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I've got no problem giving extra rest if the team has good depth. I'm not sure you have that right now though if your replacement SS is JT Riddle.

 

But I don't see the rest thing as much of an issue. Does anyone really want to see Kepler, Cave, Sano, Garver, Jeffers and Polanco bat right now? Garlick and Astudillo have been hitting better than them anyway. Seems like the only useful hitters, Buxton, Donaldson, Simmons and Cruz have been "resting" due to illness or injury, I'm not sure it's indicative of the rest of the season yet. Arraez is the only regular batter that has been both healthy and competent so far this year. He was always supposed to be the 10th man, yet he's only had one day off so far.

 

But I really disliked the Sunday getaway day lineups Gardenhire always threw out there. Rest a starter or two, but not ALL of your starters at once.

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I've been on about this for two years now, but Baldelli really needs to get over the idea that his best players need a game off every week.   It's unnecessary, and unproductive. It's baseball, for Pe

If you're not satisfied with what Byron Buxton has provided so far there's basically no satisfying you.

This didn't seem to have a negative impact on the Dodgers or Rays, last year's World Series teams.

 

I've got no problem giving extra rest if the team has good depth. I'm not sure you have that right now though if your replacement SS is JT Riddle.

 

But I don't see the rest thing as much of an issue. Does anyone really want to see Kepler, Cave, Sano, Garver, Jeffers and Polanco bat right now? Garlick and Astudillo have been hitting better than them anyway. Seems like the only good hitters, Buxton, Donaldson, Simmons and Cruz have been "resting" due to illness or injury, I'm not sure it's indicative of the rest of the season yet.

 

But I really disliked the Sunday getaway day lineups Gardenhire always threw out there. Rest a starter or two, but not ALL of your starters at once.

Ugh. I *hated* the getaway day lineups. I enormously prefer taking 1-2 regulars out on a daily basis over basically making every Sunday game borderline unwatchable.

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Last year means nothing. Repeat; last year means nothing. 2019 the Twins went on a home run rampage that had nothing to do with managing and will never be repeated by this team.

 

Its a long season anyway but this will be a real long season for this team.

 

So we discount the larger sample size we have to evaluate Rocco's management by, and grossly inflate a week long slump at the start of April? Ok.

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Depth. We do not have the talent level/depth to do that. And thats been obvious for a while. 

Our offensive performance was basically equal to that of the Dodgers in 2019. And you already told us to ignore 2020, and 2021 is only two weeks old, so... what's your evidence of this again?

 

I mean, I won't argue with the idea that our roster is not as talented overall as the Dodgers. Perhaps no team is right now. But how about the Rays? As Tom points out, a quick glance suggests they rest regulars more than we do, and have been successful.

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I've got no problem giving extra rest if the team has good depth. I'm not sure you have that right now though if your replacement SS is JT Riddle.

To be fair, I don't think Riddle was in the lineup yesterday to rest a regular. He was in because Simmons was out and Donaldson was just coming back and probably couldn't play the whole doubleheader.

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Built-in rest days also leave more at bats for people like Jake Cave (nothing against him personally). Without looking, I am going to guess Cave is about sixth on the team in plate appearances so far this season, which should be unacceptable. I preferred Adrianza over Cave.

Cave is actually 5th on the team in PA right now. But it's primarily because either Buxton or Donaldson (and now Simmons) has been out for every game since opening day so far, plus Rooker struggled and got hurt and Kirilloff struggled too. It's not because they are resting a healthy productive regular every day. Arraez was supposed to be our "good" super-sub and he has more PA than Cave, it's just we've needed to dip further into our bench.

 

If those starting opportunities remain open, for whatever reason, they probably have to think about giving them to someone other than Cave. I don't think Adrianza would be an upgrade. I think the Kirilloff look yesterday was about that possibility in the near future.

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Cave is actually 5th on the team in PA right now. But it's primarily because either Buxton or Donaldson (and now Simmons) has been out for every game since opening day so far, plus Rooker struggled and got hurt and Kirilloff struggled too. It's not because they are resting a healthy productive regular every day. Arraez was supposed to be our "good" super-sub and he has more PA than Cave, it's just we've needed to dip further into our bench.

