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Article: Like It Or Not, May Is Bullpen Bound


Nick Nelson
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Popular move? No. Necessary move for Moli to make based on what he is given by TR? Yes. Right now there is not that much difference between May as a starter and the others auditioning for the role. But May is much better than the options Molitor has right now for the 7th/8th innings.

 

We need to relax a bit here and realize how long the season is. What happens in April will seem like eons ago when we get to the AS break. And by then we will have the answers we need. Did Nolasco finally pan out and allow us to peddle him? Did Mauer revert back to superman or is he still Clark Kent without glasses? And are we better off with him in the OF than Sano? Berrios? Duffey? Kepler? Lots of questions, but the season is long enough to find out in April when we know for sure instead of December when it's all a guess.

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I agree. Money was not going to be an issue with the new stadium. Why give up prospects in a trade when you have enough money to buy them? Nolasco's deal is looking terrible, but how bad would it look if we had given up good young prospects who are now putting up good numbers for other teams to get him? We are only out money.

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So we are moving you to a less important role

It's interesting that this feeling still persists among pitchers.  I know relievers still don't make as much money as starters, but they're definitely way above bench players in the modern game, in terms of respect and value (and even salary).  Heck, amateur teams have closers, etc., so it's weird to see some pitchers still resist the move.  I guess it's another thing I won't understand about the pro athlete psyche.

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If they don't expect to win the WS, or be serious competitors for it (which their moves so far do not imply they do think they are, imo), isn't this year kind of irrelevant, and shouldn't May be where he belongs?

 

If they do think they are serious WS contenders, shouldn't they be doing more to improve the team?

I double like this post.

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The same people who are outraged that May is being blocked from the rotation by Nolasco and his bulky contract are also demanding that the team sign aging relievers to expensive three-year deals. 

 

Does not compute.

 

While I have also been frustrated with the team's lack of significant activity in free agency, going with May gives them much more flexibility, because if some of those young guns develop as hoped, May can be shifted back to the rotation or traded for good value. That is probably not true of any expensive veteran FA signing that requires a 3+ year commitment. 

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This is a great debate about May.  I think the team should see how he performs in Spring Training.  If he's good enough, he should start.  We can figure the rest out.

 

Saying that he's so good in relief, that we need him there, is a bit like having the best player on an NBA team be a 6th man, because he'd be the best 6th man in the league.

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I believe May is a big upgrade over the current options in the pen, however that's only because the Twins at this time haven't taken one of the two most reasonable approaches:

 

A ) give the job to the young hard throwers, and I don't mean mop-up/long man roles, I mean the late inning spots that generally require strikeouts. Burdi, Meyer, Reed, Chargois, Peterson, the odds are against all of those guys flaming out. Throw them in the water and see who floats. If the batters don't need to be finished products to be called up into prominent roles, neither should the pitchers, particularly seeing as they generally have shorter periods of effectiveness.

 

B ) sign the requisite free agents that can do what May is able to do.

 

I'm concerned about strikeouts all around, but it's not going to significantly improve if May is replacing a guy like Pressley or Tonkin, he has to be replacing a guy like Fien. Same with the rotation, if the young guys are the ones striking guys out, it shouldn't be the young guys replacing other young guys, it needs to be the vets to get the boot.

 

Also, regarding the sunk cost discussion. I'm very concerned about Hughes. I think there's a good chance there was something affecting him last year, but if not and his FB velocity is going to be 90 MPH going forward, he's in a boatload of trouble, he already scrapped his slider and his curve isn't all that good. If his velocity doesn't come back I think he's going to get rocked again.

Ummmm, Hughes is 6' 5". Perhaps an oversight on your part?

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The same people who are outraged that May is being blocked from the rotation by Nolasco and his bulky contract are also demanding that the team sign aging relievers to expensive three-year deals. 

 

Does not compute.

 

While I have also been frustrated with the team's lack of significant activity in free agency, going with May gives them much more flexibility, because if some of those young guns develop as hoped, May can be shifted back to the rotation or traded for good value. That is probably not true of any expensive veteran FA signing that requires a 3+ year commitment. 

I agree with this, let's not continue to make the same misstake.  Look at the Brewers, they had a surprise 2014 season but then fell apart in 2015.  Now they are blowing up everything.  The Twins need to find out if they can build value to move pieces, which hopefully enables them to ease in the prospects.

 

I would like to see May in the rotation, but they the prior misstakes prevent it.  He can fill a roll in the bullpen and they need to give Nolasco one more shot.  If he sucks again this year or get injured again, you open up the spot.  But you have higher ceiling pitchers that probably will get a starting chance before May, so let him work out of the pen this year.

 

Just stay away from signing veterans to long term contracts.  Let's start giving these opportunities to the prospects in the system.

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I get that there's necessity to having May in the pen, but it's self inflicted, and hurts the team in 2016 to give fewer innings to May, rather than more.

 

What aggravates me the most about this is we saw so much Casey Fien and Blaine Boyer in 2015 and so little Michael Tonkin and Ryan Pressly. If those two had more MLB innings in 2015, at least we'd know what was there. Now they can't be relied upon because they're still unknown quantities when there has been plenty of opportunity for that seasons that had no expectation for success.

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I think the logic that "the bullpen isn't good enough, so we have to move May" fails to recognize that the bullpen could be much better if we had, you know, signed a guy or two.

