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Recommended Coming Changes in Rotation and Bullpen Pre 9/1


LA VIkes Fan

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The time to make changes in the starting rotation is coming with Mahle due off the IL in about a week. Mahle, Gray and Ryan are easy picks, everyone else is in play - pick two of Bundy, Archer, Aaron Sanchez, Smeltzer, Louie Varland, SWR for 5, or should we go to a 6 man rotation and pick 3? Who goes into the bullpen?

To me, first choice is obvious - Dylan Bundy,  The man has a 2.33 ERA in August and has kept the Twins in every game he's started this month. Rocco needs to try giving him a shot at going  more than 5 innings but he has been an above average 4/5 rotation guy for the last month. The second choice is less obvious but the guy it shouldn't be is pretty clear - Chris Archer. He had a 11.74 ERA in July and has a 5.24 ERA in August. While he was better earlier, he only pitched 19 innings last year and is coming off a potentially career ending injury. He is running out of gas. Either put him in the bullpen or shut him down. 

That leaves Smeltzer and Sanchez on the roster, and Louie Varland and SWR down in AAA. Smeltzer was exposed while in the rotation before - 1.50 ERA in May, 4.10 in June, 8.76 in July - and actually looks the part of a long reliever with a 1.80 ERA since coming back up. Varland is tempting but he just got to AAA. SWR still has control issues and also just got there, and there isn't anyone else on the Saints roster who looks like anything close to a MLB starter. Those two could come up on 9/1 and still be under the 45 days so retain their rookie status for 2023. Very tempting to try to catch lightning in a bottle but I just don't think either one is ready.  Here's your winner - Aaron Sanchez. Yes, he was bad with the Nats, but his 2 starts with the Twins so far have been a total of 9 innings, 4 runs. He would have gone longer against Houston if Rocco hadn't messed up. His pitches have life and I could see him being very good against weaker teams and holding his own against better ones. If he pitches well Sunday against the Giants I think he's the man for the #5 spot in the rotation. 

For the bullpen, two changes jump out at me. First, Brad Peacock or Jharel Cotton should come up and replace Megill. Megill has good stuff, but he's been figured out - 1.86 ERA in July, 6.55 in August. Peacock is experienced and can better give us back of the bullpen work. Cotton had a 2.83 ERA when sent down, albeit with a FIP over 5. He's risky, but we could use another multi inning/long man with the shorter starts and he can fill that role. Archer stays and hits the BP or goes on IL. I would also be ok with Moran coming up if Archer goes on the IL. Remember, we get 2 more spots on 9/1 and one of them can be a pitcher so we can add one for a 9 man bullpen.  I say add Peacock and Cotton, move Archer to the bullpen, option Megill and option/DFA Pagan. Moran can come up if there's an injury but remember, once he comes up he's hit his limit for the year and can't be sent back down without exposing him to waivers. 

That would give us a starting rotation as of 9/1 of Mahle, Gray, Ryan, Bundy, Sanchez. The Bullpen is Duran and Lopez as the late inning guys, Jax, Theilbar, Fullmer, Archer (or Moran) and Peacock for innings 6-8, and Smeltzer and Cotton as the multi inning/long men. Smeltzer and Archer are the emergency starters. That's our best pitching staff for September in my view.

What say ye?

 

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1 hour ago, Karbo said:

I agree that its time to make a change with Archer. Pen looks like a good place for him to finish the year. Maybe a piggyback for Bundy?

Archer to the pen, only if he's used to face the bottom of the batting order.  This year leadoff men have a  1.040 OPS against him, and cleanup guys are 1.157.  Batters 6-9 are collectively about .500.

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Frankly, it may be that it's time to shut Archer down for the season. He really isn't providing much value as a starter. None of the replacements are great, but they are all better than he is right now. Archer looks completely cooked for the season. 

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Rotation suggestion seems to be spot on. Archer should be shut down.

Winder looked promising in his first two starts. His subsequent shoulder impingement issue was unfortunate, but he appears to be coming back from that. He could be useful in the pen, along with Sands, although his K rate is not impressive - wanted to point out that we have a couple more arms for consideration.

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I'm glad someone else thinks Sanchez belongs in this rotation right now.  The Twins couldn't have hoped for any more out of him.  He seems to know how to pitch and get to at least the middle innings with still having a chance to win.

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I am not for Sanchez.  I want something from Winder/Ober/Varland.  We trusted a young Ryan, let's trust another young arm.  Sanchez has a -0.8 WAR.  That tells me how good he has been.   I went to BR and his statistics do nothing for me.  Yes we can trade him for Archer if we want the same results. 

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Ober and Winder, both coming off the 50-day IL list, will be there somewhere, somehow. (Not to mention a decision on Dobnak, which would also involve a roster move). So the Twins have to remove three bodies from the curreent 40-man roster.

Mahle looks to be back Sepotember 1, so he will jsut be an add from the roster expansion, but moving Sanchez to the bullpen for now.

