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Twins seek rotation help for second straight offseason

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#1 ThePuck

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 11:04 AM

Article over at the Twins portion of MLB. On the Twins main news page, before clicking on the article itself, it says' 'Rotation at forefront of Ryan's plans'

Couple of my favorite parts:

-"This year we thought we did a little better with the rotation with Correia and Pelfrey'.

Yes, if better means the worst rotation in baseball in every significant category when we weren't quite the worst in every significant category last year, then yes...it was better.

-"We'll address that free-agent list, but it's not a good way to build," Ryan said. "It's a good way to supplement a roster. We're certainly going to look. There's going to be a lot of competition for quality starting, and we'll be in the mix. We certainly need to address the pitching staff."'

That's some good hemming and hawing...


Minnesota Twins seek starting rotation help for second straight offseason | twinsbaseball.com: News
Just remember: You put the lime IN the coconut. Only THEN, can you drink it all up.

#2 nicksaviking

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 12:00 PM

-"We'll address that free-agent list, but it's not a good way to build," Ryan said. "It's a good way to supplement a roster. We're certainly going to look. There's going to be a lot of competition for quality starting, and we'll be in the mix. We certainly need to address the pitching staff."'

That's some good hemming and hawing...


Minnesota Twins seek starting rotation help for second straight offseason | twinsbaseball.com: News


I guess this is my issue. Ryan is absolutely correct, it is a good way to supplement a roster, but I think his interprtation is different than most fans and most GM's. From his tone and past forays into free agency, I think that he thinks, "supplementing" means only getting minor or modest pieces. There is no reason to think you can't "supplement" your roster with actual upgrades.

Supplement definition from Mirriam Webster: "to add something to (something) in order to make it complete"

I don't know why he thinks adding another league average pitcher would make the team more complete than adding one that would actually fill a need.

#3 IdahoPilgrim

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 12:09 PM

Article over at the Twins portion of MLB. On the Twins main news page, before clicking on the article itself, it says' 'Rotation at forefront of Ryan's plans'

Couple of my favorite parts:

-"This year we thought we did a little better with the rotation with Correia and Pelfrey'.

Yes, if better means the worst rotation in baseball in every significant category when we weren't quite the worst in every significant category last year, then yes...it was better.

-"We'll address that free-agent list, but it's not a good way to build," Ryan said. "It's a good way to supplement a roster. We're certainly going to look. There's going to be a lot of competition for quality starting, and we'll be in the mix. We certainly need to address the pitching staff."'

That's some good hemming and hawing...


Minnesota Twins seek starting rotation help for second straight offseason | twinsbaseball.com: News


C'mon, you need to give the whole quote and not just cherry-pick the part you want to jump on. The whole quote shows that this was a preseason analysis, and included the assumption that Gibson would add to the rotation, and concludes with his tacit acknowledgement that it didn't work as he hoped.

And what did you expect for the second quote? That he's going to publicly say they're jumping in with both feet? Knowing that agents will automatically raise what they're going to ask from him when he calls?

#4 ThePuck

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 12:16 PM

C'mon, you need to give the whole quote and not just cherry-pick the part you want to jump on. The whole quote shows that this was a preseason analysis, and included the assumption that Gibson would add to the rotation, and concludes with his tacit acknowledgement that it didn't work as he hoped.

And what did you expect for the second quote? That he's going to publicly say they're jumping in with both feet? Knowing that agents will automatically raise what they're going to ask from him when he calls?


I provided the link, I wasn't hiding the whole quote. He first said he thought they did better with the rotation. Doesn't matter what he said after that if he thinks the rotation was better. That was the point.

As far as your second part, he did come out last year and say something like, ' I will do everything possible to significantly improve the starting rotation for next year. '

Do you think him saying the above caused agents to automatically raise what they're going to ask from him when he called? And, if so, are you blaming him for that statement?

What he forgot to add to that promise was, 'and by everything possible I mean, as long as none of the pitchers cost more 6M or more a year or need contracts longer than 2 years, I'll do everything possible.'

