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Did the FO misevaluate their pitching additions?


cHawk
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About 8 Months Ago on this day, the Twins FO finally started signing a bunch of pitchers to cheap, one-year deals:

Hansel Robles: $2M
J.A. Happ: $8M
Alex Colóme: $6M
Matt Shoemaker: $2M

Combine that with many waiver wire claims such as Derek Law, Ian Hamilton, Luke Farrell, and *barf* Brandon Waddell.

Almost every single one of these acquisitions have blown up in the faces of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine. The question is, “Why?”

I’m not going to evaluate every single pitcher they signed like I did Colóme. I can do that on my own time.

Mostly, I want to hear what you think.

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If we're gonna take the FO at their word that they had world series aspirations what they actually did wasn't even close to acceptable.  They gave 2/5 - 40% of the starting rotation to old washed up pitchers AND THEN they double down on the decision by giving them a long leash.  Bullpens are hard to figure out, the signings didn't bother me too much so meh on that.

They get an A+ for sticking to their budget, whatever that gets you in today's MLB with no salary cap.  But then again the Rays stick to their budget and look at what they've built.  One can only hope they have learned a lot from this pitching cluster of a season.

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I mean, they kinda obviously misidentified their pitching choices because they were all terrible, excepting Robles, who was just mediocre.

I also believe there was a fair amount of bad luck as almost every pitching addition pitched to their floor. The chances of 4-5 guys doing that at once is pretty low.

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40 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

I mean, they kinda obviously misidentified their pitching choices because they were all terrible, excepting Robles, who was just mediocre.

I also believe there was a fair amount of bad luck as almost every pitching addition pitched to their floor. The chances of 4-5 guys doing that at once is pretty low.

Actually, if you look at his numbers, he’s been pretty bad.FD407FD1-6AC7-4EB1-8073-D35C9DB3EF9C.jpeg.60c7ff55c100b7d0b73c8f88cccfc3da.jpeg

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2 hours ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

I mean, they kinda obviously misidentified their pitching choices because they were all terrible, excepting Robles, who was just mediocre.

I also believe there was a fair amount of bad luck as almost every pitching addition pitched to their floor. The chances of 4-5 guys doing that at once is pretty low.

Call it bad luck all you want, I just call it bad baseball. 

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Yes, they should have found options that did not exist and spent money they did not have.  Some here made a good call on Musgrove.  The most popular FA option was Odorizzi.  He has been mediocre at best. (.6 WAR)  Lots of angst over not trading for Darvish and Snell.  Darvish was good early but has given up 37 ER in his last 44 innings over 9 appearances.  He will be 36 next year.  Snell has been mediocre (4.31 ERA / 1.8 WAR and they give up a very good pitching prospect for him.  He has already made it to the ML and has the same ERA as Snell and of course he is just getting his feet wet.  He has a 60FV.  The Rays also got Mejia in that tade along with a couple other prospects.  Mejia is doing a good job as a part-time catcher.  He has played in 70 games and produced 1.2 WAR.

Bottom line is these moves that would have been very popular here would have done very little to improve the team in the short term and would have very likely hurt the team beyond this year.  Snell or Darvish could have a big year next year but Snell is just being what Snell has been every year except the Cy Young award and putting trust in Darvish for a full season does not seem wise.

I should add there was no support for Taijuan Walker.  He was not high profile enough.
 

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Well, I think we can conclude that they did.  Either they thought they could get more out of these guys than they did, they mishandled them while they were here, or they just identified guys that were washed up.  I'm not sure what it was exactly, but it clearly didn't work.  And none of these guys are magically better elsewhere either.  (Some worse, some only slightly better)

They swung and they missed.  The bigger issue is that a reasonable person could go in knowing that they weren't all going to work, but having them all NOT work is the problem.

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10 hours ago, old nurse said:

Oblique strains and shoulder impingements are now the fault of management. What next will be their fault?

Gleeman had a great analogy about this recently when talking about how to assess a FO for prospects that don't pan out. He said his mom used to get on him about being a bad kid. He told her that it was nature or nurture. Either way, it was her fault he turned out the way he did. Funny bit.

But this is kind of where I come down on it. The FO is responsible for evaluating medical reports on players they sign or bring in. They clearly didn't even do this on the Sam Dyson trade. One or two players underperform or experience a freak injury, okay. But when basically everyone you sign flops and every prospect in your system blows out by August - sorry, that's clearly on leadership's inability to either assess, maintain or develop talent.

I'm soooooo tired of the "bad luck" excuse with this team. So, so tired.

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The Twins were striking out, and they let most of their relief pitchers walk. Would we have actually been happier keeping May, Clippard, Romo, Wisler? I bet we wish we still had Littell.

 

For cheap starters, Rich Hill would've been a nice return, but didn't he really want to pitch in Florida.

 

If the Twins had bunched ALL those dollars and gone after a top-flight closer (say Hendriks), or a real top-line starting pitcher? Well, you hope.

 

Spring Training wasn't really showing hope, except that it WAS spring training. It is scary looking back at the pitching.

