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You might think this thread is a slam against Shoemaker, it isn't. In 2017 Shoemaker pitched around 77 innings, the next 3 seasons he pitched a little more than the equivalent of 3 complete games each. So he had very little time to build up arm strength. From the beginning of the season, I've advocated that Shoemaker should start out in the BP in long relief until he has sufficient time to build up his arm strength. He has pitched some good games (pitching 5-6 innings) in the beginning but he doesn't have the arm strength to sustain it.

 

Coupled also with the mismanagement of Dobnak and the inefficient BP that caused many ?s through out the ST, IMO helped to create this big hole that we're in. IMO this could've been all avoided, if they had started Dobnak who was hot in ST.

 

I was very disappointed to see that they sent Dobnak down and even more when I heard the reason why. Baldelli said it because there were too many close games so he didn't want to pitch Dobnak. There weren't enough blowouts or situations where he could throw him under the bus. What a slap in the face! He didn't want to put him in an opportunity to win the game which is the role of a starter. He'd rather trust his questionable BP and over tax them so they have to over stretch the rotation in some instances. Dobnak and Thorpe were both impressive during ST. Both should have been brought up in long relief to save the rotation and be less depended on the short relief at the same time keeping them fresh, hungry and get their act together. At least until after AAA starts.

Dobnak probably needs to go down to undo the damage and get him back in the groove he had in ST. And what will they do with Shoemaker? Put in him long relief? I think he be a good pitcher if used right.

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What really irks me is that had MLB not postponed the minor league season to save money, the Twins might actually have some arms to fix this travesty of a bullpen.   Instead, we sit here and watch the

I agree, Dobnak has been grossly mishandled by Rocco. He should've been in the starting rotation right out of the gate instead of Shoemaker. Instead he's been sitting on the bench, losing condition an

You might think this thread is a slam against Shoemaker, it isn't. In 2017 Shoemaker pitched around 77 innings, the next 3 seasons he pitched a little more than the equivalent of 3 complete games each

I agree, Dobnak has been grossly mishandled by Rocco. He should've been in the starting rotation right out of the gate instead of Shoemaker. Instead he's been sitting on the bench, losing condition and seeing action mostly as a short haul reliever. Now he's going down to AAA to get him back into shape as a starter. Talk about backing up. And why the Twins haven't brought up some of the young arms from the minors to maybe help stop the bullpen bleeding when everyone else has been struggling I can't imagine. I mean what have you got to lose except... more games?

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I agree, Dobnak has been grossly mishandled by Rocco. He should've been in the starting rotation right out of the gate instead of Shoemaker. Instead he's been sitting on the bench, losing condition and seeing action mostly as a short haul reliever. Now he's going down to AAA to get him back into shape as a starter. Talk about backing up. And why the Twins haven't brought up some of the young arms from the minors to maybe help stop the bullpen bleeding when everyone else has been struggling I can't imagine. I mean what have you got to lose except... more games?

 

Which young arms from the minors are you referring to? 

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And why the Twins haven't brought up some of the young arms from the minors to maybe help stop the bullpen bleeding when everyone else has been struggling I can't imagine.

1. Because no minor leaguers have actually played in games. Thanks for that, MLB.

 

2. Because you don't table flip your roster in late April when sample sizes are still small and you don't have players ready to fill those roster spots. Thanks again for that, MLB.

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I agree, Dobnak has been grossly mishandled by Rocco. He should've been in the starting rotation right out of the gate instead of Shoemaker. Instead he's been sitting on the bench, losing condition and seeing action mostly as a short haul reliever. Now he's going down to AAA to get him back into shape as a starter. Talk about backing up. And why the Twins haven't brought up some of the young arms from the minors to maybe help stop the bullpen bleeding when everyone else has been struggling I can't imagine. I mean what have you got to lose except... more games?

 

You think the FO signed Shoemaker not to be a starter? You think Rocco made this decision on his own? No way. The FO signed him to be a starter. 100%. 

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You think the FO signed Shoemaker not to be a starter? You think Rocco made this decision on his own? No way. The FO signed him to be a starter. 100%. 

I think the FO signed Shoemaker to be a starter. That's on the FO. But just because you sign somebody to be a starter does that mean he's guaranteed to start regardless of performance, or lack thereof? Does the manager have a role in selecting who starts and who doesn't? Was Dobnak signed to be a starter? I think he was. So who's choice is it to start one player over another? The manager or the FO? I always thought it was the manager, but I could be wrong.

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Shoemaker, Robles, and Colome signings all horrible, in my opinion, when they all happened, and even moreso now. Happ is the outlier so far. Didn't like that one either. Relying on Dobnak also a sad choice. Here we are. Thanks FO. Wasn't Kluber available?

