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Did the FO misevaluate their pitching additions?


cHawk
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I think the FO misjudged their reinforcement timelines.


I assume the FO was planning on either Duran or Balazovic (or both) being ready for the bigs by mid-season or the end at worst. If you don’t want to clog your rotation with multi year deals, you sign short term contracts. In which case, take the best of the worst.

Now with Berrios traded away, they almost have to make a big trade or sign a long term contract for a free agent.

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Signing one super free agent only messes up the club house due to one player making as much as 10 of the other players but it rarely makes a huge difference especially with a starting pitcher who "suits up" once every 5 games. (Unless, of course you find another Ohtani). Teams like the Yankees and Dodgers who sign every free agent in sight still aren't in first place. Guess who are in first place. Rays and Giants who have drafted wisely and traded wisely. The phrase "their pitching additions" could have been left off of the title. Put the ? mark after the word "misevaluate".

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As has been proven out, you fill out a rotation 40% with "questionable" starters as the FO did to start the season you better have a very good bullpen and an excellent lineup if you want to be in contention. The FO rightfully thought they had the lineup to score runs, but should have recognized the glaring weakness in the pen. So which was worse? Failure in the rotation or pen? Could fixing 1 of the 2 areas have changed the season around much? Fun to think about.

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Let's look at the future and forget about the past. But we have to be careful about signing reclamation projects like Shoemaker (though I still think he could be a long reliever to go through a lineup once if he uses his sinker). Robles and Colombe had some success before but were awful for most of this year. Colombe has been good lately, however. 

So what happens going forward is important. However, the White Sox have the best young players in the division and will be tough to beat for the next couple of years if they can keep them all.

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A classic example is the Washington Nats who traded their best pitcher to the Dodgers and can't keep their second best pitcher healthy. Yesterday they paraded a bunch of relievers out against the Mets and they all were bringing it a 95-100mph. Never heard of any of them. Where did they come from? Ask their FO. Any more the game is not about the players. Its about Rizzo vs Falvey.

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Twins Daily just came out with a hilarious cya, "Did Twins fleece Tampa twice?" One was getting Odorizzi. Qustion, where is Odorizzi now and what good did he do them? Second was getting Ryan for Cruz. Cruz hit a tying home run for Tampa yesterday who went on to beat the Red Sox. Ryan is kicking around in the minor leagues with his 90mph fast ball so he had better be another Greg Maddox. Tampa is in first place. Twins are in last place. One of the worst cya..s I have ever seen.

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12 minutes ago, Number3 said:

Twins Daily just came out with a hilarious cya, "Did Twins fleece Tampa twice?" One was getting Odorizzi. Qustion, where is Odorizzi now and what good did he do them? Second was getting Ryan for Cruz. Cruz hit a tying home run for Tampa yesterday who went on to beat the Red Sox. Ryan is kicking around in the minor leagues with his 90mph fast ball so he had better be another Greg Maddox. Tampa is in first place. Twins are in last place. One of the worst cya..s I have ever seen.

First, Odorizzi was good with the Twins and the guy the Twins traded to get him is literally back in the Twins system. That was a helluva deal.

Second, Joe Ryan made his debut a few days ago, to quite a bit of fanfare. He's not in the minor leagues. He starts again tomorrow.

Third, Joe Ryan does not throw 90mph, he sits 91-93mph.

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On 9/5/2021 at 9:32 PM, Seth Stohs said:

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... 

I generally agree with you about one-year deals. One minor quibble about Morris:  born 5/16/55, he was 35 when he signed with the Twins, and turned 36 that May, while pitching well enough in that first half to earn another trip to the '91 all-star game. (Remember how Scott Erickson started the year 12-2, AL pitcher of the month in May & June, yet Morris went to the A-S game?)

 Some don't place a high value on Cy Young voting, but that Morris was in the top 10 in CY voting in 5 previous seasons, and in the top 5 three times, indicates elite success to me. I'll grant you that he struggled in '89 & '90. I just think he comes in arguably as much more high end than Happ did. Hopefully, we agree that Morris was a pretty good signing by the Twins, whether or not they were consulting Bill James Abstract that off-season.