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/topics/spring/stats.asp?Y=2021&T=17

 

Injuries were the ultimate killer for the Twins. We expected to be seeing both Duran and Balazovic by now. We expected that Smeltzer and Thorpe would be offering something and maybe cementing themselves as back-of-the-rotation guys. We had hoped to be competitive come the trading deadline and deal big.

 

We also didn't expect that the Twins would fail so miserably in the bullpen in an extra inning game with a runner starting at second. And that Colome was the biggest factor oif the Twins decline in the early days.

 

I wasn't totally disappointed in Happ, Shoemaker and Pineda. I expected them to be rentals, and was surprised the Twins stuck with Shoemaker as long as they did. The fact that we got something for Happ was amazing, and that we didn't for Pineda is equally amazing.

 

And don't get one started on the hitters. Sure average is down in 2021. But.........

 

 

 

 

 

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Several of us sounded off on this forum last winter when they signed Happ and Shoemaker, saying we didn't think these were the arms that would take the team to the next level. We looked at their track records and didn't see them as a step up from what they had in house. 

According to baseball.reference.com, here are the deals Texas gave Kyle Gibson since the FO decided to let him go:  $10.667 in '20, $9.667 in '21, and he's due $7.667 in '22 with a bonus available. 

Was that so out of line for the Twins? 

It isn't just the mediocrity that they've added recently, hoping these guys might hold up the back of the rotation. It's the starting depth we let get away.

Falvey and Levine really, really need to have a good off-season showing us how they earned that reputation for being so good at building pitching staffs, 

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This is not really pertinent to the future unless the Twins management really are so stubborn as to to feel that the 2020 offseason decisions were aimed to help them go deep into the playoffs, but just ran into bad luck. Stuff happens and people make mistakes, but now this offseason will be the definitive test of our current management's commitment to relevance. We should enjoy this journey in the coming months.

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Bad offseason for sure, particularly when it came to the pitching. They had made some pretty decent decisions prior to this year, so I don't know that their evaluation system is completely busted.

But I think it's fair to say that they typically wait to sign their pitchers, which means they are signing guys who will lower their demands to meet the Twins value. This would obviously indicate that the Twins aren't aggressively choosing the pitchers who might be best for the team but instead settling for the best pitchers who will fit the team on the terms they most prefer.

For permanent fixes, they probably have to do some contracts they'd feel uncomfortable with.

Well, or suddenly learn how to develop five starters and a handful of relievers of their own somehow. That seems quite unlikely.

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5 hours ago, SkyBlueWaters said:

Several of us sounded off on this forum last winter when they signed Happ and Shoemaker, saying we didn't think these were the arms that would take the team to the next level. We looked at their track records and didn't see them as a step up from what they had in house. 

According to baseball.reference.com, here are the deals Texas gave Kyle Gibson since the FO decided to let him go:  $10.667 in '20, $9.667 in '21, and he's due $7.667 in '22 with a bonus available. 

Was that so out of line for the Twins? 

Well Kyle Gibson was awful in 2020 and almost certainly would have cost the Twins their division championship last year and he most definitely wouldn't have made a lick of difference this year.

So that was a pretty good "pass" in my book.

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There was this one time that the Twins GM went out at signed a 37-year-old to a one-year contract. His OPS+ in the three years prior to signing with the Twins were 97, 79 and 89. 

JA Happ's ERA+ over his previous three seasons were 116, 90, and 122. 

It's silly to say that a team should never sign veterans to one year deals. Sometimes they work. Sometimes they don't.  Happy was really good in 5 of the previous 6 seasons. There was no reason to think he'd pitch like he did for the Twins from May through July. 

Oh, that first pitcher was Jack Morris... 

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11 hours ago, LastOnePicked said:

Gleeman had a great analogy about this recently when talking about how to assess a FO for prospects that don't pan out. He said his mom used to get on him about being a bad kid. He told her that it was nature or nurture. Either way, it was her fault he turned out the way he did. Funny bit.

But this is kind of where I come down on it. The FO is responsible for evaluating medical reports on players they sign or bring in. They clearly didn't even do this on the Sam Dyson trade. One or two players underperform or experience a freak injury, okay. But when basically everyone you sign flops and every prospect in your system blows out by August - sorry, that's clearly on leadership's inability to either assess, maintain or develop talent.

I'm soooooo tired of the "bad luck" excuse with this team. So, so tired.

I typed 17 words. No words were bad or luck. I have yet to hear of anyone other than Brady Aikin be assured from a medical exam that there would be a problem. Since it would appear you expect medical staff to anticipate muscle strains, how do you test for it? 

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17 hours ago, TheLeviathan said:

Well, I think we can conclude that they did.  Either they thought they could get more out of these guys than they did, they mishandled them while they were here, or they just identified guys that were washed up.  I'm not sure what it was exactly, but it clearly didn't work.  And none of these guys are magically better elsewhere either.  (Some worse, some only slightly better)

They swung and they missed.  The bigger issue is that a reasonable person could go in knowing that they weren't all going to work, but having them all NOT work is the problem.

The thing is if 2 of them pan out this pitching staff is still terrible. 

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1 hour ago, notoriousgod71 said:

The thing is if 2 of them pan out this pitching staff is still terrible. 

