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Pie chart of blame


cHawk
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On 9/18/2021 at 6:03 PM, Greglw3 said:

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Falvey and Levine 60%. I give the a big part in the injuries because they didn’t do nearly enough to build depth in the offseason. I was hoping for Michael Brantley to be added. They are to blame for constructing a roster where two huge question marks in Cave and Kepler played so much even though both players are deeply flawed. I also was advocating for them to sign a viable MLB center fielder for the inevitable Buxton injuries. And, even though in the minority, I think it was a big mistake to let Eddie Rosario walk for nothing, replacing him with Cave and a struggling Larnach. How does that make the team better?

baseball reference Rosario

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baseball reference Cave

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We see that Cave went .221/.285/.389 = .674 in 2020 and .188/.253/.302 = .555 in 2021

Rosario is at .254 (66 points higher than Cave)/ .299 (+46 on Cave) / .416 (+114 on Cave). RBIs are 56 - 12. SB 10-1. Cave has been bad two years in a row and so has Kepler. FO fault for not obtaining viable backups. All 3 OF positions were ? going into this season and the front office sat on their hands. Cave should be released and Kepler either traded or slotted for a 4th or 5th OF position. His continual pulling the ball into the shift, refusing to change his approach is a major drag on the potential of the team.

All in all, last offseason with letting several viable players walk or trading them, choosing inept replacements for the departed and not having contingency plans for the many question marks equals one of the all time worst offseason in baseball history, much worse than 2019-2020 when they only let Schoop and Cron walk (the start of the decline). I include the signing of Simmons as part of their failure but the failure was so widespread that it’s not as magnified

Injuries 10%. With a couple of viable MLB replacements they would have been in about the same position as every other team in baseball. Failure to build depth is mostly on the FO.

Baldelli 30%. I’ve watched for 3 years now. I’ve seen Gene Mauch as Twins manager (a freakin’ tactical genius), Leyland, Tony LaRussa, Terry Francona, Joe Madden and yes Paul Molitor - all of them vastly better than Baldelli who overall makes the strangest pitching staff moves and non-moves (take a pitcher out when he’s  getting battered instead of leaving him in 2,3,4,5 batters too long so the game is out of reach, often early). Plays the infield in almost all the time, spent the entire year largely eschewing the bunt in extra innings. Sloppy fundamentals.

I think Rocco is a likable guy but this is a business and a game where you have to measure up against your peers. If he gets another chance next year, I think he has a lot of reflection and soul searching to do as does Kepler. If he’s back, best of luck since people can learn from their mistakes and improve, possibly a lot. I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s let go but put the chances only at 30%.

 

  Your pie comes the closest to mine. To condense my response I won`t go into full details. It's hard to know exactly where some blame goes so my guess might be a little off. I place 80% of the blame on FO. They overrate some of our players that are expendable and underrate others that are more valuable players that we need to hold onto. They don't have the necessary ability to pursue hard needed trades. This year we needed significant upgrade in pitching both starters and relievers that could've been obtained through trades that never happened. I don't know who has the most responsibility on trades if  it's Levine or Falvey but it's not being done. If we want to take the next step it won't be with them.

  I place 10% blame on Baldelli. He is unjustly bias toward Cave which blocks the way for some one who is much better especially substituting CF. With a short season last year where some pitchers didn't even pitch, emphasis should've been on long relief. Instead he left the starters in too long and relied too much on short relief which were terrible in spring training. He also decided transform Dobnack, (who is a very good GB pitcher with a transformed all star INF.) into a SO pitcher (with his new found slider) on the fly. This is a recipe of disaster. I don't only blame Baldelli, I also blame FO because they shoud've interceded and blocked his decisions plus their decision of not having a full time assistant manager. Our season was lost from the start of the season because these decisions.

  I blame some players of not fulfilling their potential but I also blame the hitting coaches of not able to help them to find their problems and keep the hitters in themselves (that's their job). I place 10% blame on the combination of both.