He's the Meatloaf of GMs. 'I would do anything for pitching...but I won't do that!' :-)

So this year, it's hemming and hawing...I wonder how that will go over when he speaks to the season ticket holders and the potential season ticket holders?

Edited by ThePuck, 16 October 2013 - 12:51 PM.

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#5 JB_Iowa

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 12:21 PM

Is it ridiculous to think that a free agent could ever be a cornerstone of your rebuild?

I realize that Pavano wasn't a free agent (but close and had been a FA previously I think).

To me, he was a cornerstone of that 2009 team not just because of his results (17-11) but because he took the ball for 221 innings and provided a good role model for the rest of the starting staff.

I go back to good pitching begetting good pitching. Do the Kyle Gibson's and Alex May's and others NEED that one veteran, workhorse pitcher to help them develop? Is there more to be learned from teammates than can be learned from a pitching coach (e.g. the way Price looked to Shields in the past or the way that Scherzer, Fister et. al look to Verlander)?

Pavano wasn't a superstar by any measure but he brought a degree of professionalism and leadership (when healthy) that we just haven't seen the last couple of years.

Far from being a "supplement", I'm thinking that type of player is a cornerstone -- whether acquired by FA or trade.

#6 nicksaviking

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 12:27 PM

And what did you expect for the second quote? That he's going to publicly say they're jumping in with both feet? Knowing that agents will automatically raise what they're going to ask from him when he calls?


Yes, 100% yes. Agents aren't going to be able to raise their asking price just because the Twins show interest, you don't really think Ryan signs players and acts like he is doing them a favor and could care less if they wore his uniform?

Even if for some reason they did have to pay a tiny bit more, Pohlad already threw out the welcome mat. Ryan pussyfoots around free agency year after year. Last year he played coy after the Cubs marked up the price of back end pitchers and by the end of December he was on MLB TV whining about how "sometimes you can't give your money away," while implying that free agents just don't want to come to Minnesota.

Damn right they don't, it's the land of passive agression where the GM has a reputation of not making bold moves and former players and contemporaries tell the world that the Twins can't win because they will never "Go for it."

That needs to change, if the Twins want to be players for quality free agents, they need to put out a big, bright neon sign saying "Open for business, and bring your friends!" Of course top guys don't want to come here when there is no evidence that the front office will do what it takes to win. Scream from the rooftop that things are different now and, yes damn it, we will pay you if you are talented and we will pay others like you, we are NOT your fathers Twins.

#7 ThePuck

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 12:31 PM

Yes, 100% yes. Agents aren't going to be able to raise their asking price just because the Twins show interest, you don't really think Ryan signs players and acts like he is doing them a favor and could care less if they wore his uniform?

Even if for some reason they did have to pay a tiny bit more, Pohlad already threw out the welcome mat. Ryan pussyfoots around free agency year after year. Last year he played coy after the Cubs marked up the price of back end pitchers and by the end of December he was on MLB TV whining about how "sometimes you can't give your money away," while implying that free agents just don't want to come to Minnesota.

Damn right they don't, it's the land of passive agression where the GM has a reputation of not making bold moves and former players and contemporaries tell the world that the Twins can't win because they will never "Go for it."

That needs to change, if the Twins want to be players for quality free agents, they need to put out a big, bright neon sign saying "Open for business, and bring your friends!" Of course top guys don't want to come here when there is no evidence that the front office will do what it takes to win. Scream from the rooftop that things are different now and, yes damn it, we will pay you if you are talented and we will pay others like you, we are NOT your fathers Twins.


I want to take this post out for dinner and get it all liquored up :)
Just remember: You put the lime IN the coconut. Only THEN, can you drink it all up.

#8 nicksaviking

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 02:31 PM

I want to take this post out for dinner and get it all liquored up :)


It likes Crown Royal, but sometimes doesn't know when to stop.

#9 PseudoSABR

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 03:09 PM

Here's the full Pelfry and Correia quote, for those who care about context:

"This year we thought we did a little better with the rotation with Correia and Pelfrey, thinking Gibson was going to come along, but it all goes back to starting pitching," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. "We haven't rebounded yet. It's drafting, signing, baseball decisions, it's internationals, it's GMs, it's coaches, it's everything. It's not just one opportunity where we went awry."


