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High Marks??


Doc Munson

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Twins Video

OK, Honestly I really do not enjoy being critical or a pessimist.  But I nearly did a spit-take when I saw Dave St Peter give the Twins FO and "Falvine"   "High Marks".  Seriously, from what benchmark can you give this FO high marks?

Can you blame them for the injuries and the failures down the stretch?  Well yeah, at least a little bit. They trade for TWO starting pitchers that had injury histories.  Anyone could see Paddack's injury coming, and it was called here and many other places at the time fo the trade. No Monday Mornign QBing here.  Mahle had his shoulder. yet we gave away some good prospects for pitchers with injury histories, so yes, you can.  

 

They did sign some OK pitchers, Archer, even though could not go past 4 innings was serviceable most fo the year, and Bundy was also serviceable. but nothing overly exciting, and neither at this point is on the Twins moving forward, so still left in the same position pitching wise as last offseason (ok maybe a little better, should have Ryan, Ober, Gray, Maeda)

Our position players are in a state of flux at best.  Kudos for signing Correa, but he is gone. Sanchez and Urshela were decent, and you cant fault them for Buxtons contract, that was a pretty good signing, regardless of what BUxton does. 

A couple good young players, Miranda.. Coudl Wallner be decent?

otherwise top prospects busted for various reasons injury Kiriloff, Lewis, Larnach,  and some just didnt pan out.

So we made some decent moves, and our Major league club overall was good but fell completely off map at the end with little momentum or positivity going into th e offseason.  SO maybe they receive "marks" but "high marks"  they were average at best!!

 

Well maybe they have put our Minor League program in a stronger position...

 

Well MLB has our system ranked 23rd.  down from #12 as recently as 202 mid-season rankings.  and #8 in 2019 with (Lewis, Kirilloff, Graterol, Balazovic, Larnach as the keys).

So you sign ONE top of the shelf FA, who will be gone after this year,  a couple pitchers off the scrap heap, deal some top talent for injured pitchers (and one quality starter in Gray) to field a below .500 team, all while dropping your minor league system from #9 to #23 and that earns High Marks?

 

I just have oen question...

Mr. St. Peter, can you do my next performance appraisal for my end of year bonus???

Edited by Richie the Rally Goat
Removed specific wording

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Great post.

Honestly, I do not understand how the Pohlads put up with this mutual admiration society. First it’s Falvine giving Rocco a pass and now its St. Peter giving the FO/Falvine a pat on the back.

The Pohlad family, given all they have accomplished, must see that the day-to-day management of this aspect of their many businesses has significantly underperformed. I mean they’re not blind and they didn’t just fall off a turnip truck - they are savvy, smart business people.

Two serious questions:

1, Is the Twins organization better off at the end of this season (i.e. better positioned to compete next year and in the foreseeable future) than they were last year?

2. Even if so, were the opportunities seized to maximise that improvement or were those opportunities squandered?

The answer to the first is most certainly no. Sure, Lee fell in their laps (like it took rocket science to draft him at their slot - lol), and Ryan, Miranda, Duran, Arreaz, and Gordon overperformed vis-a-vis expectations.

What’s the next big accomplishment? Sano, Kepler, Polanco, Buxton, Kiriloff, Larnach, Jeffers, Archer, Bundy, Pagan, Sanchez, Mahle, Lopez, and even Correa (at $35MM when things mattered) were basically unmitigated disasters. Btw, who among this group can be realistically expected to be back better next year (maybe Jeffers - that’s it). The team’s ability to run, throw and catch worsened. The team’s psyche to compete with the better teams continued its free fall as we added the Guardians to a team that mentally has our number.  The minor league system dropped in the rankings.

Even if some apologists can in their own minds rationalise a “yes” to the first question, there is no chance for a “yes” to the second.

I just can’t believe the Pohlads do not see how poorly this team has performed and how the entire organization has fallen behind under the current management. 

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I do think we can file this one under: "What the heck do we expect this person to say?" It's St. Peter's job to buffer and puff the public image of this franchise. He's trying to quell the fan rebellion/reaction and offer a vote of confidence in the general direction of the club.

But ... you're right, in that these kinds of puff statements are getting old, and they just aren't working. It might almost help the fanbase to hear an executive with the team admit, "We're not getting it done, and we're almost as tired of making excuses as you all are of hearing excuses. Everyone in this organization knows we're overdue for a championship run. If you reporters are asking the same questions next year about what went wrong again with this team, you're probably going to be talking to a new team CEO about a search for a new Front Office team. The pressure is on us now, right where it should be."

Instead, the Twins' executive culture seems extremely insulated and not at all bothered about losing. That's a problem.

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The attendance says it all. There isn't really any other more effective response to the current baseball product of the Twins than their poor attendance. The people have voted with their feet and dollar.

