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Twins Need to Take Bold Action on Bullpen Before It's Too Late


If you are going with Brandon Waddell in the 10th inning of a tie game that you really need to win while playing catchup to just .500 baseball, here are some names that would be more interesting and are old enough that you don't have to worry about the "years of control" or "available options".

 

Jovani Moran

Tom Hackimer

Ryan Mason

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If you are going with Brandon Waddell in the 10th inning of a tie game that you really need to win while playing catchup to just .500 baseball, here are some names that would be more interesting and are old enough that you don't have to worry about the "years of control" or "available options".

 

Jovani Moran

Tom Hackimer

Ryan Mason

 

I do agree the FO should be moving on from Waddell, but that's on them, not the manager......

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I know that there was two lefties coming up last night in the 10th, with that being said that move to bring in Waddell there made zero sense. There is a guy on second base, you need a guy who has plus stuff, can actually strike someone out and strand that guy there. Alcala was such a clear and obvious choice there to me. If he gives up the run on second so be it, twins need to come back and bring in there guy that starts on second in the bottom half. With that being said you need to throw the guy that has a chance to keep that guy from scoring, not some guy you just called up from AAA

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He pitched ball one and ball two to Calhoun to begin the ninth. I was watching a minor league game or something, at that moment, so I don't know whether those two pitches were unlucky.

 

The home run that followed did not beat him, but if you reconstruct the inning it seems very likely that no runs at all would have scored despite a couple of unlucky turns of events, had Rogers managed to retire Calhoun instead of giving up a dinger.

 

Sometimes you make your own luck.
 

 

I like Rogers and know he is a quality pitcher who has been dominant in the past, but I am so sick of hearing about how unlucky he's been for the third straight year. He's the luckiest "unlucky" pitcher ive ever seen(probably not true, this is somehow probably Jesse Crain)

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I know that there was two lefties coming up last night in the 10th, with that being said that move to bring in Waddell there made zero sense. There is a guy on second base, you need a guy who has plus stuff, can actually strike someone out and strand that guy there. Alcala was such a clear and obvious choice there to me. If he gives up the run on second so be it, twins need to come back and bring in there guy that starts on second in the bottom half. With that being said you need to throw the guy that has a chance to keep that guy from scoring, not some guy you just called up from AAA

 

Jorge Alcala in his career against lefties;

 

15.2 k/9 (Amazing!)

6.75 bb/9 (Ugh)

2.34 WHIP (Ugh)

1.178 OPS against (Ugh)

8.14 FIP (Ugh)

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By the way, one arm isn't going to change this. Bringing in Green or whoever isn't going to all of a sudden make Rogers, Duffey, or Colome any better. A dominant reliever may help the Twins win - max - a game every 1.5 weeks or so. The Twins need everyone to be above average, and that's not happening.

It's not about one arm fixing the bullpen single-handedly. It's about finding someone to fill a leverage role and bump everyone else down, so you're not forced to pick between Brandon Waddell and Jorge Alcala in the 10th last night. Obviously they're going to need a few guys already in the bullpen to turn around their poor play, but I fear that won't even be enough on its own. 

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The most frustrating thing about Rogers is Rocco's insistence on using him on back to back days.  We have 3+ years of data now that says Rogers is a diminished pitcher when pitching on zero days rest.

 

2018

Without rest--12.2 IP, 10 k/9, 6.4 bb/9, .7 hr/9, 3.55 ERA, 4.05 FIP

With rest--55.2 IP, 10 k/9, 1.1 bb/9, .3 hr/9, 2.43 ERA, 1.75 FIP

 

2019

Without rest--15 IP, 12.6 k/9, 4.2 bb/9, 3 hr/9, 7.20 ERA, 6.03 FIP

With rest--54 IP, 11.5 k/9, .7 bb/9, .5 hr/9, 1.33 ERA, 1.49 FIP

 

2020/2021

Without rest--5.1 IP, 8.4 k/9, 0 bb/9, 3.4 hr/9, 5.07 ERA, 6.10 FIP

With Rest--26.1 IP, 10.9 k/9, 1.7 bb/9, .7 hr/9, 3.08 ERA, 2.23 FIP

 

The trends are quite clear--with the exception of the 2020/2021 SSS, Rogers' walk rate explodes on no rest.  Even in the 2020/2021 SSS, his HR rate explodes on no rest.  This is supposed to be an analytical team that believes in the benefits of rest--it baffles me that Rogers can even be considered an option on no rest.

