Jump to content
Twins Daily
  • Create Account

How Will the Twins use Dylan Bundy?


The Twins signed Dylan Bundy hours before the owners forced a lockout. How might the Twins tweak his approach to maximize his ceiling for the 2022 team?

The Twins signed Dylan Bundy to a 1-year, $5 million deal on Wednesday night, with a $1 million buyout on an $11 million club option for 2023. The move came just hours before the MLB owners unanimously enforced a lockout of the players. The signing of Bundy shouldn’t alter the fact that the Twins front office receives a ‘doing the bare minimum’ grade in improving the starting rotation thus far in free agency. Frustratingly, we’ll have to wait to see how the story plays out. In Bundy, however, the Twins have signed a solid upside arm they hope will have a Robbie Ray type impact season in 2023. 

What range of outcomes does Bundy offer? How might the Twins tweak his approach to maximize a high upside play? Let’s dig into the numbers.

Conveniently, Bundy has shown his entire range of outcomes in his past two seasons with the Angels. Last season, he was rancid. In 90 2/3 innings he managed a 6.06 ERA (4.83 xERA), a 21.2% K%, and 0.0 fWAR. Woof. Conversely, in the shortened 2020 season over 65 2/3 innings, he managed a 3.29 ERA (3.02 xERA), 27% strikeout%, and 2.0 fWAR, that’s a 6.0 fWAR pace over a full season, phew! 

To put that all visually, here is 2020 and 2021 next to each other.

In incredibly simple terms, a Bundy season splitting the difference of those two outcomes would generate approximately a 2.5 fWAR season which is nothing to be sneezed at and a solid start to what needs to be an extensive overhaul of a non-existent rotation for the Twins before the 2022 season kicks off. So what attracted the Twins to Bundy, and how might they try and tweak his approach next season?

Here’s what attracted the Twins to Dylan Bundy.

Bundy has a nasty slider. In 2020, he threw it 25% of the time. In 2021, he threw it just 21%. Expect that figure to skyrocket in 2022. It’s by far his best pitch and was worth over four runs in 2021. The Twins will have him throw it 30% of the time or more.

It’s notable that Bundy’s slider location was one of the primary reasons he struggled in 2021. In 2020, the heat map has it right in the corner of the strike zone, as opposed to far more centrally located in 2021. Regaining command of that pitch will be critical to his success in 2022.

Another reason the Twins were likely attracted to Bundy is his fastball. Long gone are the days when Bundy was a top prospect throwing his fastball in the high-90s. It does, however, have an extremely high spin rate, the Twins’ most obvious fastball-related tendency. Bundy’s formula with the Twins will be fastballs high in the zone a la Jake Odorizzi and a high volume of sliders down and away to right-handed hitters.

In my opinion, there’s not much to dislike about the Bundy move. He’s a high upside play who can easily be a solid number three starting pitcher on a great contract. The nagging question which will gnaw at Twins fans throughout the lockout and make it difficult to focus on the positives of the Bundy signing in isolation, was tweeted by John Bonnes yesterday. ‘Do the Twins front office love good contracts more than good players?’ We'll have to wait and see.

 


View full article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

This does nothing for me - we have minor leaguers who can be tweaked - how about signing a pitcher who does not have to be tweaked.  Are we a repair shop or a major league team looking to win?  I am watching pitchers sign all over both leagues while we desperately need, but do not act.  We continue to be bottom feeders when we need to be at the top - Faria, Bundy and who ever we grabbed when we dropped Cave are not inspiring signings.  

Yes I want the minor leaguers to prove themselves, but no Berrios - no Maeda and no signing that moves the bar.  Buxton is great, but he does not pitch.  We might as well bring back Astudillo and put him in the rotation - I am sure there are a lot of tweaks to do there. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here again I'll state that if we're looking at a full season, we need to throw out the shortened 2020 season. But my guess is that they know Bundy can't pitch a full season, he's not a work horse. So going along with Nick Nelson's earlier article that this FO is not looking for work horses that will get you at least 5 innings/ games through out the season. They are looking at a bunch of openers and long relievers that'll give you 3 innings/ game. Trying to extend Bundy to pitch 5+ innings/ game would have a 2021 result but under the opener/ long relief scenario IMO FO believes they could expect the 2020 Bundy.

They'll need a lot of pitchers to fill out this scheme so I suppose they're looking at a few AAAA pitchers that can rotate from St. Paul to the club. I'm not against this idea because you need to keep the pressure off the starters & short relief. Over relying on short relief we normally see a break down some time in the season which puts extra pressure on the starters to pitch longer than they should. Hopefully if this is their idea it'd help us get through the season and into the Post Season rested. So we can better compete there. 