First, it appears that TR squarely admits the failure to build a rotation, which was cut from the excised quote in the OP. Secondly, Correia and Pelfry (at least beyond mid May) were not the reason the Twins rotation failed horribly yet again--they were supposed to fill out the rotation, not be the only reliable starters; the problem was believing that Diamond, Worley, and Gibson could make a front-half of a rotation. There was clearly some mismanagement with Pelfry's recovery/rehab too, which should have taken place in the minors, but injuries to Diamond and Deduno may have pushed the Twins to rush him.

More, a quote like "We certainly need to address the pitching staff" is not hemming and hawing. I'm not sure what TR could say more definitively that would assuage a cynic's concern.

Look, we'll see what the Twins do, but, really, these quotes don't illuminate any new criticism--and it seems unproductive to relive the same old arguments about starting pitching and free agency from the season.

Edited by PseudoSABR, 16 October 2013 - 03:12 PM.


#10 Major Leauge Ready

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 04:07 PM

I provided the link, I wasn't hiding the whole quote. He first said he thought they did better with the rotation. Doesn't matter what he said after that if he thinks the rotation was better. That was the point.

As far as your second part, he did come out last year and say something like, ' I will do everything possible to significantly improve the starting rotation for next year. '

Do you think him saying the above caused agents to automatically raise what they're going to ask from him when he called? And, if so, are you blaming him for that statement?

What he forgot to add to that promise was, 'and by everything possible I mean, as long as none of the pitchers cost more 6M or more a year or need contracts longer than 2 years, I'll do everything possible.'

He's the Meatloaf of GMs. 'I would do anything for pitching...but I won't do that!' :-)

So this year, it's hemming and hawing...I wonder how that will go over when he speaks to the season ticket holders and the potential season ticket holders?


What would you have done differently last year? Specifically, which FA SPs would you have signed?

#11 Kwak

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 04:23 PM

Pelfrey would have nothing of the minor leagues, and I don't know when that issue was ever raised. Free agent pitching?--nearly impossible when the goal of the organization is to slash payroll. It isn't necessary to have a press conference announcing budget cuts--just look at the year-over-year payroll--it speaks for itself.

#12 old nurse

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 04:55 PM

Changing a comma to a period deviates the sentence from what it meant to something different. For almost all of the free agent pitchers signed with a new team last winter a GM could say "This year we thought we did a little better with the rotation with ..."
and follow the comma in the statement with some form of we didn't meet the goal.The Dodger's GM is all smiles with his signings. Cleveland with Kazmir, Cubs with Feldman. As starters that is about it. Ryan has to be happy that Correia maintained his level of pitching and did not regress or get injured.

#13 Marta Shearing

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 05:13 PM

-"We'll address that free-agent list, but it's not a good way to build," Ryan said. "It's a good way to supplement a roster. We're certainly going to look. There's going to be a lot of competition for quality starting, and we'll be in the mix. We certainly need to address the pitching staff."

That's some good hemming and hawing...

It just gets old, doesn't it? Old and nauseating. He'll resign Pelphrey and call his offseason a success.

#14 ThePuck

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 05:56 PM

Changing a comma to a period deviates the sentence from what it meant to something different. For almost all of the free agent pitchers signed with a new team last winter a GM could say "This year we thought we did a little better with the rotation with ..."
and follow the comma in the statement with some form of we didn't meet the goal.The Dodger's GM is all smiles with his signings. Cleveland with Kazmir, Cubs with Feldman. As starters that is about it. Ryan has to be happy that Correia maintained his level of pitching and did not regress or get injured.


So it's probably a good thing I provided the whole link so people could read the whole thing. You and couple others are acting as if I was hiding it. With the people in here, does it seem feasible I would assume people wouldn't click on the link I myself provided? I pointed out things that were in it I found interesting....which I am certainly entitled to do.

