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Article: Do the Twins View Swarzak as a Starter?

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26 replies to this topic

#1 Nick Nelson

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 11:48 PM

You can view the page at http://www.twinsdail...ak-as-a-Starter

#2 Marta Shearing

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 12:01 AM

Just say no to Duensing. That ship has sailed. I'd love to see Swarzak get a shot. If he can beat out Deduno, I'd be fine with them switching roles.

#3 Badsmerf

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 07:21 AM

I feel like his success is what Hendriks might see in his future. Frustrated that the Twins just blatantly gave up on him at such a young age.

If the Twins want to give him a legit shot at it, I'd be fine with the move. What I wouldn't want (which is what will happen) is him to start in the pen and then jump back and forth a few times and not have success so they scrap the idea. If they want to try him at starter, let him start. Shoot, let him switch roles with Gibson to start the year. Wouldn't be the worth thing to let Gibson come out of the pen a little bit and build confidence to start the year. If Swarzak fails you could then switch them back. Not much harm done in that scenario.
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#4 old nurse

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 07:30 AM

That the Twins are considering him to start shows how little faith they have in their returning starters

#5 cmathewson

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 07:36 AM

I don't know if this is just psychology or what. If you really want a guy to pitch well in long relief, make him prepare to be a starter and keep that carrot in front of his nose.
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#6 wabene

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 08:03 AM

I agree with letting him prep as a SP for all the reasons mentioned; as a carrot, get ready for long relief and in case of injuries. P. Hernandez, A. Albers, Duensing, PJ, and Hendrix, enough already. Not enough talent for mlb, sorry. Swarzak has talent let's see what happens. As for the others so glad we have signed enough mlb talent to push them out. If Diamond and Worley don't make a strong case, cut bait.

#7 TheLeviathan

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 09:20 AM

That the Twins are considering him to start shows how little faith they have in their returning starters


Of the three returning starters in the rotation, two are veterans being paid to start. The other is a young pitcher whose had major league success.

Frankly, I'm with Nick. The guy, at best, is 7th in the pecking order, I'd rather they start to work him in more towards late-inning situations and see if they can't generate some long-term value in him that way.

#8 nicksaviking

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 09:22 AM

Perhaps it's less to do with finding a guy for the 5th starter spot and more about opening up the possibilities for the long man in the bullpen.

Maybe the Twins aren't entirely sure they could trade Worley/Diamond/Deduno but still don't want to lose them to waivers. Swarzak almost surely has some trade value and it would only be higher if league-wide perception is that he is a swingman.

Of the bullpen arms, Swarzak and Duensing seem the most likely to get traded. Both are in arbitration and the Twins have said they have no intention of working out multi-year deals with either. Seems odd they have no intention of working out multi-year deals with two pitchers they reportedly like as a number five pitcher. Unless this lip services is simply trying to make them more attractive to other teams.

Edited by nicksaviking, 13 January 2014 - 09:27 AM.


#9 Jeremy Nygaard

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 09:29 AM

I'm just assuming the guys that finish 6 and 7 for the starting jobs are the long-relievers. This group includes Duensing and Swarzak. Diamond and Duensing compete for a lefty role. Worley, Deduno, Diamond, Gibson and Swarzak compete for the #5 job/long-relief role.

I also wonder how much trade value Swarzak has. Maybe not much, but I'd think more than Worley.

#10 halfchest

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 09:32 AM

I don't see it happening mostly because I would think the Twins would like to give one last shot to our out of options guys Worley/Diamond/Deduno.

#11 halfchest

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 09:36 AM

I propose an 8 man rotations called the 2 by 4. Pair up your 8 starters and have them both prepare for starting. Most guys do their best work the 1st and 2nd time through the lineup right? So why not capitalize on that by planning to have your staters only go 4 or 5 innings with another starter to come on in relief and finish it up. It would be more effective if all of our starters were a little different. So you have 8 starters that pitch 4 innings every 4 or 5 days. Then you have your stud relievers in Perk/Burton/Fien to close it out. It's foolproof and you know it.

#12 TheLeviathan

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 09:40 AM

Diamond and Duensing compete for a lefty role.


Unless Diamond undergoes a splits transformation, there isn't much competition there. Diamond doesn't do well getting lefties out.

I don't see, if the pitching we signed actually helps out, why we'll have more than one long reliever. Hence why I think sliding him closer to a 6th/7th role might be beneficial for everyone.

#13 Thrylos

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 09:41 AM

I'm just assuming the guys that finish 6 and 7 for the starting jobs are the long-relievers. This group includes Duensing and Swarzak. Diamond and Duensing compete for a lefty role. Worley, Deduno, Diamond, Gibson and Swarzak compete for the #5 job/long-relief role.


You don't want your lefty who was your best relief pitcher in high leverage situations in 2013, be your long man, you want him to be the set up lefty. I just don't get all the non-appreciation that Duensing gets sometimes (and I am not talking about Jeremy here, just a general comment)

I think that based a. on their performance in 2013 and b. on their contact situation in 2014, both Duensing and Swarzak earned the right to compete for that last spot. And, as horrible as some people think that Duensing has been as a starter, he has pitched better than Diamond.