For anyone that may consider one excuse or another, consider relativity. We can hope the winds of experience carry a new day in 2023.

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Good attendance puts pressure on a Front Office.  Good baseball towns like Boston (last place this year) and St Louis (first place) regularly fill up their respective ball parks even if World Series contention isn't likely.  A place like Minnesota lets the FO throw up their hands and say whatchagonnado?

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You alwats have to be wary of over performance by young players. Remember when we thought we had a great nucleus with Sano, Buxton, Kepler, Polanco, Berrios?

Sure, there is a fine crop, but we look no fuirther than the outfield. Is Kirilloff the real deal (and better suited for first). Is Larnach a stud? Can Wallner learn, fast, not to strikeout half-the-time? Will Celestino get better with age?

We had Ober, Sands, Winder, Buxton, Moran, Henriquez, Jax, Jeffers, Arraez, Gordon, Miranda, Lewis, Kirilloff, Wallner, Larnach step forward as organization pluses. Names like Celestino, Duran, Ryan, Alcala, Coulombe, Woods Richardson, Henriquez all came from outside organizations. That's a pretty solid core going forward. Supplement it with a couple of real free agents, and hope names like Gray, Madea, Mahle, Paddack, Urshela, Lopez, Pagan can be upgraded, or further prove their worth from trade for the prospects we said goodbye.

The Twins rotation suffered from arms not able to throw innings (no one reached 150 innings). The Twins left a bunch of guys on base, didn't push their base-running, started to see people run wild on their catchers (and pitchers), and the offense probably lost more games that the bullpen.

The Twins fielded more coaches than ever, and their minor league system has more coaches than ever in the minors, and collegiate voices popping up throughtout the system.

The 2020 draft class is still a disaster. They traded away alot of players (left-handed arms) from the 2021. There is promise in the Class of 2022, but we have to wait for next season to see most of them.

We were at a high as the Twins were the only central team above .500 for msot of the season and in first place, still struggling with draws of only 22,000 average attendance. Well, St. Paul wasn't selling out either...and eventually a good portion (30 bodies) played for AAA Saints before coming to the Twins. 30! Whew!

I can very well see the team just treadwater in the off-season, feeling they have enough to be competitive, and not spending money (kudos for giving away money to Carlos Correa, I guess). We want them to get better. To make the first rate signing of a real good free-agent pitcher, but no one really wants to come to Minnesota.

Why is that? Well...........

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I think what is particularly damning of the current FO is that, after six years, is that the Twins are in worse position then when they took over. I don't think anyone can credibly say that the 2023 Twins team is likely to be a playoff team and the farm system is worse now as well. Utter failure by the FO. But it seems like we'll need a few more seasons to clean house. In the meantime, the Twins blame you for ****** attendance. 

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2 hours ago, gunnarthor said:

I think what is particularly damning of the current FO is that, after six years, is that the Twins are in worse position then when they took over.

They were hired after the 2016 season concluded, which was of the 103-loss variety and marked a low point in a dismal period starting in 2011.  I'm not impressed with the current status but it's not like they took over a perennial contender.

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1 hour ago, ashbury said:

They were hired after the 2016 season concluded, which was of the 103-loss variety and marked a low point in a dismal period starting in 2011.  I'm not impressed with the current status but it's not like they took over a perennial contender.

No, they just took over a team with a competent nucleus that was ready to go the playoffs. Something we don't have now. 

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2 hours ago, gunnarthor said:

No, they just took over a team with a competent nucleus that was ready to go the playoffs. Something we don't have now. 

I don't know how competent it was. They had one decent (but yet to show it) starting pitcher. I mean people can certainly complain about the pitching now and the rash of injuries, preventable or not, but Terry Ryan had absolutely no pulse on what was needed to find a starting pitcher by the time his term was up.

Which by the way, I'm pretty sure Dave St. Peter was saying similar things about Ryan, right up until the end. I mean, he's not going to publicly question the front office until he removes him. That would accomplish absolutely nothing other than bring the hounds down on organization sniffing for blood.

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3 minutes ago, nicksaviking said:

I don't know how competent it was. They had one decent (but yet to show it) starting pitcher. I mean people can certainly complain about the pitching now and the rash of injuries, preventable or not, but Terry Ryan had absolutely no pulse on what was needed to find a starting pitcher by the time his term was up.

Which by the way, I'm pretty sure Dave St. Peter was saying similar things about Ryan, right up until the end. I mean, he's not going to publicly question the front office until he removes him. That would accomplish absolutely nothing other than bring the hounds down on organization sniffing for blood.

Twins staff pitching bWAR by year.

