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Article: Twins Finally Assembling Starting Pitching Depth

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#1 Nick Nelson

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 11:44 PM

You can view the page at http://www.twinsdail...-Pitching-Depth

#2 johnnydakota

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 12:10 AM

Well a couple of pitcher who reportedly are avalible in trade ,who might help are
Matthew Wisler
Rank: 5 (Preseason: 8)
San Antonio Missions (AA)
ETA: 2015
Position: RHP
Age: 21, DOB: 09/12/1992
Bats: R, Throws: R
Height: 6' 3", Weight: 195
Drafted: 2011, 7th (233) - SD
Twitter: @wisler233
Scouting Grades* (present/future): Fastball: 6/6 | Curveball: 4/6 | Changeup: 3/5 | Control: 3/5 | Overall: 4/5 The Padres have been aggressive in drafting high school arms in recent years and Wisler has the chance to be one of the better ones they’ve nabbed. A projectable right-hander, he has the chance to have at least two above-average pitches. He got his fastball up into the upper 90s during his first full season of pro ball and he throws it downhill. His curve has the chance to be just as effective, a big hammer of a breaking ball that he has trouble locating. He’ll show signs of a deceptive changeup, but it’s behind the other two. His first full season was a great first step and the Padres are excited to see exactly what Wisler’s ceiling might be



Burch Smith
Rank: 9 (Preseason: 20)
San Diego Padres
ETA: 2014
Position: RHP
Age: 23, DOB: 04/12/1990
Bats: R, Throws: R
Height: 6' 4", Weight: 215
Signed: 2011, 14th (443) - SD

Scouting Grades* (present/future): FB: 7/7 | Curve: 4/5 | Slider: 4/5 | Changeup: 4/4 | Control: 4/5 | Overall: 4/5 Smith, the product of the University of Oklahoma, went straight to the Class A Advanced Caliifornia League for his full-season debut and not only held his own, he topped the organization in strikeouts. He did that while posting a walk rate below 2.0, impressive for a pitcher with this much arm strength. Smith cranks his fastball up to 97 mph at times and his heater has late cutting movement. His secondary stuff is behind the plus fastball, but he'll show glimpses of a good curve. He needs to keep his arm speed with his changeup consistent, especially if he wants to be an effective starting pitcher at the highest level. As is often the case, the next step up to Double-A should help.

While both of these kids might need a little time to get ready Smith appeared in 10 games for the Padres last year (bad ERA 6.14 but had 36ks in 26 innings)

#3 h2oface

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 12:10 AM

It looks like one huge back end to me.

#4 Shane Wahl

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 12:21 AM

I don't know why they would spend $5 million or whatever on Pelfrey, even now. It's a joke to sign that guy. Deduno, Gibson, and Diamond can compete for 4 and 5 in the rotation (Diamond loses and becomes the LR guy). Then think of the $5 million saved on Pelfrey as money towards improvements during the year in case of a serious problem (like a bullpen meltdown . . . if Burton and Fien start to suck . . . that's an issue, and maybe the money saved can be used there . . . or an injury to Dozier or Florimon, etc. etc.).

#5 Paul Pleiss

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 01:53 AM

SIGN MORE PITCHERS! You can never have too many pitchers. The Dodgers, last season, had something like 9 starting pitchers and at one point last season had to resort to ADDING MORE ARMS, including the Twins new addition, Ricky Nolasco. More is better. I'd love to see the Twins go out and get one more guy before the winter is through, especailly if that guy is a front end of the rotation guy, a real 1/2, but another 3/4/ guy would also improve this collection of Talent.

#6 jokin

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 05:45 AM

SIGN MORE PITCHERS! You can never have too many pitchers. The Dodgers, last season, had something like 9 starting pitchers and at one point last season had to resort to ADDING MORE ARMS, including the Twins new addition, Ricky Nolasco. More is better. I'd love to see the Twins go out and get one more guy before the winter is through, especailly if that guy is a front end of the rotation guy, a real 1/2, but another 3/4/ guy would also improve this collection of Talent.


Couldn't agree more and I've argued as such previously. I hope TR has truly turned the corner and learned his lesson from the last 2 years. Trade Perkins for a strong SP prospect like Hunter Harvey at Baltimore (continue building high-quality SP depth in the lower levels, heck, all these teenage phenoms-in-waiting can stagger their inevitable TJ surgeries and then start hitting the rotation in waves, starting in 2016).