 

If those starting opportunities remain open, for whatever reason, they probably have to think about giving them to someone other than Cave. I don't think Adrianza would be an upgrade. I think the Kirilloff look yesterday was about that possibility in the near future.

Thanks. Clarifying that it would be unacceptable if Cave was sixth in PA for a full season; over 12 games there’s at least an explaination. Edited by Hosken Bombo Disco
Change 11 games to 12 games
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This whole "rest" debate makes longtime baseball fans wonder. It wasn't that many years ago when position players would play both games of a double-header (for you younger folks that means a team plays two nine-inning games back-to-back in the same day - which of course is a rarity today) without pulling hamstrings or dropping dead from exhaustion.

 

And pitchers were expected to pitch nine innings, not 4 or 5. In the 1970's 28% of games were complete games. In the 1980's 15% of games were complete games. Today 2% are complete games. Yet in the meantime pitchers requiring Tommy John surgery has jumped from 12 pitchers requiring surgery in the 20 years from 1974-1994 to 194 MLB players requiring the same surgery from 2000-2011. And during the same time period 275 minor league players also went under the knife.

 

So more rest, less innings pitched, less innings thrown but more surgery required.

 

Does it take a genius to realize something is wrong here? I'm definitely not a genius, in fact I've bee called a dumb a$$ many times, but if I was into this over-analyzing craze plaguing baseball these days, I'd start wondering if there isn't something wrong with common weight training and conditioning practices and stop counting pitches as a determinate of arm health. Nolan Ryan once threw over 200 pitches in one game and lived to tell about it and Cy Young reportedly threw over 700 complete games in his career. Think about it, that's more complete games than all the major league pitchers combined have thrown in the last two decades! And required hundreds of surgeries despite throwing fewer innings and fewer games.

 

Hello!!!!

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If those starting opportunities remain open, for whatever reason, they probably have to think about giving them to someone other than Cave. I don't think Adrianza would be an upgrade. I think the Kirilloff look yesterday was about that possibility in the near future.

Yeah, it's kinda crazy that they're on their... seventh?... outfielder on the depth chart this season and they've played 12 games.

 

(Kepler, Buxton, Arraez, Cave, Garlick, Rooker, Kirilloff)

 

There's not a lot you can do about that in the short term. Things are going to be pretty chaotic for awhile if that many players keep going down in a short span.

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Agreed. Getting players planned off days is fine...in June. We're 13 games into the season, have had 2 off-days, and already are giving guys regular games off. I would venture not too many teams are doing it, and it sure as hell hasn't done anything the past 2 years. When you play 162 games, the difference between playing 140 games and 145 games is not much. It's easy to say it's early, but every game matters. 

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This whole "rest" debate makes longtime baseball fans wonder. It wasn't that many years ago when position players would play both games of a double-header (for you younger folks that means a team plays two nine-inning games back-to-back in the same day - which of course is a rarity today) without pulling hamstrings or dropping dead from exhaustion.

 

And pitchers were expected to pitch nine innings, not 4 or 5. In the 1970's 28% of games were complete games. In the 1980's 15% of games were complete games. Today 2% are complete games. Yet in the meantime pitchers requiring Tommy John surgery has jumped from 12 pitchers requiring surgery in the 20 years from 1974-1994 to 194 MLB players requiring the same surgery from 2000-2011. And during the same time period 275 minor league players also went under the knife.

 

So more rest, less innings pitched, less innings thrown but more surgery required.

 

Does it take a genius to realize something is wrong here? I'm definitely not a genius, in fact I've bee called a dumb a$$ many times, but if I was into this over-analyzing craze plaguing baseball these days, I'd start wondering if there isn't something wrong with common weight training and conditioning practices and stop counting pitches as a determinate of arm health. Nolan Ryan once threw over 200 pitches in one game and lived to tell about it and Cy Young reportedly threw over 700 complete games in his career. Think about it, that's more complete games than all the major league pitchers combined have thrown in the last two decades! And required hundreds of surgeries despite throwing fewer innings and fewer games.