This isn't the only quote out there where he said Pelfrey and Correia were bright spots and then deflected how bad the rotation was. What he said in that quote minimizes how bad the rotation was when it starts off the way it did.

If he was just praising Pelfrey and Correia (like he did before) and taking blame for the rest of rotation as a whole, it would have been said differently. Something like, 'Pelfrey and Correia worked out well (which is not true, BTW, at least in regards to Pelfrey), and then he would have gone on to say the rest of the rotation didn't turn out making our rotation bad and in need of work. But that's not how it went down, he starts by saying the 'This year we thought we did a little better with the rotation with Correia and Pelfrey'

BTW, does he believe if he says Pelfrey did well enough this offseason, people will start to believe it?

Edited by ThePuck, 16 October 2013 - 07:10 PM.

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#15 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 06:02 PM

What would you have done differently last year? Specifically, which FA SPs would you have signed?


I can't speak for others but here's what I advocated last year: sign Liriano to a 3 year extension rather than deal him for nothing of any value. Offer Grienke and/or Sanchez competitive contracts.

#16 Major Leauge Ready

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 06:05 PM

All the ones that turned out to be good.


Well, you can't complain about signing $6M/yr guys and then say I would have signed Liriano, Colon and Feldman. You could make a semi-reasonable case for Sanchez but signing away a FA from a team he wants to stay with is not a very reasonable position. I don't think too many people would say Grienke was realistic. He was simply out of reach, especially last year with a few more years of rebuilding ahead of us.

Lohse was a pretty ideal except that he was not coming back to Minnesota. He was the perfect fit but unfortunately that bridge was burned. Steal Kuroda away from the Yankees? That was not going to happen. That leaves three 2nd tier FAs, at the market felt there were 3 based on what they got paid.
They all performed rather poorly.

Jackson 8-18 ERA of 4.98 4/52M
Dempster 8-9 ERA of 4.57 2/26.5
Harren 10-14 ERA of 4.67 1/13

#17 ThePuck

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 06:15 PM

I can't speak for others but here's what I advocated last year: sign Liriano to a 3 year extension rather than deal him for nothing of any value. Offer Grienke and/or Sanchez competitive contracts.


Also like to point out what any of us would do is irrelevant, it's what other GMs would have done to improve the rotation (in the last two offseasons, BTW, not just one)...and since our rotation was easily the worst of any in baseball...

Finally, what's done is done...he did what he did. This isn't about jumping his case, again, for what he did (or didn't do). My point is now he shouldn't try to sugarcoat how the rotation turned out or try and make it seem it wasn't as bad as it was.

BTW, the hemming and hawing wasn't about the fact that the pitching needs fixing, it's about HOW he's going to go about it and the whole 'FA isn't the answer, but we'll look, maybe, not throwing money around, but we'll be in the mix, kind of stuff that is hemming and hawing...

Edited by ThePuck, 16 October 2013 - 07:08 PM.

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#18 ashburyjohn

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 06:30 PM

All the ones that turned out to be good.


Moderator note: please avoid mocking another poster's position by putting words in his mouth to imply he's a second-guesser or whatnot. That way the discussion can continue without getting sidetracked.

#19 glunn

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:06 PM

Moderator note: please avoid mocking another poster's position by putting words in his mouth to imply he's a second-guesser or whatnot. That way the discussion can continue without getting sidetracked.


Agreed, and next time that happens an infraction will be awarded.

#20 TheLeviathan

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:45 PM

Why is it wrong to point out that a "plan" involving Correia and a still-recovering Pelfrey to rebound your rotation is a bad one?

It was plainly obvious that it was a poor plan (Or at least a highly unlikely to succeed plan) to most everyone other than the front office well before the results came in. Fangraphs wrote about it, many bloggers here wrote about it. This supposed shock at it's failure and the attempts to justify it isn't an attack on hindsight. There was plenty of foresight on this issue.

#21 stringer bell

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 09:52 PM

Realistically, can the Twins sign a top-tier Free Agent? I really don't think so. They would have to overpay significantly because they just can't compete until and unless the young 'uns develop. Somebody in the second tier is possible, I think. That would be somebody with either poor performance or injuries last year, but someone who has shown they can be a #1 or #2. Third tier, the Pelfrey or Correia types, are obtainable. I hope the Twins can sign a decent second tier guy and maybe a third tier guy and get some bouncebacks.

