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Article: Betting Against The House

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#21 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 08:12 AM

The issue will be if others are better in AAA, but stuck there because he's "acceptable" enough. I don't particularily like this deal. I also don't know how they plan to score any runs next year, and if you aren't, what is the point of signing a stop gap pitcher?


Do you really see that happening in 2014, though? This season, it's going to be Worley, Deduno, and Diamond fighting for one spot in the rotation. At some point, a pitcher will fail or go down with injury and a second guy will get a shot, probably around the time Gibson is throwing his hat back into the mix.

Next season, Correia is gone. The Twins will (theoretically) have two open rotation spots for Deduno, Worley, Diamond, Gibson, and Meyer. At least two of Deduno, Worley, and Diamond will be gone at that point through trade or ineffectiveness.

I don't see it becoming a problem, really.

#22 mike wants wins

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 08:22 AM

If Worley and Gibson are healthy, I think they are both as good as Pelfrey. And then next year Meyer will be up (if not this year). So I think it is possible. Certain? No.

but again, I don't see the point, unless they think Sano and Buxton are up this year. They could have just rolled those guys (the pitchers) all out there this week to see what they have (or don't) because this offense was awful last year. Adding a great pitcher, or great hitter, that makes sense to me. Adding a stop gap? Not so much.

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :) Also, I am NOT trying to convince anyone I am correct, I'm just talking here, not arguing.


#23 cmathewson

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 08:41 AM

Do you really see that happening in 2014, though? This season, it's going to be Worley, Deduno, and Diamond fighting for one spot in the rotation. At some point, a pitcher will fail or go down with injury and a second guy will get a shot, probably around the time Gibson is throwing his hat back into the mix.

Next season, Correia is gone. The Twins will (theoretically) have two open rotation spots for Deduno, Worley, Diamond, Gibson, and Meyer. At least two of Deduno, Worley, and Diamond will be gone at that point through trade or ineffectiveness.

I don't see it becoming a problem, really.


The only problem is options. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Worley, Diamond and Deduno are out of options. Diamond could potentially take a swing-man role int eh bullpen. But Worley or Deduno will get claimed on waivers if they attempt to pass them through. Here's hoping Deduno gets the fifth spot, Diamond gets the swing job and Worley gets claimed by the Royals. Gibson and Meyer can fine tune in AAA all year for all I care.

They lose Deduno as well if they sign Arroyo or Garza. But he might have some trade value.
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#24 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 08:46 AM

The only problem is options. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Worley, Diamond and Deduno are out of options. Diamond could potentially take a swing-man role int eh bullpen. But Worley or Deduno will get claimed on waivers if they attempt to pass them through. Here's hoping Deduno gets the fifth spot, Diamond gets the swing job and Worley gets claimed by the Royals. Gibson and Meyer can fine tune in AAA all year for all I care.

They lose Deduno as well if they sign Arroyo or Garza. But he might have some trade value.


Switch Worley and Deduno and I agree. I think Worley has a much better chance of succeeding over the course of a season than Deduno.

Here's what I see happening:

1. Nolasco
2. Hughes
3. Pelfrey
4. Correia
5. Worley

Bullpen: Diamond

Question mark: Deduno, who may start the season on the DL.

First guy that goes down will be replaced by either Deduno or Gibson.

#25 Major Leauge Ready

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 09:01 AM

I sure hope we have the problem of so many guys performing well that we don't have room for them all. :) Man, I would love to have that problem.

#26 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 09:23 AM

I sure hope we have the problem of so many guys performing well that we don't have room for them all. :) Man, I would love to have that problem.


Yes. It doesn't make sense to complain that Pedro Hernandez is getting starts in 2013 and then complain that the Twins have too many options in 2014.

None of their 5/6/7 "options" are particularly good nor have they earned a full-time spot in the rotation. Let them battle in Spring Training, dump the worst of the three, and move on with the season.

#27 cmathewson

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 09:43 AM

Switch Worley and Deduno and I agree. I think Worley has a much better chance of succeeding over the course of a season than Deduno.

Here's what I see happening:

1. Nolasco
2. Hughes
3. Pelfrey
4. Correia
5. Worley

Bullpen: Diamond

Question mark: Deduno, who may start the season on the DL.

First guy that goes down will be replaced by either Deduno or Gibson.


