Jump to content
Twins Daily
  • Create Account

Twins Giving Pagan a Leash to Hang Their Season


Twins Daily Contributor

The Minnesota Twins traded for Emilio Pagan right before Opening Day of the 2022 Major League Baseball season. Taylor Rogers was sent to the Padres, and while he has now been flipped to the Milwaukee Brewers, Pagan continues to get opportunities without merit.

 

Emilio Pagan was very good for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2019. He hasn’t been since. In two seasons with the Padres, Pagan posted a 4.75 ERA alongside a 5.09 FIP. He was striking out more than a batter per inning, but he was allowing more homers than a batting practice soft-tosser. Unfortunately, nothing has changed with the Minnesota Twins.

After another blown save, and loss, against the Los Angeles Angels over the weekend, Pagan owns a career worst 5.10 ERA. It’s backed by a 4.63 FIP and while he’s got a solid 12.8 K/9, he is again allowing 2.1 HR/9 and is issuing a career worst 3.8 BB/9. In short, every time he comes out, disaster looms.

Rocco Baldelli has looked to pick his spots with Pagan. While he was originally penciled in as the Twins closer, Pagan quickly worked himself down the pecking order in one of baseball’s worst bullpens. With an overhaul needed at the trade deadline, both Jorge Lopez and Michael Fulmer were brought into the fold. Pagan has since been relegated to low-leverage spots, while occasionally finding himself with an opportunity to ruin a game.

On the season he is responsible for six losses and seven blown saves. Having contributed just nine saves on the season, he’s ultimately contributed far more negative value than anything else. He has been worth -0.3 fWAR, and his -0.94 win probability added (WPA) is nearly a career low. For a Twins team that’s threading the needle in an American League Central division begging for a winner, one pitcher being this bad ultimately has held them back.

Part of the allure in acquiring Pagan was that he presented Minnesota with future opportunity. He’s under team control for another year, and is just 31-years-old. It’s worth questioning if he should be here now though, rather than even considering a arbitration-induced contract for 2023.

Ultimately the Twins continue to give Pagan chances because he has stuff that should play. His 95.6 mph fastball has never been more powerful, and his 14.5% whiff rate is near a career high. He also induces chases at over 34% this season, a career high. That combination should result in something far more positive than it has. The issue is that Pagan has not been able to show ability despite the stuff.

Both Pagan’s xFIP and xERA are far better than the results have bore out thus far, but the caveat to expected stats is that they don’t matter until they’re actualized. Pagan has cost the Twins more than a handful of games at this point, and it’s hard to attribute any where he has actually been the reason they won. This organization can continue to keep hoping what may play out will happen, or they can cut the losses and try to salvage things where they stand now.

Maybe the next organization claiming Pagan figures out the trick that San Diego and Minnesota missed on, or maybe Pagan just will never be anything close to what his abilities suggest are possible. Either way, the longer the Twins wait to find out, the more dire their season gets.

 


View full article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

Both sides lost this trade, but at least San Diego got a good early season from Rogers.  The FO here thinks they can "fix" and improve guys when others cannot.  Sometimes they have, but sometimes they haven't, and this is a case of haven't.  The real frustration I have is that, whether it be hubris or stubbonness, it takes them so long to realize it isn't working and move on.  What is the definition of insanity?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Moran to Minneapolis & DFA Pagan this afternoon!!

Not his fault Saturday, terrible offense for 9 innings with 14 LOB in scoring position for the game. Start the 10th & 11th with a guy at 2nd & don’t score either inning. Pathetic! Sending Pagan out after this happened TWICE was like surrendering a loss to Angels.

Not to mention our two bullpen stars gave up 1 & 2 runs respectively in the 8th & 9th. Sad to watch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Losses and blown saves with majority of them vs Cleveland.  Can always play the what if game and without those we would have at least 4,5,6 game lead at moment.  Now the what if is any situation he comes in is high leverage because we have no idea which "if" version toes the rubber.  Should be DFA'd no questions asked

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"...the caveat to expected stats is that they don’t matter until they’re actualized."