#22 Nick Nelson

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 10:36 PM

What would you have done differently last year? Specifically, which FA SPs would you have signed?

The problem was that the Twins signed pitchers without any meaningful upside. Correia and Pelfrey both pitched about as well as anyone could have reasonably expected, and they were still both below-average. Those aren't guys who have even a chance to move the needle for one of the worst rotations in baseball.

If the Twins had gambled on some pictures with actual potential -- which may have required more money, or simply a leap of faith -- they might have ended up with players who developed into assets, or trade chips. Of course, those pitchers might have also fizzled or gotten hurt, but in that case the Twins would be in no worse a position than they are now, and at least they would have tried. You can't convince me that Correia+Pelfrey signifies trying to do anything other than maintain the status quo while avoiding large financial commitments.

#23 Shane Wahl

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 11:34 PM

Yes, 100% yes. Agents aren't going to be able to raise their asking price just because the Twins show interest, you don't really think Ryan signs players and acts like he is doing them a favor and could care less if they wore his uniform?

Even if for some reason they did have to pay a tiny bit more, Pohlad already threw out the welcome mat. Ryan pussyfoots around free agency year after year. Last year he played coy after the Cubs marked up the price of back end pitchers and by the end of December he was on MLB TV whining about how "sometimes you can't give your money away," while implying that free agents just don't want to come to Minnesota.

Damn right they don't, it's the land of passive agression where the GM has a reputation of not making bold moves and former players and contemporaries tell the world that the Twins can't win because they will never "Go for it."

That needs to change, if the Twins want to be players for quality free agents, they need to put out a big, bright neon sign saying "Open for business, and bring your friends!" Of course top guys don't want to come here when there is no evidence that the front office will do what it takes to win. Scream from the rooftop that things are different now and, yes damn it, we will pay you if you are talented and we will pay others like you, we are NOT your fathers Twins.


One of the greatest posts ever in TD history.

#24 Shane Wahl

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 11:43 PM

I am not clear how anyone could have thought signing Pelfrey last year was some kind of answer to the rotation problem. I was still shocked that the guy was pitching before mid-May, given the injury.

Now to sign him again. Good god. If I had to bet, I would say they pursue Hughes on a two-year deal for about $20 million. And then they resign Pelfrey. And that's it. Maybe they don't even get Hughes, and Erik Bedard or someone similar comes to town.

#25 righty8383

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 11:57 PM

I think Terry Ryan is not only inherently cheap, he simply doesn't like to take risks, weather on the FA market or making big trades when the team is contending. Even though the Pohlads seem to be giving their blessing to spend some money, I have a hard time believing TR will make a big signing. The Twins have never been in a better position to go after a guy like Tanaka, yet I would be floored if our favorite team was announced as the highest bidders. I don't think Terry Ryan can stand the thought of feeling responsible if, God forbid, a big ticket signing doesn't work out.

#26 Oxtung

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 12:23 AM

What would you have done differently last year? Specifically, which FA SPs would you have signed?


Puck is not Terry Ryan and therefore what he would or would not have done has no bearing on the Twins, as interesting as it may have been. Ryan is not being judged on how he compares to the posters on Twins Daily, he is being judged based on how he improves this team.

Here is what we know about last off season. First, there were 15 above average free agent pitchers on the market. Second, many of those pitchers finished 2013 above average, though not all by any means (not to mention the pitchers that were below average and rebounded to have nice years like Jimenez). Third, Ryan signed two pitchers that were below average. Fourth, one of those pitchers was coming off of a significant injury. Fifth, both pitchers were below average in 2013.

As far as I can tell there are only two possible conclusions to be drawn. First, Ryan was simply punting on 2013 or second, he tried and failed to improve this rotation. Either one is unacceptable, IMO.

