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Alex Meyer and a question of say-so w/ ST roster decisions

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#1 jokin

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 04:38 PM

In another thread, I questioned why 2 of the 3 brightest lites for the near-term hopes of turning this franchse around, Meyer and Buxton, were shipped out so early after the Camp opened. It made me wonder out loud about the decision-making process and who is looking for what? why?...and when?

Now we have this quote from Berardino's article, regarding using some of the up-and-coming starters in relief roles, as other teams are doing more frequently:

“Let them get confidence, stretch them out as best you can and (eventually) stick them in the rotation,” Gardenhire said. “There’s a big, tall 6-foot-7, 6-foot-8 guy that I might have wanted to have taken a shot with that this year.”
He was talking about 6-9 Alex Meyer and his high-90s fastball. Meyer was shipped back to Triple-A on March 9 in the first round of cuts.
“He got ramrodded out of here pretty quick before I had the say-so,” Gardenhire said. “I wouldn’t mind doing that with him at all. I think that would be fun. I don’t give a (flip) if they hit him. Just watching him come out there …”


It begs the questions- When exactly does Gardy get the say-so? Was it last Sunday's second round of cuts? Or does it not happen until the final cut to 25?
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#2 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 06:56 PM

I don't see the real upside in starting Meyer out in the majors this year.
First off: There is zero reason to start his clock that quickly.
Second: He needs some time in the minors to refine his pitches.

Gardy shouldn't get any say-so, that isn't his job. Gardy's job is to win every game he can this year, Ryan's job is to ensure the Twins are good in the near and long term future.
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#3 Seth Stohs

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 07:00 PM

Gardy talks with his coaches, and then Gardy talks to the front office and makes his cases, but at the end of the day, it's Rob Antony's (and Terry Ryan's) decision. The business side of things has to be considered in roster decisions, what's best long term for a player or the team, those kinds of things have to play a part in the process.

#4 jokin

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 07:08 PM

Gardy talks with his coaches, and then Gardy talks to the front office and makes his cases, but at the end of the day, it's Rob Antony's (and Terry Ryan's) decision. The business side of things has to be considered in roster decisions, what's best long term for a player or the team, those kinds of things have to play a part in the process.


Is it at all interesting how Gardy aired the "dirty laundry" side of ST personnel decision-making regarding Gibson and especially, Meyer? I never before heard that a manager gets "say-so" at any point in Spring Training. And kind of interesting too, that he's already pining for missing the opportunity for a longer look at Meyer than just one week? Or did he let out the hint that there's a scenario envisioned where Meyer might come up in a relief capacity at some point (perhaps just after the Arb cutoff date?) and BEFORE, a starting spot actually opens up?

Edited by jokin, 18 March 2014 - 07:35 PM.


#5 gunnarthor

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 08:00 PM

This isn't the first time Gardy has talked about ST roster decisions, I think probably happens most years. Reusse had an article about it when Bill Smith was the GM - Gardy and Smith disagreed on 3 roster spots and Smith "won" on two and gave Gardy something. I can't remember the players. In any event, I don't think it's airing dirty laundry but rather the manager just honestly answering the question.

As to the other points - Gardy's actually used the bullpen to starter route before with Santana and Liriano and, if Meyer's on an innings limit, it makes sense to do it sometime this year with him.

#6 jokin

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 08:19 PM

This isn't the first time Gardy has talked about ST roster decisions, I think probably happens most years. Reusse had an article about it when Bill Smith was the GM - Gardy and Smith disagreed on 3 roster spots and Smith "won" on two and gave Gardy something. I can't remember the players. In any event, I don't think it's airing dirty laundry but rather the manager just honestly answering the question.

As to the other points - Gardy's actually used the bullpen to starter route before with Santana and Liriano and, if Meyer's on an innings limit, it makes sense to do it sometime this year with him.