Still I'd like to have 1 or 2 pitchers that could go at least 5 ininnings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

His splits first time through the order last year weren't all that bad (if the ball stayed in the park) and then he was terrible after. I'm guessing they're going to do a John Gant type thing with him where you'd be surprised to see him come out for the 5th inning. It's basically Alex Colome money so maybe he'll even be moved to the pen for multi-inning jobs. 

image.png.4002b2e58cb6246a5c5c4a3ab7893e0f.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good data analysis, Jamie.  But, I agree with Mikelink that we should be fishing in the deep end of the pool, especially when we have 40 million available.  If you added Bundy after Ray or Stroman, it is a good flyer, but with only one top starter left--Rodon who has huge injury issues--it appears if the Twins are going to add a premium starter or two, it will be through trades.  It makes no sense to trade assets for one or two years of a pitcher when you can get at least one premium starter via the open market for a longer term.  Buy one on the open market, and then add one via a trade and then add a Bundy type.  I do suspect that the A's and the Reds didn't want to trade anyone until the top end of the market was gobbled up by free agency which would make the bidding for their pitchers a little more intense for those teams, like the Twins, who didn't sign a big name.  I also thought perhaps the Twins were planning to use Bundy as a three inning pitcher in their new scheme to have several bullpen games each week, but when I looked up his data per inning, I found that he was no more effective in the first inning than the 2nd through 4th, meaning unlike Jax he gets hit pretty consistently through the first 3 innings.  Finally, I think pitch usage could be a way to improve, but improving location is difficult or else there would be a lot fewer pitchers with great stuff still in the minors.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought the article might suggest he was secretly signed for the pen, which he might thrive in with that slider. 

Probably not. Very good analysis and some optimism for a comeback. Seven decent starts in 2020 doesn't a good pitcher make, but I guess baseball has seen stranger pitcher turn-arounds.

Bonnes' last bullet point is the biggest problem with the club currently. I'm not sure that can be fixed; overcoming the fear of making a bad decision doesn't seem like a trait some people can get over.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think maybe the FO is hesitant to trade prospects for one or two year contracts of proven pitchers due to past losses, for example Ryan Pressley.  It seemed to be a pretty good trade at the time, but after the trade, Pressley really took off.  And the FO was widely criticized.  So, how do you know?  I do believe that we have a plethora of good prospects that we could afford to deal a few and actually need to.  Especially since we were not able to sign any top free agents.  But hey, I guess there may be a reason they don't pay me to make decisions. (They probably should though.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Doctor Gast said:

Here again I'll state that if we're looking at a full season, we need to throw out the shortened 2020 season. But my guess is that they know Bundy can't pitch a full season, he's not a work horse. So going along with Nick Nelson's earlier article that this FO is not looking for work horses that will get you at least 5 innings/ games through out the season. They are looking at a bunch of openers and long relievers that'll give you 3 innings/ game. Trying to extend Bundy to pitch 5+ innings/ game would have a 2021 result but under the opener/ long relief scenario IMO FO believes they could expect the 2020 Bundy.

They'll need a lot of pitchers to fill out this scheme so I suppose they're looking at a few AAAA pitchers that can rotate from St. Paul to the club. I'm not against this idea because you need to keep the pressure off the starters & short relief. Over relying on short relief we normally see a break down some time in the season which puts extra pressure on the starters to pitch longer than they should. Hopefully if this is their idea it'd help us get through the season and into the Post Season rested. So we can better compete there. 

Still I'd like to have 1 or 2 pitchers that could go at least 5 ininnings.

Agreed. There is going to be an insane amount of shuttling back and forth from St. Paul, while they give prospects a long look (and build them up after a lost 2020 and injury-shortened 2021).

I hope there will be another signing or two, but the disinterest in mid- high-tier starters shows that they have no intention of fielding a typical staff, with a goal of 5 to 6 innings from starters. The signing of Tingler as bench coach reinforces that. He lost his team, but has experience cycling through pitchers (https://www.baseball-almanac.com/teamstats/pitching.php?y=2021&t=SDN). 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could be great move.  And it could be a bust, but if so it isn't that much money.

Don't have a clue what Bundy's role will be come opening day, whenever that will be.  Have a feeling, however, that the FO will be looking at their pitching needs much different than most of us would like.  Wouldn't be surprised if they see three spots filled by the foursome with some experience, Dobnak, Ober, Ryan and Jax.  If three of that four don't get it done, they can look to whomever is ready from Strotman, Winder, Duran, etc., with Maeda ready come August. 

Whenever this stoppage ends, have a feeling there isn't going to be as much done on the starting pitching front as most of us/you want.  Maybe one more from either the FA market or a trade.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The 11 million option tells us he is going to start.  I see him being in the Katz mode of pitchers.  30 starts and 150 innings.  If he can keep the era around 4 he will be valuable in that role and the 11 million option is picked up..  

There are still lots of solid starters to sign or trade for.  I wonder if we might be able to make a bid for Story or Correa if they linger on the market. That would be the benefit of signing inexpensive starters.  If we get Pineda back reasonably then trade for a starter making 10 million that leaves us with 25 million or so for a SS and reliever.  

