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Article: What? The Twins considering Mike Pelfrey again?

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#1 Parker Hageman

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 08:48 AM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...e-Pelfrey-again

#2 Thrylos

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 09:28 AM

I would have zero problem if they signed Pelfrey for the number 3 spot and got 2 more guys better than him for the top of the rotation. This team needs 3 starters. Pelfrey can be the third.

About strikeouts: He led the Twins with a 14.9 K%. The second half that became 17.7. (also his GB/FB rate went up to 1.3 the second half.)

Nolasco's K% the last 3 seasons: 16.6, 15.0, 19.8. In the NL while facing pitchers. So their K% are comparable.

Pelfrey was the Twins' best starter last season. His .337 BABIP did not allow that to translate into ERA and W-Ls, but his 3.99 FIP while recuperating from Tommy John surgery is very hopeful. Plus he is a good presence in the clubhouse by any and every report out there. He might be a bargain compared to the likes of Arroyo (15.1 K% in the NL last season btw) for the number 3 spot for a few seasons...

#3 jorgenswest

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 09:38 AM

I believe I commented not his here before, but it may be worth saying again.

Mike Pelfrey had a FIP much better than his ERA. There is a group on pitchers that do that on a consistent basis. One characteristic is that their numbers with runners on base are poorer than with the bases empty. Is this bad luck or a skill? The skill part comes in being able to pitch equally well from the stretch. The ability to hold runners on. The ability to work quickly enough to aid your defense.

FIP only counts strikeouts and walks. It doesn't care in which situations they come. It doesn't matter to FIP that Pelfrey's k/bb ratio is much poorer with runners on base.

Kevin Correia is the polar opposite. He actually has done better with runners on base his last two seasons. He is very good at holding runners on. FIP doesn't care about this.

Maybe it's not a skill. Maybe it's just random. Maybe the only thing pitchers control is strike outs, walks and home runs regardless of game situation. Maybe not.

If pitching with runners on base is a skill, is it possible that Pelfrey can have the peripherals of a number 3 pitcher without really being one?

Edited by jorgenswest, 27 November 2013 - 09:42 AM.


#4 Smcginnity

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 09:41 AM

I am totally ok with them bringing back Pelfrey. But, it should be a precursor to two bigger moves (i.e. Garza and Arroyo/Hughes).

#5 beckmt

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 11:50 AM

Twins need pitchers, does not matter if they sign 2 or 3, but Pelfrey only fits as a third pitcher.

#6 stringer bell

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 11:58 AM

Nice writeup Parker. While I hope Pelfrey wouldn't be the top pitcher the Twins signed, I wouldn't be surprised if that was exactly what happened.

#7 pierre75275

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 11:59 AM

i really hope there is no truth to this and its avicious rumor. I would much rather they sign feldman then pelfry

#8 DJL44

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 12:06 PM

I was more interested in the rumor that the Twins have NOT reached out to Scott Baker. It is telling that they've talked to everyone but him.

#9 Parker Hageman

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 12:40 PM

About strikeouts: He led the Twins with a 14.9 K%. The second half that became 17.7. (also his GB/FB rate went up to 1.3 the second half.)


When it comes to leading the Twins in strikeouts, that is sort of like being the tallest midget (sorry to offend any little people in this forum). The overall 14.9% strikeout rate on the season was still well below the league average of 19.9%. Given his skill set and pitch repertoire/selection, he will likely not exceed 15% over the course of an entire year.

I do believe the increase in the strikeout rate (even though his missed bat rate changed little) was definitely a product of his arm healing and better spotting of his fastballs. That is a good thing and potential that next season can be the same as the second-half of last season.

FIP only counts strikeouts and walks. It doesn't care in which situations they come. It doesn't matter to FIP that Pelfrey's k/bb ratio is much poorer with runners on base.

Kevin Correia is the polar opposite. He actually has done better with runners on base his last two seasons. He is very good at holding runners on. FIP doesn't care about this.


Good points. Additionally, when it comes to FIP and these two players I left an detailed explanation as to why FIP overvalues Pelfrey's season but undercuts Correia: the home run rates were very different. So Pelfrey gets a 3.99 FIP while Correia got a 4.40. This is definitely a positive in terms of a skill set for Pelfrey but it does explain why he almost annually outperforms his ERA. In the end, using FIP to measure Pelfrey's 2013 performance may not be the best tool to use when trying to project his 2014 season.

#10 Parker Hageman

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 12:45 PM

RE: Nolasco, Arroyo and Pelfrey the past three seasons...

http://www.fangraphs...30,978&sort=7,d

I think that is exactly how they rank in terms of performance but if there is a substantial savings, Pelfrey is not a terrible option.

#11 spycake

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 12:55 PM

RE: Nolasco, Arroyo and Pelfrey the past three seasons... I think that is exactly how they rank in terms of performance but if there is a substantial savings, Pelfrey is not a terrible option.