I don'place any blame on injury

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33 minutes ago, Doctor Gast said:

I place 10% blame on Baldelli. He is unjustly bias toward Cave which blocks the way for some one who is much better especially substituting CF. With a short season last year where some pitchers didn't even pitch, emphasis should've been on long relief. Instead he left the starters in too long and relied too much on short relief which were terrible in spring training. He also decided transform Dobnack, (who is a very good GB pitcher with a transformed all star INF.) into a SO pitcher (with his new found slider) on the fly. This is a recipe of disaster. I don't only blame Baldelli, I also blame FO because they shoud've interceded and blocked his decisions plus their decision of not having a full time assistant manager. Our season was lost from the start of the season because these decisions.

1. I have seen zero evidence that Rocco Baldelli is involved with the nuts-and-bolts coaching of pitchers. Why would he be? He was a good centerfielder and has a very smart pitching coach who handles the staff. What meaningful input would a guy like Baldelli have on a pitch grip or how to throw it?

2. Randy Dobnak didn't transform, he was just bad, at least in part because he has been injured all season. His groundball rate in 2021 is actually 3% higher than it was in 2019. Other than dropping use of his change-up from 12% to 7% this season, his pitch mix has not changed in a meaningful way (and even 12% to 7% isn't really significant, I just pointed it out for transparency with the numbers).

3. The Twins do have a full time assistant, Bill Evers. The problem is that their first choice, and someone who seemed to have quite a bit of influence and popularity with the team, literally died a week before the season started.

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41 minutes ago, Dodecahedron said:

I don't remember 6 or 7 center fielders going down due to injury.  The Twins may have rotated that many players through the position, which I would wager is very close to the average number of CFs a team fields over the course of a typical year.  The point isn't the total number, it's the level of talent in the number.

I'm surprised you raised the point of the CF depth instead of pitching.  Anticipating that type of response coming down the pipeline from you or someone else, most teams put over 30 pitchers on the field over the course of a season.  The 2021 Twins have used 35, the 2019 Twins used 31.  I'm doubting that those 4 extra pitchers are responsible for 30-40 more losses.  I'm betting you have the same doubt.

So yes, injuries are a factor.  The Twins knew this but did not adequately plan for it.  Choosing CF as your example is even more strange, given the Twins know the name on the back of the jersey for their starting center fielder and know he is often injured.

I did raise the point of pitching depth, you only chose to take that 1 quote about CF and run with it. And you aren't disproving my point on either front. The Twins had depth set up, but the depth got hurt. That was my point on starting pitching that you conveniently ignored, and even acted like I didn't even mention.

Yes, teams have injuries and do their best to provide depth to cover for those injuries, but spending the majority of your season using your 6th or 7th best CFer and your 10th to 20th best starting pitchers isn't something any team overcomes. If the Dodgers lose their top 10 starting pitching arms they're not making the playoffs either. That was the point I made that you conveniently ignored. Shoot, the Padres spent and traded for starting pitching like their lives depended on it and when they missed on 2 of those acquisitions and saw a couple others get hurt they failed too. Real world example, yay!

The evaluations of Happ and Shoemaker were wrong. Can't argue against that. We've all been demanding to see the young arms and see what the pipeline had and that was the plan this season as they were absolutely expecting Duran, Balazovic, Canterino, Winder, Ober, Barnes, Jax to graduate and provide their depth. Then the vast majority of them got hurt, Maeda pitched hurt from the jump then got the knife, Pineda got hurt, Dobnak got hurt, Smeltzer got hurt, Thorpe got hurt. So they had 1 starter (Berrios) succeed, wildly missed on 2 (and deserve criticism for that), had 3 depth pieces step in and provide good to reasonable results, and had at least 9 starters go down with injuries. That's their top 15 starting arms. I don't know the numbers of starters most teams use per year, but when 9 of your top 15 are hurt and can't be used for the majority of the season you're going to fail. It is simply unreasonable to expect the Twins to sign major league arms to minor league deals or hit on all of their prospect arms, let alone lose their 4 best prospect arms, and still succeed.