I only used "dirty laundry" on a sparing basis in particular response to Gardy's rather strong choice of words: “He got ramrodded out of here pretty quick...before I....."

I am in full agreement on Meyer. If he's performing as expected in Roc., get him up here in a relief role right after his arb date if a starting spot has not yet materialized. On an innings limit, I'd prefer as many of them be MLB ones as possible. Gibson too. It sounds like a mental thing as much as physical for Gibson, not much left to prove for him in Rochester (and he isn't getting any younger).

#7 Sconnie

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 09:03 PM

"There is an increasing sense of urgency in Minnesota with ticket sales lagging, and the Twins will be aggressive with roster changes if need be in the early going, reports ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Insider piece)." My source is http://www.mlbtrader...wins/index.html
since I don't spring for insider, but is this a purposeful leak to keep fans interested even though their favorite prospects are being sent down early?

Also, I wonder if Gardy got more sway with TR than with Antony.

#8 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 09:19 PM

I wouldn't be opposed to giving Meyer a few low-stakes appearances out of the pen before he makes his first start. I wouldn't let him age in the pen for half a season though, which is what would have happened, and is where I disagree. Also, at this point it's a horrible idea to send Gibson to the pen.

Honestly it sounds like Gardy is just reacting to things he heard watching the Cardinals in the postseason last year (Cardinals young guys (and I mean YOUNG) Lance Lynn, Wacha, Kelly, Shelby Miller having all began their careers in relief for a short time). Who the heck knows anymore what the secret is to developing pitching-- the Twins brain trust is already on record now disagreeing on how to best develop Alex Meyer (that's the skeptical take, anyway--but needs to be said).

I am glad Gardy at least appears to be lobbying for the young guys, which I will back him 100% on.

Great post, Jokin, thanks a lot, :)

#9 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 09:35 PM

"There is an increasing sense of urgency in Minnesota with ticket sales lagging, and the Twins will be aggressive with roster changes if need be in the early going, reports ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Insider piece)." My source is http://www.mlbtrader...wins/index.html
since I don't spring for insider, but is this a purposeful leak to keep fans interested even though their favorite prospects are being sent down early?

Also, I wonder if Gardy got more sway with TR than with Antony.


Nice catch and interesting thought. It would have been nice if the Vikings had been aggressive with replacing Ponder earlier. We'll see if that approach works in baseball or if that's what they're planning to do.

#10 Thrylos

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 09:38 PM

A couple things:

These guys (esp. Buxton) did not really perform well this Spring while with the Twins. Buxton was a step above Bartlett with the stick and had a couple of mishaps on the field.

Also, Meyer at some point needed to be stretched for the season. If he was sticking around to pitch an inning at a time as Gardenhire suggested, that would have not happened.

Plus, I would not trust that Gardenhire is speaking the truth there...
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#11 jimv2

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 10:12 PM

I only used "dirty laundry" on a sparing basis in particular response to Gardy's rather strong choice of words: “He got ramrodded out of here pretty quick...before I....."


I had exactly the same reaction. But my first instinct was that it might be a bit of a misquote. From the rest of the quote, I can imagine Gardy joking around with Berardino about how mcuh he likes seeing Meyer pitch regardless of the situation, and then saying something like "but he got ramrodded out of here pretty quick and I didn't have the say-so."

Or maybe the quote is exactly right, but it needs to be taken in the context that Gardy never gets, and doesn't expect, a say-so, and so he's kidding around a tad when he said "before i got the say-so."

Those guys all work together pretty well. While I'm sure there are player decisions that they don't all agree on, they've been very good about providing a reasonalby united front, and I doubt that would change now.

I would answer your last question on the original post by saying that I don't think gardy ever gets any say so on who's on the team. I'm sure he gets input, but I can see a possiblity that Ryan and Antony had already agreed that neither of those two guys was going to make the team out of ST, but that in past years Ryan might have done a courtesy check with Gardy and Antony maybe didn't realize that was typical and just went ahead and reassigned according to the original plan without making the call.

