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Game Recap: Mariners 10, Twins 0


28 minutes ago, rv78 said:

Can we all just laugh at this team and say, see ya next year..... HA! HA! HA! 
Makes ya wonder what we have to look forward to next year if wholesale changes aren't made. HA! HA! HA!

Can we have more dumpster diving with the likes of Happ and Shoemaker, HA! HA! HA!

Sign Crap, Expect Crap! HA! HA! HA!

You aren't helping anything.

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19 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

This is still 20/20 hindsight. Yes, he's been solid this year, but a team trying to win the world series wasn't bringing him in to take a rotation spot because of 1 good year in Korea. That 1 good year doesn't outweigh the 3 disastrous ones in MLB. The Twins also should've drafted deGrom in any of the first 8 rounds before he went in the 9th, but they didn't know that then. He's a fine signing for a team without any real aspirations for winning this year. He wasn't the type of signing a contending team makes a major league deal with.

St. Louis brought in Miles Mikolas in 2018 under similar circumstances. I think you underestimate the #5 starter depth that even "teams trying to win the World Series" have to sign every year. The Braves picked up Anibal Sanchez in 2018 but aren't having as much success with Drew Smyly now. Heck, even the Yankees acquired 2 guys for their rotation who barely pitched the last 2 years and they might be dealing with the consequences of that now.

Unless you're loaded like the Dodgers, your #5 guy probably has some significant question marks. Shoemaker did too.

No one is saying that signing Flexen instead of Shoemaker would have been universally applauded by the fanbase. But it would have represented some creativity / upside risk that perhaps the FO should have been more open too.

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9 minutes ago, spycake said:

St. Louis brought in Miles Mikolas in 2018 under similar circumstances. I think you underestimate the #5 starter depth that even "teams trying to win the World Series" have to sign every year. The Braves picked up Anibal Sanchez in 2018 but aren't having as much success with Drew Smyly now. Heck, even the Yankees acquired 2 guys for their rotation who barely pitched the last 2 years and they might be dealing with the consequences of that now.

Unless you're loaded like the Dodgers, your #5 guy probably has some significant question marks. Shoemaker did too.

No one is saying that signing Flexen instead of Shoemaker would have been universally applauded by the fanbase. But it would have represented some creativity / upside risk that perhaps the FO should have been more open too.

Miles Mikolas had had success in MLB prior and had 3 dominant years overseas, not 1. And Sanchez and Smyly match the Happ and Shoemaker signings, not the Flexen signing. That's the point. Contending teams don't bring in guys with 1 good Korean year and 3 horrid MLB years. I'm sure you can find an example, but it's certainly not the norm.

As for the FO being open to creativity/upside they bring in "creative/upside" bullpen options every year and fans are pissed.

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18 minutes ago, PDX Twin said:

Buxton wants to play; the Twins will not let him. Yet another reason that he has no interest in a long-term contract with them?

Understand the Twins playing it extra careful in his return.  Should he play a day or two early and go back on the IL for the next couple weeks, think of that would do to their ability to get a max return in a trade.  Give him a couple more days to be 100% healed, then get back on the field for two or three weeks of great baseball leading up to a BIG trade.

Still want to see them sign him long term.  Beginning to understand that probably ain't gonna happen.

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I didn't watch the game last night because I fell asleep at 9pm EST.  Since everyone knows what happened and the talk of this town has definitely shifted to trades, free agency, future prospects, and future years, I just thought I'd chip in a little levity to relieve the tremendous pressure.

This morning I watched a movie--err, baseball game--called Scoreless in Seattle.  I feel like it's in line this year for several awards in the horror film category.  But hopefully it's a one-off and doesn't have a sequel or trilogy.  Or, for goodness sakes, some sort of Harry Potter bloodline.  That would make for a long decade.

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12 minutes ago, roger said:

Understand the Twins playing it extra careful in his return.  Should he play a day or two early and go back on the IL for the next couple weeks, think of that would do to their ability to get a max return in a trade.  Give him a couple more days to be 100% healed, then get back on the field for two or three weeks of great baseball leading up to a BIG trade.