 

Hello!!!!

There's a lot of things in play there. We can start with survivor bias. In the past, pitchers either retired or were forced out baseball due to ineffectiveness because TJ wasn't an option. We look at those who remained but the reality is that they had durable enough arms to stay in baseball while the rest faded into obscurity. Are players getting injured more often or did you just forget about all those pitchers that threw 91 one day, felt a twinge, then couldn't throw faster than 85mph and were out of baseball in a year?

 

Velocity is really hard on the body. If you go back just 20 years, how many starters regularly threw over 95mph? Four? Six? Not many. Today, a large chunk of starters regularly throw that hard and without looking into it, I'd say no less than half of all relievers throw that hard. As we approach maximum velocity allowed by the human body, each additional tick on the velo chart requires exponential (or something close to it) stress to get there. To add 1% more velocity, it requires a lot more than 1% more effort.

 

Past lineups sucked. Anyone who watched in the 70s/80s and accurately remembers what baseball looked like at the time knows that the back half of a lineup was laughable. Pitchers like Blyleven, while great arms, could basically coast through at least 1/3rd of a baseball lineup without trying very hard. After all, Mario Mendoza accumulated nearly 1500 career PAs and his performance, while a humorous thing to chuckle about today, wasn't entirely out of the ordinary for the time. Just look at the sad sacks Gardenhire was putting in the two slot on 90-win teams for pretty much all of the 2000s. And it was a lot worse in the 70s/80s.

 

It takes more pitches to retire a single batter in today's game. It took a long time to get here but every MLB team now realizes the importance of plate discipline, waiting for the right pitch, and taking a walk if that pitch isn't offered. When is the last time you saw a seven pitch inning from a pitcher? It's a rarity today but was quite common in the past, particularly from the best pitchers. More pitches per batter means fewer innings pitched.

 

I could go on for awhile this way but I'm sure you get the point. The game is simply more competitive, more rigorous, and more exhausting for pitchers than it was in the past and given the huge financial investment and ensuing risk aversion that goes along with the modern game, teams are more cautious with their players than they once were.

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2 years managing, 2 division titles. One bad week and Baldelli is an idiot. 

 

The Twins are a flawed team. So isn’t pretty much every other team. 

 

Waddell did nothing today to cause the Twins to lose a game

 

People can rant, they come across as sounding like Fran Drescher

 

Chief ain't nearly as funny as Fran Drescher....

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per old nurse "2 years managing, 2 division titles. One bad week and Baldelli is an idiot."

 

Last year means nothing. Repeat; last year means nothing. 2019 the Twins went on a home run rampage that had nothing to do with managing and will never be repeated by this team. Donaldson pulls a ham string in game one so I guess he should have been rested in game 1. MOY jinx now in effect. Its a long season anyway but this will be a real long season for this team. No breaks or "should win" games any time soon. Seems like most every team is improved except one.

 

When things go well, Baldelli didn't matter? But now, a week or two in, he does? Seems convenient when trying to make a point about him.

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Agreed. Getting players planned off days is fine...in June. We're 13 games into the season, have had 2 off-days, and already are giving guys regular games off.

What healthy regulars have gotten days off (plural) so far?

 

https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/MIN/2021-lineups.shtml

 

Kepler is the only one -- 2 days off, both against LHP.

 

Cruz, Simmons, and Arraez look like they each got 1 day off. Sano got one of the games off in the doubleheader yesterday, but of course he has a 28 OPS+ right now too.

 

The other absences -- Buxton, Donaldson, and Simmons now -- all look to be health-related, not just "coach's decision, did not play."

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What healthy regulars have gotten days off (plural) so far?

 

https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/MIN/2021-lineups.shtml

 

Kepler is the only one -- 2 days off, both against LHP.