#12 jokin

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 10:36 PM

I had exactly the same reaction. But my first instinct was that it might be a bit of a misquote. From the rest of the quote, I can imagine Gardy joking around with Berardino about how mcuh he likes seeing Meyer pitch regardless of the situation, and then saying something like "but he got ramrodded out of here pretty quick and I didn't have the say-so."

Or maybe the quote is exactly right, but it needs to be taken in the context that Gardy never gets, and doesn't expect, a say-so, and so he's kidding around a tad when he said "before i got the say-so."

Those guys all work together pretty well. While I'm sure there are player decisions that they don't all agree on, they've been very good about providing a reasonalby united front, and I doubt that would change now.

I would answer your last question on the original post by saying that I don't think gardy ever gets any say so on who's on the team. I'm sure he gets input, but I can see a possiblity that Ryan and Antony had already agreed that neither of those two guys was going to make the team out of ST, but that in past years Ryan might have done a courtesy check with Gardy and Antony maybe didn't realize that was typical and just went ahead and reassigned according to the original plan without making the call.


Good post. Gardy's usually closer to the vest, verbally speaking. And TR has taken all the blame for failing to get Gardy the pitching he needs to be respectable the last 2 years, so I was wondering if that might have granted him some leeway "say-so" that he hasn't had in the past. But great point, the familiarity factor with Antony is probably still a work in progress- and Gardy feels comfortable enough with his new 2-year contract to speak his mind a little bit. It was certainly a good tease for us as fans and sets himself up for more "negotiating" when we get to crunch time next week.

I also want to make it clear, I wasn't necessarily saying that Meyer and Buxton should have gone North on opening day, I have merely been questioning since the move on March 8, how unprecedentedly quickly that the Twins moved their top 2 prospects out of the major league camp. Hicks was out until last Wednesday, plus there were split squad games. Presumably both Buxton and Meyer would benefit from the best coaching and competition.- at least another 10 days or so before being moved down to the minor league camp. And as far as Meyer getting stretched out, he could have pitched in a simulated situation in conjunction with say, three more MLB 2-inning stints, or combined reps with both the major and minor league games when they played games simultaneously.

#13 jorgenswest

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 10:47 PM

The Royals name their top pitching prospect, 22 year old Yordano Ventura, the fifth starter.

The Twins send out their 24 year old prospect early in spring training. They have Mike Pelfrey and Kevin Correia filling the spots.

The Royals handed over full time catching duties to Perez at 22 after debuting at 21.

The Twins sign journeyman Suzuki and make him starter before camp because 8 years of developing Pinto at catcher may not be enough.

Hosmer was a regular out of camp at 21. Would Sano have been this year? Buxton next?

Are the Royals ruining their best prospects by letting them adjust and struggle in the majors? It is a new direction for them. They had a strong class of prospects and chose to play them young. Time will tell as the core hits 25-29 in a year or two.

It is a direction the a Twins might consider.

#14 old nurse

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 11:11 PM

The Royals name their top pitching prospect, 22 year old Yordano Ventura, the fifth starter.

The Twins send out their 24 year old prospect early in spring training. They have Mike Pelfrey and Kevin Correia filling the spots.

The Royals handed over full time catching duties to Perez at 22 after debuting at 21.

The Twins sign journeyman Suzuki and make him starter before camp because 8 years of developing Pinto at catcher may not be enough.

Hosmer was a regular out of camp at 21. Would Sano have been this year? Buxton next?

Are the Royals ruining their best prospects by letting them adjust and struggle in the majors? It is a new direction for them. They had a strong class of prospects and chose to play them young. Time will tell as the core hits 25-29 in a year or two.

It is a direction the a Twins might consider.