Still want to see them sign him long term.  Beginning to understand that probably ain't gonna happen.

If he is sore but still smacking home runs and banging out triples as he has in St. Paul, he's probably good to go.  Typically when a veteran who is still performing at a high level retires, he talks about how he is done being sore all summer.  It's not about no longer being able to perform, it's about being tired of always being sore.  Heck, when Radke retired, the story at the time was he could not lift his arm over his head or pick anything up with his pitching hand on non-pitching days.  Now that's sore.  I imagine everyone on this team is sore by this time in the year.

Hopefully this decision is being made by a Twins doctor and not Baldelli.  And hopefully if Buxton doesn't like the answer, he has searched out a second opinion as he is allowed under the CBA.

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42 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

Miles Mikolas had had success in MLB prior and had 3 dominant years overseas, not 1. And Sanchez and Smyly match the Happ and Shoemaker signings, not the Flexen signing. That's the point. Contending teams don't bring in guys with 1 good Korean year and 3 horrid MLB years. I'm sure you can find an example, but it's certainly not the norm.

Mikolas did not have "success in MLB prior". He was a mop-up reliever with an empty ERA (bad FIP) as a rookie, but predictably struggled following. He was also a reliever in the minors. Mikolas had more success overseas, but Flexen was cheaper and younger coming back too.

Flexen also has a strong argument that he was rushed -- promoted straight to MLB after only 7 AA starts as a rookie, when he logged the bulk of his bad MLB performance in front of the worse defense in MLB by far. Only got 1 MLB start each of the next 2 years. (And his AAA experience those 2 years were under poor conditions for pitchers -- the PCL and the "rabbit ball" 2019 IL.)

As for not being the norm, there aren't many MLB pitchers who go to Asia successfully then come back. So the rarity is probably more of a sample size issue, rather than contending teams rejecting such pitchers in favor of Shoemaker types. Thad Levine's 2010 Rangers brought back Colby Lewis from Japan and went to the WS the next 2 years.

Again, no one is claiming Flexen is top of the rotation material but fan reaction would not have been materially different to him taking Shoemaker's spot at #5, with Dobnak at #6. There are other ways to augment a staff, of course, but this FO doesn't look like it's having much success on the 1-year veteran deals.

42 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

As for the FO being open to creativity/upside they bring in "creative/upside" bullpen options every year and fans are pissed.

Every team brings in creative/upside bullpen options, every year. Ours just universally stunk this year. (As did a few of our less creative options.)

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1 hour ago, spycake said:

You might not have noticed, but Flexen pitched in Korea in 2020 and was one of the best in the league:

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/mariners-sign-chris-flexen-from-kbo/

63 ERA-, 58 FIP- (that's the Fangraphs version of ERA+, 100 is still average, but lower is better) in the KBO regular season, and even better in the playoffs. He wouldn't have been a headline addition but would have been a decent low-risk/upside gamble in the Shoemaker spot.

Flexen's 2021 numbers so far have been dragged down a bit by one disaster start -- but unlike Shoemaker, he's been pretty good in the others. Even with that disaster start included, Fangraphs has him at 102 ERA-, 93 FIP-, and 1.1 fWAR (using FIP) or 1.0 RA9-WAR (using actual runs allowed) in 12 starts (or about 2.8 fWAR prorated to a full season). For as little as they are paying him, they've already likely gotten their money's worth.

Flexen was also a 25/26 year old pitching in the equivalent of AA or AAA.  He should be expected to do well.  Put another way, I'm sure if you busted Randy Dobnak down to Wichita and left him there the whole year, he'd probably win that league's equivalent of the Cy Young.  That doesn't all of the sudden make him a great MLB option.

