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How do you define "ace" and is Jose Berríos one?


Vanimal46
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4 hours ago, Squirrel said:

I think you give way too much credit to Berrios. There were a lot 'ifs' in proclaiming him 'ace to be'. José is what he is ... a solid pitcher, but not an ace, not a No. 1. (Well, a no. 1 on a bad team, but over all a solid no. 2 pitcher on a good team.) I mean ... 'if not for his starts giving up 10 runs' ... lol

Defining an ace is more difficult than ever these days ago now that bullpens are soaking up more innings. Berrios is exactly the type of guy we would want to target in free agency. A bulldog who gives his team a chance to win almost every time he pitches. Never gets injured, and pitches 6-7 innings each outing. 

He’s done very well in Toronto. I expected him to keep up his production after he left us. And he’s done better. I am still not thrilled with the trade. 

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8 minutes ago, Vanimal46 said:

Gibson and Odorizzi were fine complimentary pitchers, but it was always Berrios who was relied upon to be the savior ace. In Toronto, they have established veterans who were signed and very good (Ryu and Ray.) Berrios wasn’t traded for to be the savior of their pitching staff. He is an excellent compliment, and now that some pressure is off him to be a savior, he can relax, have fun, and pitch great. 

Honestly, I think we have similar opinions of Berrios...unless I'm misinterpreting. I think you are slightly higher on him but it seems like neither of us seem him as quality #1 option on a contending team. 

Last postseason, I wanted Maeda in game 1 and then Pineda to be the pitcher of the "must win" game. Meaning if the Twins won game 1 then save Pineda for a potential game 3. If the Twins lost game 1 then pitch Pineda in game 2. Ultimately, it was the offense that lost the series and Berrios pitched well but I have never felt comfortable with him on the mound. He's been too inconsistent throughout his entire career.

Even heading into this season I said that if Berrios is our best pitcher then something went wrong with Maeda or Pineda and we will not be a true contender. Little did I know that it wasn't something that would go wrong...it was everything.

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2 minutes ago, Matthew Lenz said:

Honestly, I think we have similar opinions of Berrios...unless I'm misinterpreting. I think you are slightly higher on him but it seems like neither of us seem him as quality #1 option on a contending team. 

Last postseason, I wanted Maeda in game 1 and then Pineda to be the pitcher of the "must win" game. Meaning if the Twins won game 1 then save Pineda for a potential game 3. If the Twins lost game 1 then pitch Pineda in game 2. Ultimately, it was the offense that lost the series and Berrios pitched well but I have never felt comfortable with him on the mound. He's been too inconsistent throughout his entire career.

Even heading into this season I said that if Berrios is our best pitcher then something went wrong with Maeda or Pineda and we will not be a true contender. Little did I know that it wasn't something that would go wrong...it was everything.

My position is he’s a top 30 pitcher in baseball. Is he the best pitcher on the Dodgers? Absolutely not. But he would be on probably 20 teams. And he’s young enough to still progress to the level of Scherzer and whoever else you consider a true ace. 

The question is how do you define an ace? It’s more difficult to define now more than ever. Are there only 5 true aces? 10? Regardless, Berrios is very good. I’ll take him on my team all day every day. 

Martin better be good to great. I have no confidence SWR is going to contribute anything at the MLB level in the next calendar year. If ever. 

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10 minutes ago, Matthew Lenz said:

I have never felt comfortable with him on the mound. He's been too inconsistent throughout his entire career.

As long as you mention it, can I ask you a question? What is it about Berrios that you see as inconsistent, especially with respect to other starting pitchers? Is it the occasional bad start? Don’t most good pitchers have the occasional bad start, though? I look at the Berrios career stat line (not going to post it here; it can be looked up on many sites) and in all truth I cannot imagine how he could be any more consistent. I’m not calling him an ace, but has he been consistently good? I think so. Why don’t you think so? 

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1 hour ago, Matthew Lenz said:

In his Twins career Berrios had an "average" BB/9 and averaged less than 6 innings per start.  Sure, he had a good amount of strikeouts but he danced around the zone too much to be considered a bulldog and you definitely couldn't not rely on him to give you 6-7 innings per outing. Yes, he gave you a chance, but as the teams #1 you expect more than that.

How much of that was on Baldelli not letting him go longer or pitch his way out of jam?

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13 minutes ago, MABB1959 said:

How much of that was on Baldelli not letting him go longer or pitch his way out of jam?

Berrios actually averaged a healthy number of innings per start under Baldelli. He was 15th in IP in 2019 and 35th in IP in the weird 2020 season.

The "Baldelli has a quick hook" crowd's complaints aren't really based in reality. The Twins are mid-pack in starter innings pretty much every season.

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4 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

Berrios actually averaged a healthy number of innings per start under Baldelli. He was 15th in IP in 2019 and 35th in IP in the weird 2020 season.

