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Minnesota's Pitching Pipeline Plan Failed in 2022


6 hours ago, Riverbrian said:

The Twins have allowed 42 runs more than the Guardians over 150 games. 

Yet the Guardians are the praised and we have click bait about the failure of the pipeline. I repeat...  That's a 42 run differential over 150 games. 

The worst performance on our staff came from Vets. Yet it's the pipeline that has failed? 

 

 

If you look at the top 20 prospects list above you will see that only Balazovich and Canterino were the only 2 to have down years.  Canterino to predictable injury.  Cole Sands is on the cusp.  and the other 17 prospects all succeeded or were traded for something more valuable.  I was thinking of writing a blog post about this but i am too busy if someone wants to grade out the prospects from our top 20 prospect list from the beginning of this season.  

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36 minutes ago, Brandon said:

If you look at the top 20 prospects list above you will see that only Balazovich and Canterino were the only 2 to have down years.  Canterino to predictable injury.  Cole Sands is on the cusp.  and the other 17 prospects all succeeded or were traded for something more valuable.  I was thinking of writing a blog post about this but i am too busy if someone wants to grade out the prospects from our top 20 prospect list from the beginning of this season.  

On the cusp of what? If you're trading prospect arms, because you're unable to graduate others is that really a success? 

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3 hours ago, Riverbrian said:

My point of contention is with the use of the word failure. If injuries are the benchmark... well yeah... the pipeline has some issues. That's a whole different discussion. If they are watching pitch counts to stay healthy... it isn't working. 

However... again my point of contention is with the use of the word failure. I'll contend that Winder and Ober who provided 18 starts combined for us were better than Bundy and Archer. If the pipeline wasn't there... Chi Chi Gonzalez makes more starts for us. Without the pipeline things would have been a lot worse. It was not a failure... it kept us alive. 

Cleveland is being used as the gold standard. They have done well... I'm not knocking them but overall we are still talking about a 42 run differential over 150 games being the difference between Great and Failure. Those are thin margins for such a vast distinction.  

42 runs allowed over 150 games?  That's probably the equivalent of 10 more wins.  So, now the record is 83-67 instead of 73-77.  That is a HUGE difference.

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1 hour ago, Riverbrian said:

My personal opinion: The front office was never banking on Winder to wrestle innings away from Bundy and Archer. My guess was the front office was banking on the pipeline to be that quality depth that is necessary every year and it was necessary. Remember we started the year with a 6 man rotation, trading for 2 and signing 2 vets just to keep Winder as depth that would be needed later and I felt this was the first year in many years that we had actual starting pitching depth and we needed it.  

If you want to target anything in the rotation as an issue... Bundy and Archer were the 2 worst starters on the team and they led the team in starts. That is where I would begin. The pipeline kept us a float before the offense tanked in the stretch run. 

 

Bundy and Archer led us in starts, but the "pipeline" kept us afloat?

 

Huh??

 

We traded for a starter and 2 relievers at the deadline because the pipeline worked?

 

Huh??

 

 

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1 hour ago, KirbyDome89 said:

I guess I don't see the distinction between "depth," and "banking on X pitcher to wrestle away innings." We know, whether it's injury or ineffectiveness, nobody makes it through a season with 5-6 starters. In the case of Bundy and Archer it was the latter, yet they were/are rotation stalwarts because there wasn't a single pipeline arm that could usurp them. To me, that's where introducing the term failure becomes appropriate. 

I don't believe that Winder or others from the pipeline would have taken innings from Bundy or Archer if all were healthy to make the choice a consideration. Unless Winder was absolutely lights out amazing or Bundy/Archer were (opposite of lights out) terrible. That would be the distinction.

Winder had options and can be saved for a rainy day. So, if things ever got crowded... Winder would yield even if performing better. As long as Bundy and Archer were healthy... they were on the rubber every fifth day.

There is no doubt in my mind that the pipeline would need to be utilized at some point in the season and when they were... they were more effective than Bundy and Archer... but alas... not as healthy. 

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37 minutes ago, SanoMustGo said:

42 runs allowed over 150 games?  That's probably the equivalent of 10 more wins.  So, now the record is 83-67 instead of 73-77.  That is a HUGE difference.

I'll have to trust your math on that. 😀

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21 minutes ago, USAFChief said:

Bundy and Archer led us in starts, but the "pipeline" kept us afloat?

 

Huh??

 

We traded for a starter and 2 relievers at the deadline because the pipeline worked?

 

Huh??

 

 

Bundy and Archer led us in starts, but the "pipeline" kept us afloat?

 

Huh??

Yes... that sentence ties together nicely. 

30 starts were made by the combination of Smeltzer, Ober and Winder. ERA's of 3.71, 3.71 and 4.20 respectively. Those numbers are not fall of the cliff stats that says Failure. All three of those pitchers out performed Bundy and Archer yet when you do the autopsy... Our worst performing starters made the most starts. If I'm going to point a finger... that's where I am pointing.   

We traded for a starter and 2 relievers at the deadline because the pipeline worked?

 

Huh??

I'm not sure what you are throwing back at me here. Are you trying to say that if the pipeline worked there would be no need to acquire pitching at the deadline? 

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1 hour ago, KirbyDome89 said:

On the cusp of what? If you're trading prospect arms, because you're unable to graduate others is that really a success? 