As far as "real 1/2s", unless they make a blockbuster deal for someone like Price, the only realistic option in FA is Tanaka- and his status as an Ace isn't certain (but I hope they pursue this with an all out effort- especially if the posting price ends up being capped).

Edited by jokin, 04 December 2013 - 05:53 AM.


#7 Chance

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 07:02 AM

Exchange Pelfrey for Garza and BOOM, rotation.

#8 MichiganTwins

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 08:00 AM

The problem with signing more pitchers is Worley, Hendriks, Deduno, and Diamond are all out of options. By signing, another pitcher we are going to lose one after ST. So adding a pitcher is not really adding a pitcher.

#9 jokin

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 08:22 AM

The problem with signing more pitchers is Worley, Hendriks, Deduno, and Diamond are all out of options. By signing, another pitcher we are going to lose one after ST. So adding a pitcher is not really adding a pitcher.


Methinks the concept of "addition by subtraction" comes into play here.....

#10 mike wants wins

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 08:25 AM

Hitting, hitting, hitting. They have already "fixed" 40% of the rotation, but have added no offense. Indeed, we are looking at a CF that can't hit at all, again. There is no DH. The 3B can't be counted on to hit. The SS can't hit. The LF might hit, but can't field, if he can stay healthy. The catcher is an unknown. They were as far from being in the top 5 in runs scored, as they were in runs allowed.

Of course, the best run producing FA not named Cano is now off the market.....and they aren't signing Cano. Choo is a RF, but you could put him or Arcia at DH, but I'd bet they don't sign him. Frankly, the real difference makers are either off the market, or not coming here probably. So, ya, they could sign another pitcher, but they aren't likely to score enough runs for it to matter this year at all.

#11 jokin

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 08:26 AM

Seriously, as TR has intimated, the #5 spot is Deduno's to lose. Besides, Worley/Deduno both could be candidates for extended time on the DL. Diamond as a lefty would fit in nicely in the bullepen/6th starter role. And I don't think anyone will claim Hendriks if the Twins time it right. Problem solved....an embarrassment of riches indeed....

#12 jokin

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 08:28 AM

Hitting, hitting, hitting. They have already "fixed" 40% of the rotation, but have added no offense. Indeed, we are looking at a CF that can't hit at all, again. There is no DH. The 3B can't be counted on to hit. The SS can't hit. The LF might hit, but can't field, if he can stay healthy. The catcher is an unknown. They were as far from being in the top 5 in runs scored, as they were in runs allowed.

Of course, the best run producing FA not named Cano is now off the market.....and they aren't signing Cano. Choo is a RF, but you could put him or Arcia at DH, but I'd bet they don't sign him. Frankly, the real difference makers are either off the market, or not coming here probably. So, ya, they could sign another pitcher, but they aren't likely to score enough runs for it to matter this year at all.


Trade for JJ Hardy and Matt Wieters, the Orioles are shopping them- and now they need a closer. They just gave away Jim Johnson for practically nothing. Sano moves into the starting lineup no later than June. Arcia OPS's at .800. Willingham has a bounceback year primarily DHing. Mauer stays healthy all year and OPS's .925 in 160 games at 1B.

Hitting problems significantly rectified.

Edited by jokin, 04 December 2013 - 08:32 AM.


#13 mike wants wins

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 08:30 AM

On topic, this is a lot better attempt at fixing the rotation than last year. Gotta be happy that they are trying to get better, rather than just trying to get by. I don't get the disdain for Gibson. He dominated AAA, and imo, they waited too long to bring him up and he wore out. He has more upside than most of their other options. Not sure why you'd not trot him out there this year. It's not like he is 22 years old.

I'd prefer two FAs, KC, Gibson, Deduno be the starters, with Worley as a RP until someone is hurt/fails, with Meyer in AAA until the next guy is hurt/fails. My guess is that guy is Deduno or KC, frankly, but it could be Gibson. I don't care all that much if they lose Hendriks or Diamond at this point.

#14 wabene

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 08:30 AM

The problem with signing more pitchers is Worley, Hendriks, Deduno, and Diamond are all out of options. By signing, another pitcher we are going to lose one after ST. So adding a pitcher is not really adding a pitcher.


Forget about Hendo, I thought the whole point of the FA signings was we were done with aaaa talent. Keep Deduno (highest upside) and let Diamond and Worley pitch for their jobs in ST. Diamond is a low ceiling junk baller at best who cares? Worley had a little success in the NL, no proven success in the AL and low ceiling stuff. Who cares about either of these guys?