No truer words!

Of the several mysteries surrounding this season's roster management, the stranger things-like dedication to maintaining Pagan remains the most mysterious by far. Someday this story will deserve a place in Ripley's Believe it or Not. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Verified Member

Pagan should be released but I’m guessing the FO won’t do it because it would mean they screwed up with the disastrous  Rogers trade that brought us a Tommy John starter and the gasoline armed Pagan. Having Rogers instead of Pagan this season would have the Twin in first. Throw in Rocco’s inability to handle a pitching staff and it’s no wonder the team is fading fast. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Baldelli needs to put down the spreadsheets and open his eyes. Whatever the statistics say, Pagan doesn't pass the sniff test in any shape or form. Bringing him into a game substantially reduces our chances of winning said game. Hopefully some sanity will prevail, because I wouldn't choose Emilio Pagan as the hill to die on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a very clear reason why Pagan is still on the team and this time it has nothing to do with Baldelli (More on Baldelli in a moment).  Pagan is still on the team because of the stubbornness (is that actually 3 b's, 3 n's, AND 3 S's, LOL).  They traded away an all-star closer and team favorite within 24 hours of opening day for two controllable players.  The one blew up in their face immediately and the other has had a sizzling fuse all season.  It's their desire to prove they got something in return even though it's been nothing but a big pile of pooh to this point.  Enough with the hubris and be done, DFA Pagan and move on.  

Baldelli, where does he come into play in this.  Well, simply, he has absolutely no acumen for situational baseball and his management of the pitching side of things is horrendous.  The Twins no longer have the Bomba Squad, that was a rarity, and need to do the little things (situational) well.  Unfortunately, they almost never do the little things well.  I'd take that Manager in Cleveland any day of the week over our current version.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pagan has been unfortunate, nearly a curse, a guy who impresses with his stuff, manages a few scintillating appearances but leaves the ball dead middle again and again with predictable results. The challenge of pitching is to command the zone with all of your pitches and control where the ball goes when it leaves the hand making it difficult for the batter to square up successfully. Pagan simply cannot do this difficult task.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, tony&rodney said:

Pagan has been unfortunate, nearly a curse, a guy who impresses with his stuff, manages a few scintillating appearances but leaves the ball dead middle again and again with predictable results. The challenge of pitching is to command the zone with all of your pitches and control where the ball goes when it leaves the hand making it difficult for the batter to square up successfully. Pagan simply cannot do this difficult task.

My son and I were having this near identical conversation last night. 

I truly feel bad for Pagan and what he is probably going through internally right now.  That being said, the team (and Pagan) would most likely all benefit from a reset at AAA.  His stuff is electric, but... he has been so inconsistent with hitting his spots that it doesn't matter how good it is.

God willing he finds himself again, but for the teams sake, it should probably be in AAA sooner rather than later.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Otaknam said:

Pagan should be released but I’m guessing the FO won’t do it because it would mean they screwed up with the disastrous  Rogers trade that brought us a Tommy John starter and the gasoline armed Pagan. Having Rogers instead of Pagan this season would have the Twin in first. Throw in Rocco’s inability to handle a pitching staff and it’s no wonder the team is fading fast. 

To be fair, Rogers has been almost as bad this year. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Murph said:

Everything in this comment is true.  Baldelli is 100% an analytics guy, He was trained in Tampa, and that's how he manages. It's all he knows. It's why he needs to be released. He doesn't manage to "win." 

Firing Rocco wouldn't lead to this FO bringing in a non-analytics guy. They hired Rocco because he's an analytics guy. It's what they believe in.