Plus the Twins signed Jewell for a reason, and Peacock has been pitching well.

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The only change I'd make is to install a long relief corp. Yes Archer has had the worst results since Wes Johnson departure, but he's a veteran & will snap out of it. Both Bundy & Archer do better pitching 5 innings but the whole rotation has had there share of short outings, that happens. The problem is not having an adequent long relief & using them on a regular basis.

The rare times that long relief has been used, we had great success, We have great candidates that can pitch long relief, A Sanchez, Smeltzer, Winder, Ober, throw in Sands & Cotton (maybe Dobnak?) With all these very adequate long RPs & strong short RPs, there is no problem with the SPs not pitching over 5 innings- Repeat there is no problem with any SP not pitching over 5 innings

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That’s a mediocre  batch of starters. Three solid number 3s and fill ins, an indictment of the FO for its inability to develop front end starters. The team has no chance to make a run until that happens. 

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On 8/27/2022 at 11:06 AM, Karbo said:

I agree that its time to make a change with Archer. Pen looks like a good place for him to finish the year. Maybe a piggyback for Bundy?

It looks like Archer could be that middle inning or long relief guy. He seems to be great for about 60 pitches and then things go south. I saw it last night in the 5th and expected it to happen. Although I was pulling for him to finish the 5th and get the W.  I thought Rocco stayed with him as long as he could.

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My 5th starter picks in order.

Winder

Sanchez

Ober

Varland

Smeltzer

Archer

Woods-Richardson

I think Archer should finish the year in the pen.  I would like to know if he would be good there for the playoffs.  
 

Pagan is not going anywhere so if the Twins have an extra pitcher then we should have Moran then Peacock then Cotton

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Interesting that the callup for the extra pitching roster spot turned out to be the newly acquired lefty reliever, Austin Davis, right after we brought in Moran for Smeltzer. It seems like left handers in the bullpen became a priority for September.  Moran has to stay the rest of the year or he cold be lost on waivers since he is on his 5th callup. I'm guessing Davis will get his shot and he is the cannon fodder if we need to make another move down the road. 

So who now goes when Mahle comes off the IL on Saturday? DFA Aaron Sanchez? Archer to the IL?  Option Megill? Maybe that's why Davis is on the 26 man now, to go when Mahle gets called up? 

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On 9/1/2022 at 1:29 PM, LA VIkes Fan said:

Interesting that the callup for the extra pitching roster spot turned out to be the newly acquired lefty reliever, Austin Davis, right after we brought in Moran for Smeltzer. It seems like left handers in the bullpen became a priority for September.  Moran has to stay the rest of the year or he cold be lost on waivers since he is on his 5th callup. I'm guessing Davis will get his shot and he is the cannon fodder if we need to make another move down the road. 

So who now goes when Mahle comes off the IL on Saturday? DFA Aaron Sanchez? Archer to the IL?  Option Megill? Maybe that's why Davis is on the 26 man now, to go when Mahle gets called up? 

DFA Sanchez I'd guess. I really like Archer as a person but the Twins are losing all of his starts. Bundy is pitching well. I'd go with Gray, Ryan, Mahle, Varland and Bundy as starters to finish the year. Give the team the best shot to make the playoffs. 

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I'm trying to figure out the pitching order for the rest of the season, if an when Ober and WInder are added back in (at the expense of whom ?), and if Varland can get 3-4 more opportunities to start.

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I think we have to assume that Mahle is not coming back for at least a while. I think Varland earned himself a more extended look. Also, I understand Ober will be starting for the Saints over the weekend. If he pitches well, I would like to see a rotation of Gray, Ryan, Bundy, Ober and Varland for the rest of the year. We could add in archer and go with a 6 man rotation since Ryan is starting to run out of gas but we just don't win his starts so I would drop him. When and if Mahle is ready to actually return I would drop out Varland or Ober, whichever one is performing the worst. I would put Winder in the bullpen for the rest of the year in long relief. His constant shoulder issues are a red flag for trying to start him this year. 

Having said that, we have a "TBD" starter for Sunday. I'm guessing that's going to be Sanchez. Yet I wonder, would that be a good spot for Ober or Winder or even the two of them in combination? We could drop Sanchez and option Megill or Sands to create the room.  Varland pitched Wednesday so that may be a day too soon for him, but I would be tempted to think about him starting on 3 days rest. I just don't want to go through a critical 3 game series and trot out Bundy, Archer, and Sanchez as the starting pitchers. 

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On 8/30/2022 at 10:04 AM, Rosterman said:

Ober and Winder, both coming off the 50-day IL list, will be there somewhere, somehow. (Not to mention a decision on Dobnak, which would also involve a roster move). So the Twins have to remove three bodies from the curreent 40-man roster.

Mahle looks to be back Sepotember 1, so he will jsut be an add from the roster expansion, but moving Sanchez to the bullpen for now.

Plus the Twins signed Jewell for a reason, and Peacock has been pitching well.

50-day IL list? Is this a new secret list?

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