Further, if you look at Flexen's numbers game by game, it's not like the one disaster start is his only bad start.  By FIP, he had bad starts against Detroit, Oakland, San Diego, Texas, Anaheim, and the Twins (minimum FIP in those 6 is 4.83, with 3 of those starts above 5 FIP).  He's given up 4 ER or more in 4 of his 12 starts, and 3 ER in another 2 (and one of those was only a 4 inning start).  In reality, Flexen has been feast or famine, with 6 very good starts, one average start, 4 bad starts, and one horrible start.  With his low k rate (15.9%, league average is 24%), there is a lot of potential for regression here.

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1 hour ago, Whitey333 said:

WPA is not very useful.  If kirilloffs WPA wasn't good yesterday what does it say about the many guys that went over yesterday.  These "newly invented" stats the past few years are a joke.  It among so many other things us what is driving true baseball fans away from the game.  MLB is becoming increasingly unwatchable.

How does a stat drive one away from the game? Like, I literally cannot understand this. Don't like a stat, don't pay attention to it. How does any stat make the game unwatchable? 

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4 minutes ago, spycake said:

Mikolas did not have "success in MLB prior". He was a mop-up reliever with an empty ERA (bad FIP) as a rookie, but predictably struggled following. He was also a reliever in the minors. Mikolas had more success overseas, but Flexen was cheaper and younger coming back too.

Flexen also has a strong argument that he was rushed -- promoted straight to MLB after only 7 AA starts as a rookie, when he logged the bulk of his bad MLB performance. Only got 1 MLB start each of the next 2 years.

As for not being the norm, there aren't many MLB pitchers who go to Asia successfully then come back. So the rarity is probably more of a sample size issue, rather than contending teams rejecting such pitchers in favor of Shoemaker types. Thad Levine's 2010 Rangers brought back Colby Lewis from Japan and went to the WS the next 2 years.

Again, no one is claiming Flexen is top of the rotation material but fan reaction would not have been materially different to him taking Shoemaker's spot at #5, with Dobnak at #6. There are other ways to augment a staff, of course, but this FO doesn't look like it's having much success on the 1-year veteran deals.

Every team brings in creative/upside bullpen options, every year. Ours just universally stunk this year. (As did a few of our less creative options.)

Mikolas' MLB FIPs in the first 3 years of his career were all superior to Flexen's FIPs in the first 3 years of his MLB career.  Quibble about how to define success, but Mikolas was, at least by FIP, a definitively more successful pitcher than Flexen in their first three years.  Mikolas was also only one year older than Flexen at their debuts, and himself had barely 100 IP at AA or above when he debuted, so it's not like he had garnered a bunch of extra experience. either

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2 minutes ago, Cap'n Piranha said:

Flexen was also a 25/26 year old pitching in the equivalent of AA or AAA.  He should be expected to do well.  Put another way, I'm sure if you busted Randy Dobnak down to Wichita and left him there the whole year, he'd probably win that league's equivalent of the Cy Young.  That doesn't all of the sudden make him a great MLB option.

Again, no one claimed he's front of the rotation material. He signed for 2 years, $4.75 mil total. But at that price, I think he was an intriguing alternative to signing Shoemaker at #5. (Also, while KBO is not close to MLB talent-wise, I think it's encouraging to see a young guy go into a very unfamiliar environment and succeed like that, perhaps more than similar success at AAA in America. Obviously you'll want some scouting to back up the numbers too.)

7 minutes ago, Cap'n Piranha said:

Further, if you look at Flexen's numbers game by game, it's not like the one disaster start is his only bad start.

Never claimed that, of course. Just noted the similarity to Shoemaker's disaster start, yet the gulf between the overall lines.

He may well falter in the future -- most back of the rotation pitchers do, at some point -- but I think it was an interesting, low-risk signing, the kind the Twins may have to explore if they can't figure out what they are doing wrong identifying/coaching MLB veteran SP on 1-year deals.

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17 minutes ago, spycake said:

Mikolas did not have "success in MLB prior". He was a mop-up reliever with an empty ERA (bad FIP) as a rookie, but predictably struggled following. He was also a reliever in the minors. Mikolas had more success overseas, but Flexen was cheaper and younger coming back too.