Tampa wins every year. Dave Roberts is an analytics guy and LA wins more than any team. AJ Hinch is an analytics guy and did alright in Houston. Not sure why being an analytics guy means they aren't managing to "win" when the teams that win the most in baseball are lead by "analytics guys." The difference between managers these days is mostly what analytics they use and the talent they have at their disposal. Chicago has what many would consider a non-analytics, old school guy in La Russa running a team many say is far more talented than this Twins team yet the Twins are percentage points ahead of Chicago in the standings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, MN_ExPat said:

My son and I were having this near identical conversation last night. 

I truly feel bad for Pagan and what he is probably going through internally right now.  That being said, the team (and Pagan) would most likely all benefit from a reset at AAA.  His stuff is electric, but... he has been so inconsistent with hitting his spots that it doesn't matter how good it is.

God willing he finds himself again, but for the teams sake, it should probably be in AAA sooner rather than later.

Great you could have this conversation w/ your son, ExPat. This Rogers/ Pagan & Paddack trade was terrible, that this FO should've known better, But they thought  the roll of the dice would fall their way & it didn't. SD was peddling Pagan & Paddack hard w/ no takers. Paddack & Pagan were bad before they came over and they became worse with us. SD had the best of the deal because Rogers was good and he was good w/ them but they didn't know how to manage him.

I don't blame Baldelli because IMO his marching orders were much like Colume'. Try to put him in a place where he looks good (therefore they'd look good w/ the trade) & shine but it back fired. If they can send him down to AAA, great do that, But can they?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Verified Member

I watch Pagan and think, damn, this guy is really good.  Until he isn't.  Seems he often does great until a guy gets on base and the next puts one into the seats. 

Not going to get into even thinking about the comments above related to Rocco's management of the pitching staff as I would like to enjoy my day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would have let Pagan go some time ago, but certainly after the deadline when the re-shuffle took place. His stuff looks great but he's a tease. Every other time out he pitches a good, solid middle inning. Next time out, or a second inning, and you all but guarantee at least 1 run. 

There is nothing close to consistent with him but failing to get the job done on a consistent basis. I don't want to sound mean, but it's the truth. The Twins need 3 guys they can depend on to handle the middle innings. Pagan is not one of them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

26 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

Firing Rocco wouldn't lead to this FO bringing in a non-analytics guy. They hired Rocco because he's an analytics guy. It's what they believe in.

Tampa wins every year. Dave Roberts is an analytics guy and LA wins more than any team. AJ Hinch is an analytics guy and did alright in Houston. Not sure why being an analytics guy means they aren't managing to "win" when the teams that win the most in baseball are lead by "analytics guys." The difference between managers these days is mostly what analytics they use and the talent they have at their disposal. Chicago has what many would consider a non-analytics, old school guy in La Russa running a team many say is far more talented than this Twins team yet the Twins are percentage points ahead of Chicago in the standings.

IMO to be a good manager you need to give heavy consideration to analytics, but you also have to have a "feel" for the game. As an earlier post said "this isn't the Bomba Squad" which made Rocco look good. Now this team needs to have a bit of "old school" managing. How often do the Twins hit and run, or hit behind runners, or sac bunt? Not to mention stealing bases. I'll leave the handling of the pitchers for another time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In terms of analytics.  I don't think it's whether or not a manager uses analytics.  They all use analytics to a certain extent.  Heck, HR's, BA, and RBI's are old-school analytics.  It's just that we've now enhanced those stats with newer, more meaningful stats.  It's ultimately the choices the Manager makes in game on when and HOW to use the analytics/stats at your disposal.  I would suggest we have several years worth of data that suggest that our current Manager has very little "feel" for how to manage a game based on the analytics available vs. situational baseball.