Agreed, but it does present a problem if the Twins decide to "substitute" Pelfrey for those guys, rather than "supplement."

#12 70charger

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 01:47 PM

RE: Nolasco, Arroyo and Pelfrey the past three seasons...

http://www.fangraphs...30,978&sort=7,d

I think that is exactly how they rank in terms of performance but if there is a substantial savings, Pelfrey is not a terrible option.


I don't think we can ignore the "substantial savings" bit. On the free agent market, you have to keep an eye on value. If we're not getting significantly more out of a guy like Arroyo (who I'm not opposed to signing) while paying him three times what Pelfrey would get, then we're getting value out of Pelfrey.

A good value and a good player are, of course, very different things. But for a team with an eye on the bottom line, a world series winner is much more likely to come from home grown players whose costs are controlled, along with a few plug-in pieces that aren't star players but are good values.

If this saves enough money over a guy like Arroyo to allow the Twins to go out and get a guy like Garza, then I'm all for welcoming Pelf back into the fold.

#13 Rick Niedermann

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 03:58 PM

I don't know a thing about FIP. Could care less. All I know is what I saw when Pelfrey pitched. And he was just not a very good pitcher. I don't know how his efforts last year merit a significant raise and extra year or two on his contract. He can't throw a breaking pitch worth diddily squat. He kills the pace of the game. He walks to many. He can't strike anybody out. If the Twins can't do better then that in free agency, they simply aren't trying. Let some other smuck GM believe Boras's garbage. This guy is a number 5 at best and we have 7 or 8 of them already. The Twins need to sign two of the following. Nolasco, Arroyo, Hughes. Then if they want to take flyer of Pelfrey fine. He's a nice guy, liked Minnesota. But we have lot's of nice guys on this team and the team stinks.

#14 Paul Pleiss

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 11:51 PM

Sign Big Pelf for a couple more seasons, if he can stay healthy he is an innings eater, and looking back at the past two+ seasons of Minnesota starting pitching, they could use a couple more guys who eat innings. Even with guys like Gibson, Meyer and (maybe possibly) May coming up this season, they'll most likely be on innings limits and guys like Nolasco, and Big Pelf are going to need to shoulder that load.

#15 jorgenswest

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 12:38 AM

Pelfrey had 29 starts last year.

16 of those starts were less than 6 innings.

He had only 2 starts of 7 innings. Those were his longest outings. He did not get an out in the 8th once in 29 starts.

He did perform better the second half, but it didn't really help him go longer in games. In the last two months of the season, he made it 6 innings in only 5 of 10 starts.

He can't finish off hitters. His high pitch counts keep him from going late in games. His short outings are a burden on the bullpen.

#16 Marta Shearing

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 12:57 AM

There's something about pelfrey that I like. Maybe its because he's somewhat of an intimidating presence on the mound. He's not afraid to bust players inside. We were force fed garbage like baker/blackburn/slowey for so long, this dude just seems like an upgrade for the 3-4 spot in the rotation.

#17 Trevor0333

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 01:14 AM

FIP & BABIP can be a very useful tools but it can't always just be assumed that if someone has a high marks in those areas that its just bad luck & will trend back toward the mean.

Pitchers like Pelfrey who pound the zone with 92 mph fastballs with little movement are going to have many more hard hit line drives hit on them regularly. These types of hit balls are always going to find gaps more often than softer hit balls giving hitters a higher average on balls put in play.

Honestly I would rather roll with Albers behind Corriea & Deduno than mess with Pelfrey again.

#18 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 09:00 AM

There's something about pelfrey that I like. Maybe its because he's somewhat of an intimidating presence on the mound. He's not afraid to bust players inside. We were force fed garbage like baker/blackburn/slowey for so long, this dude just seems like an upgrade for the 3-4 spot in the rotation.


Scott Baker is a much better pitcher than Mike Pelfrey. I don't care if he pitched to guys up, out, down, or whatever... His results are better than Pelfrey, and that's what matters.

#19 cmathewson

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 09:09 AM

I'm sure they're considering him. But I hope it's a fall-back option in case they can't come to terms with guys on their short list (Arroyo, Garza, Kazmir, etc.). Also, if they sign one of those guys, I'd hate it if they signed Pelfrey as well. I think Gibson is a better bet than Pelfrey this year, and he has upside and costs the minimum.
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#20 iastfan112

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 09:16 AM

Arroyo's age scares + contract length and cost scare me. While I'd much prefer Garza or Kazmir if it comes down to Pelfrey or Arroyo I'm not going to be disappointed if the Twins choose Pelfrey.

#21 jorgenswest

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 09:33 AM

There should be no fall back plan. Sign big or sign no one.

#22 Jham

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 10:03 AM

I believe I commented not his here before, but it may be worth saying again.