Might not Perez be a better prospect at catching than Pinto? Perhaps if you are complaining of the slow development of Pinto you could point out how the Twins have held him back. Each player develops differently.
IIRC Mauer was up through the system quickly. Did Mauer belong in the bigs at age 19?
Hosmer was a high pick. Much different than Pinto.

Edited by old nurse, 18 March 2014 - 11:14 PM.


#15 pierre75275

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 04:26 AM

Saying the Twins should go the Royals route really isn't fair. How have the Royals prospects progressed? I would dare say if the players mentioned in the above post dont preform as expected they are optioned or the Royals cut bait with them.And then what will they have gainedby trading Myers and Ordozzi? They will have wasted an opportunity by being impatient. Granted their catcher has done well...but i seem to recall the twins calling up a catcher at that age as well

#16 The Wise One

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 06:35 AM

Presumably both Buxton and Meyer would benefit from the best coaching and competition.- at least another 10 days or so before being moved down to the minor league camp. And as far as Meyer getting stretched out, he could have pitched in a simulated situation in conjunction with say, three more MLB 2-inning stints, or combined reps with both the major and minor league games when they played games simultaneously.


An organization should think that all of the coaches are the best at any level or they should not have been hired.
Your approach to stretching out a pitcher is best described as novel. There is a reason players play in game situations versus going down to spring training and work on simulations. There is a reason for rehab starts versus simulations after they have done a couple simulations..

Edited by ashburyjohn, 19 March 2014 - 10:43 AM.
Unnecessary parting shot


#17 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 06:39 AM

Saying the Twins should go the Royals route really isn't fair. How have the Royals prospects progressed? I would dare say if the players mentioned in the above post dont preform as expected they are optioned or the Royals cut bait with them.And then what will they have gainedby trading Myers and Ordozzi? They will have wasted an opportunity by being impatient. Granted their catcher has done well...but i seem to recall the twins calling up a catcher at that age as well


Yup! I wouldn't emulate anything the Royals have done...do they have young talent? Sure, but they are far from a model franchise.. The Royals are also a cautionary tale of putting too many eggs in the "hey all of our prospects will pan out!" basket.
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#18 gunnarthor

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 08:00 AM

The Royals name their top pitching prospect, 22 year old Yordano Ventura, the fifth starter.

The Twins send out their 24 year old prospect early in spring training. They have Mike Pelfrey and Kevin Correia filling the spots.

The Royals handed over full time catching duties to Perez at 22 after debuting at 21.

The Twins sign journeyman Suzuki and make him starter before camp because 8 years of developing Pinto at catcher may not be enough.

Hosmer was a regular out of camp at 21. Would Sano have been this year? Buxton next?

Are the Royals ruining their best prospects by letting them adjust and struggle in the majors? It is a new direction for them. They had a strong class of prospects and chose to play them young. Time will tell as the core hits 25-29 in a year or two.

It is a direction the a Twins might consider.


First of, Ventura isn't the Royals top pitching prospect. That's Kyle Zimmer who they are putting restrictions on this year at AA. (http://www.baseballa...ions-on-zimmer/). But it's also not really a fair comparison. Ventura is a finished product at this point. He threw over 150 innings in the upper minors and majors last year. Meyer missed two months b/c of a shoulder injury and threw about 100 over AA and the AFL. The Royals are also in a position where they are trying to win this year whereas the Twins don't really need to rush Meyer's arbitration clock early.

#19 mike wants wins

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 08:13 AM

True, the Twins are not trying to win this year, that is clear.

Who, exactly, will they be "aggressive in making roster changes" with? Who in AAA is even "ready" to come up? Hicks and Pinto? It looks like Escobar might be up. They aren't going to bring up Buxton "early".
Lighten up Francis....

#20 jokin

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 04:16 PM

True, the Twins are not trying to win this year, that is clear.

Who, exactly, will they be "aggressive in making roster changes" with? Who in AAA is even "ready" to come up? Hicks and Pinto? It looks like Escobar might be up. They aren't going to bring up Buxton "early".