The FO certainly needs to shoulder some blame, but pretending they should've had more than 15 arms that could help them win games is simply fantasy. So, yes, I do think the starting pitcher injuries alone can explain 30-40 more losses. As I've said before it's a miracle they didn't lose 100 games with the way Colome, Happ, and Shoemaker started the year and the injuries they had.

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11 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

1. I have seen zero evidence that Rocco Baldelli is involved with the nuts-and-bolts coaching of pitchers. Why would he be? He was a good centerfielder and has a very smart pitching coach who handles the staff. What meaningful input would a guy like Baldelli have on a pitch grip or how to throw it?

Tom Kelly seemed to know a lot about pitching.  He never played professionally as a pitcher. 

Baldelli may not know all the "nuts and bolts" but I'm certain he has a lot of "meaningful input" he can share.  I have strong doubts that the Twins would hire a manager who knew absolutely nothing about pitching.  I'm betting if someone handed Baldelli a baseball and asked him to show us a couple of different ways to grip it, he could demonstrate a few.

And heck, Baldelli had Tommy John surgery, that alone gives him unique insight as to what some pitchers have to go through.

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1 minute ago, Dodecahedron said:

Tom Kelly seemed to know a lot about pitching.  He never played professionally as a pitcher. 

Baldelli may not know the "nuts and bolts" but I'm certain he has a lot of "meaningful input" he can share.  I have strong doubts that the Twins would hire a manager who knew absolutely nothing about pitching.  I'm betting if someone handed Baldelli a baseball and asked him to show us a couple of different ways to grip it, he could demonstrate a few.

And heck, Baldelli had Tommy John surgery, that alone gives him unique insight as to what some pitchers have to go through.

As someone who was literally coached by Tom Kelly in college I can tell you first hand that Tom Kelly knew very little about how to coach pitching (relatively speaking of course). Teams have pitching coaches for a reason. TK was great at infield help and game strategy, but, at least in my experience, was not someone who could pull a pitcher aside and fix their mechanics, grips, etc.

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Just now, Dodecahedron said:

Tom Kelly seemed to know a lot about pitching.  He never played professionally as a pitcher. 

Baldelli may not know the "nuts and bolts" but I'm certain he has a lot of "meaningful input" he can share.  I have strong doubts that the Twins would hire a manager who knew absolutely nothing about pitching.  I'm betting if someone handed Baldelli a baseball and asked him to show us a couple of different ways to grip it, he could demonstrate a few.

And heck, Baldelli had Tommy John surgery, that alone gives him unique insight as to what some pitchers have to go through.

The game is considerably different than it was 35 years ago. The coaching staff is, what, double the size now? Managers used to run drills on the field, too, but they don't really do that anymore, either.

The coaching staff is far more compartmentalized today than it was years ago, probably due to the scope of analytics and the increased burden of responsibility placed on any single coach (ie. having to read, understand, and then coach based on the data, which just didn't exist in the game 35 years ago).

Wes Johnson was hired because he understood all that data and what to do with it, while Rocco Baldelli probably couldn't throw a breaking ball to save his life.

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11 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

The game is considerably different than it was 35 years ago. The coaching staff is, what, double the size now? Managers used to run drills on the field, too, but they don't really do that anymore, either.

The coaching staff is far more compartmentalized today than it was years ago, probably due to the scope of analytics and the increased burden of responsibility placed on any single coach (ie. having to read, understand, and then coach based on the data, which just didn't exist in the game 35 years ago).

Wes Johnson was hired because he understood all that data and what to do with it, while Rocco Baldelli probably couldn't throw a breaking ball to save his life.

