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Bullpen Blues - A Twins Blog


Axel Kohagen

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The Twins dropped the series to the Diamondbacks and, as of this writing, are only one game ahead of the Guardians in the division. Next up, a whole slew of games against those Guardians. Beware.

I’m trying to maintain my optimism after the series loss in Arizona. It’s not going well. I tried to listen to the game on Sunday, but all that happened was that I got to hear the Diamondbacks hit a grand slam. A door to victory shuts. I switch my Echo Dot (a wonderful Father’s Day gift from my beloved wife and daughter) over to loud music and read about scary movies in Rue Morgue magazine. Giving up a granny is just a bridge too far for me. Grab a taxi – this one’s over.

Part of putting the pieces of a winning team together is knowing which pieces don’t belong in the puzzle. And that is the tricky task awaiting the Twins. The pitching staff could use reinforcements, which means we need to get rid of some of our existing players. Specifically, I suspect we will be losing some of our bullpen arms.

To be fair, we’ve already been shuffling around our assets between the pro team, St. Paul, and the injured list. To be fair AND honest, I have trouble keeping up with who we have in the bullpen on any given day. There are a few names that make me nervous when I hear they’re coming in to the game. I wonder if they’re nervous, too. Or, do they find a way to shut out the bad memories of being hit out of ballgames in the near past?

Getting cut from a team has to hurt, so I don’t envy the decisions the baseball people have to make. Some of these guys bounce around the league for years. Some of them only get remembered when their name comes up, and all a fan can remember is that yes, they used to play for your team. Being an innings eater, low-leverage kind of pitcher is tough, gritty life. Retire and in six months you can go shopping anywhere without getting recognized. You can put “able to manage criticism from tens of thousands of people at a time” on your resume.

But, like the book says, there’s a season for everything. Sometimes players have to go. If the Twins are still in the hunt for first place in the division after they’ve played all of those games with the Guardians, they need to be upgrading. In fact, they should probably be looking to upgrade now to ensure they’re still close to first place after these series.

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Current bullpen is overworked.

Prospects and arm tryouts are wonderful, if nmot competing for a division title.

And bullpen arms need to be able to also pitch consecutive days.

And one of the arms should only be that mop-up guy who can go long in blowout games.

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The St.Paul shuttle hasn't been working out very well so far. Its time to go outside the organization looking for help. There was an article quite a while back that talked about how many of our "great" prospects were going to be at risk nest year in the rule 5 draft. Lets get pro-active and decide who to keep and start trading others for bullpen arms NOW! If we wait much longer we will be chasing the rest of the season and IMO this team wont do well as a chase team.

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I am intrigued by Evan Sisk putting up good numbers at AA and am perplexed that he hasn't been bumped to AAA before now, in preference say to Strotman who might benefit from AA tutelage (or might be a lost cause).  At this point I'd roll the dice and jump Sisk up to the majors the next time they decide to open a 40-man spot - which IMO could and should be soon.

He's the only one that I feel that way about, though.  The Vaunted Pitching Pipeline (tm) is not gushing for the major league squad as yet - the past couple of years have dribbled out just enough to replenish a below-average pool of talent, not to sustain a winning roster, to speak nothing of making up for lost time.  What we have at AAA is not blowing away even the AAA batters, and at AA guys like Varland, SWR and Canterino would IMO get their brains beat out if thrown into the major leagues right now.

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Completley frustrated with our use of Duran and Pegan as well as the others!!

As they say "pick a lane"!! 

1. Duran should be the undisputed closer... period. ONLY used 1 inning. 

Drives me bonkers ... use up Duran for 2 innings... 1st inning dominant... 2nd inning gets hit same with Pegan. 

Not only that but we hancuff our team by doing that. You burn one or both and they are not at thier best the next outing. 

So... can't use for the next day.. How about use Pegan as primary setup.. Duran as primary closer... move on.. 

PLEASE...PLEASE... this is not rocket science... Metrics .. schmetrics... this is dumb!!

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Bullpen troubles were somewhat predictable this year with the limited FA additions this year and trading best reliever. I see a couple of  trends; Twins too confident can piece together a bullpen with roster castoffs and low priced FAs- thinking they can make a few adjustments and poor performing pitcher will become effective again. Injuries and limited success of pitchers coming up- Alcala's injury really hurts, sure he was in plans to share high leverage innings with Duran/Pagan. Not enough of the pitchers expected to come up from minors and contribute this year have not been able to do that on a consistent basis.

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They need to make some moves and the sooner the better.  Lopez has been solid for Baltimore.  Bednar has been great for Pittsburg.  I realize RP's are volatile year to year but those two guys have good arms and stuff and would be two excellent targets.  I'm sure the Twins are talking with teams, but I'm afraid nothing really gets done until the deadline approaches.  

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