An  example: pure analytics, based on years of baseball stats, tell you not to give up the out with no outs when a runner is at 2B to sacrifice the runner to 3B.  Of course, this data does not take into account that it's extra innings and score or die.  It doesn't take into account the increased pressure put on the defense if you're batting in the top of the inning and they have to defend against a bunt.  A bunt may well result in man at 3B, man at 1B and still no outs.  It doesn't account for the pressure put on the offense of the home team in the bottom half to score if the visiting team DOES ultimately score that run on a sac fly in the top half.  Generally, Rocco has been horrible in extra inning situations ever since this runner on second business came into existence.  Just one example.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Karbo said:

IMO to be a good manager you need to give heavy consideration to analytics, but you also have to have a "feel" for the game. As an earlier post said "this isn't the Bomba Squad" which made Rocco look good. Now this team needs to have a bit of "old school" managing. How often do the Twins hit and run, or hit behind runners, or sac bunt? Not to mention stealing bases. I'll leave the handling of the pitchers for another time.

That's why part of the difference between managers is the talent they have at their disposal. There's no manager in the history of baseball that carried an untalented team to great success. They just don't have that kind of influence on wins and losses. Especially wins. But that 2019 team also had the 9th best ERA in all of baseball while their relievers pitched the 20th fewest innings, and the the starters threw the 6th most. People tend to act like Rocco/the FO has some hard and fast rule about starters going deep in games. The 2019 team had better starters, and hadn't had a pandemic shortened season, so they were allowed to go deeper. People tend to act like the HR record covered for Rocco despite that being a quite complete team until Pineda cheated and injuries hit late so they went into the playoffs with far less then their A team out there.

I'm not a huge Rocco fan. I don't think he's great and I wouldn't be broken up about it if he was fired (other than it's never a happy thing to me when someone loses their job). Sac bunts are very rarely the smart play and it's why the league as a whole doesn't use them very often anymore. The math says it only makes sense in certain situations. I'd like to see Rocco put some hit and runs on with certain guys at the plate, but they also have a lot of dudes who swing and miss A TON and you're just giving away outs when they swing through it and the guy is toast at 2nd. Who on this team should be stealing a ton of bases outside of Buxton who has been battling a bad knee all year? They're not exactly full of speedsters. That's not on Rocco. He can't make the roster he's given faster.

At some point it just becomes a no win situation for a manager, though. Rocco can't just never pitch Pagan. You can't afford to just completely waste a spot on your roster like that. Like I said, I don't love Rocco, and don't think he's done a great job, but he's also only able to use the guys he's given. If he's part of the decision making to keep Pagan on the roster because he wants to use him that's 1 thing, but if he's just using what he's given I can't blame him too much for using all 26 guys on the roster.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Colome, Pagan and soon Lopez. Sooner or later, we need to realize that the common denominator is probably the MN Twins. I don't know what the issue is, but when a Twins pitcher gets the "yips," they never recover here. Coaching HAS to be a part of this.

It's Pagan, yes, but it's bigger than Pagan. This team just cannot hold the line or rise to a challenge, either in late innings or against top teams. I thought that was starting to change in Spring, but I was very wrong. Same garbage, different year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

50 minutes ago, Karbo said:

IMO to be a good manager you need to give heavy consideration to analytics, but you also have to have a "feel" for the game. As an earlier post said "this isn't the Bomba Squad" which made Rocco look good. Now this team needs to have a bit of "old school" managing. How often do the Twins hit and run, or hit behind runners, or sac bunt? Not to mention stealing bases. I'll leave the handling of the pitchers for another time.

David Ortiz would like a word with you about hitting behind the runner....

And, sacrifice bunts are a terrible idea before the 8th inning. Terrible. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, umterp23 said:

Losses and blown saves with majority of them vs Cleveland.  Can always play the what if game and without those we would have at least 4,5,6 game lead at moment.  Now the what if is any situation he comes in is high leverage because we have no idea which "if" version toes the rubber.  Should be DFA'd no questions asked

Agreed. Keeping Pagan and letting him re-sink the season over and over and over again shows that the team just isn't committed to winning - not even in the "Carlos Correa" year. The Twins lack the spine needed to hold a division.

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...