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bundy was signed as a starter, I don't doubt that at all.

Year(s) Started Quality Bad Start Blowout Vel
2016* 13 3 5 5 94.5
2017 28 19 8 6 92.2
2018 31 15 12 11 91.7
2019 30 10 10 6 91.2
2020 11 6 2 2 90.1
2021 19 6 10 7 90.8
  • *2016 I used all his starts with 87 or more pitches when it looked like his performance, rather than pitch counts were limiting him to under 6.0 IP.
  • Bad Start = game started, left with ERA over 6.00.
  • Blowout = game started, left with ERA over 8.00.

Bundy has largely been a sink or swim kind of starter in his career. Never consistently reliable and pretty prone to giving up home runs. Bundy has plenty of starts that last 0-3 innings before he gets chased. 

Above, @Harrison Greeley III used the first/second/third time through the order for 2021, but it's a super small sample size. Using Bundy's career numbers you get FIPs of All = 4.69, First = 4.63, Second = 4.64, Third 4.84. 

Bundy is a fine #5 starter, but the Twins don't need a #5.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Blyleven2011 said:

What a crock , 5 million for a bust when they could have retained John Gant for less  ,,,

Im sorry  , but i see No upside for bundy  as it doesn't move the needle towards contention ,

Once the lockout ends the FO can still sign Gant. They’ll need lots of multi inning long relievers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/3/2021 at 8:28 AM, Doctor Gast said:

Here again I'll state that if we're looking at a full season, we need to throw out the shortened 2020 season. But my guess is that they know Bundy can't pitch a full season, he's not a work horse. So going along with Nick Nelson's earlier article that this FO is not looking for work horses that will get you at least 5 innings/ games through out the season. They are looking at a bunch of openers and long relievers that'll give you 3 innings/ game. Trying to extend Bundy to pitch 5+ innings/ game would have a 2021 result but under the opener/ long relief scenario IMO FO believes they could expect the 2020 Bundy.

They'll need a lot of pitchers to fill out this scheme so I suppose they're looking at a few AAAA pitchers that can rotate from St. Paul to the club. I'm not against this idea because you need to keep the pressure off the starters & short relief. Over relying on short relief we normally see a break down some time in the season which puts extra pressure on the starters to pitch longer than they should. Hopefully if this is their idea it'd help us get through the season and into the Post Season rested. So we can better compete there. 

Still I'd like to have 1 or 2 pitchers that could go at least 5 ininnings.

Workhorse defined as 5 innings a game? I realize it is a different era, but 5 innings! I would look for at least 7 to be a workhorse. My two pennies. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just a friendly reminder...

2021 high end pitcher signings;

  • Bauer: 1.8 WAR @ $34 million
  • Morton: 4.6 WAR @ $15 million

Everyone else signed high-end accepted qualifying offers.  Thank goodness the Twins avoided that.

2021 Mid-tier Signings

  • Smyly: .4 WAR @ $11 million
  • Kluber: 1.5 WAR @ $11 million
  • Richards: 1 WAR @ $10 million
  • Minor: 2.3 WAR @ $9 Million
  • Paxton: 0 WAR @ $8.5 million
  • Odorizzi: 1.1 WAR @ $8.5 million
  • Wainwright: 3.8 WAR @ $8 million
  • Happ: .5 WAR @ $8 million
  • Quintana: .3 WAR @ $8 million
  • Ray: 3.9 WAR @ $8 million
  • Walker: 1.4 WAR @ $7.64 million

2021 Low End Starters

21 Starters signed between $2 million - $7 million (Shomaker was signed at $2)

Notabler signings

  • DeSclafani 3.2 WAR
  • Wood 2.5 WAR
  • Rodon 4.9 WAR
  • Wacha 1.1 WAR
  • Tyler Anderson 2.5 WAR
  • Hill 1.7 WAR
  • Williams 1.2 WAR
  • Flexen 3.0 WAR

The point I'm trying to make

  • Everyone keeps saying, "Sign big name pitchers because the Twins need a #1 or #2 starter" and every year, a large percentage of high end pitchers don't live up to their expectations/get hurt/get into trouble. The payoff doesn't make sense for a team like the Twins. Mid tier teams find their #1 and #2's by trading or growing them.
  • Of the top 30 SP in 2021, only 5 of them were signed as a FA. The chance of signing a game changing SP is pretty low.
  • Of those 5 that ended up in the top 30, 2 of them were signed in the low tier. Flexen, Desclafani, and 2 were the mid tier, Ray and Wainwright. The Twins did the right thing in gambling on players from each tier, they just gambled wrong.
  • I find the article interesting. It seems like a decent gamble going for Bundy looking at the stats and won't break the bank. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

The Twins Daily Caretaker Fund
The Twins Daily Caretaker Fund

You all care about this site. The next step is caring for it. We’re asking you to caretake this site so it can remain the premiere Twins community on the internet.

×
×
  • Create New...