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Shoemaker: "Twins way screwed me up"


https://www.twincities.com/2021/07/29/shoemaker-says-twins-way-screwed-him-up/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

 

John Shipley from the Pioneer Press wrote that RHP Matt Shoemaker blamed himself for not saying No. When free agents are signed, coaches work with them to try to make them better. Sometimes it helps. For Shoemaker,  it didn't. 

 

Interesting points throughout the article.

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At a glance, it looks like they had him drop his curveball according to Baseball Info Solutions data. That said, it was a pretty rare pitch for him previously.

His pitches all seemed to be more in the meat of the strike zone this year and previously, Shoemaker threw his 4 seamer and sinker up high, splitfinger fastball and curveball low in the zone and his slider in the center.  Not sure if the Twins wanted him the pound the strike zone rather than work on the edges or what. Seems odd to want a guy to groove all his pitches right down the middle.

Could just be a marginal guy on his last leg trying to blame somebody else for his decline. Still, awfully rare to see this kind of criticism.

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Even if it's not true, it's easy to see what he's doing.  He just dominated a game, and then he can say "I'm doing the things now I've always done."  It's like advertising.  And he desperately needs advertising.  He might have more options because of it.

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Shoemaker has a few good starts in St. Paul and starts puffing out his chest saying "see, I told ya I was good!" - kinda seems like a guy who's getting his confidence back after what was likely a very scary year for him. Reckon he was looking retirement in the face. I'd take it with a grain of salt, a guy feeling his oats a bit.

He feels an over-reliance on analytics got him away from how he has been successful in the past. I suppose that's a fair opinion. He's probably not the only one to have this issue in today's game.

Fellas: what happens if Shoe signs with Pittsburgh or Detroit next year and goes bonkers with like a 13-5 record or something? I mean, it'd be great for him but I think you'd have to fire someone on the Twins if that happened.

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21 minutes ago, big dog said:

Let's bring him up and tell him he's facing the White Sox and he's going to pitch 6 innings unless his arm falls off. He can pitch anyway he wants. Call his bluff. What do we have to lose?

Either this or cut him. I prefer people to take ownership of their performance regardless of fault. Could be on the Twins, we are certainly vulnerable to believing this after what we've witnessed this year. He could choose to be the bigger man, own it, and now brag on his latest adjustments. I would have respected that. This is just sour grapes, and I agree he is looking for future employment. 

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it's no surprise that Shoemaker laments that the Twins rely on analytics at all costs.  That has been clear to anyone paying attention since Rocco came. "Numbers" are a poor substitute for "eyes." The Twins have shown they can still hit, but their pitching is fundamentally awful - and everyone knows it.  Shoemaker is an unfortunate victim and accepts the blame for allowing his "heart and determination to dominate" to take a backseat to the front office's numbers game.  

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4 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

Even accepting that this is true - and it's really not - "numbers" seemed to do pretty well for the Twins in 2019 and 2020.

Hey - I'm a Twins fan, but to draw any conclusions based on 2020 is foolish.  2019 clearly benefited from the juiced ball in 2019.  The ball is clearly "dead" this year.  Also, they are in the weakest division in baseball.  As for the Twins in the post-season?  Yeah, let's not even discuss that.  Pitching and Defense wins (and loses) baseball games.  There's nothing new under the sun...

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2 minutes ago, Nancy Murphy said:

Hey - I'm a Twins fan, but to draw any conclusions based on 2020 is foolish.  2019 clearly benefited from the juiced ball in 2019.  The ball is clearly "dead" this year.  Also, they are in the weakest division in baseball.  As for the Twins in the post-season?  Yeah, let's not even discuss that.  Pitching and Defense wins (and loses) baseball games.  There's nothing new under the sun...

Except you're talking specifically about pitching, and the Twins pitching was good in 2019 and very good in 2020.

And Rocco has virtually nothing to do with the fundamentals or approach of the pitching staff. He's a position player who never coached before. And the primary touchstone of the pitching staff, Wes Johnson, ran a successful collegiate program. To suggest he doesn't know how to tailor approach to the individual doesn't make sense. I'm sure he doesn't get it right every time - no one does - but I'm not going to throw him out on his ass over one bad season. Next year will tell us a lot about this organization.

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1 minute ago, Nancy Murphy said:

Hey - I'm a Twins fan, but to draw any conclusions based on 2020 is foolish.  2019 clearly benefited from the juiced ball in 2019.  The ball is clearly "dead" this year.  Also, they are in the weakest division in baseball.  As for the Twins in the post-season?  Yeah, let's not even discuss that.  Pitching and Defense wins (and loses) baseball games.  There's nothing new under the sun...