I wish I shared your optimism on Worley. To me, he's Nick Blackburn II. I saw nothing last year that would inspire confidence in him. Too many hard-hit balls, not enough easy grounders.

Deduno misses bats. Unfortunately, he also misses the plate too much. But even when they put it in play, it is such weak sh*t that they can't get it out of the infield. I saw him get eight out of the first nine outs on choppers between the pitcher and first baseman in one game. It was a thing of beauty. He has the kind of movement that, even when they make contact, he just gets easy grounders.

If Deduno hadn't pulled his groin in the rainstorm in the WBC final game, he would have easily been the top starter for the Twins last year. As it was, he was their top starter in the second half. Worley started the year as the designated top starter and finished with a middling stint in AAA. If it were me, I'd DFA him now to make room for Pelfrey. But they have too much invested in him with Revere to do that.
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#28 mike wants wins

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 10:44 AM

Yes. It doesn't make sense to complain that Pedro Hernandez is getting starts in 2013 and then complain that the Twins have too many options in 2014.

None of their 5/6/7 "options" are particularly good nor have they earned a full-time spot in the rotation. Let them battle in Spring Training, dump the worst of the three, and move on with the season.



For a team with limited (self imposed or not) financial resources, it does make sense, though, to question signing more and more pitching. If you now go out and sign a 4th starter...couldn't that money have been used on an every day player?

BTW, wasn't the argument last year that NO TEAM could ever go out and sign three free agent pitchers in 1 year and be successful?

I do wonder......is it his plan to undo last year? Last year he signed bad FAs (imo), and traded the present for the future (though Worley was for the present). Is it his plan this year to sign a bunch of pitching, and deal some combo of Worley, Gibson, Deduno, May, whomever for hitters?

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :) Also, I am NOT trying to convince anyone I am correct, I'm just talking here, not arguing.


#29 DJL44

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 10:47 AM

It's difficult to turn the worst starting rotation into an above average rotation in one off season.


It's even more difficult when you don't add anyone that is above average.

#30 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 10:58 AM

For a team with limited (self imposed or not) financial resources, it does make sense, though, to question signing more and more pitching. If you now go out and sign a 4th starter...couldn't that money have been used on an every day player?

BTW, wasn't the argument last year that NO TEAM could ever go out and sign three free agent pitchers in 1 year and be successful?

I do wonder......is it his plan to undo last year? Last year he signed bad FAs (imo), and traded the present for the future (though Worley was for the present). Is it his plan this year to sign a bunch of pitching, and deal some combo of Worley, Gibson, Deduno, May, whomever for hitters?


I don't think so... What I think is more likely is that Ryan deals a bullpen arm. Swarzak, Burton, Fein, and Duensing all have value. Dishing off one of them and slotting in Worley/Diamond/Deduno makes more sense than trading a starter whose value is minimal.

#31 cmathewson

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 11:11 AM

I think he'll sign Drew and Suzuki (though not for offense), and hope for rebounds from three of Hammer, Plouffe, Doumit, Hicks and Kubel.

Other than Arcia, the real offense is coming in a year: Sano, Rosario and Buxton will give this lineup considerable lift. I'm sure he doesn't want to sign offense that will block them.
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#32 mike wants wins

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 11:25 AM

Just now on Fangraphs:

Dan Szymborski:
I'm kind of amused that Pelfrey got a 50% raise for a 78 ERA+.

What I just typed is probably an opinion, not a fact. I mean, I'm usually right, so you should maybe assume it is or will be a fact soon, but that's up to you. :) Also, I am NOT trying to convince anyone I am correct, I'm just talking here, not arguing.


#33 Mike Frasier Law

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 11:45 AM

When I read the headline, I took your analogy differently, more like what Mackey wrote yesterday: http://www.1500espn....SP_ladder121513

In other words, the Twins are betting against the house in that they are betting that Pelfrey is better than any in-house "filler" option, and moves everyone down a spot on the depth chart. I buy it. I think he allows the Twins to keep people in the minors that need development while not completely embarrassing the major league team. I don't think he blocks anyone that shouldn't be blocked - when a Meyer or May is ready, it will be easy enough to find a spot for them.

#34 Thrylos

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 11:53 AM

Just now on Fangraphs:

Dan Szymborski:
I'm kind of amused that Pelfrey got a 50% raise for a 78 ERA+.