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In most seasons yes but I think because of the shortened season last year teams are looking for ways to limit innings somewhat to prevent fatigue/injury. If they pitch deeper in games now does that mean missing starts later in the year? Tough call.

Agreed. Even in a regular season extending starters is not the solution. In 2019, our rotation was the best in MLB, then our BP blew up. We started to extend our starters especially Gibson (who was suffering from colitis) and Perez (who was transitioning from BP). The BP got straightened out but Gibson and Perez never recovered, Berrios ran out of gas, Pineda and Odorizzi were protected but we lost Pineda to suspension, Leaving only Odorizzi. Odorizzi was not 100%.

This year we extended Shoemaker a little and now we are paying the price. Just because we can extend a starter and in the short run and get away with it doesn't mean we should. We need to look at the bigger picture. Let's say extending our starters helps us get to the dance. And the result will be extending our MLB record of # of consecutive PS games lost with our spent pitchers. No thank you!

We need to fix our BP another way as soon as possible

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It's not about one arm fixing the bullpen single-handedly. It's about finding someone to fill a leverage role and bump everyone else down, so you're not forced to pick between Brandon Waddell and Jorge Alcala in the 10th last night. Obviously they're going to need a few guys already in the bullpen to turn around their poor play, but I fear that won't even be enough on its own. 

 

I'm not saying it isn't worth it to kick the tires on Greene, but a guy who struck out less than 7 per 9 last year, had an xFIP- of 107 (tied for 120th out of 173 relievers last year, not for nothing, but Sergio Romo in 2020 was at 110, ranking 129th), and a SIERA of 4.51 (tied for 131st; Romo was at 3.82, ranking 79th) isn't going to move the needle on this bullpen.  After all, if we were told we could add 2020 Sergio Romo to this pen right now, would any of us be excited about that?

 

Add in that Greene will probably need 2-4 weeks minimum to get ramped up to game shape, and I don't think Greene does anything for you that you can't get from someone in St Paul.  What will actually make this bullpen work is to have either a bullpen alpha (to handle every 9th inning), allowing Rogers, Duffey, and Robles to handle the 7th and 8th.  Failing that, we need 2-3 guys at the Rogers/Duffey/Robles level, and I'm not sure Greene counts as one of those.

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I just don't get what happened to this bullpen.  It was one of baseballs best the past two years.  Clean innings were the norm and not the exception until this year.  It is like direct Karmic payback for the last two years of success.

 

One guy is not going to fix the mess they have.  I can't ever remember total system failure like this year and such consistent failure.  The silver lining is maybe the FO looks for more velocity and better K9 guys for the pen instead of castoffs.  The pens they have put together have not been good in the playoffs either.  Maybe something like this will force them to look at things differently.

My theory is that when you use BP for 3 - 5 innings a game you wear out their arms, they tire, they regress and thus we have this thought that BP are unpredictable.  If we are going to have 4 - 5 inning starters we will need BP of 15 - 20.  Forget position players.  Maybe Ohtani is the answer - we need to have a team of two way players.  But even if it is one inning, the warm up, the exertion of each appearance is too much.  We know Rogers cannot go two days in a row, can he now go every third day?  We need a rotational BP - and more than anything we need pitchers to go multiple innings so we do not use the whole pen every other day.

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My theory is that when you use BP for 3 - 5 innings a game you wear out their arms, they tire, they regress and thus we have this thought that BP are unpredictable.  If we are going to have 4 - 5 inning starters we will need BP of 15 - 20.  Forget position players.  Maybe Ohtani is the answer - we need to have a team of two way players.  But even if it is one inning, the warm up, the exertion of each appearance is too much.  We know Rogers cannot go two days in a row, can he now go every third day?  We need a rotational BP - and more than anything we need pitchers to go multiple innings so we do not use the whole pen every other day.

