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Article: The Righty Reliever Pipeline

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#1 Nick Nelson

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 10:08 PM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...liever-Pipeline

#2 Nick Nelson

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 10:25 PM

Another name that should probably be included on this list is Duke Welker, the 27-year-old righty acquired in the Morneau trade. He could well factor into the bullpen at some point next year, but looks like a Jim Hoey type.

#3 Shane Wahl

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 10:45 PM

I like both Dakota Watts and Lester Oliveros too.

#4 iastfan112

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 12:35 AM

Pressly's performance was not out of line with peripherals, landing nicely between his FIP and xFIP. He's also fairly young so expecting some modest improvement certainly isn't out of line.

#5 Craig in MN

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 09:11 AM

Liam Hendricks is out of options and has too much potential to just drop if he doesn't get a rotation spot out of ST. He's got to be considered in the bullpen discussion. He might have a better chance of being in the bullpen than anyone else on this list, actually.

And no reliever article is complete without a mention of Mark Hamburger.

#6 Rosterman

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 09:25 AM

Deolis Guerra is still around, for now, too...and either has to make it or depart.

#7 Physics Guy

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 12:58 PM

Looking at the way things have worked the past couple of years, I think you are looking at two open spots. It seems to me that the Twins kept 13 pitchers on the roster last year. That is unless you are thinking of a 6 man rotation. ;) I would prefer they only have 12 pitchers, but we'd actually need some starters to make it into the 7th inning on a regular basis.

Edited by Physics Guy, 11 October 2013 - 01:11 PM.


#8 twinsfan34

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 01:32 PM

Got a few questions, of which I'll preface once I set up.

1. Do you feel that relievers are easier to get to the bigs? I ask as from what I read on scouting of builds, the number of "plus" grade pitches a reliever requires to make it in MLB, and other factors. It's much less limiting.

For instance, a lot of scouting notes will always talk about the build of a pitcher. Downward plane, able to endure lots of pitches, etc.

Then for the pitches themselves, to be a good starter in MLB, you need at least 3 pitches that are "plus", or an offspeed and fastball that are "plus-plus" and complement each other.

To be a reliever, you need maybe 2 pitches, and only one of them has to be "plus-plus"

I believe former Twin Grant Balfour is a great example of such a candidate. He had a "plus" to "plus-plus" fastball (FA). That is it was generally clocked between 94-97 mph. While he was with the Twins, he only had the "plus fastball" and secondary pitches, slider and change-up, were quite ordinary.

His development of his slider (SL) to a "plus" pitch has gotten him from 'average reliever' to closer. That's merely from developing another pitch. Put him as a starter and by the 2nd or 3rd AB that game Major League hitters will start to put them in the seats.

Grant Balfour pitches by percentage chart:
Attached File  Grant Balfour - pitches by percentage.JPG   44.92KB   25 downloads

You can see the effectiveness (thrown more) and with better ERA (better success) in 2012 and 2013, which coincidentally is when he's become the A's closer.

The other part about relievers is you can be a 'niche' guy. You only have to pitch to weaknesses of various hitters. The Jesse Orosco's (former Twin Draft Pick by the way), Dan Plesac, and John Candelaria's of the world were able to pitch into their 40's due to this.

That said, when it comes to playoff teams. These guys are vital. And playoff teams are often willing to pay for that reliever in a pinch, as it's often that missing factor to expose match-ups in the playoffs.

That said, the Twins could sorta produce a 'pipeline' to get more draft picks and other AA prospects by developing failed starters as relievers. This is another reason I'm against drafting "control" type pitchers, al a Kyle Gibson, Pat Dean, etc as you can't develop them as relievers if starting fails for them. 95% of the time you start with a guy who has a "plus" or "plus-plus" fastball and work on command of that while adding a 2nd pitch.

Curious, your thoughts, and others, on which pitchers could fit this profile in the Twins Organization. And two, if you think the Twins would ever entertain the idea.

Also, Glen Perkins is a great example of a 'failed' (moderate success) as starter, but is an All-Star as a reliever.

#9 oldguy10

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 03:39 PM

While the relief pitching this past season appears to be a bright spot especially as far as ERA goes one must remember that inherited runners being allowed to score was terrible in 2013 and that is the true way to judge relief pitching, isn't it?

#10 YourHouseIsMyHouse

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 06:03 PM

Let's just go with a 14 man bullpen. Starters can pitch 4 innings each at the "Scott Diamond Line". There's too much talent and not enough spots if you go with a traditional pen.

#11 Shane Wahl

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 08:39 AM

There is something very similar for lefty relievers too. Here's to hoping Fien, Burton, and Duensing are good this year and can be dealt at the deadline.

#12 ScottyB

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 09:26 PM

Let's just go with a 14 man bullpen. Starters can pitch 4 innings each at the "Scott Diamond Line". There's too much talent and not enough spots if you go with a traditional pen.


Interesting - a 14 man bullpen and a 5 man rotation. My Minnesota math tells me that leaves 6 position players for the team. What positions aren't we going to fill with a player? We have to have a catcher, someone at 1B would be nice, I guess a middle infielder, a 3B and 2 OF. I guess it's doable, but our pitchers are gonna have to hit - no DH. Pretty thin bench as well. I hope no one gets injured during a game.

#13 Shane Wahl

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 10:59 PM

Interesting - a 14 man bullpen and a 5 man rotation. My Minnesota math tells me that leaves 6 position players for the team. What positions aren't we going to fill with a player? We have to have a catcher, someone at 1B would be nice, I guess a middle infielder, a 3B and 2 OF. I guess it's doable, but our pitchers are gonna have to hit - no DH. Pretty thin bench as well. I hope no one gets injured during a game.


A charitable reading of YHIMH's post seems required. What is clearly meant is a 14-man pitching staff. It's blatantly clear that this is what is meant.

#14 gil4

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 03:16 PM

Deolis Guerra is still around, for now, too...and either has to make it or depart.


Wasn't Guerra in a free agent who agreed to come back on a minor league deal last year?

#15 gil4

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 03:22 PM

Interesting - a 14 man bullpen and a 5 man rotation. My Minnesota math tells me that leaves 6 position players for the team. What positions aren't we going to fill with a player?


If we can get some pitchers to cover a few positions on their off-days we probably wouldn't lose too much on offense