2012 0.7 (29th by fWAR)
2013 7.8 (21st by fWAR)
2014 10.1 (14th by fWAR)
2015 16.3 (11th by fWAR)
2016 3.9 (23rd by fWAR) (Ryan fired)
2017 9.0 (24th by fWAR)
2018 9.2 (22nd by fWAR)
2019 16.8 (4th by fWAR)
2020 5.7 (3rd by fWAR) (COVID year, not a normal number)*
2021 -0.1  (25th by fWAR)
2022 9.4 (20th by fWAR)

The way baseball has changed slightly and the fact that we play in a pitcher friendly park has really hidden how utterly bad our pitching has become. Essentially, with the exception of 2019, the Twins have struggled to reach the standards of the 2014 pitching staff despite having huge payroll advantages. And the Ryan v. Falvine is a strawman. Ryan ain't coming back. We can get a new FO that is better than the current one. The current one is very bad. 

* No. They get zero credit for 60 games against no name competition in a year where the SSS made Maeta seem like a viable Cy Young candidate. 

 

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First off I like the current FO for the organizational improvements that they have made.  Unfortunately, they don't seem to be working out yet.

Look at Cleveland.  They have the lowest payroll in the Central yet won the division (partly due to good health granted).  We are supposed to be emulating them from a pitching pipeline but again, not there yet.

I also look at St. Louis.  They seem to be in the race every year but have mid to lower payrolls.  Why is that?  They always seem to sign a long-term player to big money and years and they always work out.  How do they evaluate risk vs us?  It's important to note that they always have great attendance mostly due to their competitiveness.

St. Peter should be comparing our FO with these organizations and asking himself why is it working for them but not for us?  Some of this has to be on the FO.

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1 hour ago, Bigfork Twins Guy said:

First off I like the current FO for the organizational improvements that they have made.  Unfortunately, they don't seem to be working out yet.

Look at Cleveland.  They have the lowest payroll in the Central yet won the division (partly due to good health granted).  We are supposed to be emulating them from a pitching pipeline but again, not there yet.

I also look at St. Louis.  They seem to be in the race every year but have mid to lower payrolls.  Why is that?  They always seem to sign a long-term player to big money and years and they always work out.  How do they evaluate risk vs us?  It's important to note that they always have great attendance mostly due to their competitiveness.

St. Peter should be comparing our FO with these organizations and asking himself why is it working for them but not for us?  Some of this has to be on the FO.

You're asking all the right questions. 

Every team has roster churn, but I bet a careful study would reveal a strong correlation between fan engagement and keeping a core of recognizable players.  The Moneyball philosophy as expressed in Michael Lewis's book has to be considered a failure, in the sense of "the operation was a success but the patient died."

Win-loss records are necessarily a zero sum game for any sports league.  But what's not zero sum is that each franchise ought to be increasing its engagement and financial success every year.  The NFL has done a marvelous job with this.  In MLB, the Oaklands and the Tampa Bays and, yes, the Minnesotas engage in a strategy of "blame the fans".

Dave St Peter may do wonderful technical work on the business side of the franchise (I wouldn't know), but he should be forbidden to ever speak in public.  It's 50/50 each time he opens his mouth whether he does good or harm to the team's image.  Frankly Jim Pohlad should impose the same discipline on himself - "he has people for that". :)  Mike Veeck may be too old by now, but someone like him needs to be put in charge of every aspect of the fan experience for the Twins, and that might even including having some limited veto power over roster moves that look likely to harm the franchise overall.

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yes Dave St. Peter, do my next evaluation, and maybe i can get Scott Boras to negotiate for me. Jeeze Louise, what's in that kool aide....? Ok lets just say all this is pre-mature and then when the off season sinks in and the idiocracy of 2022 sinks in these votes of confidence will dissolve fast.

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Doc, so he gives Falvine high marks for 2022. I distinctly remember last year that Jim Pohlad was asked to grade Falvine for 2021. His answer, "A+".

What kind of curve are they grading on when a C- to D in wins translates to "high marks" and "A+"? 

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On 10/2/2022 at 5:28 PM, Rosterman said:

You alwats have to be wary of over performance by young players. Remember when we thought we had a great nucleus with Sano, Buxton, Kepler, Polanco, Berrios?

Sure, there is a fine crop, but we look no fuirther than the outfield. Is Kirilloff the real deal (and better suited for first). Is Larnach a stud? Can Wallner learn, fast, not to strikeout half-the-time? Will Celestino get better with age?

We had Ober, Sands, Winder, Buxton, Moran, Henriquez, Jax, Jeffers, Arraez, Gordon, Miranda, Lewis, Kirilloff, Wallner, Larnach step forward as organization pluses. Names like Celestino, Duran, Ryan, Alcala, Coulombe, Woods Richardson, Henriquez all came from outside organizations. That's a pretty solid core going forward. Supplement it with a couple of real free agents, and hope names like Gray, Madea, Mahle, Paddack, Urshela, Lopez, Pagan can be upgraded, or further prove their worth from trade for the prospects we said goodbye.