The "Baldelli has a quick hook" crowd's complaints aren't really based in reality. The Twins are mid-pack in starter innings pretty much every season.

Someone above mentioned less than 6 innings per start so that is what got me going on Baldelli pulling him to soon.  

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33 minutes ago, Hosken Bombo Disco said:

As long as you mention it, can I ask you a question? What is it about Berrios that you see as inconsistent, especially with respect to other starting pitchers? Is it the occasional bad start? Don’t most good pitchers have the occasional bad start, though? I look at the Berrios career stat line (not going to post it here; it can be looked up on many sites) and in all truth I cannot imagine how he could be any more consistent. I’m not calling him an ace, but has he been consistently good? I think so. Why don’t you think so? 

He’s consistently average. Inconsistently good and bad.

You never knew if you could count on him for 5 innings or 7. 2 earned runs or 4. I never said he was bad. But a career 4.01 FIP, average of 5.2 IP/start, and 2.9 BB/9 speaks for itself. His 1st half and 2nd half splits are pretty different.

Sure, from year to year he was consistently average. But the road to those numbers was very up and down.

 


 

 

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3 minutes ago, MABB1959 said:

Someone above mentioned less than 6 innings per start so that is what got me going on Baldelli pulling him to soon.  

I didn't see that but Berrios averaged just over six innings per start with the Twins this season.

To bring home the point again about how peoples' complaints about Baldelli aren't really based in reality, Berrios has averaged under six innings per start since being traded to Toronto.

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1 minute ago, MABB1959 said:

Someone above mentioned less than 6 innings per start so that is what got me going on Baldelli pulling him to soon.  

Yea but because he was inefficient with lots of deep counts and a decent number of walks. He often would have a high number of pitches, not allowing him to continue on. Moreover, the Twins have the 13th most innings from starters since 2019…they were actually ranked 7th from 2019 to 2020 before this abysmal season. You’re suggestion that Baldelli pulls plug too soon seems off base.

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3 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

I didn't see that but Berrios averaged just over six innings per start with the Twins this season.

To bring home the point again about how peoples' complaints about Baldelli aren't really based in reality, Berrios has averaged under six innings per start since being traded to Toronto.

It was me and I was talking about his whole career and not exclusively this season. His Toronto average is skewed by the small sample..He’s had a couple clunkers with Toronto, otherwise 7/10 starts have been 6+ IP.

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1 hour ago, Vanimal46 said:

My position is he’s a top 30 pitcher in baseball. Is he the best pitcher on the Dodgers? Absolutely not. But he would be on probably 20 teams. And he’s young enough to still progress to the level of Scherzer and whoever else you consider a true ace. 

The question is how do you define an ace? It’s more difficult to define now more than ever. Are there only 5 true aces? 10? Regardless, Berrios is very good. I’ll take him on my team all day every day. 

Martin better be good to great. I have no confidence SWR is going to contribute anything at the MLB level in the next calendar year. If ever. 

“He’s good enough to be the best pitcher on 20 teams”.

My opinion is he can’t be relied on as the best pitcher on a contender and you seem to agree with that.

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To me he is the kind of pitcher we have been waiting on for 10 years and a pitcher the Twins either can't "afford" or can get to come to MN.   When will we see another Berrios type of pitcher?  His work ethic off season is great and he doesn't seem to be out for month's at a time with a bruised finger.

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3 minutes ago, Matthew Lenz said:

It was me and I was talking about his whole career and not exclusively this season. His Toronto average is skewed by the small sample..He’s had a couple clunkers with Toronto, otherwise 7/10 starts have been 6+ IP.

Sure, but I think we agree that Berrios' IP per start is largely dependent on the efficiency of Berrios, not the tendencies of the manager. In 20 starts with the Twins, Baldelli let him go over 100 pitches eight times (and to 99 pitches three other times). That includes being very cautious with him for the entire month of April, which is to be expected after 2020.

In ten starts with Toronto, Berrios has gone over 100 pitches just twice (and hit exactly 100 today).

There's no significant difference in how he's being handled.

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1 minute ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

Sure, but I think we agree that Berrios' IP per start is largely dependent on the efficiency of Berrios, not the tendencies of the manager. In 20 starts with the Twins, Baldelli let him go over 100 pitches eight times (and to 99 pitches three other times). That includes being very cautious with him for the entire month of April, which is to be expected after 2020.

In ten starts with Toronto, Berrios has gone over 100 pitches just twice (and hit exactly 100 today).

There's no significant difference in how he's being handled.

Oh I completely agree with you. My biggest complaint of him has always been his inefficiency. Watching him dance around the strike zone with his plus “stuff” was frustrating as hell. IMO that’s the biggest limiting factor in his ceiling.

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Just now, Matthew Lenz said:

Oh I completely agree with you. My biggest complaint of him has always been his inefficiency. Watching him dance around the strike zone with his plus “stuff” was frustrating as hell. IMO that’s the biggest limiting factor in his ceiling.