 

It reminds me of someone having to decide if they should pay a big repair bill or just buy a new car because they never bothered to get an oil change.

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The same people who are outraged that May is being blocked from the rotation by Nolasco and his bulky contract are also demanding that the team sign aging relievers to expensive three-year deals. 

 

Does not compute.

 

While I have also been frustrated with the team's lack of significant activity in free agency, going with May gives them much more flexibility, because if some of those young guns develop as hoped, May can be shifted back to the rotation or traded for good value. That is probably not true of any expensive veteran FA signing that requires a 3+ year commitment. 

 

If the choice is moving the best MLB arm we have to the pen or shelling out $20M for a good bullpen arm, that is a no brainer to me.

 

Also should call out that 3-20 can get you a good pen arm.  As we have seen, 4-50 doesn't get you a good starter.

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The same people who are outraged that May is being blocked from the rotation by Nolasco and his bulky contract are also demanding that the team sign aging relievers to expensive three-year deals. 

 

Does not compute.

 

While I have also been frustrated with the team's lack of significant activity in free agency, going with May gives them much more flexibility, because if some of those young guns develop as hoped, May can be shifted back to the rotation or traded for good value. That is probably not true of any expensive veteran FA signing that requires a 3+ year commitment. 

 

There have been many of us who have said they should be using as many young guys in the pen and in the rotation as possible.

 

It's been almost four years since I've been posting on this site, but I finally added a sig.

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It's interesting that this feeling still persists among pitchers.  I know relievers still don't make as much money as starters, but they're definitely way above bench players in the modern game, in terms of respect and value (and even salary).  Heck, amateur teams have closers, etc., so it's weird to see some pitchers still resist the move.  I guess it's another thing I won't understand about the pro athlete psyche.

I think of value to the team. Even a 5th starter who can't go 6 innings and gets his  start skipped a couple times gets 50% more innings than the most durable reliever.

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May is likely (and I think correctly) viewed as the future closer.  Perkins is almost through in that role.  Jepson is:  already $5MM, not as dependable as he used to be (why he was available!), and will be a free agent.  After '06, May will be:   under Twins control, inexpensive (to downright cheap), likely just as dependable, and perhaps still improving.  As a starter, he's mid 20's and is nothing special, and there's better on the way.  Bullpen is correct for May.

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May is likely (and I think correctly) viewed as the future closer.  Perkins is almost through in that role.  Jepson is:  already $5MM, not as dependable as he used to be (why he was available!), and will be a free agent.  After '06, May will be:   under Twins control, inexpensive (to downright cheap), likely just as dependable, and perhaps still improving.  As a starter, he's mid 20's and is nothing special, and there's better on the way.  Bullpen is correct for May.

 

For a comparison sake.  Perkins was given 44 starts and 250 innings to try his hand at starting.  His ERA and FIP were around 5.00.  WHIP around 1.45.  And K per 9 in the 4.2 range. 

 

May hasn't failed there yet.

 

 

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The same people who are outraged that May is being blocked from the rotation by Nolasco and his bulky contract are also demanding that the team sign aging relievers to expensive three-year deals. 

 

Does not compute.

 

While I have also been frustrated with the team's lack of significant activity in free agency, going with May gives them much more flexibility, because if some of those young guns develop as hoped, May can be shifted back to the rotation or traded for good value. That is probably not true of any expensive veteran FA signing that requires a 3+ year commitment. 

For the record, while I am one of the most vocal proponents of FA relievers around here, I don't have a big problem with May in the pen.  (I am less enamored of Nolasco's potential return to the rotation.)  My issue is I think the pen could use more immediate help than just May, 3 years and $20 mil is not that expensive even for the Twins, and not all reliever acquisitions this winter have involved commitments that high (Lowe, K-Rod, Benoit, etc.).

 

It should also be noted that Jepsen is set to hit free agency next winter, and Fien is still year to year and might very well not be worth his arb award next winter.  Even Perkins is only guaranteed salary through 2017, and those 3 guys represent the sum total of our future salary obligations in the bullpen.  So there is still plenty of flexibility in our pen apart from May.

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Something else to consider:

 

http://content.screencast.com/users/Nick_TSM/folders/Jing/media/9a1c9751-d08b-41af-a41b-feb7ae756e5d/2015-12-18_1155.png

 

There might be something to that, although the sample is still very small.  Apart from hardly having a chance to fully "warm up" as a MLB SP so far, May has also been on a bit of a short leash as SP too, mostly for circumstances outside his control (MLB debut in 2014, then late spring start and some full season innings progression pacing in 2015).

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Here is what I see going on:

 

-We have sunk costs in the rotation and we are not doing the right thing and treating them as such

 

-We could fix the pen with a quality signing or two.  We already have two good arms (perkins and Jepsen) and a bunch of higher ceiling young guys.  The offseason is nowhere near over, we could save this from being an issue and make up for the typical bargain bin signings

 

-As we always do, we favor the lower ceiling veterans over young guys with upside. Milone/Nolasco over May?  No thanks.  Winning franchises don't move their best arms to the pen for guys like this

I think you need to look up the definition of sunk costs.

 

http://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/sunkcost.asp

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunk_costs

 

http://www.accountingtools.com/questions-and-answers/what-is-a-sunk-cost.html

 

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