To be fair, when a manager has access to a fountain of knowledge and greatness like Dick Such, it was certainly helpful to Kelly. 😏

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15 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

As someone who was literally coached by Tom Kelly in college I can tell you first hand that Tom Kelly knew very little about how to coach pitching (relatively speaking of course). Teams have pitching coaches for a reason. TK was great at infield help and game strategy, but, at least in my experience, was not someone who could pull a pitcher aside and fix their mechanics, grips, etc.

Yes, of course,  Pitching coaches exist.  They have a role.  However, the idea that Baldelli knows nothing about pitching and never says anything about it to his players is assuredly false.  

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1 minute ago, Dodecahedron said:

Yes, of course,  Pitching coaches exist.  They have a role.  However, the idea that Baldelli knows nothing about pitching and never says anything about it to his players is assuredly false.  

Define "says anything about it." I think you drastically overestimate his role with the pitching staff. Besides being part of the decision making process on who starts and who relieves and when, he is not giving much, if any, real instruction on pitching. He is not out in the bullpen telling guys to change their grip, extend more, keep their front side closed longer, or anything else like that. He simply isn't. It's not his role. Does he know those basics about pitching? Absolutely. But he's not coaching pitchers. There's a reason it's the pitching coach who goes out for mound visits that don't involve removing the pitcher and not the manager. He's not coaching pitchers. He isn't. Not at all.

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1 hour ago, Dodecahedron said:

However, the idea that Baldelli knows nothing about pitching and never says anything about it to his players is assuredly false.  

Literally no one said that. What I actually said was:

Quote

I have seen zero evidence that Rocco Baldelli is involved with the nuts-and-bolts coaching of pitchers. Why would he be? He was a good centerfielder and has a very smart pitching coach who handles the staff. What meaningful input would a guy like Baldelli have on a pitch grip or how to throw it?

Obviously, Baldelli talks to his pitchers. Of course he does. But this all started by someone blaming Baldelli for changing Dobnak - which I used numbers to point out also isn't true - and that doesn't make sense. Why on earth would Baldelli - a centerfielder - take the lead on changing a starter pitcher's approach when Wes Johnson is sitting three feet away?

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18 hours ago, old nurse said:

McPhail has done nothing to turn a club into winners since then. That includes the years after 91 he ran the team

Surprised you would dispute the point about Andy McPhail. The facts are that he’s in the Twins Hall of Fame and delivered the only two World Series titles in Twins history and signed quality major league players as opposed to what Falvey and Levine did last offseason.

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46 minutes ago, Dodecahedron said:

Yes, of course,  Pitching coaches exist.  They have a role.  However, the idea that Baldelli knows nothing about pitching and never says anything about it to his players is assuredly false.  

You don't know that. And no one does to the contrary, either. So stop inserting opinions as facts.

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7 hours ago, Greglw3 said:

Surprised you would dispute the point about Andy McPhail. The facts are that he’s in the Twins Hall of Fame and delivered the only two World Series titles in Twins history and signed quality major league players as opposed to what Falvey and Levine did last offseason.

There is no dispute. McPhail was the GM for 2 WS winners. One had the core of Calvin Griffith players and he built the bullpen and added Gladden. He retooled for 1991. Praise what he did well, but also realize that was the extent of it, A few years after the team was over 90 loses and he left. Whatever he traded for and signed did not work. That trend followed him. Falvey and Levine added to a team of Terry Ryan players and had a team that won. This year it did. Not work. If you are going to rip them McPhail deserves the same. It is the same scenario.

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4 hours ago, PseudoSABR said:

So Gardy for pitching coach fixes everything? 

Only if he's constantly telling the dummies on the mound to "throw strikes, but not easy to hit strikes, only strikeouts and weak contact"  Then everything will be just peachy.

And only if it comes with the promise of a bunch of whacky versions of this.