 

You can never have enough pitching. All teams struggle with the quality. Too bad our choices have been on the cheap. I guess you get what you pay for.

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I think the FO signed Shoemaker to be a starter. That's on the FO. But just because you sign somebody to be a starter does that mean he's guaranteed to start regardless of performance, or lack thereof? Does the manager have a role in selecting who starts and who doesn't? Was Dobnak signed to be a starter? I think he was. So who's choice is it to start one player over another? The manager or the FO? I always thought it was the manager, but I could be wrong.

 

In this case, no, I don't think he did. Honestly ... this decision on Shoemaker was the FO and Rocco played the hand he was given. But ... I think Dobnak back to AAA signals that Shoemaker may be on his way out. Dobnak will get stretched out to start. And ... I don't think sending him to AAA was Rocco's decision, either. I'm sure he was made aware and maybe asked for his opinion, but these are FO  moves, imo.

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I think the FO signed Shoemaker to be a starter. That's on the FO. But just because you sign somebody to be a starter does that mean he's guaranteed to start regardless of performance, or lack thereof? Does the manager have a role in selecting who starts and who doesn't? Was Dobnak signed to be a starter? I think he was. So who's choice is it to start one player over another? The manager or the FO? I always thought it was the manager, but I could be wrong.

 

I'm guessing here....but I'd bet my life savings they work together on these things. And, Dobnak was signed to a long term deal, to probably be a starter someday, but clearly not right out of the gate this year. Otherwise they would not have signed Shoemaker.  It's been a month.....teams don't generally blow up their offseason plans in less than a month.

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Shoemaker, Robles, and Colome signings all horrible, in my opinion, when they all happened, and even moreso now. Happ is the outlier so far. Didn't like that one either. Relying on Dobnak also a sad choice. Here we are. Thanks FO. Wasn't Kluber available?

 

You can never have enough pitching. All teams struggle with the quality. Too bad our choices have been on the cheap. I guess you get what you pay for.

Robles has been good. Kluber is 2-2 with an era just north of 3, so he's been good, but the yankees outbid the twins. He's getting 11 million dollars, which was a large gamble for a guy who hadn't pitched in two years and is 35 years old. 

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Robles has been good. Kluber is 2-2 with an era just north of 3, so he's been good, but the yankees outbid the twins. He's getting 11 million dollars, which was a large gamble for a guy who hadn't pitched in two years and is 35 years old. 

 If you consider Robles good, you have a much more optimistic outlook and what you expect from relief, and what will take this team to the playoffs..... and win when they get there. But maybe he will be a plus. He has Rogers 5 inherited runners scored to thank for his statline right now. Outbid for Kluber? Exactly. Best to go on the cheap is/was the plan. Good thing the Twins didn't sign some one so old. (How old is Happ? - and Shoemaker will be 35 in September..... still way younger.) It is easy to pine for Kluber right now after his last outing.

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 If you consider Robles good, you have a much more optimistic outlook and what you expect from relief, and what will take this team to the playoffs..... and win when they get there. Outbid for Kluber? Exactly. Best to go on the cheap is/was the plan. Good thing the Twins didn't sign some one so old. (How old is Happ? - and Shoemaker will be 35 in September..... still way younger.)

 

I have a hard time making sense of this. I do consider Robles good...and I don’t have a super optimistic outlook about this relief staff. Unlike many others on this staff, Robles actually has good stuff, with a really good WHIP. 
 

Why do you consider Robles terrible?

 

BTW, when were we ever relying on Dobnak?

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In this case, no, I don't think he did. Honestly ... this decision on Shoemaker was the FO and Rocco played the hand he was given. But ... I think Dobnak back to AAA signals that Shoemaker may be on his way out. Dobnak will get stretched out to start. And ... I don't think sending him to AAA was Rocco's decision, either. I'm sure he was made aware and maybe asked for his opinion, but these are FO  moves, imo.

I get the feeling we're talking about two different things. The Front Office signs players, assigns them to whatever level of the organization they feel proper, with input from the coaching staff of course, but the final decision as to the 40-man roster belongs to the FO. No argument there.

 

But, once the manager gets his players, the manager determines the lineup, the starting rotation, who starts which game, when and how to use the bullpen, personnel moves in the game, etc.

 

So if Shoemaker starts instead of Dobnak, that's Rocco's decision. If Dobnak gets used as a short reliever, that's Rocco's decision, just as it's Rocco's decision as to what inning he turns to the bullpen, how long the reliever stays in the game, when to pinch hit, etc.