Terry Ryan is getting paid to make this team better. One of the tools he has at his disposal is free agency. The posters on this board can go round and round about whether Ryan could have signed pitcher X or Y but in the end it means nothing. It is up to Ryan to get these pitchers to sign whether they are initially amenable or not. If he is unable to perform his duties then he needs to be replaced.

#27 jokin

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 02:09 AM

Changing a comma to a period deviates the sentence from what it meant to something different. For almost all of the free agent pitchers signed with a new team last winter a GM could say "This year we thought we did a little better with the rotation with ..."
and follow the comma in the statement with some form of we didn't meet the goal.The Dodger's GM is all smiles with his signings. Cleveland with Kazmir, Cubs with Feldman.

As starters that is about it.

Ryan has to be happy that Correia maintained his level of pitching and did not regress or get injured.



Punctuate and rationalize any way you wish, but your blanket conclusions still don't adequately defend the indefensible. To be "happy" about a #5-6 level SP, who, I might add, was unwanted/unneeded by his previous employer ( an employer more than happy to, in effect, "trade" him for Liriano, for less money), for maintaining, and not regressing, from his #5-6 level as a Starting Pitcher is just a sorrowful sop to a GM's 2013 clearly failed machinations.

Liriano, Sanchez, Iwakuma, Kuroda, Colon, Guthrie, Lohse would beg to differ with your scattershot conclusion concerning that being "about it" for SPs...... they all had 2013 WAR values and/or superior performance metrics and peripherals that would have made them the Ace of the Twins staff.

Edited by jokin, 17 October 2013 - 02:13 AM.


#28 Trevor0333

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 03:11 AM

They aren't going to spend significant $ on a SP. However the payroll will be very low the next 2 years without making any big splashs's.

Atlanta needs to resign McCann, they also need a 2B & have little to no payroll space left.

If the Twins were willing to eat most or all of Uggla's salary enabling them to resign McCann could Brian Dozier fetch Alex Wood? In a Dozier for Uggla & Wood possible deal. A Simmons/Dozier combo would be the best defensive middle infield in baseball by far. As good as Wood has looked Perkins may need to be included to sweeten the pot.

I would love to start envisioning a future Wood, Meyer, Stewart, Berrios, Gibson/May rotation

Edited by Trevor0333, 17 October 2013 - 04:04 AM.


#29 old nurse

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 04:01 AM

One of the greatest posts ever in TD history.


Respectfully disagree as it is the same post over and over again. In an effort to discredit to make their point once again a poster changes context. The start of the thread it is eliminating half of the sentence that Ryan spoke. What you label as a great post takes what Ryan said while laughing as whining. How do you have a discussion with people when you cannot have faith in what they cite as being accurate? If a student handed you that kind of paper, what grade would you give?

#30 old nurse

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 04:21 AM

Punctuate and rationalize any way you wish, but your blanket conclusions still don't adequately defend the indefensible. To be "happy" about a #5-6 level SP, who, I might add, was unwanted/unneeded by his previous employer ( an employer more than happy to, in effect, "trade" him for Liriano, for less money), for maintaining, and not regressing, from his #5-6 level as a Starting Pitcher is just a sorrowful sop to a GM's 2013 clearly failed machinations.

Liriano, Sanchez, Iwakuma, Kuroda, Colon, Guthrie, Lohse would beg to differ with your scattershot conclusion concerning that being "about it" for SPs...... they all had 2013 WAR values and/or superior performance metrics and peripherals that would have made them the Ace of the Twins staff.



Kuroda, Colon, Guthrie, Sanchez, Iwakuma did not change teams. So out of the pitchers that CHANGED teams, 3 had good years. Greinke and Lohse because that is what you would expect, and Liriano. Changed teams, not stayed with the same team. That was the parameter I set for my thought. You can discuss how I might be wrong, but you can't change the parameter that I set. Correia for better or worse pitched about like he always has. Can't say that for Haren, Saunders, Marcum, McCarthy ....and the rest who all had seasons pretty much worse than what Correia had.

Edited by Riverbrian, 17 October 2013 - 10:33 AM.
I removed one line for civil reasons... the rest is fine.