Flexen also has a strong argument that he was rushed -- promoted straight to MLB after only 7 AA starts as a rookie, when he logged the bulk of his bad MLB performance in front of the worse defense in MLB by far. Only got 1 MLB start each of the next 2 years. (And his AAA experience those 2 years were under poor conditions for pitchers -- the PCL and the "rabbit ball" 2019 IL.)

As for not being the norm, there aren't many MLB pitchers who go to Asia successfully then come back. So the rarity is probably more of a sample size issue, rather than contending teams rejecting such pitchers in favor of Shoemaker types. Thad Levine's 2010 Rangers brought back Colby Lewis from Japan and went to the WS the next 2 years.

Again, no one is claiming Flexen is top of the rotation material but fan reaction would not have been materially different to him taking Shoemaker's spot at #5, with Dobnak at #6. There are other ways to augment a staff, of course, but this FO doesn't look like it's having much success on the 1-year veteran deals.

Every team brings in creative/upside bullpen options, every year. Ours just universally stunk this year. (As did a few of our less creative options.)

My comments were never about anyone saying Flexen is top of the rotation, or even a useful pitcher. They have been that any idea of him having been a good signing for the Twins this offseason is based on 20/20 hindsight knowing he's been better than Happ and Shoemaker. He had done nothing prior to the last 10 weeks to make any claim that he had a chance to be useful on a contending team. Happ and Shoemaker, on the other hand, have both had success in the majors.

Shoemaker couldn't stay healthy and was brought in to get some early season innings since the league was coming off a shortened season and covering innings was going to be a problem. The wheels fell off almost immediately, but the thought process in the offseason was sound. Happ has had above average ERA+s every year since 2015 except one. He was brought in to provide solid veteran innings at the back end of the staff and eat innings coming off a shortened season. The offseason thought process was sound.

Flexen was coming off 1 good year in Korea and 3 DFA quality season in MLB. He was a flier for a non-contending team to see if he had made an adjustment overseas and could be an option in the years to come. Signing a player like him in the offseason would not have been a sound process for a contending team. Hindsight says he'd be a better #5 arm than Happ and Shoemaker, but suggesting the Twins missed out on some obvious sign or should have made a "creative" signing while trying to win a world series is not based in sound team building based on the information the team had during the offseason.

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3 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

My comments were never about anyone saying Flexen is top of the rotation, or even a useful pitcher. They have been that any idea of him having been a good signing for the Twins this offseason is based on 20/20 hindsight knowing he's been better than Happ and Shoemaker. He had done nothing prior to the last 10 weeks to make any claim that he had a chance to be useful on a contending team. Happ and Shoemaker, on the other hand, have both had success in the majors.

Shoemaker couldn't stay healthy and was brought in to get some early season innings since the league was coming off a shortened season and covering innings was going to be a problem. The wheels fell off almost immediately, but the thought process in the offseason was sound. Happ has had above average ERA+s every year since 2015 except one. He was brought in to provide solid veteran innings at the back end of the staff and eat innings coming off a shortened season. The offseason thought process was sound.

Flexen was coming off 1 good year in Korea and 3 DFA quality season in MLB. He was a flier for a non-contending team to see if he had made an adjustment overseas and could be an option in the years to come. Signing a player like him in the offseason would not have been a sound process for a contending team. Hindsight says he'd be a better #5 arm than Happ and Shoemaker, but suggesting the Twins missed out on some obvious sign or should have made a "creative" signing while trying to win a world series is not based in sound team building based on the information the team had during the offseason.

I don't agree that signing two bad starters to fill out a pitching staff on a likely contending team is a solid thought process.

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1 minute ago, spycake said:

Again, no one claimed he's front of the rotation material. He signed for 2 years, $4.75 mil total. But at that price, I think he was an intriguing alternative to signing Shoemaker at #5. (Also, while KBO is not close to MLB talent-wise, I think it's encouraging to see a young guy go into a very unfamiliar environment and succeed like that, perhaps more than similar success at AAA in America. Obviously you'll want some scouting to back up the numbers too.)