Got to love ERA-based analysis...
especially from the same place that lists Pelfrey at 2.1 WAR with a $10M+ value in 2013
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#35 nicksaviking

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 12:34 PM

I don't think so... What I think is more likely is that Ryan deals a bullpen arm. Swarzak, Burton, Fein, and Duensing all have value. Dishing off one of them and slotting in Worley/Diamond/Deduno makes more sense than trading a starter whose value is minimal.


The backend starters and bullpen guys should be packaged together in my opinion. The return should be better even if only minimally better. The Twins can swap two 40-man spots for one or maybe none if the return is youngsters. I didn't like the Lirano/Morneau trades simply because the Twins were on the wrong end of those equations.

#36 johnnydakota

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 12:52 PM

I wish I shared your optimism on Worley. To me, he's Nick Blackburn II. I saw nothing last year that would inspire confidence in him. Too many hard-hit balls, not enough easy grounders.

Deduno misses bats. Unfortunately, he also misses the plate too much. But even when they put it in play, it is such weak sh*t that they can't get it out of the infield. I saw him get eight out of the first nine outs on choppers between the pitcher and first baseman in one game. It was a thing of beauty. He has the kind of movement that, even when they make contact, he just gets easy grounders.

If Deduno hadn't pulled his groin in the rainstorm in the WBC final game, he would have easily been the top starter for the Twins last year. As it was, he was their top starter in the second half. Worley started the year as the designated top starter and finished with a middling stint in AAA. If it were me, I'd DFA him now to make room for Pelfrey. But they have too much invested in him with Revere to do that.


While I agree Worley showed nothing last year, dont forget, he was damaged goods when we traded for him, Do I think he will be the pitcher he was his first half season with the Phillys? No , But me thinks there is a 4-5th starter in him if healthy...

#37 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 12:58 PM

While I agree Worley showed nothing last year, dont forget, he was damaged goods when we traded for him, Do I think he will be the pitcher he was his first half season with the Phillys? No , But me thinks there is a 4-5th starter in him if healthy...


Pretty much this. Out of Diamond/Worley/Deduno, I think Worley has the best chance of sustained success, though it will be back of the rotation type work.

Deduno might have a higher peak but the dude is 30 years old and hasn't stayed healthy. It's a mistake to rely on him for anything at this point.

#38 howieramone1406390264

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 01:29 PM

The good thing is we are having a civil discussion about our starting pitching depth. I was hoping for 2 FA starting pitchers, but not expecting two I like as well as Nolasco and Hughes, and was pretty sure Pelfrey would come back but not at such an attractive price. Game Thread is always fun, but this year it will be better.

#39 jokin

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 02:49 PM

Got to love ERA-based analysis...
especially from the same place that lists Pelfrey at 2.1 WAR with a $10M+ value in 2013


The flaws in WAR for SPs on Fangraphs is well-documented and makes the stat suspect. If BR had even a positive WAR for Pelf, I could be sympathetic, but alas, his bWAR is -0.3!....and ESPN concurs with the same WAR rating.

The stats suggest that Pelfrey will be better than last year.....but come on, it's hard for him to be worse. The striking thing that no one mentions much is Pelfrey's K/9 of 5.95 and K% of ~15% with the Twins are higher numbers than in ANY of his 5 healthy years, 2007-2011....This bucking of the trend in the opposite direction from all the rest of the Twins Starters might augur well for 2014, with his TJ-produced "stronger arm."

His overall performance in those years was all over tha map, almost as maddening as watching him pitch live. The positive spin is Steamer forecasts Pelf building on those 2013 K numbers (K/9 6.14, K% 15.8%) and also coming in at below-career averages in ERA 4.29 and FIP 4.08. If he could come anywhere close to those numbers, Ryan will look like a veritable genius, and the backend of the rotation would be secured (even if still unwatchable with Pelfrey there).

Edited by jokin, 16 December 2013 - 04:09 PM.


#40 Thrylos

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 04:05 PM

The flaws in WAR for SPs on Fangraphs is well-documented and makes the stat suspect. If BR had even a positive WAR for Pelf, I could be sympathetic, but alas, his bWAR is -0.3!....and ESPN concurs with the same WAR rating.


One can argue on whether or not a FIP-based was has problems, but my point was not that.

My point was that (for good or bad) at one place at fangraphs, sets Pelfrey's value at $10M plus, while at another place argues that $5.5M is too much.

Consistency. Either or. Cannot have both.
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