To be clear:  I do not blame the Happ/Shoemaker signings alone for this season. Sano, Buxton's injuries--a lot went wrong, and perhaps the signature moment involved the unfortunate Mitch Garver.

Maybe I was kidding myself, but last off-season I (along with some others) thought the Twins were an elite starter away from being able to go deep into a post-season.  I find it instructive that the Yankees had a $17M option on Happ, but let him walk. Understandably, he wasn't too pleased.

https://www.nj.com/yankees/2020/08/yankees-ja-happ-relationship-sounds-touchy-with-17-million-hanging-in-air.html

We might also agree that the Yankees franchise puts a premium on post-season success, not just making the playoffs, but advancing.  Do we think they were simply pinching pennies when they let him go, as he turned 38 last October? Or might they have questioned whether they could rely on him when facing elite playoff opposition?

Last winter, I posted that I thought Happ's 27-2/3 innings, over 15 post-season games, is *not* a small post-season sample. I think it's a lot of chances to prove yourself. I think a helluva lot of pitchers would give their eyeteeth to pitch 27.2 innings in 15 post-season games against elite hitters. His giving up 36 hits and 16 walks for a playoffs WHIP of 1.88 concerned me. Well before this year happened.

BTW, I do like some of the FO moves. I liked both Maeda and Pineda signings. I don't blame the FO for their injuries. Losing Berrios (however talented the new prospects) pains me. I don't blame the FO for being concerned Berrios was out for a bigger payday than the Pohlads might have okayed.  I'm not pretending elite pitchers grow on trees, or that it would be easy to acquire one. (Forgive the cliched Tom Hanks reference: "It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it.") 

 Just speaking as a guy who (apparently falsely) believed his team was capable of playing with the best, and needed an elite pitcher to create some post-season magic. Instead, I watched them turn the wrong way before spring training.

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22 hours ago, old nurse said:

Different teams have a lot of injuries, some fewer,

I'm not sure this says much about team success, though. There are A LOT of Rays, Dodgers, Giants and Yankees on this injury list. Looks like they've had far worse injury luck than the Twins and they're (checks standings) ... doing just fine.

But I don't know what the answer is with regard to keeping prospects and signed starters healthy. I'm just hoping that this FO is working its collective tail off to do a better job in that department.

Or else maybe I'm wrong and the whole championship baseball thing is just a matter of dumb luck. If it is, throw this FO out on their ears because they clearly don't have it in the luck department. :)

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On 9/5/2021 at 11:32 PM, Seth Stohs said:

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... 

I haven't seen posts saying teams should never  sign vets. I believe the prevailing sentiment is that continually shuffling the deck and relying on those short term, aging arms to carry 40-60% of a rotation isn't a good idea. I don't know why we're acting shocked that a nearly 39 year old Happ wasn't good, especially when his previous full season in '19 didn't go well. Whatever he did 6 years ago isn't all that relevant. We don't look at Donaldson's MVP years and wonder why he's no longer at that level do we? 

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7 minutes ago, KirbyDome89 said:

I haven't seen posts saying teams should never  sign vets. I believe the prevailing sentiment is that continually shuffling the deck and relying on those short term, aging arms to carry 40-60% of a rotation isn't a good idea. I don't know why we're acting shocked that a nearly 39 year old Happ wasn't good, especially when his previous full season in '19 didn't go well. Whatever he did 6 years ago isn't all that relevant. We don't look at Donaldson's MVP years and wonder why he's no longer at that level do we? 

I didn't expect Happ to be an All Star, but when he was really good 5 out of 6 years, I don't think it's unreasonable to think that he won't be terrible... 

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No. They did not mis-evaluate their signings. They just didn't turn out. And they pretty much ALL didn't turn out. That doesn't mean they mis-evaluated.

Happ has had a pretty solid career. He was coming off a solid season. Be started this year quite well and suddenly fell apart for whatever reason3. For the first month or so he looked like a great #4 SP option. 

Shoemaker was signed on a very cheap 1yr deal as a #5 SP who has had a lot of solid success when healthy. He was NOT signed as any savior, just an interesting #5 flier with potential as a spot holder, We're going to blast the FO for a 1yr $2M flier spot holder? Please!

