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Two Wild Cards: Luis Gil and Dakota Chalmers




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In the spring of 2018 the Twins traded Luis Gil for Jake Cave. At the time of the trade Luis Gil had been in the Twin organization since 2015. He had thrown 65 innings over those three years with 73 strike outs and 46 walks. He did not pitch due to a shoulder injury in 2016 and had yet to pitch in rookie ball. He did not make Seth Stoh's 2018 prospect handbook. He did have a big fastball.


In July of that season the Twins traded Fernando Rodney for Dakota Chalmers. Chalmers was injured at the time of the trade. He had been in the Yankee organization since 2015. He had thrown 121 innings over those years with 137 strikeouts and 91 walks. He would not pitch due to Tommy John surgery in 2018 and had yet to pitch above Low A.


They have some similarities.

  • They both had injuries that caused them to lose a season.
  • They both had big strike out and walk numbers early on.
  • They both needed to be put on the 40 man roster this off season and start their options clock.

Keith Law ranked Luis Gil as the Yankees 14th prospect writing...


Gil, 21, is even more likely to be a reliever than his peers in the Yankees’ system, with a big fastball but no average second pitch; not only is his velocity plus, but the pitch has ride up in the zone.


He was ranked 5th in the MLB pipeline and 10th by Fangraphs.


Keith Law ranked Dakota Chalmers as the 19th best prospect writing...


Chalmers came back in July from 2018 Tommy John surgery and showed the same premium stuff he had before the injury, a mid-90s fastball and a hammer spike curveball, but still has way below-average command and control and lacks a pitch for lefties, so right now it’s bullpen or bust.


He was ranked 23rd in the MLB pipeline and unranked by Fangraphs.


Here is a recent article on Chalmers from Baseball America following his successful AFL season.


Both have significant command issues as shown. Both look to be relievers. Luis Gil will be 22 this year and likely needs to start in High A where he has only three games of experience. He has three options to figure out the strike zone and gain experience at the higher levels. Dakota Chalmers is 23. He will likely start in AA. He also has three options to gain command of his pitches.


The Twins acquired Jake Cave for Luis Gil. He has given the 2.3 fWAR as their 4th outfielder in two seasons. The Twins have 4 more seasons of control.


The Twins traded Fernando Rodney to acquire Dakota Chalmers. They gave up control through 2019. Rodney netted -0.1 fWAR for the A's before he was released and then part of the Nationals World Series team (0.5 fWAR).


Would you trade Chalmers for Gil today?


Chalmers is closer. He might help in the pen this year if the Twins went that direction with him. Gil will likely start the year in high A and still be given the chance to be a starter. His value to the Yankees would be to show better control in the first half as a starter and then moving him at the deadline. Gil is further away with a history of shoulder trouble. Any injury set back and it is hard to imagine that he will be ready before his options run out. I will be interested in where they both start and whether Chalmers is in the pen or rotation.


I would probably trade Chalmers for Gil. I like the upside of that arm and the possibility of having that trade piece at the deadline. Chalmers may be ready to help this year though. I see them both in a similar place as pitchers with a history of arm trouble, swing and miss stuff and command issues. They both need spots on the 40. In the moments when I regret the trade of Gil for Cave I need to remember appreciating the acquiring Chalmers for Rodney.



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I think I might still stick with Chalmers...leaving any contributions by Cave out of the equation...simply because gut feeling is Chalmers has the better chance to stay in the rotation. Also, despite limited IP, he's still closer to the ML level, which makes me feel he's closer to panning out.

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Gil was signed as a free agent by the Twins, Chalmers was a 3rd round pick of the A's. Gil is almost 2 years younger and has performed better on the mound so far. They are the same size.


Gil probably projects as a major league pitcher better than Chalmers, while I think Chalmers is a valid prospect with electric stuff. Gil might end up as an upper-strike zone flame thrower where Chalmers, if he can command the fastball better, can carve through a lineup all through strike zone and really gives righties a fit.


No trade happens in a vacuum and having Cave has really helped, so I guess I'd choose Cave and Chalmers over Gil. Just don't ask me again tomorrow.

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At this point in time I like Chalmers better.  He looks like he might be able to control his pitches and striking out the side the other day means he has swing and miss stuff as well as good velocity.  I think if our pen was a little weaker Chalmers would be a candidate for a pen spot this year.


Gill is younger and still has potential to start.  He got his WHIP down to 1.19 last year in A ball not great but doable for a reliever.  It's a tough choice between the two right now, but as I stated earlier right now today I like Chalmers better.  If Gill manages better control and a more advanced approach he could be much better than Chalmers who I only see as a reliever.


The Twins getting Cave who looks MLB ready for Gill also complicates this analysis for me as Cave has already been a timely asset as he helped last years team to 101 wins when most of the starting outfield was injured.  Not having him might have impacted that effort.

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