The evidence for their recent past "aggresiveness" is there to see. Look for the guys who are playing "consistently" in AAA. Instead of Walters, Albers and DeVries, think Kris Johnson, Sean Gilmartin and Brooks Raley. And instead of Dinkleman, Bernier and Clete Thomas, think Jermaine Mitchell, Wilkin Ramirez, Brandon Waring and.... er, Bernier.

But seriously...if they are punting once again....from a business-side outlook, what's the point in early call-ups to Meyer, Gibson, May, Pinto, Buxton, et al???- who they think they can still save significant payroll money on by delaying their service time-clocks. Until they change their viewpoint in this regard, I fear that 2014 is looking like 2011-13 Redux. (And I don't see how they can keep Hicks off the opening day roster, but then again, Jason Bartlett made the spectacular catch in CF and got a hit today, so Gardy just may have found his back-up OFer after all.:angry:)

#21 Jim H

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 06:05 PM

True, the Twins are not trying to win this year, that is clear.

Who, exactly, will they be "aggressive in making roster changes" with? Who in AAA is even "ready" to come up? Hicks and Pinto? It looks like Escobar might be up. They aren't going to bring up Buxton "early".


You can't have it both ways. It is clear they are trying to win now, by giving opportunities to savy vets who may be slightly better RIGHT NOW, than unproven rookies. They have loaded up on free agent pitchers, perhaps delaying the arrival of not quite ready young talent. They have in camp Kubel, Bartlett, and Suzuki who may delay the arrival of young studs, but are possibly better RIGHT NOW than the young studs.


Clearly, the Twins have not done what many seemed to want. They did not bring in very expensive free agents who possibly could of elevated the Twins a bit this year. They also have not just given jobs to young talent, we all hope will be the future. They have walked a middle ground which opens them up for criticism from many directions. I don't know if this is the best way to go. But, I don't think it is true to say they are not trying to win this year.

#22 jimv2

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 06:27 PM

Presumably both Buxton and Meyer would benefit from the best coaching and competition.-


Not sure that's true for Buxton. To me, he was looking a bit lost against major league pitching. And that's entirely fair for a 20 YO guy who's never played AA. So putting him back someplace where he's challenged, but not overwhelmed, makes sense to me. And as ST winds down the coaches at the major league level need to be focused on spending time with guys who have a shot at playing on the major league team this year.

For Meyer, I assume it's just that they have too many potential major league pitchers needing innings than they have innings. If we didn't have so many people with possible bullpen slots it might be different. That's the only reason I could come up with, because clearly he was handling the better competition reasonably well.

#23 jokin

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 07:46 PM

Not sure that's true for Buxton. To me, he was looking a bit lost against major league pitching.


But unfortunately, thus far it appears that both Presley and Hicks look like they could use a road map, as well. My argument was that essentially 10 more days with the big league club would actually help Buxton look much less lost, again, thinking about the long run here (September call-up? April 2015?), and keeps the pressure on Hicks and Presley to step up their games if they want to stick around in the long run.

For Meyer, I assume it's just that they have too many potential major league pitchers needing innings than they have innings. If we didn't have so many people with possible bullpen slots it might be different. That's the only reason I could come up with, because clearly he was handling the better competition reasonably well.



Meyer looked fine. Comparable pitchers in other organizations are already on a more accelerated timeline. And based on the results for much of our alleged pitching depth, Meyer is clearly, literally and figuratively, head and shoulders above most every other alleged "potential major league pitcher" in that group he was up against. I get that the Twins might be looking to stash one or more of their "starting pitchers" in the pen to start out the season. But Antony is on record now complaining about the need for guys to step up, and since that's the case, when a guy is demonstrating in real time how close he is to sticking for good, he should be given the benefit of the doubt, and given the longer look he has earned. Again, I was never arguing that Meyer should be on the opening day staff, but now Gardy confirms what we both saw- and regrets his lack of "say-so", and he's publicly licking his chops about getting him back up here ASAP. It's worked in St. Louis and other places, if Meyer continues to excel, let's put him in the pen right after the Arb cutoff date in early May- I am confident that the sea of mediocrity amongst the pitching staff will make who he can replace well-known by that point in time. Assuming he's on limited innings this year, I want as many of them with the major league club as is realistically possible.