Colome had each and every one of us cursing his first 2 months. Like some perverse Invasion of the Body Snatchers, he was NOT the guy we signed. BUT ,despite a few bad games, have you checked out what he's been since around the 1st of June? Since then he's been the guy we THOUGHT we were signing, 

Robles, to me, was a cheap key to our bullpen. He stunk. Then he was good. Then he stunk again. I may be more disappointed in him vs any other signing. 

The FO didn't BLOW anything. They speculated and made smart decisions that just turned out WRONG. Sucks, sucks BIG TIME, but it happens. 

Boston was supposed to fight the Orioles for last place in the AL East. The Giants were supposed to be re-building. The Padres were supposed to win 100 games and get to the WS and maybe win it. The Angels may have the best 2 players in all of MLB. How have those teams turned out?

I am NO apologist for our FO, though I like them, because there are indeed moves they have made and not made I disagree with. And their FA trade record is questionable at this point to be sure. 

But there is a difference between doing things wrong and things not going right.

And they have pressure on them in regard to 2022 to "guess" right.

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8 hours ago, Seth Stohs said:

I didn't expect Happ to be an All Star, but when he was really good 5 out of 6 years, I don't think it's unreasonable to think that he won't be terrible... 

Except that year you're leaving out is his most recent year in which he actually played a full season. Add in age and workload/expectations for the rotation spot he filled and it's not exactly unfathomable that Happ didn't work out. 

"Won't be terrible," is an incredibly low bar to clear. Maybe that's the problem....

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On 9/7/2021 at 11:39 PM, KirbyDome89 said:

Except that year you're leaving out is his most recent year in which he actually played a full season. Add in age and workload/expectations for the rotation spot he filled and it's not exactly unfathomable that Happ didn't work out. 

"Won't be terrible," is an incredibly low bar to clear. Maybe that's the problem....

Exactly.

the conversation many Twins fans were having last winter was:

What will it take to get this team, after winning the division two years in a row, to playoff success?

Granted, it isn’t easy to acquire elite pitching, but that’s what many identified as the missing component.

Now the conversation is: I didn’t think the new arm or arms would be terrible. 

I’m not sure we can expect much from 2022. But there is a lot of young position player talent, and in 2023 maybe our young pitching talent will have developed, and Maeda will be back…

Ready to sip that koolaid 18 months before it’s served.

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22 hours ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

First, Odorizzi was good with the Twins and the guy the Twins traded to get him is literally back in the Twins system. That was a helluva deal.

Second, Joe Ryan made his debut a few days ago, to quite a bit of fanfare. He's not in the minor leagues. He starts again tomorrow.

Third, Joe Ryan does not throw 90mph, he sits 91-93mph.

As far as Ryan is concerned, I was paraphrasing the Twins Daily post. They must think that Ryan is still in the minors and averages just over 90mph. I did think that Ryan was on the Twins roster and I do hope he does well tonight. Meanwhile, Cruz is on fire with the Rays so the "fleeced" aspect is bogus. As far as Odorizzi is concerned, I repeat what good did he do them and Twins obviously thought the same as Tampa. This year 6-7 4.28 era. Hardly a fleece job. I just thought the TD post was a feeble attempt to shed some positive light on a mediocre at best Twins FO just as this thread was active.

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30 minutes ago, Number3 said:

As far as Ryan is concerned, I was paraphrasing the Twins Daily post. They must think that Ryan is still in the minors and averages just over 90mph. I did think that Ryan was on the Twins roster and I do hope he does well tonight. Meanwhile, Cruz is on fire with the Rays so the "fleeced" aspect is bogus. As far as Odorizzi is concerned, I repeat what good did he do them and Twins obviously thought the same as Tampa. This year 6-7 4.28 era. Hardly a fleece job. I just thought the TD post was a feeble attempt to shed some positive light on a mediocre at best Twins FO just as this thread was active.

The Twins pretty clearly fleeced Tampa in the Odorizzi trade. The Rays received nothing for a good pitcher who was probably the best starter on the division winning 2019 team.

