Jump to content
  • Create Account

How the Twins Front Office Addressed Past Playoff Weaknesses


fans should be cranky about 0-18... it's embarrassing. Admittedly this FO only holds 1/3 of those losses, but at some point, this is a monkey that needs to be off our back, and sadly, just one win will do it. My big concern though is that this team doesn't have that ace pitcher to go up against the other team's ace, making that first game very difficult to pull off... and of course once that loss sets in, all the old narratives come back no matter how hard the FO tries to bring in people to get rid of them. 

 

as for make or break, I doubt it, but another 0fer showing should require some accountability across the org. Playoffs may be a crap shoot, but we're well beyond crap shoot numbers. 0-18 speaks to something, and it's not good.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 121
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

I'm just trying to imagine myself from 2016 reading all these comments from people who are bored with winning baseball 

Reality check: This is not a "make or break year for the FO." They completely turned around a mess of a franchise and have produced the best W% for a Twins team in the past 50 years in 2019/20. I know

What a bunch of Debbie downers.  This team plays division winning baseball and it's not good enough? It is as worse than the years they couldn't touch 500 baseball? I bet you all are the one's that sa

 

fans should be cranky about 0-18... it's embarrassing. Admittedly this FO only holds 1/3 of those losses, but at some point, this is a monkey that needs to be off our back, and sadly, just one win will do it. My big concern though is that this team doesn't have that ace pitcher to go up against the other team's ace, making that first game very difficult to pull off... and of course once that loss sets in, all the old narratives come back no matter how hard the FO tries to bring in people to get rid of them. 

How many other AL contenders have a better #1 starter than Kenta Maeda? New York... anyone else? 

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

How many other AL contenders have a better #1 starter than Kenta Maeda? New York... anyone else? 

I'm not sold on 2021 Kenta being quite as good as 2020 Kenta but he made trackable changes to his approach and the underlying numbers reinforce the idea he'll be a better pitcher going forward than he was with the Dodgers.

 

And I just don't understand why Twins fans seem so reluctant to acknowledge that he's probably going to be very good again this season. I can't remember the last time I saw fans of a team ignore a quality starting pitcher on the team while screaming "we need an ace!!!!11" all day, every day.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Reality check: This is not a "make or break year for the FO." They completely turned around a mess of a franchise and have produced the best W% for a Twins team in the past 50 years in 2019/20. I know a lot of fans are cranky about postseason losses but the front office is not being held primarily responsible for that. Nor should they be. They have given themselves plenty of leash.

 

This is just an amazingly cynical and pessimistic attitude in the days ahead of spring training. You're entitled to your negativity but don't accuse those who don't share it of being "homery." This is objectively an elite baseball team. Sorry that's not good enough for you.

The article in question is simply not good. It's arguing that Colone, a cost saving signing, is how the FO is improving our post-season chances.

 

The reality is that this FO inherited one of the best possible situations in 2017. They had a young team with numerous top 100 prospects only a year removed from challenging for a playoff spot. They had the #1 pick in the draft. They had an owner saying he'd spend money. This was a playoff ready team. They didn't build it. And they failed to augment it. They made a lot of moves, most - not all - are in the meh category. They quit on the team in 2017 but the players didn't. They brought back Molitor when it was clear they shouldn't have done that then they blamed their system failure season on him and brought in Rocco (a good move). It's not clear they know which players are building blocks and which players should not be. It's 2021 and our best hitting prospect and best pitching prospect were still acquired by the previous regime despite this FO having 6 first round picks, including 3 in the top 15. 

 

We might be a playoff team, we should be. But our rotation looks to be middle of the road. Our offense could be bad, especially if the Rooker/Larnich/Kiriloff group can't come up and help out in LF.