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On 9/21/2021 at 9:39 AM, chpettit19 said:

The evaluations of Happ and Shoemaker were wrong. Can't argue against that. We've all been demanding to see the young arms and see what the pipeline had and that was the plan this season as they were absolutely expecting Duran, Balazovic, Canterino, Winder, Ober, Barnes, Jax to graduate and provide their depth. Then the vast majority of them got hurt, Maeda pitched hurt from the jump then got the knife, Pineda got hurt, Dobnak got hurt, Smeltzer got hurt, Thorpe got hurt. So they had 1 starter (Berrios) succeed, wildly missed on 2 (and deserve criticism for that), had 3 depth pieces step in and provide good to reasonable results, and had at least 9 starters go down with injuries. That's their top 15 starting arms. I don't know the numbers of starters most teams use per year, but when 9 of your top 15 are hurt and can't be used for the majority of the season you're going to fail. It is simply unreasonable to expect the Twins to sign major league arms to minor league deals or hit on all of their prospect arms, let alone lose their 4 best prospect arms, and still succeed.

The FO certainly needs to shoulder some blame, but pretending they should've had more than 15 arms that could help them win games is simply fantasy. So, yes, I do think the starting pitcher injuries alone can explain 30-40 more losses. As I've said before it's a miracle they didn't lose 100 games with the way Colome, Happ, and Shoemaker started the year and the injuries they had.

Canterino split time between rookie and A ball in '19, same with Winder. I'm glad Jax and Barnes got a shot; after watching them I don't think either is a guy you want in a major league rotation. Maybe they have futures in the pen. Ober has been a somewhat pleasant surprise, but he dealt with injuries and threw limited innings in both '18 and '19. I really doubt the expectation was any of the above players would step into a significant rotation role if/when Happ or Shoemaker pitched their way out, or injuries occurred. 

I can buy that Duran and maybe Balazovic were in the plans. Balazovic has been healthy since early June and hasn't been called up; not sure if that means anything. Duran wasn't all that impressive above A ball in '19 but he was the closest thing they had entering the season. If there was an arm or two that looked ready at the end of '19 then I can see the argument for banking on that player(s) but was that the case? It's fair to question whether or not it was prudent to rely on the above arms coming off a year in which none of them pitched. 

Maeda missed a few weeks in May-June, then pitched into late August before getting the knife. The season was well over by that time. Pineda was on a similar track, sans the knife, and his extended time away didn't overlap with Maeda's. His most recent IL stint also occurred after the team was clearly out of contention and sold assets. Berrios was his usual healthy/productive self. Neither Happ or Shoemaker were hurt, they were just terrible. 

Dobnak was hurt after being awful in whichever role he was used. Thorpe has never had major league success, and wasn't all that impressive at AAA in '19 or in limited action with the Twins in '20. I guess I'll give you Smeltzer and hope '20 was an aberration. If this trio hadn't been injured, do you think the team would be in a different position right now? I don't.

I understand that perfect options don't exist, and that's true even for the 5 rotation spots, but I think the plan in and of itself was incredibly shaky. That to me, is on this FO. Poor performance and a lack of quality options sunk this team.

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7 minutes ago, KirbyDome89 said:

Canterino split time between rookie and A ball in '19, same with Winder. I'm glad Jax and Barnes got a shot; after watching them I don't think either is a guy you want in a major league rotation. Maybe they have futures in the pen. Ober has been a somewhat pleasant surprise, but he dealt with injuries and threw limited innings in both '18 and '19. I really doubt the expectation was any of the above players would step into a significant rotation role if/when Happ or Shoemaker pitched their way out, or injuries occurred. 

I can buy that Duran and maybe Balazovic were in the plans. Balazovic has been healthy since early June and hasn't been called up; not sure if that means anything. Duran wasn't all that impressive above A ball in '19 but he was the closest thing they had entering the season. If there was an arm or two that looked ready at the end of '19 then I can see the argument for banking on that player(s) but was that the case? It's fair to question whether or not it was prudent to rely on the above arms coming off a year in which none of them pitched. 