It's way too early to say much of anything about the Cruz trade, as it was six weeks ago. Cruz is doing moderately well - not "on fire" as you stated - with the Rays, posting an .800 OPS. But hey, maybe that's all the Rays need of him and there's a lot of season (postseason) to play. And neither Ryan nor Strotman could amount to anything in Minnesota. Maybe the Twins end up fleecing Tampa, maybe Tampa ends up fleecing the Twins. Who knows?

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33 minutes ago, Number3 said:

As far as Ryan is concerned, I was paraphrasing the Twins Daily post. They must think that Ryan is still in the minors and averages just over 90mph. I did think that Ryan was on the Twins roster and I do hope he does well tonight. Meanwhile, Cruz is on fire with the Rays so the "fleeced" aspect is bogus. As far as Odorizzi is concerned, I repeat what good did he do them and Twins obviously thought the same as Tampa. This year 6-7 4.28 era. Hardly a fleece job. I just thought the TD post was a feeble attempt to shed some positive light on a mediocre at best Twins FO just as this thread was active.

Cruz is a free agent.... Who does nothing for this team the rest of the year. It was a great trade. 

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52 minutes ago, Number3 said:

Hardly a fleece job. I just thought the TD post was a feeble attempt to shed some positive light on a mediocre at best Twins FO just as this thread was active.

In terms of the Cruz trade, both teams seemed to get what they needed as of mid-season 2021.  Tampa needed to add some offensive spark to a hitting lineup for a playoff run, the Twins need some high caliber pitching prospects to build for the future. I don't know if that qualifies on anyone's part as fleecing

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The Cruz trade was such a low risk trade for the Twins that it's impossible for them to get "fleeced" in the deal.  With the goal now to build for the future, Cruz is was not just worth $0 to the Twins for the second half of the season, but with his salary his value was in the negative.

I suspect the Twins called in some favors on this one because this trade is better than any of us were hoping for.  The Rays are going "all in" this year, at least as best as they can.  The Rays W-L record post-trade is very nice, so I doubt there will be much if any complaining from that end even if the Twins return ends up being very good.

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1 minute ago, Dodecahedron said:

The Cruz trade was such a low risk trade for the Twins that it's impossible for them to get "fleeced" in the deal.

While I understand your point, I believe the Twins can still be fleeced because there was an opportunity cost in trading Cruz to the Rays. If the Twins receive no value from the Rays return, they lost out on the potential value they could have received from accepting another deal from a different team.

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On 9/7/2021 at 10:58 AM, Brock Beauchamp said:

First, Odorizzi was good with the Twins and the guy the Twins traded to get him is literally back in the Twins system. That was a helluva deal.

Second, Joe Ryan made his debut a few days ago, to quite a bit of fanfare. He's not in the minor leagues. He starts again tomorrow.

Third, Joe Ryan does not throw 90mph, he sits 91-93mph.

I would add that Cruz is a great player but his ABs are better spent on giving prospects a shot the remainder of the this year.  What he does or does not do for Tampa is not all that important in terms of judging this trade.  It will be a good trade if Strotman becomes a decent BP arm.  If Ryan becomes an average MLB pitcher, that's a great trade for us. 

Odorizzi gave us a couple good years for literally nothing in return.  It's pretty crazy when a trade like this can't be acknowledged as successful.

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Let me make this perfectly clear. I hope Ryan is a mainstay for the Twins' staff long after Cruz has hung up his cleats. The Odorizzi trade, be assured, is nothing over which Rays brass has lost a second of sleep and if the Twins' pr department wants to highlight that as showing the brilliance of the FO staff, so be it. Meanwhile, how about a sweep of the Indians tonight and go for those 75 wins as a springboard for 2022.

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The important stuff will happen between now and February????.  If the past is any indication they will string us along, wait too long, and sign what's left over.  They have done that for years.  Why should we expect anything different?  The FO is paid millions to manage this roster.  They should be held accountable when it doesn't work.  Bad luck?  Come on. They made bad choices and now we are left to see again, and again what bottom of the barrel pitchers they will sign.

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On 9/5/2021 at 12:33 AM, cHawk said:

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.

We were sold on Falvey being a pitching savant. Bad luck happens, but shouldn’t he be right on FAs more often than not!?!?

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