 

Nelson Cruz was a good signing and I was in favor of adding Donaldson but that might really be a bad move. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't even care about the 0-18. What are the next 18 playoff games going to be? 1991 was worst to first. 2021 could likely be world series champion MN Twins! We have plenty of talent thru out the whole team. I do find it amusing how there is always someone that will nitpick something about every player. Back in the 80s and 90s we were built by the farm system. We are finally back to that so we will have many successes thru out the next decade. How many teams in MLB have a serious chance at going 18-0 in their next 18 playoff games maybe 4 or 5? I'd include the Twins in that discussion.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Honestly, I can't think of anything that says we have a homer problem more than arguing that our 33 year old, 7 WAR career pitcher, is the second best pitcher in the AL. 

 

But wasn't he the runner up to the AL CY and his numbers just slightly off of Biebers?  He isn't exactly scrub material.  The Voting had him ahead of Garrett Cole.  Yeah short season, I get it and he is known to wear down but still it looks to me that he ranks right up there with the top pitchers in the AL.  He doesn't have to be the second best to be very valuable, but right now that appears to be his status.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the FO did what they could to upgrade the pitching staff by upgrading our IF defense with Simmons at SS and Polanco sliding over to 2B. I live in LA and have seen Simmons live 3-5 times a year for the last few years and many times on TV. He is as good as they say and really helped the crap pitching staff the Angels put out every year. We don't know if Polanco is going to be a great or average defensive 2B, but I think we do know that he'll be at least average and should be better than that. I love Arraez (I think he should be the opening day LF), but it's mostly for his bat. He wasn't very good defensively at 2B so you have to think Polanco is an upgrade. Defense helps pitching, particularly guys who don't have strong strikeout rates like Happ and Dobnak.

 

I would love to have signed a true #1 or $2 starter this offseason but the prices were beyond what the Twins were ever likely to pay. I am a little irritated that the Twins didn't sign a better closer than Colome but I think that's the price of re-signing Cruz who we need for offense after letting Rosario go. This defensive upgrade is the next best way to improve the pitching.  

 

We still have the same problem in playoffs - no true #1 starter and no lights out closer. Maybe Maeda or Berrios can be the first and maybe Colome can be the second, but the odds aren't great. Still, the odds are better than they've been Overall, a fun team to watch and we can actually realistically hope for a playoff berth and maybe even a playoff run. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The reality is that this FO inherited one of the best possible situations in 2017. They had a young team with numerous top 100 prospects only a year removed from challenging for a playoff spot. They had the #1 pick in the draft. They had an owner saying he'd spend money. This was a playoff ready team. They didn't build it. And they failed to augment it. They made a lot of moves, most - not all - are in the meh category. They quit on the team in 2017 but the players didn't. They brought back Molitor when it was clear they shouldn't have done that then they blamed their system failure season on him and brought in Rocco (a good move). It's not clear they know which players are building blocks and which players should not be. It's 2021 and our best hitting prospect and best pitching prospect were still acquired by the previous regime despite this FO having 6 first round picks, including 3 in the top 15. 

 

 

 

What does this even mean?  So you would say Andrew Friedman is a crappy GM because even though he had double the budget the Twins have and started with an ace pitcher he couldn't win the world series until last year with all those advantages so he sucks?  I don't get your point?  Cashman also should be fired for not delivering?  Tampa Bay and Oakland can never be good because they generally trade good players away and use their farm to build their team?  You lost me.

 

I get your overall point that on paper the Twins did not improve all that much but unless they have a 200M budget what moves were they going to make to get much better than they are right now?  The only potential bad contract on the team right now is Donaldson so what brilliant moves were going to move the needle and keep them within their budget?  There is a reason we get a supplemental pick every year as we are a lower revenue team that needs to build through the farm.

 

This is a good team.  The FO believes in the players they have and think they can improve on what they did last year.  I guess we will have to wait and see.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The article in question is simply not good. It's arguing that Colone, a cost saving signing, is how the FO is improving our post-season chances.