 

This is pretty much correct, but I would go further as well.  If you're going to pull your starter in the 6th or earlier, you can't immediately go to one of your 3 best guys unless it's a must win game.  Thielbar/Alcala/Colome et al have to be used in the 6th and 7th, and Rogers/Duffey/Robles can only be used in the 8th or 9th.  If you're going to expect your bullpen to pitch 600+ innings in a year, then the price of that is giving 200 to 300 innings to average to bad relievers.  The only way around that is to have 7 or 8 good guys, or to carry 2 long guys at all times.

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We might not want to hear it but this is just a tough, weird year!  I think it is hard to fault the front office and the manger when every single player in that bullpen is underperforming, all together, at the worst possible time.  You can weather one or two of those but everybody seems to be choking (is it contagious?).  Rogers appears to be following Colome in his inability to nail down a lead, Alcala and Stashak just can't seem to step up and seize the opportunity.  Maybe Duffey needs to be the man?

 

As far as offseason acquisition failures, I can't see what would have improved the situation.  Liam Hendricks contract is just ridiculous.  Matt Wisler is struggling with the Giants.  Rosenthal and Yates are both out for the year.  None of those guys would've been the answer.

 

I hate to give up on this year with Chicago suffering so many setbacks.  The division is still within reach.  Maybe Law and Gibaut can catch fire?  Could Dobnak push Shoemaker to the bullpen?  Swing a trade right now?  It's clear something has to happen now!

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We might not want to hear it but this is just a tough, weird year!  I think it is hard to fault the front office and the manger when every single player in that bullpen is underperforming, all together, at the worst possible time.  You can weather one or two of those but everybody seems to be choking (is it contagious?).  Rogers appears to be following Colome in his inability to nail down a lead, Alcala and Stashak just can't seem to step up and seize the opportunity.  Maybe Duffey needs to be the man?

 

As far as offseason acquisition failures, I can't see what would have improved the situation.  Liam Hendricks contract is just ridiculous.  Matt Wisler is struggling with the Giants.  Rosenthal and Yates are both out for the year.  None of those guys would've been the answer.

 

I hate to give up on this year with Chicago suffering so many setbacks.  The division is still within reach.  Maybe Law and Gibaut can catch fire?  Could Dobnak push Shoemaker to the bullpen?  Swing a trade right now?  It's clear something has to happen now!

 

I agree in part with this.  There's not much you can do when 7-8 guys all regress at the same time, and that is not all on the FO.

 

That being said, for this bullpen to work Colome, Rogers, and Duffey all needed to hold off regression, while at least two out of Stashak/Alcala/Thielbar/Robles stepped up to become legitimate 7th/8th inning guys.  That's a lot of wishcasting just to have a good-not-great bullpen, so I think the FO bears some responsibility for making a mostly-downside, little-upside plan for the pen.

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The Mariners traded for Colome in May, back in the day.

Good catch on Colomé, although it was late May (May 25, 2018 to be exact).

 

Colomé was still pretty good back then, but he was making $5 mil, in his first season of non-minimum salary, with increasing arb awards expected in the following two seasons. So the frugal Rays sent him with another salary dump (Denard Span) to Seattle.

 

I'm guessing most pitchers in similar situations are traded (or non-tendered) before the season begins. The Rays don't have a reliever making that much money right now, and neither do the Marlins. I don't know if any other organization would be so money-insensitive to make such a move with an effective reliever at the moment.

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Good catch on Colomé, although it was late May (May 25, 2018 to be exact).

 

Colomé was still pretty good back then, but he was making $5 mil, in his first season of non-minimum salary, with increasing arb awards expected in the following two seasons. So the frugal Rays sent him with another salary dump (Denard Span) to Seattle.

 

I'm guessing most pitchers in similar situations are traded (or non-tendered) before the season begins. The Rays don't have a reliever making that much money right now, and neither do the Marlins. I don't know if any other organization would be so money-insensitive to make such a move with an effective reliever at the moment.

 

The Rays paid his salary that year for him to play for Seattle, an odd choice for a team trying to save money.

