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The Twins Record with New Pitching.

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#1 SgtSchmidt11

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 05:11 PM

Last year the Twins finished 66-96. So what is the potential bounce back for the Twins if they were to sign some of the rumored names? I will be using fWar (because it's convenient and at least fairly accurate)

The first question is how many pitchers should the Twins sign?

Essentially handling a full workload all year were:

Pelfey (29 GS, 2.1 WAR)
Correia (31 GS, 1.3 WAR)
Deduno & Albers Combo (28 GS, 2.0 WAR)
Hendriks & Diamond Combo (32 GS, -.4 WAR)
Walters, DeVries, Gibson, Worley, Hernandez Combo (42 GS, -.5 WAR)

Admittedly this isn't a perfect breakdown but there is at least a clear difference by WAR between the 3 slot and 4 slot. If we allow for Correia to remain as well as allot Gibson a slot as well, we realistically have 3 slots to fill. Obviously projecting Gibson is quite difficult but for now I'm going to assume some progression and grant him a WAR of 2.0 next year. Essentially the Twins right now are going to be 65-97 by WAR.

So which where do FA pitchers rank by WAR?

Nolasco: 3.0 WAR
Kazmir: 2.5
Johnson: .5 WAR (1.0 if he pitches all year)
Arroyo: .8 WAR
Garza: 2.2 WAR
Hughes: 1.3 WAR
Feldman: 2.1 WAR
Santana: 3.0 WAR
Jimenez: 3.2 WAR
Haren: 1.5 WAR

Now this list is not exhaustive but it gives us a good idea. That is that the Twins can roughly expect 2-3 WAR from a pitcher if they were to sign him. Now as the Twins are supposed to be looking for 3 pitchers according to my science that would make by dollar amounts Kazmir, Feldman, and any of the 3.0 pitchers likely candidates to all be signed. That edges the Twins to about 8 wins better. That places them at 73-86.

Now I would like to think that it would improve by more then that since together the top 3 by WAR (Scherzer, Kershaw, and Sanchez) combined for 19.1 WAR which would bring them to 84-78.

#2 JP3700

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 05:26 PM

Great post. I was going to do something like this but you beat me to it :).

I'd like to add that I would personally use rWAR for our pitchers' performance because it's more results based but fWAR is better for the FA pitchers because it's more based on FIP, a more predictive stat.

With that in mind we only had 3 pitchers give us positive WAR last year. Correia, Deduno and Albers (barely). The other guys provided (-6.3) WAR. If Kazmir and Feldman provide 4+ WAR that is already over 10+ wins .

#3 Brandon

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 05:38 PM

I would subtract the guys stats who are being replace and add the guys stats coming in and make an adjustment for the fact that the new guys probably have more innings then the outgoing group. Then look at the runs scored vs runs allowed formula to see where our record would be.

#4 SgtSchmidt11

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 05:43 PM

Great post. I was going to do something like this but you beat me to it :).

I'd like to add that I would personally use rWAR for our pitchers' performance because it's more results based but fWAR is better for the FA pitchers because it's more based on FIP, a more predictive stat.

With that in mind we only had 3 pitchers give us positive WAR last year. Correia, Deduno and Albers (barely). The other guys provided (-6.3) WAR. If Kazmir and Feldman provide 4+ WAR that is already over 10+ wins .


Pelfry also provided a positive fWar but if we use rWar he has a -.3 War which is a considerable difference.

Admittedly rWar might be better for this as I'm more inclined to believe the difference is much bigger then it shows.

#5 JP3700

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 05:56 PM

Pelfry also provided a positive fWar but if we use rWar he has a -.3 War which is a considerable difference.

Admittedly rWar might be better for this as I'm more inclined to believe the difference is much bigger then it shows.


Bingo. Pelfrey is the perfect example of why I use rWAR for performance. He was clearly a below replacement pitcher this year and that's why he was credited with (-.3) rWAR.

fWAR rewards him with a (2.1) WAR mostly in part due to his 3.99 FIP. Which indicates Pelfrey was unlucky and deserved an ERA closer to 4.

#6 Thrylos

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 05:57 PM

Need a control for this experiment:

Do the same exercise for the 2012 team and the new pitchers in the 2013 team and see if the wins you would come for the 2013 team will match what they got.