 

Cruz, Simmons, and Arraez look like they each got 1 day off. Sano got one of the games off in the doubleheader yesterday, but of course he has a 28 OPS+ right now too.

 

The other absences -- Buxton, Donaldson, and Simmons now -- all look to be health-related, not just "coach's decision, did not play."

I never said we've given regulars multiple days off. Cruz was sick, I'll exclude him. But there is no reason that ANYONE needs an offday to stay off their feet 13 games into the season. 

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I never said we've given regulars multiple days off. Cruz was sick, I'll exclude him. But there is no reason that ANYONE needs an offday to stay off their feet 13 games into the season. 

Oh yeah, I forgot that Cruz was sick for his day off too.

 

That means we've given 5 days off total to healthy regulars, as far as I can tell -- and two of those (Kepler vs LHP) were for platoon reasons, one was for an extreme slumping Sano in a doubleheader.

 

You also said "I would venture not too many teams are doing it" -- you're going to need to show some evidence if you want us to believe a single day off each for Sano, Simmons, and Arraez over 2 weeks represents some kind of extreme "resting", relative to the rest of the league.

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There's a lot of things in play there. We can start with survivor bias. In the past, pitchers either retired or were forced out baseball due to ineffectiveness because TJ wasn't an option. We look at those who remained but the reality is that they had durable enough arms to stay in baseball while the rest faded into obscurity. Are players getting injured more often or did you just forget about all those pitchers that threw 91 one day, felt a twinge, then couldn't throw faster than 85mph and were out of baseball in a year?

 

Velocity is really hard on the body. If you go back just 20 years, how many starters regularly threw over 95mph? Four? Six? Not many. Today, a large chunk of starters regularly throw that hard and without looking into it, I'd say no less than half of all relievers throw that hard. As we approach maximum velocity allowed by the human body, each additional tick on the velo chart requires exponential (or something close to it) stress to get there. To add 1% more velocity, it requires a lot more than 1% more effort.

 

Past lineups sucked. Anyone who watched in the 70s/80s and accurately remembers what baseball looked like at the time knows that the back half of a lineup was laughable. Pitchers like Blyleven, while great arms, could basically coast through at least 1/3rd of a baseball lineup without trying very hard. After all, Mario Mendoza accumulated nearly 1500 career PAs and his performance, while a humorous thing to chuckle about today, wasn't entirely out of the ordinary for the time. Just look at the sad sacks Gardenhire was putting in the two slot on 90-win teams for pretty much all of the 2000s. And it was a lot worse in the 70s/80s.

 

It takes more pitches to retire a single batter in today's game. It took a long time to get here but every MLB team now realizes the importance of plate discipline, waiting for the right pitch, and taking a walk if that pitch isn't offered. When is the last time you saw a seven pitch inning from a pitcher? It's an extreme rarity today but was quite common in the past, particularly from the best pitchers. More pitches per batter means fewer innings pitched.

 

I could go on for awhile this way but I'm sure you get the point. The game is simply more competitive, more rigorous, and more exhausting for pitchers than it was in the past and given the huge financial investment and ensuing risk aversion that goes along with the modern game, teams are more cautious with their players than they once were. 

A lot of the points you make are true. Including the last two paragraphs, the last of which is one of the key pieces.  In the second last par you mention, correctly, how difficult it is to retire MLB hitters today. Which I agree with. I do wonder though what the average pitch count is for todays SP v a SP of yesteryear? It would seem to be somewhat lower? Which obviously magnifies the difference in innings pitched. The last par touches on the cost of today’s pitching. It may be the most pertinent point of the discussion. Owners have huge amounts invested in a serviceable SP. While I can see the desire to "protect" that investment, there certainly seem to be different opinions on how to do so. One could ask if you are getting your money’s worth from said investment, if the manager turns every game over to a far inferior talent coming out of the pen for the last 3-4 innings? The answer doesn’t seem simple. You have a pen like the one KC had a few years ago, it may even be an upgrade. You have one like has populated downtown Mpls. some years, and it’s often a waste of your SP investment. While there are stats encouraging teams to avoid throwing that third time through the order thing, it also depends who is throwing those pitches. 