#15 mike wants wins

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 08:47 AM

Trade for JJ Hardy and Matt Wieters, the Orioles are shopping them- and now they need a closer. They just gave away Jim Johnson for practically nothing. Sano moves into the starting lineup no later than June. Arcia OPS's at .800. Willingham has a bounceback year primarily DHing. Mauer stays healthy all year and OPS's .925 in 160 games at 1B.

Hitting problems significantly rectified.


If Willingham is the DH, who the heck if the LF and CF? ugly.

But I do share the other parts of your optimism.
Lighten up Francis....

#16 jokin

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:04 AM

If Willingham is the DH, who the heck if the LF and CF? ugly.

But I do share the other parts of your optimism.


TR is going to ride that Presley Pony until he proves once and for all his AAAA-ness, probably no later than the 1st of June. Hicks then gets the nod in CF. Arcia in LF/Willinham DH/Doumit & Parmelee in RF with Mastro and Hermann back-ups.... I agree.....it's patchwork ugly....but TR has himself in a corner with Doumit because of that ill-advised extension...probably untradeable at any price.

#17 Siehbiscuit

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:08 AM

I mentioned this in another thread, but to those that are completely writing off Worley have forgotten about his potential. He was coming off of an elbow surgery (not TJ) but he has recent ML success and is still young. If we are giving Gibson 2nd chances, why not Worley? Although Gibson is our homegrown talent, with a #2 upside, Worley has similar upside and is only a handful of months older. AND did I mention he has actually put successful seasons together at the MLB Level? Don't write this guy off yet!

Edited by Siehbiscuit, 04 December 2013 - 09:13 AM.


#18 JB_Iowa

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:17 AM

Isn't it "sign more GOOD pitchers" (or potentially good pitchers), not just sign more pitchers?

When I think about last season, it looks to me like they tried to put together a starting rotation in much the same way that they have put together bullpens (often successfully). Just target enough and someone will come through.

But starting pitching is clearly a little different and it seems that you need a certain level of talent to provide some leadership to the staff. Although Correia was a pleasant surprise, I don't think he commanded enough respect to really fill that leadership void -- I doubt that anyone thought of him as a #1, #2 or even #3 when he was signed. While I don't think Nolasco or Hughes are a #1 and may only show glimpses of being #2's at times, I do think they command a little more respect (and I definitely liked what we heard from Nolasco about his health and thinking of it as a 5-year contract -- it all sounded like what you would want from a leader). I hope that his attitude will carry over to the other pitchers on the team and make the entire staff better -- and please, let's get over the idea that 6 innings is a complete game.

While it is a cliche, I do think that "good pitching begets good pitching" (we have only to look at the comments of pitchers who say they've learned from other pitchers on their staff). Conversely, I think mediocrity begets mediocrity and bad pitching.

Hopefully Nolasco and Hughes will be good enough to stabilize the rotation. From Berardino's tweets, it looks to me like the Twins are still looking to add another pitcher. Maybe more of a flier. It really sounded like another free agent acquisition is more on TR's mind than a trade.

#19 gobirds

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:29 AM

Trade for JJ Hardy and Matt Wieters, the Orioles are shopping them- and now they need a closer. They just gave away Jim Johnson for practically nothing. Sano moves into the starting lineup no later than June. Arcia OPS's at .800. Willingham has a bounceback year primarily DHing. Mauer stays healthy all year and OPS's .925 in 160 games at 1B.

Hitting problems significantly rectified.

Only problem with this is, the Orioles are asking for the moon for Hardy. They wanted Shelby Miller plus others from the Cardinals. They'd probably ask for Sano/Buxton and Meyer from the Twins. So really, I'd say they aren't really shopping Hardy. Wieters might be a different story, I think I read that they are reluctant to keep him due to salary demands going forward.

#20 Badsmerf

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:37 AM

Why is anyone concerned with lossing Hendricks, Deduno or diamond? These guys are a dime a dozen. I don't get the man crush love deduno gets around here. He had a lucky year and has shoulder issues. Plus, he's proven over his long professional career to be a bad pitcher. One year won't change that for me, shoot, 2 years might not even.

Pelfrey will have a better year than all 3. I'm not sure what type of deal he's looking for, but I wouldn't count him out yet.

I agree that the twins need some bats. However, arcia will be better, sano will be up soon, florimon still posted a positive war, hicks can still hit as a rh batter, Rosario might still make it to the twins and buxton will start the year in aa. Lot of possible growth there. I'm most worried about hicks and if he can learn to switch hit. I really wish they would abandon it. He will lose millions in the long run if he never figures it out.