The Twins rotation suffered from arms not able to throw innings (no one reached 150 innings). The Twins left a bunch of guys on base, didn't push their base-running, started to see people run wild on their catchers (and pitchers), and the offense probably lost more games that the bullpen.

The Twins fielded more coaches than ever, and their minor league system has more coaches than ever in the minors, and collegiate voices popping up throughtout the system.

The 2020 draft class is still a disaster. They traded away alot of players (left-handed arms) from the 2021. There is promise in the Class of 2022, but we have to wait for next season to see most of them.

We were at a high as the Twins were the only central team above .500 for msot of the season and in first place, still struggling with draws of only 22,000 average attendance. Well, St. Paul wasn't selling out either...and eventually a good portion (30 bodies) played for AAA Saints before coming to the Twins. 30! Whew!

I can very well see the team just treadwater in the off-season, feeling they have enough to be competitive, and not spending money (kudos for giving away money to Carlos Correa, I guess). We want them to get better. To make the first rate signing of a real good free-agent pitcher, but no one really wants to come to Minnesota.

Why is that? Well...........

Show me the money Jerry...show me the money.

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On 10/5/2022 at 1:21 AM, Otaknam said:

It’s all about the pitching, especially the starters.  The Twins have no ace or number two starters that have emerged. Until that happens no playoff run is possible. 

Correct...plus Twins traded away Petty, Graterol, Gil, Hendricks, etc. Just stop trading those young fire-balling pitchers. Stop it already. 

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On 10/3/2022 at 5:31 PM, gunnarthor said:

Twins staff pitching bWAR by year.

2012 0.7 (29th by fWAR)
2013 7.8 (21st by fWAR)
2014 10.1 (14th by fWAR)
2015 16.3 (11th by fWAR)
2016 3.9 (23rd by fWAR) (Ryan fired)
2017 9.0 (24th by fWAR)
2018 9.2 (22nd by fWAR)
2019 16.8 (4th by fWAR)
2020 5.7 (3rd by fWAR) (COVID year, not a normal number)*
2021 -0.1  (25th by fWAR)
2022 9.4 (20th by fWAR)

The way baseball has changed slightly and the fact that we play in a pitcher friendly park has really hidden how utterly bad our pitching has become. Essentially, with the exception of 2019, the Twins have struggled to reach the standards of the 2014 pitching staff despite having huge payroll advantages. And the Ryan v. Falvine is a strawman. Ryan ain't coming back. We can get a new FO that is better than the current one. The current one is very bad. 

* No. They get zero credit for 60 games against no name competition in a year where the SSS made Maeta seem like a viable Cy Young candidate. 

 

2012 through 2016 the Twins pitching fWAR ranking averaged 19.6. 2017 through 2022 (excluding the outlier year 2021) the Twins pitching fWAR ranking averages 19.0. Even if we include the year 2021, the Twins pitching fWAR ranking only averaged 16.33. Not much of an improvement. Not even slightly better than average. Now for the worst part...The Twins farm system rankings, beginning in 2017, went as follows: 14, 6, 8, 15, 12,23. Lewis and Kirilloff and Graterol were in the top 5 for several years. The one pitcher who was in the top of the Twins system consistently was traded away (Graterol). Petty was also traded away. I do like Maeda and I do like Gray, but neither are aces and the Twins are not going have an ace come up through the system this way. I do realize that few minor league pitchers become aces, but all aces begin in the minors somewhere. Where did they come from? How predictable are they? How do you get an ace and how do you keep an ace?  "Show me the money, Jerry...show me the money."

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On 10/3/2022 at 4:10 PM, nicksaviking said:

I don't know how competent it was. They had one decent (but yet to show it) starting pitcher. I mean people can certainly complain about the pitching now and the rash of injuries, preventable or not, but Terry Ryan had absolutely no pulse on what was needed to find a starting pitcher by the time his term was up.

Which by the way, I'm pretty sure Dave St. Peter was saying similar things about Ryan, right up until the end. I mean, he's not going to publicly question the front office until he removes him. That would accomplish absolutely nothing other than bring the hounds down on organization sniffing for blood.

If DSP were to publicly throw his FO under the bus while tolerating their incompetence, it would put even more scrutiny on him by the Pohlads.

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On 10/4/2022 at 12:06 PM, ashbury said:

 

Dave St Peter may do wonderful technical work on the business side of the franchise (I wouldn't know), but he should be forbidden to ever speak in public.  It's 50/50 each time he opens his mouth whether he does good or harm to the team's image.  

Exactly this.  Pohlad and his advisors must be completely out of touch to not see this for the damning evidence it is that St Peter needs to go.  It boggles the mind how complacent Pohlad seems to be with this team.   

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