 

The reality is that this FO inherited one of the best possible situations in 2017. They had a young team with numerous top 100 prospects only a year removed from challenging for a playoff spot. They had the #1 pick in the draft. They had an owner saying he'd spend money. This was a playoff ready team. They didn't build it. And they failed to augment it. They made a lot of moves, most - not all - are in the meh category. They quit on the team in 2017 but the players didn't. They brought back Molitor when it was clear they shouldn't have done that then they blamed their system failure season on him and brought in Rocco (a good move). It's not clear they know which players are building blocks and which players should not be. It's 2021 and our best hitting prospect and best pitching prospect were still acquired by the previous regime despite this FO having 6 first round picks, including 3 in the top 15. 

 

We might be a playoff team, we should be. But our rotation looks to be middle of the road. Our offense could be bad, especially if the Rooker/Larnich/Kiriloff group can't come up and help out in LF.

 

Nelson Cruz was a good signing and I was in favor of adding Donaldson but that might really be a bad move. 

The team lost 100 games in 2016. By then, Buxton had made his catastrophic rookie debut, Sano had raised serious questions about his ability to not strike out and actually tap into his immense raw power in live action, and there were no obviously good pitching prospects other than Berrios, who had just made half a season's worth of starts at the MLB level with an ERA over 8. This was unambiguously not the rosy situation you remember.

 

In only a couple of years, Falvey and Levine have completely overhauled the team's player development system. They have modernized their approach to acquiring and developing pitchers. They have signed and traded for multiple impact players—Maeda, Colome, Donaldson, Odorizzi, and Pineda probably being the most notable. The majority of their transactions have indeed been unremarkable, but that's true of all 30 MLB teams. No one makes major transactions the majority of the time. Not one single team. There are only so many superstars to go around. Nonetheless, Falvey and Levine have built a consistent winner in Minnesota, and they've done so largely by raising the team's floor. This is a good team, and I'm sorry you aren't looking forward to watching them. Yes, it can all break down if certain players under perform or get hurt. But I guess I'd be angry as a Yankees fan if Cole, Judge, Stanton, etc. got hurt. I might believe Cashman didn't do enough during the off-season. I'd probably be wrong, though.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Honestly, I can't think of anything that says we have a homer problem more than arguing that our 33 year old, 7 WAR career pitcher, is the second best pitcher in the AL. 

 

Yes, surely no other fans have ever argued that their pitcher who was runner up in the Cy Young voting was the second best pitcher in the league. Only those most homerish of homers in Minnesota would dare pat such a pitcher on the back.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The crazy thing about the playoffs is that everyone has good pitching, good hitting and usually good fielding.  The Twins won in 87 and 91 with all those attributes, but more important because they had attitude - Puckett, Hrbek, Morris, Gladden and others would not accept losing.   We had some good teams with Mauer and Morneau and a Minnesota Nice attitude.  Last two years we had good players and matched up with teams, but who stepped up and said - I am not going to lose?   So looking to this year, who has the fire, drive and leadership.  Don't say Cruz, he is a great DH, but he has been on the last two playoff teams.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

The time has come for Buxton, Sano and Berrios to become the studs we have been told they would be. One has to stay on the field for an entire season, one has to quit walking back to the dugout with his tail between his legs after another K and the other has to become a consistantly good pitcher everytime he takes the mound. If those 3 things happen this 2021 team has the chance to be very very good.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the analysis. An 0-18 playoff streak is almost unimaginable. The improved defense will save runs, though BB and JD have to show they can stay on the field. I'm excited about the season. In the playoffs, I fear that the lack of an ace and a near-ace, unless they emerge as such, will be a stumbling block. But I'm hopeful. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The article in question is simply not good. It's arguing that Colone, a cost saving signing, is how the FO is improving our post-season chances.

He costs more than the reliever he replaced (Romo). He has a far better track record than the reliever the replaced. In what way is that a "cost saving signing"? It's hard to take your criticisms seriously when they're presented so inaccurately.