#21 roger

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:55 AM

Wonderful read Nick. And what a realistic way of looking at the coming spring.

As you stated, three of the in house group are out of options (Deduno, Diamond and Worley...I believe Hendiks has one more option). If they do sign Pelfrey or someone else, I expect one of these three will be dealt in advance to open a spot on the 40-man roster. If not, they will let them battle it out for two spots in spring then trade one if one isn't on the DL.

But you hit it square on the head, they will have wonderful depth heading into spring training. And with Hendriks, Gibson, Meyer, May, Albers and Johnson all at Rochester, the Red Wings should have a legitimate chance to have a very good season. And I really like the prospects of having Gibson in Rochester ready to move up when a starter goes down.

#22 IdahoPilgrim

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 10:23 AM

I don't get the man crush love deduno gets around here. He had a lucky year and has shoulder issues. Plus, he's proven over his long professional career to be a bad pitcher. One year won't change that for me, shoot, 2 years might not even.


Was it a lucky year or someone finally putting it together - a slow developer? That's an open question that is worthy of being explored.

#23 jokin

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 10:49 AM

Only problem with this is, the Orioles are asking for the moon for Hardy. They wanted Shelby Miller plus others from the Cardinals. They'd probably ask for Sano/Buxton and Meyer from the Twins. So really, I'd say they aren't really shopping Hardy. Wieters might be a different story, I think I read that they are reluctant to keep him due to salary demands going forward.


If they're asking for anything other than B prospects and/or moderately above replacement level pieces for Hardy, they're putting on a very transparent bluff to see if there's a sucker in the room. The "Hardy problem", and what to do with him, has been omnipresent ever since the arrival of Machado. They aren't very likely to re-sign him and they want to put Hardy's dollars to good use to fill their other holes, now! There is no way anyone will be foolhardy enough to be held up for a King's Ransom like you describe for a one year rental of Hardy.

Wieters is going to cost the O's in arbitration the next 3 years, he's available right now for a reasonable exchange and some salary relief/

#24 Dave T

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 10:59 AM

What I want to know is, is salary going to stand in the way of trying somebody different? I hate the idea that pitching 200 innings is somehow admirable, if your ERA is over 5. I'm looking at you, Correia.

#25 Winston Smith

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 11:04 AM

[h=1][SIZE=3]"Twins Finally Assembling Starting Pitching Depth" [/SIZE][/h]But is it good depth?

[SIZE=2]Disclaimer: if you really don't like ERA+ skip the rest!

[SIZE=3]Career era+ for a potential starting rotation:

Hughes-95
Nolasco-94
Pelfrey-90
Diamond-92
Deduno-101
Corriea-89

Looks like a rotation of a lot of mediocre at best starters. It might be better than last year but that bar isn't set very high is it?[/SIZE][/SIZE]

#26 howieramone1406390264

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 11:11 AM

[SIZE=3]"Twins Finally Assembling Starting Pitching Depth" [/SIZE]

But is it good depth?

[SIZE=2]Disclaimer: if you really don't like ERA+ skip the rest!

[SIZE=3]Career era+ for a potential starting rotation:

Hughes-95
Nolasco-94
Pelfrey-90
Diamond-92
Deduno-101
Corriea-89

Looks like a rotation of a lot of mediocre at best starters. It might be better than last year but that bar isn't set very high is it?[/SIZE][/SIZE]


It's set high enough. The way a team improves is by getting better. We will be better next season.

#27 Don't Feed the Greed Guy

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 11:20 AM

Nice article, Nick. I appreciate how you compare/contrast the Opening Day options from 2013 to projections for 2014. You mention "that a group including Worley, Scott Diamond, Kyle Gibson, Andrew Albers, Hendriks and Alex Meyer could be left on the outside looking in."

I think that Anthony Swarzak has more upside for that 5th starter spot than Pelfrey, or the list above. Terry Ryan has told Swarzak to prepare to start, and his 2013 numbers are intriguing. Swarzak was very effective in long relief last year, posting a 2.91 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP over 96 innings.

Now, if the front office can keep him from channeling the spirit of recently departed Maurice "Mad Dog" Vachon over Twins Fest, he might have a decent offseason to stretch himself out.

Posted Image


Readers might recall how he cracked some ribs last January while horsing around with teammates. Like we say in the fire hall, "horseplay is the enemy of safety!" Maybe Swarzy and Kent "T-Rex" Hrbek can resurrect the AWA someday...