#24 The Wise One

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 03:42 AM

From pitching 2 innings in an A game Meyer is now deemed almost ready for the major league team? Holy small sample size Batman!

#25 jokin

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 10:28 PM

From pitching 2 innings in an A game Meyer is now deemed almost ready for the major league team? Holy small sample size Batman!


Everything has been qualified in advance with the presumption that he kicks the door in with his AA/AAA performance this spring. Don't take my word for it.

Both ZIPS and Steamer project that Meyer would be the Twins 2nd best starter:

[TABLE="class: sortable"]
[TR="bgcolor: #50ae26"]
[TH="align: left"]Player
[/TH]
[TH]IP
[/TH]
[TH]TBF
[/TH]
[TH]K%
[/TH]
[TH]BB%
[/TH]
[TH]BABIP
[/TH]
[TH]ERA
[/TH]
[TH]FIP
[/TH]
[TH]ERA-
[/TH]
[TH]FIP-
[/TH]
[/TR]
[TR="bgcolor: #c7d9ec"]
[TD="align: left"]Ricky Nolasco
[/TD]
[TD]177.7
[/TD]
[TD]761
[/TD]
[TD]18.3%
[/TD]
[TD]5.1%
[/TD]
[TD].304
[/TD]
[TD]4.20
[/TD]
[TD]4.10
[/TD]
[TD]104
[/TD]
[TD]101
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR="bgcolor: #ffffff"]
[TD="align: left"]Alex Meyer
[/TD]
[TD]100.7
[/TD]
[TD]447
[/TD]
[TD]20.6%
[/TD]
[TD]10.5%
[/TD]
[TD].304
[/TD]
[TD]4.20
[/TD]
[TD]4.35
[/TD]
[TD]104
[/TD]
[TD]108
[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]


[TABLE="class: sortable, align: center"]
[TR="bgcolor: #50ae26"]
[TH]#[/TH]
[TH="align: left"]Name[/TH]
[TH]Age[/TH]
[TH]Hand[/TH]
[TH]IP[/TH]
[TH]K%[/TH]
[TH]BB%[/TH]
[TH]kwERA[/TH]
[TH]kwERA-[/TH]
[TH]WAR[/TH]
[/TR]
[TR="bgcolor: #ffffff"]
[TD]3[/TD]
[TD="align: left"]Alex Meyer[/TD]
[TD]24[/TD]
[TD]RHP[/TD]
[TD]150[/TD]
[TD]22.8%[/TD]
[TD]12.1%[/TD]
[TD]4.03[/TD]
[TD]104[/TD]
[TD]1.6[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]

Edited by jokin, 20 March 2014 - 10:39 PM.


#26 jokin

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 10:34 PM

Supe-UTIL "Bart-ie" gets another hit and another new position (RF) to play tonight. Further building Gardy's case for getting some say-so? Here are his most recent comments on Bartlett after his spectacular center-field catch Tuesday night:

"He's an athlete," Gardenhire said. "I mean, that was a long run; not an easy play. He made a heck of a play. He can do those things. Made a nice throw to home plate earlier. He's just an athlete. He could play anywhere you put him."

Despite his poor numbers, Bartlett's potential benefit in the clubhouse already is on display. "He's very confident," Gardenhire said. "He's that positive attitude that we like. We'll see.

There's some arguing going on (with the front office). Hope I win."








Posted Image



Anyone still betting against Bartlett and some "Gardy say-so" going his way by March 31?

Edited by jokin, 20 March 2014 - 10:57 PM.