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A lot of the points you make are true. Including the last two paragraphs, the last of which is one of the key pieces.  In the second last par you mention, correctly, how difficult it is to retire MLB hitters today. Which I agree with. I do wonder though what the average pitch count is for todays SP v a SP of yesteryear? It would seem to be somewhat lower? Which obviously magnifies the difference in innings pitched. The last par touches on the cost of today’s pitching. It may be the most pertinent point of the discussion. Owners have huge amounts invested in a serviceable SP. While I can see the desire to "protect" that investment, there certainly seem to be different opinions on how to do so. One could ask if you are getting your money’s worth from said investment, if the manager turns every game over to a far inferior talent coming out of the pen for the last 3-4 innings? The answer doesn’t seem simple. You have a pen like the one KC had a few years ago, it may even be an upgrade. You have one like has populated downtown Mpls. some years, and it’s often a waste of your SP investment. While there are stats encouraging teams to avoid throwing that third time through the order thing, it also depends who is throwing those pitches. 

That's exactly what teams are trying to figure out now.

 

To boil it down to a simple question with a pitcher we know, this is the crux:

"What is more valuable to a team, 140 IP of 3.8 ERA Jake Odorizzi or 180 IP of 4.2 ERA Jake Odorizzi?"

 

And there's a ton of questions within that question that need to be answered to come up with a real answer:

 

- What are the odds of health at 140 IP vs 180 IP?

- How good is your bullpen at filling that 40 IP?

- How deep is said bullpen to cover multiple pitchers doing this?

- From 140-180 IP, is Odorizzi a 4.6 ERA pitcher or a 4.9 ERA pitcher? Or other?

 

Baseball teams haven't solved every one of those questions and the answers change every season but today's MLB front offices are a lot better at asking the right questions (and coming close to the right answer) than front offices of the past.

 

One of the things that really irks me about fandom (and society in general, really) is that people assume things that don't make sense to them are due to professional incompetence. If someone is a professional doing their job, some level of competence should be assumed or else they probably wouldn't have that job. Because it doesn't make sense to a layman at a glance does not invalidate the work of professionals paid to do something for a living.

 

In short, pitchers don't pitch less because they're soft and/or front offices are stupid. There are underlying reasons for this backed up by data and baseball knowledge; we can and should examine the reasoning behind that and critique it but most layman don't even ask the right questions (because that's hard), much less have the right answers (wrong answers are easy).

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The game is simply more competitive, more rigorous, and more exhausting for pitchers than it was in the past

... and yet, not as entertaining to watch. That represents a truly sad irony.

 

(I agree with the points you offered, and apologize for a further tangent from Chief's eloquent rant.)

 

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In general using Cy Young and Nolan Ryan to make a point doesn't equate to a good argument. You might as well ask the question, why can't the average pitcher today be as good as the greatest pitchers that ever threw. They're in the HOF for a reason, they were better than everyone else in all aspects (quality and quantity).

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This is the attitude that gets you no play off wins in 2 decades. People CAN see the writing on the wall in some situations. Not everything is hind sight. Rocco's "Good Year" happened to be when he lucked into a team that broke the HR Record. Thats it. You can toss 2020 out the window because a season consisting of 1/3 the normal games does not count. 

Now Balldelli is responsible for Gardenhire’s teams, too. Amazing. If what happened last year  does not count by your logic what has happened so far this year is equally meaningless. What people see is what they want to see

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In general using Cy Young and Nolan Ryan to make a point doesn't equate to a good argument. You might as well ask the question, why can't the average pitcher today be as good as the greatest pitchers that ever threw. They're in the HOF for a reason, they were better than everyone else in all aspects (quality and quantity).

Quality and quantity aren't the question.

 

I understand Jose Berios isn't as good as Nolan Ryan was.

 

But that's a differnent argument than Jose Berrios can't throw as many innings as Nolan Ryan.

 

In any case, it's unrelated to "it's not necessary or productive to give position players so many extra days off."

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