Nope.
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#7 Outlier

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 08:24 PM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but your math of adding those 3 pitchers equating to 8 wins above the 2013 record assumes they are replacing 0 WAR pitchers. The pitchers they would replace (Worley, Albers, Pelfrey, Hendriks, Diamond) weren't 0 WAR pitchers, they were negative WAR pitchers, so I believe the net gain is closer to 12-13 wins above the 2013 record.

#8 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 07:30 AM

I think they are (rightly) counting on Gibson to improve. I'd expect a positive WAR from him next season and I think he could improve again in another year as well. If they sign two pitchers, they are replacing Pelfrey's 2.1 and the disastrous Hendriks/Diamond combo. I think they can add a few WAR to that total pretty easily, and if Gibson goes positive you are looking at a team that could win more than 70 games. I think the big key will be a resurgence from guys with a disappointing offensive seasons. Willingham and Doumit need to look like the 2012 version. Parmelee and Plouffe need to find what was lost, and Arcia needs to click. His minor league career says that he's going to be significantly improved this year.

#9 Alex

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 07:30 AM

With that in mind we only had 3 pitchers give us positive WAR last year. Correia, Deduno and Albers (barely). The other guys provided (-6.3) WAR. If Kazmir and Feldman provide 4+ WAR that is already over 10+ wins .


This is a great point.

Thrylos's point was valid as well, that simply taking WAR and assuming those are the games you can add doesn't really work out.

Edited by Alex, 16 November 2013 - 08:02 AM.


#10 jorgenswest

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 09:27 AM

I would also consider the following.

Any group of age 30+ pitchers can be expected to decline.

FIP based WAR is dependent on strike out and walk numbers. Both of those numbers take a hit when Ryan Doumit is catching. Josmil Pinto may be better than Doumit, but he is likely to be far below average also. With the current catching, any pitcher coming from an average or better catching staff can expect a decline in K/BB numbers and there a decline in FIP and WAR.

If the Twins were to sign a trio of those guys ( Kazmir, Nolasco, Jimenez) I would expect their combined WAR to be closer to 6 than 9.

I think the Twins can expect both Gibson and Worley to be better. I also think Meyer should be in the rotation from opening day. As a trio, they may project in the 4 WAR range. In 2015, they will improve and the signed trio will take another decline. At that point they could project better.

#11 Rosterman

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 10:26 AM

We need pitchers that will consistently go deeper into the game.

Hopefully the Twins defense will hold up, with Mauer stretching at first base. Willingham AND Parmelee in the corners is not my idea of outfield fun. Arcia is a bit betetr out there, but not much.

I can live with Florimon and Dozier up the middle. Still have trouble with Plouffe at third.

We do need an experienced catcher behind the plate if we sign a couple of vets. Pinto is best served at Rochester working regularly with the Twins pitchers of the futures and...working...working...working. I would almost like to see Steinbach at Rochester helping Pinto personally.

The Twins also need to score 4 runs a game consistently. Can they do that with a lineup of Presley/Dozier/Mauer/Willingham Doumit/Plouffe/Arcia/newctacher/Florimon?

Perhaps. I would like to see more punch from Doumit. I want a good hitting catcher (A.J.). I would love to see Plouffe a bench player, but not sure pushing Sano at the beginning of the season would give us much more than last year's Hicks results.

I think the bullpen can be a solid given, as long as it doesn't need to be overworked like it did last year. And pieces that could potentially be jettisoned (Swarzak, Fien, Duensing, Burton) can be replaced by lower cost free agents (Crain and Hawkins, Neshek and Tonkin/Achter from the minors, and new duties for the likes of Hendriks and Diamond).

The Twins should try and turn their bullpen strength with a prospect for a decent hitting temporary third baseman, an Adam Lind-type for DH, or something. Burton will never be more valuable. Swarzak is a stud worthy of something. Duensing is a lefty with value.
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#12 SgtSchmidt11

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 07:40 PM

Need a control for this experiment:

Do the same exercise for the 2012 team and the new pitchers in the 2013 team and see if the wins you would come for the 2013 team will match what they got.

Nope.


I didn't mean to state that this is an absolute, it was just something fun I put together that gives us an idea of what could happen. Obviously there is a huge amount of variation from year to year that does not necessarily translate into wins or losses.

I was more or less pointing out that even without other changes, the Twins likely aren't going to be great next year.