Posted Image

Until then, give Swarzy a shot in the starting rotation. Then maybe Worley, Hendricks, or Diamond can stay on the roster, while finding something out of the bullpen. Time, and Spring Training, will tell. Until then, Swarzy, stay out of the ring!

#28 twinsfan34

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 11:35 AM

Wish I had the beat Writer's link that said, Orioles never have shopped JJ Hardy and when the Cardinals called, they said, he's not available.

Is Aaron Hicks doing anything this Winter? Dominican League?

I have hope for Hicks as a serviceable 2nd division regular and would play RF until the Twins would get a 1st division regular type of talent comes along or until/if Sano has to play OF (rocket for an arm, voted best arm at each level he's been at, not to mention that 80 grade power).

I just don't know how he's going to get everything back together between how he ended at AAA last year to Spring Training.

As one guy noted earlier, our offense is atrocious. As bad as our pitching was, our offense may have been as equally bad. And we struck out 3rd most in MLB HISTORY.

Sano will likely be given every opportunity to have the 3B job out of Spring training. If he kills it, he opens up with the big league club. If not, AA or AAA and once he shows plate discipline and hits .280 or higher, he'll be called up. I can't imagine a scenario where he isn't the every day 3B by end of July.

Buxton...if by July 2014 he's hitting .320+ and his strikeout rate is under 20% and his walk rate is still at that 12-15% at AA...he'll be called up too. And when he's called up, he'll be starting every day.

I think Meyer will be a regular by Mid July as well. Whether he starts the season with the big club or not, I don't know.

Don't sign Pelfrey, not even for $3M per.

I would like the Twins to find some more hitters who make contact. Things just happen when you put the ball in play. If you can't slug 30 HR or more, you can't be striking out 100+ times a year. The ONLY scenario I can see where you are not slugging 30+ HR and striking out 100+ a year is you're a GG at your position with .280 and 15+ HR.

Thoughts on Polanco, does he start AA? AAA? Santana? How long before either is given a shot at Florimon's job?

#29 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 11:39 AM

I would like the Twins to find some more hitters who make contact. Things just happen when you put the ball in play. If you can't slug 30 HR or more, you can't be striking out 100+ times a year. The ONLY scenario I can see where you are not slugging 30+ HR and striking out 100+ a year is you're a GG at your position with .280 and 15+ HR.


That is an unrealistic expectation. Today's MLB players strike out more. It's intentional, not accidental. Guys don't choke up and go for the opposite field single like they did in the 70s... And that's okay. Statistical analysis seems to back up that thinking.

Joe Mauer struck out 88 and 89 times in 2012 and 2013. Setting the bar at 100 K's is way too high (or low, depending on how you look at the phrase).

#30 birdwatcher

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 11:41 AM

Isn't it "sign more GOOD pitchers" (or potentially good pitchers), not just sign more pitchers?

When I think about last season, it looks to me like they tried to put together a starting rotation in much the same way that they have put together bullpens (often successfully). Just target enough and someone will come through.

But starting pitching is clearly a little different and it seems that you need a certain level of talent to provide some leadership to the staff. Although Correia was a pleasant surprise, I don't think he commanded enough respect to really fill that leadership void -- I doubt that anyone thought of him as a #1, #2 or even #3 when he was signed. While I don't think Nolasco or Hughes are a #1 and may only show glimpses of being #2's at times, I do think they command a little more respect (and I definitely liked what we heard from Nolasco about his health and thinking of it as a 5-year contract -- it all sounded like what you would want from a leader). I hope that his attitude will carry over to the other pitchers on the team and make the entire staff better -- and please, let's get over the idea that 6 innings is a complete game.

While it is a cliche, I do think that "good pitching begets good pitching" (we have only to look at the comments of pitchers who say they've learned from other pitchers on their staff). Conversely, I think mediocrity begets mediocrity and bad pitching.

Hopefully Nolasco and Hughes will be good enough to stabilize the rotation. From Berardino's tweets, it looks to me like the Twins are still looking to add another pitcher. Maybe more of a flier. It really sounded like another free agent acquisition is more on TR's mind than a trade.


I had the same thoughts, JB. I like Deduno's enthusiasm and Nolasco's fire. And I hope Ryan takes a flier on someone (Santana?). I'm indifferent about Pelfry, except on the nights he pitches, when I'll pick up a book or something rather than suffer.