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Is this the worst rotation in the history of baseball?

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24 replies to this topic

#1 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 11:15 AM

Not talent wise per se, just results wise

#2 IdahoPilgrim

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 11:27 AM

I haven't bothered to go back and review statistics from 1876 to the present, but I'm going to go with the percentages here and say "No."

Or, was this not a serious question?

#3 Boom Boom

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 11:50 AM

Somehow they're managing to be worse than last year which many of us thought wasn't possible. They've got a ways to go if they want to catch these guys though: 1899 Cleveland Spiders Batting, Pitching, & Fielding Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com

#4 nicksaviking

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 12:06 PM

The 2013 Astros are going to give them a run for their money too. Though they do get to choose between Appel and Gray if they have the inclination to do so.

#5 mike wants wins

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 12:10 PM

No idea, but it is one of the most depressing.
Lighten up Francis....

#6 nicksaviking

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 12:18 PM

Of course the Twins are unlucky, they do have the highest team BABIP. A team could limit how much luck plays into the outcome by improving the K/9.

Buuuut, the Twins starters K/9 is 4.25. That's the lowest since the 1992 Tigers. And this is after getting an 80% overhaul to the rotation from last year. This organization just does not understand pitching.

Three teams have a K/9 rate from their starters 2x that of the Twins.

#7 StormJH1

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 12:36 PM

I highly doubt it's the worst in the history of baseball, but it has to have some of the lowest upside in any rotation I can ever remember. There have been plenty of bad rotations. Some of those are due to injury. Some of them involve high-risk guys like Jonathan Sanchez, where you could see a 1 in 10 chance that the guy could end up with a boatload of strikeouts and a manageable ERA.

I mean, you could argue that Correia and Diamond have been mediocre enough to save this from "worst ever status", but could you even DESIGN a rotation ON PURPOSE where all five starters have K/9 rates of 4.7 or less? Start naming random "pitch to contact" guys from around baseball that come to mind, and I'll bet almost all of them strike out more guys than the Twins pitchers.

Looking at all pitchers together, last year's strikeout rate of 5.9 was the worst in the majors, and 29th was Cleveland with 6.8! But unlike last season, there were no injuries that knocked out Baker and Pavano. You didn't have a high upside guy like Liriano to suck for 2 months and then become awesome again, only to be traded. This 2013 staff has gotten pretty much everybody except for Deduno healthy. This is the rotation they PICKED in free agency, and it's arguably worse than if you just plugged in random AAA journeymen from day-to-day and left it to random chance.

Edited by StormJH1, 24 May 2013 - 12:43 PM.


#8 nokomismod

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 12:38 PM

It could very well turn out to be the worst Twins rotation ever. Remember when the 3 new veterans started the season by each having a quality start back to back to back? That could turn out the be the highlight of the season from a pitching perspective.

#9 nicksaviking

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 01:28 PM

but could you even DESIGN a rotation ON PURPOSE where all five starters have K/9 rates of 4.7 or less? Start naming random "pitch to contact" guys from around baseball that come to mind, and I'll bet almost all of them strike out more guys than the Twins pitchers.

This is the rotation they PICKED in free agency, and it's arguably worse than if you just plugged in random AAA journeymen from day-to-day and left it to random chance.


Yup, this is why Ryan needs to go. The rotation was historically bad last year. Ryan replaced 80% of the starters and it's even worse this year. It's mind boggeling that such a feat is possible. How could the Twins possibly field their worst two rotations in history in back to back years when there is really only one common denominator?

You would almost think the only way this could happen was if it was intentionally done, but obviously no one is trying to tank the season, jobs are on the line.

#10 nokomismod

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 01:31 PM

I agree Nicksaving. TR in the past has been able to look really good by making nifty moves, and get a free pass by claiming "my hands are tied" when there was a case to be made for spending money on quality free agents. Gardenhire has to be unhappy with the starting pitching he has been given again.

#11 Nick Nelson

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 01:37 PM

Of course the Twins are unlucky, they do have the highest team BABIP. A team could limit how much luck plays into the outcome by improving the K/9.

While I'm more than familiar with the concepts behind BABIP, I have a hard time attributing the Twins' high mark entirely to bad luck. They have too many pitchers that consistently put the ball out over the plate. MLB hitters should be expected to bat well above .300 when putting those kinds of offerings in play.

