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Article: Twins To Sign Phil Hughes

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#81 Shane Wahl

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 09:02 AM

I like this much more then the Nolasco signing.I think Hughes has much more talent to outplay his contract then Nolasco does.


This is pretty indisputably true.

#82 jmlease1

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 09:04 AM

I'm very pleased with this signing. A 3-year deal on a pitcher who still has upside and is only 27? That's a relatively low-risk for a market-rate contract. I would agree that if he's got an OF of Willingham, Presley, and Arcia behind him it's not going to go too well, but I think it's much more likely that Willingham is DHing and Hicks gets another shot at CF. And beyond that, we've got Hughes for 3 seasons...think what our OF may look like in years 2 & 3!

The K rate is a nice improvement and if Anderson can get a few things ironed out, pitching in MN could go well for Hughes. I think this deal will work out for the team.

So next season we're looking at Nolasco, Correia, Hughes, and Gibson (there's no way they give up on him this quickly) with Deduno/Diamond/Worley to fill out the back. No need to rush Meyer & May, but openings will be available in 2015 as contracts run out and better pitchers demand spaces.

The Nolasco & Hughes signings aren't transformative in the traditional sense, but they don't have to be. They will hopefully stabilize an awful rotation and bridge eras until guys like Meyer, May, Stewart, & Berrios are ready to join the rotation. Going from awful to quality will go a long way towards making this team respectable again.

#83 drivlikejehu

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 09:05 AM

So would Keith Law have also concluded that a two year deal for $24 million would have been excessive?


Clearly he would, and even more so than 3/24. The low AAV basically leverages the Twins' belief/hope he will pitch better away from New York; if that turns out to be true, they get 3 years on the cheap. Paying a higher AAV for fewer years would take away the upside without reducing the risk.

I like the move because, while 2014 is a lost cause, it gives the Twins a potential asset for subsequent years when it might make a difference. They still should add another starter one way or another.

#84 DaveW

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 09:14 AM

If things break right, 2014 may not be a lost cause...

#85 Alex

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 09:16 AM

The conventional wisdom that Hughes has struggled because of Yankee Stadium's short right porch is not correct. For his career (both at home and on the road), Hughes has given up home runs at a higher rate to right-handed hitters than to lefties (overall, 4.6% to RH, 4.1% to LH). His career opponent SLG has similar reverse splits (.438 for RH, .431 for LH).

I don't think that moving to Target Field will be the panacea for Hughes that people are expecting. Yes, it should provide some improvement; however, it doesn't suppress RH pull power very much, and RH batters have always hit Hughes well. Additionally, pitching in front of a Willingham, Presley, Arcia outfield could be very, very ugly. I think expecting a sub-4.00 ERA is very optimistic.


I don't disagree about the OF defense, but giving up HR to RH/LH batters does not tell you where those HR went. Of his 24 HR last season, just six landed in the left field seats. Every other HR was from CF to RF.

Now sadly, if you overlay Target Field, supposedly that only takes away one HR. Not sure how accurate that overlay is and it can't take into account the colder weather or other conditions --if there are any -- in Target Field (air currents) that may be more likely keeping balls in the park on that side of the park.

And those numbers apply just to last year (2012 was more spread out where 2010 was similar to 2013).

http://www.hittracke...43&type=pitcher

Edited by Alex, 01 December 2013 - 09:24 AM.


#86 Zephrin

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 09:37 AM

If things break right, 2014 may not be a lost cause...


I think that depends on what people consider a "lost cause." There are an awful lot of young guys - Sano, Meyer, Gibson, Hicks, Arcia and possibly Buxton - that would have to come up and play with the consistency and maturity of vets to sniff at the playoffs. The reality is that at least some of those guys will have bumps in the road as they adjust to the league.

I don't need this team to be in the playoff hunt in September for the season to be a success.

#87 markos

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 09:40 AM

I don't disagree about the OF defense, but giving up HR to RH/LH batters does not tell you where those HR went. Of his 24 HR last season, just six landed in the left field seats. Every other HR was from CF to RF.

Now sadly, if you overlay Target Field, supposedly that only takes away one HR. Not sure how accurate that overlay is and it can't take into account the colder weather or other conditions --if there are any -- in Target Field (air currents) that may be more likely keeping balls in the park on that side of the park.

http://www.hittracke...43&type=pitcher


In 2012 most of his homeruns were pulled:
http://www.hittracke...76&type=pitcher
Of the 24 HR he gave up to RH hitters (6.1% of PAs), 20 were pulled to LF.

In 2013, the 11 RH HRs he gave up (3.9% of PAs), it was more of a 50-50 split - 6 to LF and 5 to RF.

I'm not sure what to make of the 2012-2013 difference. It could just be sample size issues. I did hear that he added slider to his repertoire in 2013. Maybe that allowed him to be more effective at suppressing RH pull HRs.