Maeda missed a few weeks in May-June, then pitched into late August before getting the knife. The season was well over by that time. Pineda was on a similar track, sans the knife, and his extended time away didn't overlap with Maeda's. His most recent IL stint also occurred after the team was clearly out of contention and sold assets. Berrios was his usual healthy/productive self. Neither Happ or Shoemaker were hurt, they were just terrible. 

Dobnak was hurt after being awful in whichever role he was used. Thorpe has never had major league success, and wasn't all that impressive at AAA in '19 or in limited action with the Twins in '20. I guess I'll give you Smeltzer and hope '20 was an aberration. If this trio hadn't been injured, do you think the team would be in a different position right now? I don't.

I understand that perfect options don't exist, and that's true even for the 5 rotation spots, but I think the plan in and of itself was incredibly shaky. That to me, is on this FO. Poor performance and a lack of quality options sunk this team.

Which teams have guys in the minors or pen to start the year that aren't their top prospects that are designed to provide depth? The Dodgers had about 7 or 8 guys for their opening day rotation and put Price in the pen because of it, but beyond them who has proven ML guys waiting in the minors for their chance? Prospects, or over the hill (Hamels, King Felix, etc.) veteran types are basically every team's plan for depth. Nobody is signing 15 ML starters and convincing 10 of them to take AAA or pen jobs. Now the FO picked the wrong guys, and the jury is out on if they've built the needed prospect talent, but that is every team's plan for depth. When deGrom went down the Mets didn't call up some 27 year old proven MLB pitcher. And there aren't many teams who can lose the majority of their top 10 prospect arms and survive.

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41 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

Which teams have guys in the minors or pen to start the year that aren't their top prospects that are designed to provide depth? The Dodgers had about 7 or 8 guys for their opening day rotation and put Price in the pen because of it, but beyond them who has proven ML guys waiting in the minors for their chance? Prospects, or over the hill (Hamels, King Felix, etc.) veteran types are basically every team's plan for depth. Nobody is signing 15 ML starters and convincing 10 of them to take AAA or pen jobs. Now the FO picked the wrong guys, and the jury is out on if they've built the needed prospect talent, but that is every team's plan for depth. When deGrom went down the Mets didn't call up some 27 year old proven MLB pitcher. And there aren't many teams who can lose the majority of their top 10 prospect arms and survive.

Nobody is asking them to sign 15 ML starters. "In the minors," is a pretty catch all term here, hence the reason I listed Duran and Balazovic apart from the other group. 

I'll ask again, do you see the fortunes of this team being any different if the Thorpe/Dobnak/Smeltzer trio stayed fully healthy? Those were the guys that had the first crack at stepping into the rotation. 

I do believe the hope was that one or both of Duran & Balazovic could provide some relief towards the end of the season. Duran getting hurt was a bummer; other than service time Idk why Balazovic isn't getting some major league innings. 

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18 hours ago, KirbyDome89 said:

Nobody is asking them to sign 15 ML starters. "In the minors," is a pretty catch all term here, hence the reason I listed Duran and Balazovic apart from the other group. 

I'll ask again, do you see the fortunes of this team being any different if the Thorpe/Dobnak/Smeltzer trio stayed fully healthy? Those were the guys that had the first crack at stepping into the rotation. 

I do believe the hope was that one or both of Duran & Balazovic could provide some relief towards the end of the season. Duran getting hurt was a bummer; other than service time Idk why Balazovic isn't getting some major league innings. 

I already said the FO misevaluated Happ and Shoemaker which certainly hurt things. So with those mistakes and Maeda pitching the entire season hurt (I know he didn't have surgery til late, but it's been widely reported he was hurt all year and trying to pitch through a number of things), Pineda being hurt at different times, and all of the top arms that would have stepped in for spot starts being down as well, yes I do see the fortunes being different. Not 100 wins, world series champs different, but not the absolute travesty we saw.