 

So, signing Shoemaker and Dobnak, Front Office. Who pitches and when, Rocco. Who gets sent down to the minors or brought up to the big club, probably a joint decision.

 

So if you have a player coming out of spring training and he's really hitting, or pitching well and you have another player who hasn't yet gotten into the grove and has an uncertain track record, who do you bring North? Otherwise if spring training doesn't matter, why bother?

 

Plenty of blame to go around.

 

I got a piece of unsolicited advice once when I grew frustrated over folks at the top of the food chain constantly screwing things up and making my job more difficult. The advice was offered by a more experienced man who'd been around the block a few more times than me. "Sometimes," he told me. "We have to do our jobs despite the ba$tard$."

 

I think that's Rocco's situation.

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Posted (edited)

I think the FO signed Shoemaker to be a starter. That's on the FO. But just because you sign somebody to be a starter does that mean he's guaranteed to start regardless of performance, or lack thereof? Does the manager have a role in selecting who starts and who doesn't? Was Dobnak signed to be a starter? I think he was. So who's choice is it to start one player over another? The manager or the FO? I always thought it was the manager, but I could be wrong.

Agreed. Although I didn't agree with the decision, I conceded. It was generally understood that because of coming off an abbreviated season, that the starters would have a short leash. My reasoning is we needed at least 2 full time long relievers to take up the slack. Fortunately both Dobnak and Thorpe were impressive, they could have kept both busy. But they decided to only carry Dobnak.

The 1st game they could have gone to Dobnak early, Dobnak was riding high from ST. Baldelli could have given him the ball and say you had a great ST, you have a World Series infield behind you, go out there, pitch your game and win. That vote of confidence would have gone along way. I'd like the odds better going that way to win the game than giving each of his questionable high leverage relievers an inning until they tied the game, leaving no one to close.

Baldelli could have repeated that decision in every one of those conditions, as much as Dobnak could handle, increasing his confidence. Instead he chose to show his lack of confidence in him.

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I get the feeling we're talking about two different things. The Front Office signs players, assigns them to whatever level of the organization they feel proper, with input from the coaching staff of course, but the final decision as to the 40-man roster belongs to the FO. No argument there.

 

But, once the manager gets his players, the manager determines the lineup, the starting rotation, who starts which game, when and how to use the bullpen, personnel moves in the game, etc.

 

So if Shoemaker starts instead of Dobnak, that's Rocco's decision. If Dobnak gets used as a short reliever, that's Rocco's decision, just as it's Rocco's decision as to what inning he turns to the bullpen, how long the reliever stays in the game, when to pinch hit, etc.

 

So, signing Shoemaker and Dobnak, Front Office. Who pitches and when, Rocco. Who gets sent down to the minors or brought up to the big club, probably a joint decision.

 

So if you have a player coming out of spring training and he's really hitting, or pitching well and you have another player who hasn't yet gotten into the grove and has an uncertain track record, who do you bring North? Otherwise if spring training doesn't matter, why bother?

 

Plenty of blame to go around.

 

I got a piece of unsolicited advice once when I grew frustrated over folks at the top of the food chain constantly screwing things up and making my job more difficult. The advice was offered by a more experienced man who'd been around the block a few more times than me. "Sometimes," he told me. "We have to do our jobs despite the ba$tard$."

 

I think that's Rocco's situation.

No, we're not talking about different things. I think the FO said 'Shoemaker will be a starter, Dobnak relief'. Rocco might have input into that, but I don't think it's Rocco alone who says 'Nope, not making Shoemaker a starter.' The lines between these decisions is not an absolute line. As I said, I'm sure Rocco had input, but ultimately, I think the FO directs the decisions in certain situations. Rocco may have had a recent conversation with the FO to say ... this isn't working, I want Dobnak starting ... hence the decision to send him to AAA to get stretched.

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A very interesting discussion, Dr. Gast. Lots of well-reasoned viewpoints presented without anyone getting bent out of shape. It's what I love about TD!

 

Thanks for bringing up the subject.

A very interesting discussion, Dr. Gast. Lots of well-reasoned viewpoints presented without anyone getting bent out of shape. It's what I love about TD!

 

Thanks for bringing up the subject.

Thank you so much, Dave! I appreciate it. I like to keep an open mind and observe. Many times there are deeper things to look at other than cold stats.

We can agree to disagree without being disagreeable.

With the mutual desire to see our team improve.

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The Shoemaker signing baffled me. Block a starter for Shoemaker? Hm. Why? He is worse than any option the Twins had.