#88 Major Leauge Ready

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 09:46 AM

I like the move. The situation reminds me a lot of Kyle Lohse. Good stuff but never really put it together with the Twins. Lohse moved on at age 27 and with the change of scenery had a very good career.


This comp perked me up. How nice would it be if we were on the other end of a Kyle Lohse type turnaround?

The way I see it, we were not going to contend even if the 2nd SP was Kershaw. Nolasco and Hughes are a good bridge strategy. Let’s hope Gibson has a great sophomore season and Meyer comes on mid-season and pitches to his ceiling. They could replace Correia next year with one of the top of the rotation guys that should be available. Then you have …

Shields / Bailey / etc
Meyer
Gibson
Nolasco
Hughes / Deduno / Worley

It is not too far-fetched to believe we could be back in contention by 2015. If Hughes comes on like Lohse, Nolasco could be our #5. We are a long way from that scenario playing out. Gibson and Meyer have to reach their potential too but it is light at the end of what was a long/dark dark tunnel.

#89 Alex

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 09:47 AM

In 2012 most of his homeruns were pulled:
http://www.hittracke...76&type=pitcher
Of the 24 HR he gave up to RH hitters (6.1% of PAs), 20 were pulled to LF.

In 2013, the 11 RH HRs he gave up (3.9% of PAs), it was more of a 50-50 split - 6 to LF and 5 to RF.

I'm not sure what to make of the 2012-2013 difference. It could just be sample size issues. I did hear that he added slider to his repertoire in 2013. Maybe that allowed him to be more effective at suppressing RH pull HRs.


I added this caveat in a later edit, not as specifically, but I also pointed out that his 2010 numbers were very similar to 2013. 2011 there really wasn't much data. But the point was simply looking at it from RHB/LHB perspective isn't enough to say how Target Field would affect it.

#90 Mike Sixel

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 10:02 AM

Now sign Ellsburry, and my blueprint pretty much comes true. No idea if either pitcher will work out, but they went out and tried to get better. That is a good thing.

#91 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 10:15 AM

I gave the Twins about a 10% chance of picking up either Nolasco or Hughes. Picking up both was out of the question.

#92 Oldgoat_MN

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 10:19 AM

Like several others, I would have liked to see the LH Kazmir.

Nonetheless, I have to say I am more than a little shocked. Absolutely did not expect this much true effort.

Think I'll go make some gravy to go with my crow.

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#93 Reider

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 10:25 AM

I really like Terry Ryan's aggressiveness this off season. Signing a couple of starting pitchers made sense. The $ was available and the Twins needed starting pitching in the worst way. Maybe Nolasco and Hughes will turn out, maybe they won't. But at the end of the day, you can't fault Terry Ryan for his effort this off season. I'm sure Nolasco will be just fine and Hughes has age and new scenery on his side.

Signing one more pitcher wouldn't hurt, but I'd be okay if they called it an off season. I also feel indifferent on signing a positional player. I'm fine with a Pinto/Herrmann/Doumit combo at catcher, but I'd also be okay with Pinto backing up AJ or Salty. Either way, I'm feeling a bit better about 2014 and beyond knowing that Terry Ryan isn't going to sit on his hands.

#94 dgwills

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 10:28 AM

Pencil me down for shocked as well. It may not be the two pitchers that I would of picked (what do I know anyways), but this is pretty much what I wanted them to do. They got two pitchers that should at least stop the pitching staff from being a total disaster and did not mortgage the future by giving up prospects or draft picks. I can not remember the last time the Twins did what fans wanted. Signing Joe Mauer I guess, but it's still rare.

#95 mikeee

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 10:31 AM

Wow! This will be an exciting year.
I will have to check in here more often to keep up with all the moves.

#96 Winston Smith

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 10:31 AM

With Morneau, Carroll, Blackburn and Pelfrey off the books they still haven't matched last years payroll. Still plenty of money and work to do! Don't stop now!

#97 drivlikejehu

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 10:41 AM

If things break right, 2014 may not be a lost cause...


After adding Nolasco and Hughes, the Twins are a 90 loss team. Just goes to show how bad things were before they were signed, and how far left there is to go.

#98 cmathewson

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 10:49 AM

I'm not sure they're done with signing guys. By my calculations, they still have around $28 M to spend on a catcher and another arm. I don't think the catcher will be that expensive.

But I do like Hughes' upside. Not only because of park effects but also defense. Even the best pitchers struggle with Derek Jeter at short and Curtis Granderson in center. Since he's not a huge strikeout guy, he'll need to get more outs behind him. And I expect him to do so with the Twins.

#99 OldTwinky

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 10:55 AM

I really think Deduno is a long shot for this year. I really like the Hughes and Nolasco signings. That being said I don't think this team, even if everything goes perfect, and they make the playoffs, will ever win in the post season following the baseball philosophies of Gardy and Andy.

#100 OldTwinky

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 11:11 AM

They aren't really planning to keep Florimon as the starting SS, are they?