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Shoemaker: "Twins way screwed me up"


Seth Stohs
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To play devil's advocate, Shoemaker bought into the Twins' idea to ditch his curveball and pound the zone with all his pitches sharing the same general location. He got shellacked when it wasn't working and rather than telling him to switch back, he was DFA'd. He knew the season numbers had killed his value so the likelihood of him landing on another team was weak. He took the demotion to AAA in order to prove he still had some gas in the tank to demo for an opportunity back at the MLB level either with the Twins or another team willing to trade for him. If he had declined the assignment to AAA, he would have been under the gun to latch on to another team and rebuild some semblance of value. Why not take the guaranteed opportunity to try and rebuild value?

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1 hour ago, Dodecahedron said:

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

He loves the organization that told him to make changes that might end his big league career, and to which he had no relationship until 5 months ago?

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48 minutes ago, Alex Schieferdecker said:

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.

Please post more often! Great writing and great points.

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4 hours 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...

This is a good point.  We've all been ignoring the fact that the teams the Twins faced had to use the juiced ball when pitching, while the Twins got to use the normal baseball while pitching.

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26 minutes ago, bean5302 said:

To play devil's advocate, Shoemaker bought into the Twins' idea to ditch his curveball and pound the zone with all his pitches sharing the same general location. He got shellacked when it wasn't working and rather than telling him to switch back, he was DFA'd. He knew the season numbers had killed his value so the likelihood of him landing on another team was weak. He took the demotion to AAA in order to prove he still had some gas in the tank to demo for an opportunity back at the MLB level either with the Twins or another team willing to trade for him. If he had declined the assignment to AAA, he would have been under the gun to latch on to another team and rebuild some semblance of value. Why not take the guaranteed opportunity to try and rebuild value?

Do you really think there was no other team that would have happily let Shoemaker pitch in AAA for them?

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12 hours ago, Seth Stohs said:

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.

There is no way, I would ever bring Shoemaker back to the Show.  He took a lame route to show some accountability.

His comments were coming outside both sides of his mouth.  A whiner and AA pitcher we don't need.

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I know the Twins have had some rough pitching at times the last 10 years, but man I always thought the "Twins Way" of starters throwing meatballs to opposing teams was a joke.

I guess this confirms it.

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2 hours ago, Cap'n Piranha said:

Do you really think there was no other team that would have happily let Shoemaker pitch in AAA for them?

He wasn't picked up when he was DFA'd, so that's why he came back to St. Paul.

He can go suck somewhere else

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1 minute ago, shortround81 said:

He wasn't picked up when he was DFA'd, so that's why he came back to St. Paul.

He can go suck somewhere else

He accepted his assignment to AAA.  I don't know if that's the same as no one else offering him a minor league contract, but I don't think it is.  On the GatG podcast, Gleeman spoke about his surprise that Shoemaker accepted the assignment; for a guy whose entire life is baseball, it seems silly that he would be surprised about that because he didn't know it only happened after being rejected by 29 other teams.

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4 hours 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? 

I suspect he's searching for an excuse here, but if you read the article, it's far less damning than the headline suggests.

I'm guessing Shoemaker talked about it with the Twins at the time of the DFA, and they agreed to give him the opportunity to pitch however he wanted in St. Paul without interference. We had immediate AAA innings available, and he had housing arranged in the Twin Cities already. That's much safer and more expedient than trying to latch on with a completely new org midseason after such a disastrous MLB performance.

There was probably even an understanding that the Twins would release him to pursue a MLB opportunity elsewhere if one arose, if not promote him back to their own MLB roster. Presumably no one is going to ask him to pitch like he did in the first half ever again. :)

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3 minutes ago, Otto von Ballpark said:

I suspect he's searching for an excuse here, but if you read the article, it's far less damning than the headline suggests.

I'm guessing Shoemaker talked about it with the Twins at the time of the DFA, and they agreed to give him the opportunity to pitch however he wanted in St. Paul without interference. We had immediate AAA innings available, and he had housing arranged in the Twin Cities already. That's much safer and more expedient than trying to latch on with a completely new org midseason after such a disastrous MLB performance.