After thinking about it, I assumed Shoemaker was going to be a bullpen piece or perhaps cut after spring training. But then he wasn't? And Dobnak was coming in to pitch in the 8th and 9th innings so that Shoemaker could start? Hm. Why?

 

The one seemingly small decision of signing Shoemaker and having him start games, while pushing Dobnak into a nonsensical role given his skillset cost this team how many games?

 

By my calculations, this would be roughly a .500 team if not for this one daft set of decisions over the frigging #5 starter! Let that sink in. This is a classic example of management overthinking things and causing massive problems and chaos that cascades into everything else. At this point, who knows if Dobnak will be able to pitch decently again before next year, shattered confidence in prospects is a real thing.

This isn't Monday-morning quarterbacking either. None of us, and no other GM or manager, would have made these decisions. We were all confused by this as it played out, we all saw this coming. (Though I think we are surprised by the scope of the impact, of course. We expected a rocky road, not a massive crater.)

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Why all the discussion about pitching when the problem is clearly not pitching? Anyone notice Buxton hobbling down to first in his last ab yesterday? Sano 0-5? AAraez (sp) clearly turning out to not be MLB caliber? Basically a AAA lineup in the AL Central. Pitching is the strength of this team. They had best win the upcoming Tigers series.

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The Shoemaker signing baffled me. Block a starter for Shoemaker? Hm. Why? He is worse than any option the Twins had.

At the time we decided to sign Shoemaker, we had only 4 starters locked in. Dobnak had an iffy finish to 2020, Thorpe was terrible last year, and basically all of our SP prospects had a lost season too. Add to that, general COVID uncertainty (Happ tested positive just days after we signed Shoemaker) and the fact that all pitchers were coming off reduced workloads in 2020, and adding a veteran SP like Shoemaker was not particularly controversial.

 

Shoemaker is no world-beater, but he had a career 103 ERA+. And it's not like he was clearly cooked -- even after an injury absence, Toronto turned to Shoemaker to start a playoff game last year and he was effective (albeit in a short outing).

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By my calculations, this would be roughly a .500 team if not for this one daft set of decisions over the frigging #5 starter!

Your calculations might be off? We're 11-19. Take out Shoemaker's 5 games completely and we're still only 10-15.

 

And in Shoemaker's 5 starts, he won 1 of them and was in line for the win in another until a 3-run Colomé implosion. In our other 3 losses in Shoemaker starts, we scored 0, 2, and 3 runs, respectively. It's quite possible that a more effective SP would have still produced a 1-4 record in those games, or perhaps only 2-3. (And it's not clear that Dobnak would have been particularly more effective overall.)

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Your calculations might be off? We're 11-19. Take out Shoemaker's 5 games completely and we're still only 10-15.

 

That's 1/3 of it.

 

- You also have to factor in 1/3 for performance of who the other starter would have been. If you assume they pitched as a median #5 starter, there's a couple wins.

 

- You also have to factor in 1/3 for Dobnak's poor performances in the 8th and 9th innings, which he would not have been doing if not for the Shoemaker decision.

 

It's not hard to get to .500.

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At the time we decided to sign Shoemaker, we had only 4 starters locked in. Dobnak had an iffy finish to 2020, Thorpe was terrible last year, and basically all of our SP prospects had a lost season too. Add to that, general COVID uncertainty (Happ tested positive just days after we signed Shoemaker) and the fact that all pitchers were coming off reduced workloads in 2020, and adding a veteran SP like Shoemaker was not particularly controversial.

 

Shoemaker is no world-beater, but he had a career 103 ERA+. And it's not like he was clearly cooked -- even after an injury absence, Toronto turned to Shoemaker to start a playoff game last year and he was effective (albeit in a short outing).

 

You are allowed to speak for yourself, of course. To me, the Shoemaker signing was utter nonsense unless the Twins were signing him for the bullpen or for spring training insurance.

 

There is also the small point of, now that things have played out, who was right? It matters that some of us saw this was crazy; sure it matters that some of the groupthink was different, but that groupthink was wrong. The Shoemaker signing did not become insane after the season started, it was always insane.

 

Also, having 4 starters 'locked in' in February is normal. Heck, it's above average for the not only the Twins but for the AL Central. Who the heck panics over the #5 starter in February? That's a spot for prospects.

 

When it comes to Happ, I was never worried about him. If a guy can pitch well in New York, he can pitch well in the AL Central. The Happ signing wasn't the Twins signing some washed-up has-been who failed out of New York, he was performing decently there. Happ was always going to be a solid #3 for the Twins -- he was a legitimate good signing who did not require signing Shoemaker as a backup plan.  No one on this team needed Shoemaker as a backup plan, much less as Plan A.

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