 2 starters were brought in, Colome and Robles were the only 2 relievers brought in to make the roster at the start of the season.  Farrell was taxi squad and somewhat effective once brought up until he joined the ranks of the injured. Minaya  It would be " still terrible" because of the failures and/or medical problems of the retained players. not the players brought in during the off season. The season had really become a lost cause before any of the current reinforcements showed up

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9 hours ago, old nurse said:

Since it would appear you expect medical staff to anticipate muscle strains, how do you test for it?

First, I apologize that my post that seemed pointed at you. You didn't mention bad luck, you're right - it's just an excuse I seem to hear about this team a lot.

And it's a fair point about what a medical staff can or can't anticipate. I am left wondering why our prospects so often seem delayed and our seasons so often derailed by injuries, where this doesn't seem to be as much of an issue with other contenders.

To me, the Dyson trade became a point where my impression of the FO's inability to evaluate healthy or durable players became fairly set in stone. That may not be entirely fair, but it's impression I find hard to shake at this point.

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I don't think they missed as much on the Free agents, as they did on the the internal options being ready and/or not injured.

Sure Shoemaker sucked but everybody had to be thinking there was better than a 50% chance of that happening .Happ was a little worse than expected, but they had to no back up plan if that happened, (I assume it was WInder and Duran, but that didn't work out well), then they were onto plan C,D,E,etc...

Imagine next year pitching if they have to moved onto plan C,D,E.....

 

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Of course commenting NOW could be construed as "hindsight" but I don't remember too many (if any) commentators of TD pounding the table with enthusiasm with the moves the Twins FO made.  I love heresthething's comment that the FO gets an A+ for STAYING WITHIN THEIR BUDGET !!  That's hitting the nail on the head !  Look, as I've commented before, we were the two years running division champs but we knew the White Sox had been building and would present a significant challenge.  While our ownership and FO watched the White Sox AGGRESIVELY go out and add to their team, the Twins sat on their hands and did nothing.  We had rotation issues and a BP that lost significant talent and we...waited.  And waited.  I guess for "prices" to go down.  You can chalk the 2020 off season up to "bad luck" if you want, but I maintain we got just what we deserved.  The White Sox signed Hendricks...we signed Colome and Robles.  The White Sox signed Lynn & Keuchel.  We signed Happ and Shoemaker.  The fact that virtually EVERY move made by the FO blew up in their faces was not "bad luck.'  Their effort was tepid at best.  The failed in EPIC FASHION.  I'll make no excuses for them.  In their 5 years they have not just failed, they have epically failed, in 2 of them (Molitor's last season and this one).  A 40% EPIC FAILURE rate just isn't acceptable.  Nobody's luck is THAT BAD.  So, Ownership must decide if it's worth investing heavily ($140-$150 million payroll) to plug the holes of the sinking ship that is their ballclub.  Do the Pohlad's have confidence in this FO that if given the financial resources to enhance the roster for 2022 AND build a bridge to 2023/2024 as the young arms brimming with potential mature and ascend to the major league club, this FO can "hit a Homerun" ??  If they do, then give them the resources to accomplish the task.  If NOT, what does that say about our current FO ??  

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5 hours ago, LastOnePicked said:

First, I apologize that my post that seemed pointed at you. You didn't mention bad luck, you're right - it's just an excuse I seem to hear about this team a lot.

And it's a fair point about what a medical staff can or can't anticipate. I am left wondering why our prospects so often seem delayed and our seasons so often derailed by injuries, where this doesn't seem to be as much of an issue with other contenders.

To me, the Dyson trade became a point where my impression of the FO's inability to evaluate healthy or durable players became fairly set in stone. That may not be entirely fair, but it's impression I find hard to shake at this point.

https://www.fangraphs.com/roster-resource/injury-report

Different teams have a lot of injuries, some fewer,

Dyson rarely was on the dL before coming to the Twins.  I would guess to some that shows durability. To some that might mean the injuries will happen sooner than later. 

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On 9/5/2021 at 6:13 PM, SkyBlueWaters said:

Several of us sounded off on this forum last winter when they signed Happ and Shoemaker, saying we didn't think these were the arms that would take the team to the next level. We looked at their track records and didn't see them as a step up from what they had in house. 

According to baseball.reference.com, here are the deals Texas gave Kyle Gibson since the FO decided to let him go:  $10.667 in '20, $9.667 in '21, and he's due $7.667 in '22 with a bonus available. 

Was that so out of line for the Twins? 

It isn't just the mediocrity that they've added recently, hoping these guys might hold up the back of the rotation. It's the starting depth we let get away.

Falvey and Levine really, really need to have a good off-season showing us how they earned that reputation for being so good at building pitching staffs, 

I’m not impressed with Falvey and Levine.  I don’t have any confidence in them at all.   Poor job by Falvey and Levine.     I think in 2022 Twins will be as same as this season.     I will not renew mlb.tv next season.   

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If only we had signed Trevor Bauer and Brad Hand like everyone wanted.  Then we would be planning for a World Series run????  Hindsight is wonderful, but not really useful.  The important stuff will happen between now and February.  Let's hope it's something good.

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