There was probably even an understanding that the Twins would release him to pursue a MLB opportunity elsewhere if one arose, if not promote him back to their own MLB roster. Presumably no one is going to ask him to pitch like he did in the first half ever again. :)

This has some inherent logic to me, other than I wonder about the risk the FO takes by allowing this--if Shoemaker immediately gets better in AAA, doesn't that potentially undercut the authority of the instruction the Twins' coaching staff is giving?  As such, you risk having Winder or Duran start ignoring that, as well as providing a data point supporting bad coaching.

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3 hours ago, Cap'n Piranha said:

Do you really think there was no other team that would have happily let Shoemaker pitch in AAA for them?

Shoemaker accepted his assignment on July 5th. I'm not sure many teams were terribly eager to accommodate him in their AAA rotation just a week before the draft -- I imagine a lot of "we'll get back to you" type responses.

Meanwhile, the Saints opportunity was immediate. And frankly, if you are looking to crawl back to MLB yet this season, the Twins record and roster at the time probably made them one of the better opportunities for that.

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8 minutes ago, Cap'n Piranha said:

This has some inherent logic to me, other than I wonder about the risk the FO takes by allowing this--if Shoemaker immediately gets better in AAA, doesn't that potentially undercut the authority of the instruction the Twins' coaching staff is giving?  As such, you risk having Winder or Duran start ignoring that, as well as providing a data point supporting bad coaching.

Nah. I doubt he's bringing up this excuse outside of this article, where a reporter was specifically asking him to explain his early season struggles. And frankly these kinds of excuses are fairly common among pro athletes -- I'm sure every marginal journeyman could share some variation of it.

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Provisional Member

Shoemaker you were a mess before you got here and were a big question mark to start with.   I  find it to be a cop out by you blaming the team for you not being able to make a come back.....

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Shoemaker to me is a bullpen arm and can be affective in that role. I don't think he has the stamina or stuff to be a starter anymore. Twins should have left him in for the bullpen and starting him was a mistake on the Twins scouting and staff in my opinion. I believe they should have tried to move him to the bullpen sooner. Now he is just filling in innings in St Paul. Either way they have to pay him so minus will try and maximize value out of the pitcher. 

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Just now, jaimedude said:

Shoemaker to me is a bullpen arm and can be affective in that role. I don't think he has the stamina or stuff to be a starter anymore. Twins should have left him in for the bullpen and starting him was a mistake on the Twins scouting and staff in my opinion. I believe they should have tried to move him to the bullpen sooner. Now he is just filling in innings in St Paul. Either way they have to pay him so minus will try and maximize value out of the pitcher. 

I just want to compliment your use of "have" rather than "of". Thank you.

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If we had the 4th best ERA in 2020 or even the 9th best in 2019, then why did we revamp our pitching staff in 2021? That is partially why we have been much worse this year. Berrios was probably the same, Maeda was expected to be somewhat worse though not terrible. Pineda has gotten injured and the made-over bullpen sucked royally with minimal exceptions.

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1 minute ago, twinfan said:

If we had the 4th best ERA in 2020 or even the 9th best in 2019, then why did we revamp our pitching staff in 2021? That is partially why we have been much worse this year. Berrios was probably the same, Maeda was expected to be somewhat worse though not terrible. Pineda has gotten injured and the made-over bullpen sucked royally with minimal exceptions.

Because some FAs decided to go elsewhere? Because people change. Because they made some mistakes. 

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On 7/30/2021 at 1:47 PM, Otto von Ballpark said:

I suspect he's searching for an excuse here, but if you read the article, it's far less damning than the headline suggests.

Did the PP change the headline of the article, to avoid the ambiguity of the phrase "the Twins way"? It now has a more neutral "Shoemaker ‘pitching the opposite of how the Twins wanted me to pitch’ with Saints".

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He's been league average, at best, for like 5 years now. He's also in his mid 30s and very likely beginning the steep decline phase of his career. But sure, it's the Twins coaching and analytics that have screwed him up.

If it wouldn't almost certainly bork our standing with all free agents for the foreseeable future, I'd absolutely call his bluff and give him a start or two to pitch however he wants for as long as he wants against the White Sox, Yankees, etc. Put up or shut up, old man.

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On 7/30/2021 at 1:04 PM, RpR said:

I wonder how long it would have taken the pitching coach to remove his head from his buttocks if he had tried to do this to Jack Morris.

If Jack Morris were on my pitching staff and he tried to undercut my pitching coach like this, he'd meet the same fate that Shoemaker did.

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