 

Later, the Mariners traded him immediately at the end of the year, in spite of him pitching quite well for them. The Mariners never game him a dollar.

 

The other players involved in these trades are far from impressive. Very strange considering how well he appears on paper.

 

The Twins either did not ask questions about his personality, or they did ask but didn't care.

 

 

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The most frustrating thing about Rogers is Rocco's insistence on using him on back to back days. We have 3+ years of data now that says Rogers is a diminished pitcher when pitching on zero days rest.

 

2018

Without rest--12.2 IP, 10 k/9, 6.4 bb/9, .7 hr/9, 3.55 ERA, 4.05 FIP

With rest--55.2 IP, 10 k/9, 1.1 bb/9, .3 hr/9, 2.43 ERA, 1.75 FIP

 

2019

Without rest--15 IP, 12.6 k/9, 4.2 bb/9, 3 hr/9, 7.20 ERA, 6.03 FIP

With rest--54 IP, 11.5 k/9, .7 bb/9, .5 hr/9, 1.33 ERA, 1.49 FIP

 

2020/2021

Without rest--5.1 IP, 8.4 k/9, 0 bb/9, 3.4 hr/9, 5.07 ERA, 6.10 FIP

With Rest--26.1 IP, 10.9 k/9, 1.7 bb/9, .7 hr/9, 3.08 ERA, 2.23 FIP

 

The trends are quite clear--with the exception of the 2020/2021 SSS, Rogers' walk rate explodes on no rest. Even in the 2020/2021 SSS, his HR rate explodes on no rest. This is supposed to be an analytical team that believes in the benefits of rest--it baffles me that Rogers can even be considered an option on no rest.

What should he have done last night? Because there were no good options...

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This is pretty much correct, but I would go further as well.  If you're going to pull your starter in the 6th or earlier, you can't immediately go to one of your 3 best guys unless it's a must win game.  Thielbar/Alcala/Colome et al have to be used in the 6th and 7th, and Rogers/Duffey/Robles can only be used in the 8th or 9th.  If you're going to expect your bullpen to pitch 600+ innings in a year, then the price of that is giving 200 to 300 innings to average to bad relievers.  The only way around that is to have 7 or 8 good guys, or to carry 2 long guys at all times.

It's just math!

 

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The Rays paid his salary that year for him to play for Seattle, an odd choice for a team trying to save money.

 

Later, the Mariners traded him immediately at the end of the year, in spite of him pitching quite well for them. The Mariners never game him a dollar.

Colomé and Span were set to earn about $11.2 mil in salary for the rest of 2018. So even though the Rays sent $4.75 mil to Seattle, they still saved about $6.45 mil by making that trade. 

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Colomé and Span were set to earn about $11.2 mil in salary for the rest of 2018. So even though the Rays sent $4.75 mil to Seattle, they still saved about $6.45 mil by making that trade. 

 

So you admit that Colome was a free add-on for trying to dump someone else's salary. 

 

This is more evidence to suggest that Colome is a cancer.

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What should he have done last night? Because there were no good options...

What you could have done is spend the extra money ( 2 -6) million a year and either paid Trevor May or signed Liam Hendricks.  This is a fail on the front office.  Then we have the fail on Rocco's bullpen management.

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So you admit that Colome was a free add-on for trying to dump someone else's salary. 

 

This is more evidence to suggest that Colome is a cancer.

He's pitched terribly this season, but what reason do you have for believing that he's a "cancer"? That's a pretty awful accusation...

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So you admit that Colome was a free add-on for trying to dump someone else's salary. 

I'm sure Colomé was more valuable than Span at the time, but I don't think you can characterize anyone in this deal as a "free add-on." The Mariners were simply willing to pay a combined $6.45 mil (plus two minor leaguers) for Colomé and Span.

 

I don't think this transaction, or his subsequent trade to Chicago, offers any evidence about Colomé's personality. It's not unusual for non-dominant closers to bounce around a bit once their salaries get high.

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What you could have done is spend the extra money ( 2 -6) million a year and either paid Trevor May or signed Liam Hendricks. This is a fail on the front office. Then we have the fail on Rocco's bullpen management.

What should Rocco have done last night?

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