Never claimed that, of course. Just noted the similarity to Shoemaker's disaster start, yet the gulf between the overall lines.

He may well falter in the future -- most back of the rotation pitchers do, at some point -- but I think it was an interesting, low-risk signing, the kind the Twins may have to explore if they can't figure out what they are doing wrong identifying/coaching MLB veteran SP on 1-year deals.

Here's your quotation I was responding to--"Flexen's 2021 numbers so far have been dragged down a bit by one disaster start -- but unlike Shoemaker, he's been pretty good in the others."

That reads to me like you're saying he only had one not-good start.  As I pointed out, he has had several bad starts; in fact, Shoemaker has had 5 starts under a 4 FIP, which is only one less than Flexen.  Flexen is undeniably better than Shoemaker, but that in large part is because Shoemaker has ben even more feast or famine than Flexen--5 good starts (although not as good as Flexen's), 1 average start, 1 bad start, 3 horrible starts, and 1 worst-of-all-time start.

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1 minute ago, Mike Sixel said:

I don't agree that signing two bad starters to fill out a pitching staff on a likely contending team is a solid thought process.

Coming into 2021, neither was viewed as a bad starter, particularly as a 4th and 5th starter for a team with limited payroll capacity.

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38 minutes ago, Mike Sixel said:

I don't agree that signing two bad starters to fill out a pitching staff on a likely contending team is a solid thought process.

During the offseason they weren't seen as bad pitchers. That's what this discussion is about. In hindsight the moves were bad because they've both imploded. Since 2015 Happ has had more than respectable ERA+ and ERA- numbers. His peripherals have matched as far as FIP, etc. go. The Happ signing made a lot of sense and was a good signing. It has now turned into a bad signing because he's fallen off a cliff his last 5 or 6 starts. His first handful of starts were right in line with expectations, but he's fallen apart.

Same with Shoemaker. He wasn't a bad pitcher coming into this year. His problem has been staying healthy. The Twins weren't necessarily concerned with that as they weren't signing him for 200 innings, they were signing him to be an added arm to help extend the team from 60 games to 162 games. In hindsight he has provided almost nothing of use in a completely lost season.

The thought process was sound. They have been productive major league pitchers in the recent past and even with expected regression there was nobody who would have predicted the recent results. There was far more expectation of those 2 being productive pitchers than Flexen. That's what this discussion is about. Hindsight is changing the narrative. Coming into the season Happ and Shoemaker made infinitely more sense for the Twins than Flexen.

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1 minute ago, Cap'n Piranha said:

Mikolas' MLB FIPs in the first 3 years of his career were all superior to Flexen's FIPs in the first 3 years of his MLB career.  Quibble about how to define success, but Mikolas was, at least by FIP, a definitively more successful pitcher than Flexen in their first three years.  Mikolas was also only one year older than Flexen at their debuts, and himself had barely 100 IP at AA or above when he debuted, so it's not like he had garnered a bunch of extra experience. either

I'm not arguing Flexen is the equal of Mikolas, or even comparing their talent at all -- just that neither was particularly good in their limited pre-Asia MLB innings. The context of the discussion was the claim that no contending team would ever give a guy like Flexen a chance to be their #5 starter. Mikolas is a better pitcher, with the better foreign resume, but that hardly disqualifies Flexen.

FWIW, you're quoting FIP for a 1.2 IP season in there, but even the small 3 year totals miss a lot of important context: Mikolas was a college draftee with 4 months of AA/AFL experience, plus a full MLB spring training, before he made his MLB debut in low-leverage relief. And after he struggled with control a bit, walking 9 in his first 13.2 innings, he got to go to AAA for awhile before coming back up to MLB (again in low-leverage relief).

Flexen, on the other hand, was a HS draftee with a month and a half of AA experience -- no AFL, no MLB spring training -- before he was thrown into an MLB rotation for an extended period.