Agreed, though he does seem to be doing less of that this season (finally).

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Just now, MABB1959 said:

And who won today?

Canadians? Is this a trick question?

Seriously, though, I'm not sure what bearing that has on the discussion. I'm using numbers to show that Berrios is being handled pretty much the same in Toronto as he was in Minnesota. Who won the game doesn't really matter in the context of the conversation we're having.

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6 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

Seriously, though, I'm not sure what bearing that has on the discussion. I'm using numbers to show that Berrios is being handled pretty much the same in Toronto as he was in Minnesota. Who won the game doesn't really matter in the context of the conversation we're having.

It really does matter to Toronto!  He is in the top for most categories and #1 in inning pitched for the AL!  He is #5 in ERA.  

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19 minutes ago, Matthew Lenz said:

“He’s good enough to be the best pitcher on 20 teams”.

My opinion is he can’t be relied on as the best pitcher on a contender and you seem to agree with that.

I see you are dancing around the other question. How do you define an ace? How many do you think exist in baseball?

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2 minutes ago, Vanimal46 said:

I see you are dancing around the other question. How do you define an ace? How many do you think exist in baseball?

Mentally, I think there are 15-ish “aces” and maybe 20-25 “#1 pitchers”. Berrios doesn’t make the first group but probably makes the second.

But frankly, I find the “ace” conversation boring. Everyone has their own definition and none of them are really wrong. 

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18 minutes ago, MABB1959 said:

And who won today?

His offense put up 5 runs in the first, the Twins offense sucks, and his opposing pitcher was one of the worst bullpens in baseball.

If that’s what you want to hang your hat on then we have very different expectations for pitchers and will never see eye to eye on this.

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9 minutes ago, Vanimal46 said:

I see you are dancing around the other question. How do you define an ace? How many do you think exist in baseball?

Lol wasn’t dancing around it, just don’t see why it matters. The “ace” conversation is frustrating because everyone defines it differently and it really can vary from year to year. In general, I would say there are 5-10 per year. Me saying Berríos isn’t an ace, is not a knock on him nor would it be for 99% of pitchers. Me saying that he’s inefficient is and he’s not a true #1 on a contending team is my knock on him. Define “ace” however you want.

 

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1 minute ago, Matthew Lenz said:

Lol wasn’t dancing around it, just don’t see why it matters. The “ace” conversation is frustrating because everyone defines it differently and it really can vary from year to year. In general, I would say there are 5-10 per year. Me saying Berríos isn’t an ace, is not a knock on him nor would it be for 99% of pitchers. Me saying that he’s inefficient is and he’s not a true #1 on a contending team is my knock on him. Define “ace” however you want.

 

So, an ace? Keep avoiding the question. Good stuff 👍

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11 minutes ago, Vanimal46 said:

So, an ace? Keep avoiding the question. Good stuff 👍

I know that if I were to come up with a definition to appease you it wouldn’t include an average career walk rate, a career ERA/FIP above 4, and an average career start of less than 6 IP! 👍🏼 It would also need to be sustained for longer than one season, especially when you have 5 seasons as a counterexample to the subjective definition of an “ace”. 😑

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22 minutes ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

Mentally, I think there are 15-ish “aces” and maybe 20-25 “#1 pitchers”. Berrios doesn’t make the first group but probably makes the second.

But frankly, I find the “ace” conversation boring. Everyone has their own definition and none of them are really wrong. 

Well he’s 18th in fWAR this year so he makes your 2nd group. We can leave out the probably. Berrios evidently is criminally underrated around here. 

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Just now, Matthew Lenz said:

I know that if I were to come up with a definition to appease you it wouldn’t include an average career walk rate, a career ERA/FIP above 4, and an average career start of less than 6 IP! 👍🏼 It would also need to be sustained for longer than one season, especially when you have 5 seasons as a counterexample to the subjective definition of an “ace”.

So many words. Zero definition. A salsa dancer, you are. 

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7 minutes ago, Vanimal46 said:

Well he’s 18th in fWAR this year so he makes your 2nd group. We can leave out the probably. Berrios evidently is criminally underrated around here. 

I'm actually quite high on Berrios. I don't view fWAR as a particularly good metric for this conversation, as Berrios is eminently healthy and WAR is something of a counting stat. Don't get me wrong, I love fWAR for a variety of things, but it doesn't really factor into my evaluation of an "ace".

But Berrios typically lands in the 120-130 range of ERA+ (career high of 133 this season). While 133 starts to enter my own personal territory of "ace", in my eyes a real ace does that year-over-year. Maybe Berrios ends up there someday and that'd be great. But the way I view him is a #1 pitcher on a mediocre team but preferably a #2 pitcher on a legitimately good postseason team.

Again, this is a conversation about aces so YMMV.

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