Mike Pelfrey had a FIP much better than his ERA. There is a group on pitchers that do that on a consistent basis. One characteristic is that their numbers with runners on base are poorer than with the bases empty. Is this bad luck or a skill? The skill part comes in being able to pitch equally well from the stretch. The ability to hold runners on. The ability to work quickly enough to aid your defense.

FIP only counts strikeouts and walks. It doesn't care in which situations they come. It doesn't matter to FIP that Pelfrey's k/bb ratio is much poorer with runners on base.

Kevin Correia is the polar opposite. He actually has done better with runners on base his last two seasons. He is very good at holding runners on. FIP doesn't care about this.

Maybe it's not a skill. Maybe it's just random. Maybe the only thing pitchers control is strike outs, walks and home runs regardless of game situation. Maybe not.

If pitching with runners on base is a skill, is it possible that Pelfrey can have the peripherals of a number 3 pitcher without really being one?


Very well put. Game situation stats have to be the next frontier of sabremetrics. The term "luck" gets thrown out on this blog to explain discrepancies from predicted outcomes far too often in defense of metrics, but truly, game situations matter. Statistics should try to explain variance and limit there effects. Running FIP with runners on, risp, 3rd x through a line up etc. would give a much better read on where and why there may be some deviation from an expected outcome.

Actually, one of my big problems with Moneyball in general was a lack of situational analysis. (ie stealing/bunting will reduce run totals by season's end, but it may still be your best chance to win a tie game in the 9th?)

#23 nicksaviking

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 10:18 AM

I don't want Pelfrey back but I agree he could bounce back. My biggest hold up is with the report that the money is far apart. You would have to think that he is then looking for what, $6-8 million per year? That's the reported payout for Hughes. It's likely just a tick under what it will take to get Kazmir. Others keep mentioning Baker. Feldman is probably in that neighborhood. I'm not high on Feldman, but I'd much prefer Kazmir/Hughes/Baker, so I'd hope they'd go that route.

Someone might argue they Twins could get a Kazmir/Hughes AND re-up Pelfrey. I guess you could, but I'm hoping for another legit secondary pitcher and then taking a low-risk/high-reward flier on a Haladay, Santana, Neimann, Floyd or maybe Volquez.

#24 Marta Shearing

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 10:37 AM

Scott Baker is a much better pitcher than Mike Pelfrey. I don't care if he pitched to guys up, out, down, or whatever... His results are better than Pelfrey, and that's what matters.

I'm not a Baker fan. One of the most mentally weak players I've ever seen. I'll take pelfrey over him every time. Unfortunately there's no stat that measures mental toughness. Gotta use the eye test for that one.

Edited by Marta Shearing, 29 November 2013 - 10:44 AM.


#25 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 11:05 AM

I'm not a Baker fan. One of the most mentally weak players I've ever seen. I'll take pelfrey over him every time. Unfortunately there's no stat that measures mental toughness. Gotta use the eye test for that one.


Funny how he's posted multiple seasons better than anything Pelfrey has done in his career, despite being so mentally weak.

Baker is a better pitcher. Period. He strikes out more, walks less, gives up fewer runs and hits, and goes deeper into games.

A healthy Mike Pelfrey is a #4 pitcher, maybe a #3 on a bad team. A healthy Scott Baker is a #3 in an average year, a #2 when he's really rolling.

I will never understand why Minnesota fans didn't appreciate what they had in Baker.

#26 TheLeviathan

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 11:24 AM

I will never understand why Minnesota fans didn't appreciate what they had in Baker.


Because they're consumed with sports radio talk rather than actual analysis.

If this team got Hughes and Baker along with Nolasco, I'd be one happy little Twins fan.

#27 iastfan112

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 11:37 AM

Because they're consumed with sports radio talk rather than actual analysis.

If this team got Hughes and Baker along with Nolasco, I'd be one happy little Twins fan.


Assuming the injuries haven't diminished his stuff I'd love to have Baker back.

#28 raindog

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 11:39 AM

Not only does Pelfrey have no upside, he's absolutely painful to watch. 30 seconds between pitches and constant finger licking.

I will most definitely skip every fifth Twins game if he re-signs.

#29 Highabove

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 11:40 AM

Why would Baker want to come back to the Twins? Both Ryan and Gardinhire made fools out themselves insinuating that Baker was unwilling to play through a little pain.

#30 Marta Shearing

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 12:04 PM

Because they're consumed with sports radio talk rather than actual analysis.


I was a die-hard fan until they got swept out of the playoffs again in 2010. I probably missed a handful of Baker's starts his entire Twins career. I'm qualified to make an informed opinion on him. I saw a pitcher who benefited from playing in the weak Central with the unbalanced schedule. I saw a pitcher who cracked any time there was pressure involved. Even 163 against Detroit he pitched well when they were behind until the Twins scored a couple runs. Then Scotty went out for the top of the inning and gave it right back. Baker and pressure were never a good mix.

Edited by Riverbrian, 29 November 2013 - 12:22 PM.
Didn't need the capitalized first word!