It all starts with totally missing on Happ and Shoemaker, and Colome taking a month and a half to get his ***t together. Not arguing that at all. FO deserves criticism for Happ and Shoemaker, and Colome earned the angst of the fans, but my comments on depth stand. I was responding to the idea that the FO also failed to accumulate enough depth to make up for the Happ and Shoemaker moves and I'm saying they had the same type of depth that essentially every other major league organization has. The FO deserves heat, no doubt. But not for everything they're getting it for. They had depth in place. The Happ and Shoemaker moves, and thinking their top 5 rotation arms (Maeda, Berrios, Pineda, Happ, Shoemaker) were good enough, is the mistake they deserve heat for. Not everyone getting hurt.

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4 hours ago, chpettit19 said:

I already said the FO misevaluated Happ and Shoemaker which certainly hurt things. So with those mistakes and Maeda pitching the entire season hurt (I know he didn't have surgery til late, but it's been widely reported he was hurt all year and trying to pitch through a number of things), Pineda being hurt at different times, and all of the top arms that would have stepped in for spot starts being down as well, yes I do see the fortunes being different. Not 100 wins, world series champs different, but not the absolute travesty we saw.

It all starts with totally missing on Happ and Shoemaker, and Colome taking a month and a half to get his ***t together. Not arguing that at all. FO deserves criticism for Happ and Shoemaker, and Colome earned the angst of the fans, but my comments on depth stand. I was responding to the idea that the FO also failed to accumulate enough depth to make up for the Happ and Shoemaker moves and I'm saying they had the same type of depth that essentially every other major league organization has. The FO deserves heat, no doubt. But not for everything they're getting it for. They had depth in place. The Happ and Shoemaker moves, and thinking their top 5 rotation arms (Maeda, Berrios, Pineda, Happ, Shoemaker) were good enough, is the mistake they deserve heat for. Not everyone getting hurt.

Kenta had an 11 game stretch, starting in mid June up to the game he was injured, where he looked exactly like the pitcher most assumed he would be. If you want to assign his rough 5-6 game stretch in May/early June to injury, fine, but that's digging into the weeds of how often players are taking the field at 100%, and it's a discussion outside of the point I'm making. Pineda skipped a single start in May, went on the IL in mid June, and was back pitching by early July. At any given time from opening day through the trade deadline this team had 4 or all five of the opening day rotation members available to pitch assuming Shoemaker wouldn't have completely imploded.

We see the depth very differently. Dobnak was coming off a year in which he was demoted, and he clearly was first in line to get starts when/if needed. He was flat out terrible, and I'm soooo tired of the usage defense. Thorpe wasn't good in either '19 or '20 with the Twins; Idk what the expectation was there. Smeltzer is the WC, but damn, if that's your first line of defense for supplementing the rotation.....yikes. The kids weren't likely to be a factor until midseason at the earliest, and by then the damage was done. I'm not blaming the FO for injuries either, they obviously have zero control there. I'm saying that tallying them up in late in September isn't painting an accurate picture.  

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On 9/19/2021 at 9:17 AM, Greglw3 said:

Not blocking Kirilloff with a batting titlest contender? How has that worked out? Brantley isn’t a depth piece, he’s a batting title contender. My hope for 2022 is an OF of Brantley, Buxton and Kirilloff. 

The farm wasn’t going to and hasn’t provided a player anywhere near Brantley’s caliber. As to the money, pay up!

The Twins and many fans are always bemoaning their fate as a non-playoff advancing team but always seem to be saying this guy or that guy is too expensive. I don’t buy it (pun intended).

The Twins have been cheap so long first with Calvin Griffith, then with Carl Pohlad and Terry Ryan. I really think Jim Pohlad would spend the money necessary. The definition of insanity is  doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I think the only reason the Twins won those world championships was Andy MacPhail who acquired premium talent to win those both: Gladden, Berenguer, Reardon, Baylor, Morris, etc.