#13 The Wise One

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 05:18 AM

I didn't mean to state that this is an absolute, it was just something fun I put together that gives us an idea of what could happen. Obviously there is a huge amount of variation from year to year that does not necessarily translate into wins or losses.

I was more or less pointing out that even without other changes, the Twins likely aren't going to be great next year.


You are assuming player performance is a constant in your fun. It would be safe to say last year almost every position player had a down year. A return to the mean would lead to better results

#14 SgtSchmidt11

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 07:26 AM

You are assuming player performance is a constant in your fun. It would be safe to say last year almost every position player had a down year. A return to the mean would lead to better results

Isn't that impossible to predict? I have no idea who's going to progress or regress. Hicks and Gibson might just not "have it" and just be terrible all their careers. It's happened before.

I have no idea how to do what you are asking. Do you?

#15 beckmt

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 09:13 AM

Isn't that impossible to predict? I have no idea who's going to progress or regress. Hicks and Gibson might just not "have it" and just be terrible all their careers. It's happened before.

I have no idea how to do what you are asking. Do you?

I believe the thought is that outside of Mauer and Dozier every Twins starter in the field had a worse year than might have been expected. You do not know which ones will improve, but the odds are that Willingham, Doumit, and Arcia will all do better than last year(Dozier and Mauer could go either way). The rest could move up or down, but on average the Twins hitting rates to be better than last year.

#16 twinsfan34

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 09:29 AM

Wonderful idea.


Would love to see the 2012 season + the 2013 pitchers acquired.

Also, our offense only averaged 3.96 runs per game. I took 3 Clayton Kershaw's based on their game logs (can't go by 'average' for every single game) and we still only ended up with 90 wins with our 2013 offensive production. Which, in case you didn't know, the Twins would NOT have made the playoffs with that record as Cleveland and Tampa had 92 wins a piece.

We struck out the 3rd most times in MLB history...

Predict away, it's a long Winter.

Especially now waiting to see how Buxton/Sano perform out of these 'injuries'...hope they don't prove to be 'nagging'...

#17 nicksaviking

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 10:28 AM

Need a control for this experiment:

Do the same exercise for the 2012 team and the new pitchers in the 2013 team and see if the wins you would come for the 2013 team will match what they got.

Nope.


I agree but I still don't know what we should expect from the results. What if we tried this on the 2012-2013 Indians? That club went from having a rotation full of liabilities to having a rotation full of assets while basically retaining 80% of the personell from the previous year.

#18 Thrylos

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 10:54 AM

I agree but I still don't know what we should expect from the results. What if we tried this on the 2012-2013 Indians? That club went from having a rotation full of liabilities to having a rotation full of assets while basically retaining 80% of the personell from the previous year.


It's a little more complicated than adding and subtractive WAR "Wins". One has to look at the losses of last season. If, let's say (I don't know how many were, this is hypothetical,) a third of the losses (that would be 32 games or so for the Twins) were of the 2 runs or less type or in extra innings, one would think that by getting better pitching and improving their hitting they can win half of those (50-50 chance). That would be a net 16 games or an 82-80 record. If the number of close losses is higher, the higher probability of winning.

It is not even that simple. You got to put every game in a curve, right a pretty complex algorithm and overlay potential replacements (and potential changes in the competition) to get to a closer guess.

But my point is that a better pitcher can affect a 2 run loss but not a 10 run loss...

Edit: I went back and counted. The Twins lost 38 games with a differential of 2 runs or less in 2013.

Edited by Thrylos, 18 November 2013 - 10:58 AM.

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#19 The Wise One

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 10:19 PM

It's a little more complicated than adding and subtractive WAR "Wins". One has to look at the losses of last season. If, let's say (I don't know how many were, this is hypothetical,) a third of the losses (that would be 32 games or so for the Twins) were of the 2 runs or less type or in extra innings, one would think that by getting better pitching and improving their hitting they can win half of those (50-50 chance). That would be a net 16 games or an 82-80 record. If the number of close losses is higher, the higher probability of winning.

It is not even that simple. You got to put every game in a curve, right a pretty complex algorithm and overlay potential replacements (and potential changes in the competition) to get to a closer guess.

But my point is that a better pitcher can affect a 2 run loss but not a 10 run loss...

Edit: I went back and counted. The Twins lost 38 games with a differential of 2 runs or less in 2013.


But the new catchers will be better pitch framers and save 50 of those runs