Big reason I'm glad to see Deduno (and to a lesser extent Walters) added into the mix. As much as the Twins complain about pitchers "nibbling," having some guys who work more around the fringe of the strike zone will be a welcome change of pace.

#12 Steve Lein

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 01:45 PM

See the note at the bottom of this article about the Twins from last year:

How Bad Can It Get? The Worst Pitching Staffs of All Time

Basically their Team ERA+ would have been the 2nd worst of all-time at that point in May last season, and they are worse this year... So... Yes to the original question?!

Scouting Report: Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 40, Speed: 40. "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 can sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)


#13 nicksaviking

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 01:50 PM

While I'm more than familiar with the concepts behind BABIP, I have a hard time attributing the Twins' high mark entirely to bad luck. They have too many pitchers that consistently put the ball out over the plate. MLB hitters should be expected to bat well above .300 when putting those kinds of offerings in play.


Ha, well I really wanted to mention it as an excuse to bring up the poor K/9 and show why that is a relevant stat.

Seeing as the Twins don't strike anyone out, the fact that the BABIP is so high is even more upsetting considering they are allowing that many more balls to be put into play.

#14 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 01:54 PM

Not even the worst for Twins this decade.....

#15 Steve Lein

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 01:57 PM

Not even the worst for Twins this decade.....


Who was worse?! (last year isn't by my metrics...)

Scouting Report: Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 40, Speed: 40. "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 can sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)


#16 TheLeviathan

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 02:58 PM

I guess a range-less defense + a high contact pitching staff shouldn't be all that surprising to result in a high BABIP.

But yeah, some of us did in fact suggest an improvement in the rotation wasn't a given just because they changed the names in the mix.

#17 nicksaviking

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 03:17 PM

I guess a range-less defense + a high contact pitching staff shouldn't be all that surprising to result in a high BABIP.

But yeah, some of us did in fact suggest an improvement in the rotation wasn't a given just because they changed the names in the mix.


Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's what all the offseason negativity was about. It's a shame nobodies like us could see it coming.

#18 jokin

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 03:20 PM

Not talent wise per se, just results wise


The question is academic, the more important question to ask- given the horrific, yet very predictable, "results"- is:

Is this horrendous outcome a combined result of a Twins management (that concocted this thing as a viable ML entity) and the Twins coaching staff (whose pitching theories have produced, individually and collectively, career-low and league-low numbers for most statistical measures of the members of the staff and of the team) are 1) too cheap, 2) incompetent, 3) philosophically obsolete, 4) didn't try very hard, or 5) just didn't care--- or-- All of the Above? (sorry, just had to say it)

#19 fairweather

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 03:34 PM

I thought this rotation would be worse than last years but so far it's about the same.

#20 Highabove

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 03:36 PM

With all the pitching injury's, how can you blame the Pitching Staff!! Whoops!!
(never mind)

#21 snepp

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 04:40 PM

Buuuut, the Twins starters K/9 is 4.25. That's the lowest since the 1992 Tigers.


And that doesn't account for league average. In '92 the Tigers starters k'd 4.0/9 while the AL average was 5.2/9.

The league average for AL starters this year is 7.3/9.


Puuuuuuuuuuutrid.

#22 jokin

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 04:41 PM

Joe Mauer's 2013 slash line: .339/.416/.476/.892
Twins SP 2013 op. slash line: .334/.395/510/.906

As hard as it might be to grasp, the League is better than Joe Mauer against the Twins starting pitching.

#23 Thrylos

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 04:47 PM

It could very well turn out to be the worst Twins rotation ever. .


Ever is a long time. It already is better than that of the '82 team (of 102 Ls) and the season is not over yet by a long time and pretty much everyone, other than Correia and maybe Diamond, has lots of upside.
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#24 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 06:49 PM

Of course the Twins are unlucky, they do have the highest team BABIP. A team could limit how much luck plays into the outcome by improving the K/9.

Buuuut, the Twins starters K/9 is 4.25. That's the lowest since the 1992 Tigers. And this is after getting an 80% overhaul to the rotation from last year. This organization just does not understand pitching.

Three teams have a K/9 rate from their starters 2x that of the Twins.


When your corner OF is Willingham and Parmalee, you are going to have a higher than average BABIP against, that isnt bad luck.

#25 jokin

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 07:01 PM

When your corner OF is Willingham and Parmalee, you are going to have a higher than average BABIP against, that isnt bad luck.


To be fair, the CF play has contributed to the high BABIP, as well.