Twins had the 9th best ERA in baseball in 2019. (4th best in 2020, but you don't want to look at that) I think the point is that the "numbers" were working for the Twins in 2019 when they were a top 10 staff.

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1 minute ago, chpettit19 said:

Twins had the 9th best ERA in baseball in 2019. (4th best in 2020, but you don't want to look at that) I think the point is that the "numbers" were working for the Twins in 2019 when they were a top 10 staff.

Indeed. And Twins fans need to stop pretending this is 1982 and using Rocco Baldelli as the whipping boy for every problem in this organization. He's a cog in the machine. The machine may be broken, we don't know that yet, but the faulty cog isn't Rocco Baldelli. He didn't sign Matt Shoemaker and then tell him to pitch differently.

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I need more specifics out of Shoe if he's going to make these kinds of statements. What did they change? To me "analytics" is about pitch mix and location. Almost every team is using that information, and the good teams all are. I'm not aware of any edict by the Twins that pitchers aren't allowed to shake off catchers, or that pitches are being called from the dugout. So if he wasn't liking what pitch was being called or where they were asking for him to throw it he should've been shaking people off. Like every other pitcher does. 

Now if he's talking driveline type technology driven mechanical changes I'll be very impressed that within a matter of a couple weeks he changed his mechanics back to what they used to be and also blame him for getting his brains bashed in for months at the big league level and not changing back. That's on him.

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I don't think I like this much. If you're the worst player on a bad team maybe just keep your mouth shut. Keep getting MiLB guys out and let the numbers speak. Even if the Twins did mess him up, are reporters really the people to bring this up with? How about a coach, manager or other FO guy? It's not that I don't believe him, we all know the Twins track record in developing pitchers, just don't go whining to the media.

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3 minutes ago, jorgenswest said:

Berrios’ trade value will never be higher. The return will never be better. Is that return enough to give up his 2022 season? 

That's the franchise-altering question.

Twelve months ago, I would have been quite confident this front office would make the right(ish) decision.

Today, not so much.

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Sorry but this doesn't pass the smell test. Shoe was DFA'd, he was effectively a free agent, and he made the decision to stay with the Twins rather than go sign a minor league deal elsewhere.

If you think your team and its coaching is a significant factor for your poor performance, then why on earth would you accept an option assignment to the minors with that same team? 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, nowheresville said:

Sorry but this doesn't pass the smell test. Shoe was DFA'd, he was effectively a free agent, and he made the decision to stay with the Twins rather than go sign a minor league deal elsewhere.

If you think your team and its coaching is a significant factor for your poor performance, then why on earth would you accept an option assignment to the minors with that same team? 

That's a legit observation.

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29 minutes ago, nowheresville said:

Sorry but this doesn't pass the smell test. Shoe was DFA'd, he was effectively a free agent, and he made the decision to stay with the Twins rather than go sign a minor league deal elsewhere.

If you think your team and its coaching is a significant factor for your poor performance, then why on earth would you accept an option assignment to the minors with that same team? 

 

 

Read the article.  Shoemaker says he loves the Twins, and even wants to stay, and he was torn when making these sorts of statements.

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It sounds like Shoemaker did take responsibility for taking the advice and pitching like garbage but he did buy into the analytics the Twins coaches were offering.  Their ideals didn't mesh with his skills.  He is a declining pitcher at this point anyways but he did get off to a solid start so the advice was working before it wasn't.  I wouldn't read too much into his quotes as it doesn't sound like he was trying to blast the Twins way ....only to say it didnt work for him.  And he could be trying to frame himself for another opportunity.  Its nice of the Twins to let him work in AAA for that opportunity.  Anyways the Twins don't seem to care so why should we.  The newspaper could also be embellishing the conversation enough to sell newspapers.  We all know the news is not trustworthy.  

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I see this more and more these days, but folks (even baseball fans!) have a hard time grappling with probabilities that are not 0%, 50%, or 100%.

It can both be true that Wes Johnson knows what he's doing and also that he screwed up Shoemaker. He's not going to have the right answer for every pitcher, or he may have good ideas but the player isn't receptive to them and doesn't apply them correctly. Humans are like that, sometimes it just doesn't work out.

Now look, I think the leading theory on why Shoemaker is pitching better with the Saints is that he's pitching to AAA hitters. But hey, if he's also made some changes and gone back to what worked for him before and disregarded whatever Wes told him, then that's fine and I would be happy to see him prove it whenever he gets a shot again with the big club.

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