Career as a starter:
Duensing: 23-24, 4.18 FIP, 4.11 xFIP, 1.428 WHIP (.320 BABIP), 5.9 K/9, 2.38 K/BB
Diamond: 19-27, 4.46 FIP, 4.33 xFIP, 1.405 WHIP (.304 BABIP), 4.2 K/9, 1.92 K/BB

So, in other words, if you want a lefty in the rotation, the one who has succeeded the most in the majors as a starter within the current group is Duensing.
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#14 birdwatcher

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 09:49 AM

I'm not inclined to read anything into this. Teams across the league are instructing long relievers to prepare as if they were starters. If the Twins believe that Swarzak or Duensing have more than the most remote shot at being in the rotation, their FA activity seems to contradict it.

#15 DAM DC Twins Fans

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 10:23 AM

I agree with most things that have been said. One point hasn't. Depth. Twins have 8 starters. In no particular order--Hughes, Nolasco, Pelfrey, Correia, Deduno (if healthy), Diamond, Duensing, and Swarzek.

Having all 8 prepared to start means that from May to August you have depth to cover the inevitable injuries and doubleheaders without dipping into the minors (unless Meyer is ready--and that is doubtful because he lost too much time in 2013). To me this is telling Albers and Gibson to pick it up or your chances to be in the show are over.

#16 nokomismod

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 10:40 AM

I agree with most things that have been said. One point hasn't. Depth. Twins have 8 starters. In no particular order--Hughes, Nolasco, Pelfrey, Correia, Deduno (if healthy), Diamond, Duensing, and Swarzek.


What about Worley (not that I'm excited about him)?

#17 Thrylos

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 10:54 AM

To me this is telling Albers and Gibson to pick it up or your chances to be in the show are over.


No. And comparing a former top prospect and first round pick who has not yet reached his peak to a career independent league guy, does not make much sense. Gibson (and Worley, for many of the same reasons) will be given many opportunities; Albers not that much.
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#18 cmathewson

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 11:42 AM

Swarzak had an ERA+ of 139 last year. That would lead the starting staff. But, last year was his first major league season with zero starts. The previous year, he started 5 games and his ERA+ was 82. His ERA during those 5 starts was over 8. It was just around 4 as a reliever. If I were the Twins coaches, I would keep him in the bullpen and hope he doesn't regress too much to the mean.
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#19 CRArko

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 12:20 PM

It's just barely possible that getting a few starts in ST may up the trade value of Swarzak and/or Duensing. So after the Tanaka dust has settled and the rest of the big names have landed somewhere, a team still looking for a number 5/6 starter may offer something useful in exchange.

Now before going all figgy pudding, note the difference between "just barely possible" and "likely," please.

#20 jimbo92107

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 12:50 PM

Just say no to Duensing. That ship has sailed. I'd love to see Swarzak get a shot. If he can beat out Deduno, I'd be fine with them switching roles.


Deduno doesn't throw enough early strikes to be a good reliever. He's either a starter here, or a starter somewhere else.

#21 Linus

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 01:05 PM

Its possible that Swarzak is just figuring things out - it takes some guys a while. He really pitched well last year and I think it is wise of the Twins to see what he can do as a starter. We may have a Jeff Samardja on our hands as that was his path and is now a valuable starter. Swarzak certainly needs to pitch in a more important role - either starting or set-up

#22 nicksaviking

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 02:06 PM

You don't want your lefty who was your best relief pitcher in high leverage situations in 2013, be your long man, you want him to be the set up lefty. I just don't get all the non-appreciation that Duensing gets sometimes (and I am not talking about Jeremy here, just a general comment)


I agree that Duensing is underappreciated here, but I understand why. He pitched two different seasons last year. The first saw numbers like this: 4.67 ERA, 1.67 WHIP and a 1.88 SO/BB, while the second half saw numbers like this : 3.08 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 4.33 SO/BB.

Most fans had turned off their TV's or at least tuned out the on field product long before he became a quality reliever.

#23 Paul Pleiss

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 02:41 PM

The Good Ship Duensing, like the Good Manship have both sailed. Duensing can be effective out of the pen, but I don't see anyway he becomes anything more than an afterthought, even for a spot start.

#24 Trevor0333

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 12:59 PM

I've thought for awhile Swarzak earned another chance to start. Deduno if healthy deserves to start the year in the rotation. With how well he pitched until his shoulder flared up it would be silly to just discount him completely.

This means moving Corriea is a real possibility come ST, also they have little to no belief in Diamond & Worley.

Duesning does get a little more heat than he deserves, he is pretty good against lefties and can get out the occasional righty. However at 2mill a year his value is diminished. Diamond is not a good candidate to replace him but Theilbar was pretty good last year & Albers can easily be a the 2nd loogy/long relief pitcher.

Edited by Trevor0333, 14 January 2014 - 01:03 PM.


#25 Trevor0333

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 01:14 PM

I haven't given up on signing Garza & moving Corriea. My dream off season season scenario still is. Signing Garza & Drew while trading Corriea, Burton, May, &or both Diamond/Worley for Dominic Brown & Papelbon's contract.

1) Garza 2) Nolasco 3) Hughes 4) Deduno 5) Gibson/Meyer

CL) Perkins SU) Papelbon RHP) Fien, Swarzak, Tonkin LHP) Thielbar, Albers

1) Dozier 2) Drew 3) Mauer 4) Willingham/Kubel 5) Brown 6) Arcia 7) Plouffe/Sano 8) Pinto 9) Presley/Hicks

#26 oldguy10

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 02:18 PM

I'd say Trevor0333's roster would have an excellent shot at another 90+ loss season.

#27 Marta Shearing

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 03:39 PM

Deduno doesn't throw enough early strikes to be a good reliever. He's either a starter here, or a starter somewhere else.

Does it really matter with a long man coming in to eat some innings in a game thats already out of hand?