers. The main point is the Twins reached their conclusion based on information not available to Phil Mackey or Ourselves.


I can't believe that. Ryan granted an interview to Mackey, and judging by the tone of the article the questions were not particularly pleasent. Ryan specifically said "I don't think we overpaid" which means that Mackey actually asked Ryan something along the lines of "Do you think you overpaid for Correia?" Ryan was very defensive and went on to say things like "We weren't the only team chasing him," and "He's a little better than a fifth starter." He also took several opportunities to lay the situation at the scouts/evaluators feet by implying that he got the information from those people as opposed to making the decision based on his personal assesment. With Ryan being defensive with many of his answers and perhaps subconciously trying to put this signing on the evaluators below him, it would tell me that Ryan certainly would have disclosed any "secret" information the Twins knew about Correia that would swing popular opinion in his favor. There would be no harm in proclaiming Correia's hidden attributes at this point, they already signed him.

#21 josecordoba

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:41 AM

You make a fair point- I do wonder if it's possible that Ryan doesn't care to shed insight into their process.

#22 jokin

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:51 AM

I fully realize that this post might look stupid by the 1st of May. I just get frustrated when people assumes that General Managers go into anything with a reckless thought process.


Nothing personal, but this post might look stupid, right now. The very quote above:

"But I have a lot of faith and trust in people that have seen him, and they were adamant that this guy can help us. He's a little bit better than a fifth starter. ..."

demonstrates that this GM made a panic-signing based on a reckless thought process, and is in severe back-pedal mode.

This article is reminiscient of all the FO "apologies" and excuses made about Nishi in spring training of his debut year. Those names still haven't been named, will the "adamant" scouts on this deal stay similarly anonymous?

#23 Willihammer

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:51 AM

I think Jr's intentionally mystifying the process, if anything. Correia's a guy who doesn't walk many or strike many out. Its as simple as that.

Btw, Jr said "I don't think we overpaid drastically," which to me sounds like he accepts that they overpaid somewhat. Whatever market inefficiency there might have been that undervalued low walk/low strikeout guys, its not there anymore.

#24 lightfoot789

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:52 AM

I agree with gmarais66 - I don't believe in stats as a tell all - unless it's about Wins. Correia won 12 games last year Twins Fans. That's is twice as much as any player on the entire Twins team not named Diamond. Twice as much. Why doesn't anyone acknowledge that he did some good in 2012. And he played for the Pirates, who had 1 superstar hitter. We at least had 2. 12 Wins!! Why can't he duplicate that with the Twins - even in the AL. By the way the last 2 WS champions were from the NL. I get tired of hearing how the switch to the AL for a pitcher is such a major adjustment. An adjustment - yes. A major adjustment - no. Pitchers have to pitch, like hitters have to hit. A game of adjustments. Let's see what Correia can do and support the man in his first few outings without reservations and I told you so's.

#25 PseudoSABR

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:03 PM

I recall (maybe in the Twins Daily Offseason Handbook) Terry Ryan speaking about scouting accountability at some length. At certain point, those who end up recommending the likes of Marquis and Correia (if indeed he ends up a lemon) need to have less influence. We'll see.

I doubt it's the same scout or even group of scouts that are recommending the bulldog Correia and championing the likes of Meyer and Mays. It's just too bad there isn't more public accountability for scouts--as it'd make good forum fodder, and more precise criticisms.

Overall though, the minor league/draft philosophy on pitchers seems promising and a marked shift from what we knew as the Twins; if some of these pitchers work out, and the scouting philosophy looks sustaining, maybe it can graduate to the major league level and into our evaluations of free agents. We can hope.

Edited by PseudoSABR, 23 January 2013 - 12:06 PM.


#26 ThePuck

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:04 PM

I agree with gmarais66 - I don't believe in stats as a tell all - unless it's about Wins. Correia won 12 games last year Twins Fans. That's is twice as much as any player on the entire Twins team not named Diamond. Twice as much. Why doesn't anyone acknowledge that he did some good in 2012. And he played for the Pirates, who had 1 superstar hitter. We at least had 2. 12 Wins!! Why can't he duplicate that with the Twins - even in the AL. By the way the last 2 WS champions were from the NL. I get tired of hearing how the switch to the AL for a pitcher is such a major adjustment. An adjustment - yes. A major adjustment - no. Pitchers have to pitch, like hitters have to hit. A game of adjustments. Let's see what Correia can do and support the man in his first few outings without reservations and I told you so's.


You value the win stat?

#27 PseudoSABR

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:16 PM

The win discussion sidesteps, the actual discussion of where guys like Correia (or even Blackburn in his prime (Ha!)) actually have value. Innings matter, and the capacity to pitch deeply into games even when doing poorly matters, it saves the bullpen at minimum. At the major league level, consistent mediocrity is preferable to scattershot success and failure (like say Liriano or Deduno), even the though the latter gives you something to dream on.

#28 nicksaviking

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:16 PM

I agree with gmarais66 - I don't believe in stats as a tell all - unless it's about Wins. Correia won 12 games last year Twins Fans. That's is twice as much as any player on the entire Twins team not named Diamond. Twice as much. Why doesn't anyone acknowledge that he did some good in 2012. And he played for the Pirates, who had 1 superstar hitter. We at least had 2. 12 Wins!! Why can't he duplicate that with the Twins - even in the AL. By the way the last 2 WS champions were from the NL. I get tired of hearing how the switch to the AL for a pitcher is such a major adjustment. An adjustment - yes. A major adjustment - no. Pitchers have to pitch, like hitters have to hit. A game of adjustments. Let's see what Correia can do and support the man in his first few outings without reservations and I told you so's.


Ha, duck and cover, it's going to get ugly pretty quick!

#29 nicksaviking

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:18 PM

The win discussion sidesteps, the actual discussion of where guys like Correia (or even Blackburn in his prime (Ha!)) actually have value. Innings matter, and the capacity to pitch deeply into games even when doing poorly matters, it saves the bullpen at minimum. At the major league level, consistent mediocrity is preferable to scattershot success and failure (like say Liriano or Deduno), even the though the latter gives you something to dream on.


Did you not read the article? Correia's inability to get past the 6th inning was one of Mackey's points of contention.

#30 jokin

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:21 PM

I doubt it's the same scout or even group of scouts that are recommending the bulldog Correia and championing the likes of Meyer and Mays. It's just too bad there isn't more public accountability for scouts--as it'd make good forum fodder, and more precise criticisms.

Overall though, the minor league/draft philosophy on pitchers seems promising and a marked shift from what we knew as the Twins; if some of these pitchers work out, and the scouting philosophy looks sustaining, maybe it can graduate to the major league level and into our evaluations of free agents. We can hope.


These aren't guys working in underground caves looking forward to "graduation", unaware of what the other group in the "advanced" adjoining cave are recommending at the major league level. There were/are harder-throwing ML FAs available, the Twins chose not to aggressively pursue them, except for speculative reclamation projects. Choose for yourself to speculate on the reasons why they weren't signed, but regardless, I agree that it's past time to "out" the evaluation staff out of their cave(s).

Edited by jokin, 23 January 2013 - 12:24 PM.