Again, not comparing their talent or equating their performances, but if you had to explain why one of these guys had a longer struggle with outlier control/performance issues during their early MLB exposure, it wouldn't be too difficult. That's why samples like these aren't disqualifying once you're evaluating their performance from another professional league. Of course, if anyone thought Flexen was really a 7.1 BB/9 pitcher like he was with the Mets (after 2.9 in the minors, and 2.3 in KBO), they shouldn't have touched him with a 39 and a half foot pole! But I'm guessing his KBO experience addressed that concern quite a bit, even if there were (and still are) remaining performance questions.

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1 hour ago, chpettit19 said:

My comments were never about anyone saying Flexen is top of the rotation, or even a useful pitcher. They have been that any idea of him having been a good signing for the Twins this offseason is based on 20/20 hindsight knowing he's been better than Happ and Shoemaker. He had done nothing prior to the last 10 weeks to make any claim that he had a chance to be useful on a contending team. Happ and Shoemaker, on the other hand, have both had success in the majors.

I'll just bow out of this tangent by saying you're under-estimating the risk of any back-of-the-rotation options, even on contending teams. Sometimes that's guys like Shoemaker, sometimes it's guys like Colby Lewis, sometimes it could even be a guy like Flexen.

The Shoemakers are way more plentiful, but that doesn't mean the Flexens are automatically disqualified from consideration. Shoemaker wasn't a bad option on paper either, so I'm not blaming the front office for too much here, but I hope they are looking at young guys who are successful foreign major league alongside the 1-year vets they've signed so far, when faced with openings like this.

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1 hour ago, Cap'n Piranha said:

Here's your quotation I was responding to--"Flexen's 2021 numbers so far have been dragged down a bit by one disaster start -- but unlike Shoemaker, he's been pretty good in the others."

That reads to me like you're saying he only had one not-good start.

No, I meant his overall numbers were good in the others (unlike Shoemaker). Every back-of-the-rotation pitcher has bad non-disaster starts, so it would be unusual to claim otherwise.

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2 hours ago, spycake said:

St. Louis brought in Miles Mikolas in 2018 under similar circumstances. I think you underestimate the #5 starter depth that even "teams trying to win the World Series" have to sign every year. The Braves picked up Anibal Sanchez in 2018 but aren't having as much success with Drew Smyly now. Heck, even the Yankees acquired 2 guys for their rotation who barely pitched the last 2 years and they might be dealing with the consequences of that now.

Unless you're loaded like the Dodgers, your #5 guy probably has some significant question marks. Shoemaker did too.

No one is saying that signing Flexen instead of Shoemaker would have been universally applauded by the fanbase. But it would have represented some creativity / upside risk that perhaps the FO should have been more open too.

The guy I wanted the Twins to sign was 28 year old former 1st round pick Taijuan Walker who signed a 2 year + option contract for $20 mil with the Mets. At 6-4, 235 lbs and fully recovered fro TJ surgery, could have been a solid rotation addition. He's pitched better than expectations so the Mets are happy.

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3 hours ago, Whitey333 said:

WPA is not very useful.  If kirilloffs WPA wasn't good yesterday what does it say about the many guys that went over yesterday.  These "newly invented" stats the past few years are a joke.  It among so many other things us what is driving true baseball fans away from the game.  MLB is becoming increasingly unwatchable.

WPA is just OK.  It appears to be shorthand for looking at a box score, which takes all of 30 seconds.  Ignore it.

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23 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

During the offseason they weren't seen as bad pitchers. That's what this discussion is about. In hindsight the moves were bad because they've both imploded. Since 2015 Happ has had more than respectable ERA+ and ERA- numbers. His peripherals have matched as far as FIP, etc. go. The Happ signing made a lot of sense and was a good signing. It has now turned into a bad signing because he's fallen off a cliff his last 5 or 6 starts. His first handful of starts were right in line with expectations, but he's fallen apart.

Same with Shoemaker. He wasn't a bad pitcher coming into this year. His problem has been staying healthy. The Twins weren't necessarily concerned with that as they weren't signing him for 200 innings, they were signing him to be an added arm to help extend the team from 60 games to 162 games. In hindsight he has provided almost nothing of use in a completely lost season.