Even starting off with Brantley, Buxton and Kirilloff next year would provide playing time for Kerrigan or Contreras, Kepler (backup OF if he’s still around).

The FO has bumbled and fumbled and decimated a 101 win franchise to a 70 win franchise. If they hope to contend next year and I think they can, they’re going to have to spend money to rectify their many mistakes - maybe too many of them related to saving money that Jim Pohlad would have authorized. 

I don't even understand your point.  Would signing Brantley have put us anywhere near contention?  Should they have anticipated virtually every corner OFer they had getting injured? Perhaps more importantly, value (production/cost) not only matters when you have below average revenue team, it's essential to building a winner.  This is not even debatable.  The Yankees and Dodgers can literally spend 3X per WAR as compared to the Rays / Athletics and nearly 2X the twins.  Pursuing strategies that do not recognize this FACT would be grossly incompetent.

SO what should have they done?  What pitching decisions should they have made?  Should they have anticipated Carlos Rodon would go from a #5 to a Cy Young contender?  29 other teams did not seem to think he was worth more than the very modest $3M one year deal he got from CHW.  We could have signed Odorizzi like so many here suggested.  That would have had no impact.  They could have traded away our future for Darvish and Snell which was also heavily supported here.  That would have potentially been a true disaster depending on who they would have given up.  It's easy to blame management if you assume options that did not exist or that performed well above expectations/projections.

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18 hours ago, KirbyDome89 said:

Kenta had an 11 game stretch, starting in mid June up to the game he was injured, where he looked exactly like the pitcher most assumed he would be. If you want to assign his rough 5-6 game stretch in May/early June to injury, fine, but that's digging into the weeds of how often players are taking the field at 100%, and it's a discussion outside of the point I'm making. Pineda skipped a single start in May, went on the IL in mid June, and was back pitching by early July. At any given time from opening day through the trade deadline this team had 4 or all five of the opening day rotation members available to pitch assuming Shoemaker wouldn't have completely imploded.

We see the depth very differently. Dobnak was coming off a year in which he was demoted, and he clearly was first in line to get starts when/if needed. He was flat out terrible, and I'm soooo tired of the usage defense. Thorpe wasn't good in either '19 or '20 with the Twins; Idk what the expectation was there. Smeltzer is the WC, but damn, if that's your first line of defense for supplementing the rotation.....yikes. The kids weren't likely to be a factor until midseason at the earliest, and by then the damage was done. I'm not blaming the FO for injuries either, they obviously have zero control there. I'm saying that tallying them up in late in September isn't painting an accurate picture.  

So what would have been a realistic plan for pitching that would have kept them in contention?  By realistic, I mean obtainable within the $130M they had to spend which was frankly more than I thought they would spend given Covid.

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14 hours ago, Major League Ready said:

I don't even understand your point.  Would signing Brantley have put us anywhere near contention?  Should they have anticipated virtually every corner OFer they had getting injured? Perhaps more importantly, value (production/cost) not only matters when you have below average revenue team, it's essential to building a winner.  This is not even debatable.  The Yankees and Dodgers can literally spend 3X per WAR as compared to the Rays / Athletics and nearly 2X the twins.  Pursuing strategies that do not recognize this FACT would be grossly incompetent.

SO what should have they done?  What pitching decisions should they have made?  Should they have anticipated Carlos Rodon would go from a #5 to a Cy Young contender?  29 other teams did not seem to think he was worth more than the very modest $3M one year deal he got from CHW.  We could have signed Odorizzi like so many here suggested.  That would have had no impact.  They could have traded away our future for Darvish and Snell which was also heavily supported here.  That would have potentially been a true disaster depending on who they would have given up.  It's easy to blame management if you assume options that did not exist or that performed well above expectations/projections.

The Twins had question marks  in LF, CF, RF, 3B, 1B. Brantley would have helped batting at the top with Arraez. The offense hasn’t been so good this year except Polanco, Buxton when healthy, Arraez.

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