 

 

Honestly, I can't think of anything that says we have a homer problem more than arguing that our 33 year old, 7 WAR career pitcher, is the second best pitcher in the AL. 

Yes, how "homerish" of me to suggest that the Cy Young runner-up was the second-best pitcher in the AL. 

Look, I understand (and agree with) the notion that Maeda is due for some level of regression, but it's not like he just had a Scott Diamond 2012 season. They traded their #1 pitching prospect for him. He's always been a very good pitcher, and made specific adjustments that fueled his improvement last year. He came through in literally every big spot for the Twins. He's extremely dominant by any measure (higher whiff rate than Bieber). There is no real reason to doubt him other than the typical ebbs and flows of baseball, which apply to every player. 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's amusing to me how selectively some people choose to apply the 2020 small sample argument.

"It was a 60-game season, we can't put any stock into Maeda pitching at an elite level from start to finish. But the Twins offense definitely sucks and should've been completely overhauled!" 

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Is that article about which teams have the best rotation, or the best #1 starter? Because the issue was clearly the latter.

 

Who on the A's staff is clearly better than Maeda? Who on the Blue Jays staff is clearly better?

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

It's amusing to me how selectively some people choose to apply the 2020 small sample argument.

"It was a 60-game season, we can't put any stock into Maeda pitching at an elite level from start to finish. But the Twins offense definitely sucks and should've been completely overhauled!" 

You make some fair points in all your posts (not the Maeda one, that's absurd on its face) but it's just to over the top homerish for me. Colone is fixing the pen?  

 

I think this team is a playoff team. If Buxton can stay healthy, he's at least a 5 WAR player. He's that good. Berrios might have one more upgrade in him. But the all-or-nothing offensive approach and the bullpen games make this a boring team to me. Others may enjoy it. This team also has a bit of "full system failure" potential - again. Hopefully, that doesn't happen.

It also doesn't look like we've done anything to be anything other than a bully to the really crappy teams and can't win in the post-season. We have little depth. We rely far too much on "throw it against the wall and see what sticks" to our bench and pen. Our minor leagues seem to have decent depth but not huge upside. Levine hasn't shown he can make first rate trades and has been mocked a bit for the Dozier fiasco when he got here and how Houston fleeced him the next year. I think its fair to say that, after this year, he will have had five years as our GM and it's not clear he did enough to build around the young core he was gifted. I don't think that's a controversial statement. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

We still have the same problem in playoffs - no true #1 starter and no lights out closer. . 

Remember Joe Nathan and Johan Santana? The playoff problems can't be simplified into lack of an ace and no lights out closer. Pitching was good last year. Maeda and Berrios were both great in the playoff series. Maeda finished 2nd in the Cy Young voting. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Is that article about which teams have the best rotation, or the best #1 starter? Because the issue was clearly the latter.

 

Who on the A's staff is clearly better than Maeda? Who on the Blue Jays staff is clearly better?

Ryu is definitely better than any of the Twins starters. That's why he was an expensive FA signing. His career ERA is under 3. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

It also doesn't look like we've done anything to be anything other than a bully to the really crappy teams and can't win in the post-season. We have little depth. We rely far too much on "throw it against the wall and see what sticks" to our bench and pen. Our minor leagues seem to have decent depth but not huge upside. Levine hasn't shown he can make first rate trades and has been mocked a bit for the Dozier fiasco when he got here and how Houston fleeced him the next year. I think its fair to say that, after this year, he will have had five years as our GM and it's not clear he did enough to build around the young core he was gifted. I don't think that's a controversial statement. 

 

I do think it's pretty "controversial," insofar as every statement in that paragraph is either factually wrong or highly embellished. And just the general tenor of your comments is completely out of touch with reality in every possible way . . . from what's reasonable to expect from the minors, what amount of depth clubs have, how easy it apparently should be to acquire elite starting pitching with a mid-level payroll . . . the bottom line is that your take cannot be rationally justified. It's just an example of complaining for the sake (and enjoyment of) complaining.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...