The thought process was sound. They have been productive major league pitchers in the recent past and even with expected regression there was nobody who would have predicted the recent results. There was far more expectation of those 2 being productive pitchers than Flexen. That's what this discussion is about. Hindsight is changing the narrative. Coming into the season Happ and Shoemaker made infinitely more sense for the Twins than Flexen.

shoemaker put up less than replacement level fWAR all but one of the last 5 years. He was seen as bad. Happ was seen as ok to bad, not bad, I guess. But, a contending team can't give up one start position, and have another filled by a number 4, and expect to be great, imo. I'm ok if you disagree. 

Really, Shoemaker had not been productive but once in the last 5 years. 

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I certainly do wonder about Falvine's ability to evaluate, obtain and develop pitching at this point.

I'd love for the Twins to pilfer some of the talent evaluators and developers in Tampa, but I know that is not going to happen.

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21 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

Coming into the season Happ and Shoemaker made infinitely more sense for the Twins than Flexen.

It shouldn't be viewed as Happ AND Shoemaker vs Flexen. It should be Shoemaker vs Flexen, really. (Or if you want to say Happ vs Flexen, I'd assume a better option than Happ would have been signed to be the #4).

Just looking at #5 starters in this specific circumstance -- with a #6 like Dobnak ready to step in, plus a few prospects -- there isn't a bright line distinction between Shoemaker and Flexen. To the extent that Flexen is more of a wild card in terms of performance, Shoemaker specifically doesn't offer much health/durability to counter that either. (I think Happ does, which is why you'd need to improve the next spot ahead on the rotation to justify swapping him out.)

And there's nothing wrong with choosing Shoemaker over Flexen, although our track record with 1 year vet SPs isn't good enough to warrant disqualifying a guy like Flexen either.

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Coming into the season, I felt that the Twins with Maeda, Berrios, Pineada, Happ, Shoemaker, Thorpe, Smeltzer and Dobnak had one of the deepest starting rotation in all of baseball.  That is 8 deep.

I don't know of anyone who predicted that 7 of the 8 would have major issues, strongly contributing to this train wreck of a season.

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56 minutes ago, spycake said:

It shouldn't be viewed as Happ AND Shoemaker vs Flexen. It should be Shoemaker vs Flexen, really. (Or if you want to say Happ vs Flexen, I'd assume a better option than Happ would have been signed to be the #4).

Just looking at #5 starters in this specific circumstance -- with a #6 like Dobnak ready to step in, plus a few prospects -- there isn't a bright line distinction between Shoemaker and Flexen. To the extent that Flexen is more of a wild card in terms of performance, Shoemaker specifically doesn't offer much health/durability to counter that either. (I think Happ does, which is why you'd need to improve the next spot ahead on the rotation to justify swapping him out.)

And there's nothing wrong with choosing Shoemaker over Flexen, although our track record with 1 year vet SPs isn't good enough to warrant disqualifying a guy like Flexen either.

That's all fair. I'm mostly just coming from a point of the 20/20 hindsight being thrown around as proof the FO is horrible is getting a bit much. There was an article on here about Littell the other day, too, where I said the same thing. He's different cuz I think they gave up on an injured player too soon, but it's lead to a lot of talk on these comment threads about the FO missing obvious signings which is really just fans using 20/20 hindsight. But your points on Shoemaker vs Flexen are more than fair and I could see that as being a decision the FO should have put some serious thought into.

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2 hours ago, Cap'n Piranha said:

Coming into 2021, neither was viewed as a bad starter, particularly as a 4th and 5th starter for a team with limited payroll capacity.

Shoemaker hadn't been healthy in years and wasn't all that good in 2020 but relying on him as the 5th starter with Happ in the 4 spot was sound? He wasn't much, if any less of a question mark than Flexen as far as ability to stick in the rotation goes, and I promise if you dig through threads at the time of the signing you'll see his issues highlighted. 

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