The Twins graduated a lot of first year pitches this season and most of them were more successful at run prevention then you would reasonably expect a first year player to be.  That is success in my book. Some prospects take several years in the majors before they succeed.  If you are able to trade a prospect because another team values them for an asset you value that is a success as well.  

We do need better run prevention.  We are what 10th in the league in ERA.  no argument there.  but the prospects in the minors overall are not failing.  Do we have the ace we need ? no!  but we do have lots of depth.   I suspect several of these pitchers will take more steps forward next year. Our starting rotation is shaping up nicely for next season.  

Gray

Ryan

Mahle

Winder

Ober

Maeda

Paddack

Varland

Woods-Richardson

possibly Bundy 

If we can sign Rodon if we loose Correa we will have a really good staff with lots of depth for next season.  We also wouldn't have Bundy back in that instance.  

We should have enough talent to have a top 5-7 staff next season.  That should be good enough if our offense performs.  

Bullpen we have

Duran

Lopez

Thielbar

Jax

Moran

Possibly Megill and Stashak

Pagan (just kidding) 

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50 minutes ago, Riverbrian said:

I don't believe that Winder or others from the pipeline would have taken innings from Bundy or Archer if all were healthy to make the choice a consideration. Unless Winder was absolutely lights out amazing or Bundy/Archer were (opposite of lights out) terrible. That would be the distinction.

Winder had options and can be saved for a rainy day. So, if things ever got crowded... Winder would yield even if performing better. As long as Bundy and Archer were healthy... they were on the rubber every fifth day.

There is no doubt in my mind that the pipeline would need to be utilized at some point in the season and when they were... they were more effective than Bundy and Archer... but alas... not as healthy. 

I get what you're saying, and I concur, this season isn't just on the pipeline. Pagan and other bullpen cast offs, Bundy, Archer, Sanchez, ect all did their damage.

We disagree on the "when they were," aspect of the utilization. If you have guys that are "more than effective," you're not trotting Archer out to melt down in 3-4 innings and burn out an already overmatched pen, you're not sticking with Bundy and his 5+ ERA at the end of July, and you're not trading for a SP in an attempt to stabilize a rotation that's in a tailspin. All of these things don't happen if the pipeline can be utilized as effectively as you've made it seem. One of them? Sure, maybe even two if we want to say Mahle was front end insurance, but in my mind it makes no sense to bemoan back end performance when there wasn't a single pipeline arm that could successfully fill either spot. 

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36 minutes ago, Brandon said:

The Twins graduated a lot of first year pitches this season and most of them were more successful at run prevention then you would reasonably expect a first year player to be.  That is success in my book. Some prospects take several years in the majors before they succeed.  If you are able to trade a prospect because another team values them for an asset you value that is a success as well.  

We do need better run prevention.  We are what 10th in the league in ERA.  no argument there.  but the prospects in the minors overall are not failing.  Do we have the ace we need ? no!  but we do have lots of depth.   I suspect several of these pitchers will take more steps forward next year. Our starting rotation is shaping up nicely for next season.  

Gray

Ryan

Mahle

Winder

Ober

Maeda

Paddack

Varland

Woods-Richardson

possibly Bundy 

If we can sign Rodon if we loose Correa we will have a really good staff with lots of depth for next season.  We also wouldn't have Bundy back in that instance.  

We should have enough talent to have a top 5-7 staff next season.  That should be good enough if our offense performs.  

Bullpen we have

Duran

Lopez

Thielbar

Jax

Moran

Possibly Megill and Stashak

Pagan (just kidding) 

I'll take that top 5-7 staff bet right now :) 

I think trading arms because you can't get your AA or AAA arms to stick in the majors is scary, not successful. That rotation is the same one that torpedoed this year, except we've replaced Balazovic with SWR. 2 guys post TJ, one of whom won't be able to pitch for half the year, 3 guys with major injury concerns, Ryan, Gray, and the "pipeline." It feels like shuffling chairs on the deck of a sinking ship ya know? 

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29 minutes ago, KirbyDome89 said:

I get what you're saying, and I concur, this season isn't just on the pipeline. Pagan and other bullpen cast offs, Bundy, Archer, Sanchez, ect all did their damage.

We disagree on the "when they were," aspect of the utilization. If you have guys that are "more than effective," you're not trotting Archer out to melt down in 3-4 innings and burn out an already overmatched pen, you're not sticking with Bundy and his 5+ ERA at the end of July, and you're not trading for a SP in an attempt to stabilize a rotation that's in a tailspin. All of these things don't happen if the pipeline can be utilized as effectively as you've made it seem. One of them? Sure, maybe even two if we want to say Mahle was front end insurance, but in my mind it makes no sense to bemoan back end performance when there wasn't a single pipeline arm that could successfully fill either spot. 

We actually don't disagree... My own simplified baseball philosophy is to simply go with the guys who are performing better, I don't care about experience or the size of the contract. 

I worry about the bottom a lot more than I do the top. I don't look for Stars to carry us... I worry about the bottom of the pile pulling us under. I also believe that teams should be constantly searching for guys who are performing better and I think that teams should be constantly pulling from the bottom like you weed a garden until there is no more bottom. 

I think you spend March to July finding out what you need at the trade deadline by giving opportunity to many just to give you an idea what you should do at the deadline and once September hits... you know who your guys are and you let them roll into the playoffs.  

I just don't believe that the front office would have made the switch if given the choice because Archer would have to be DFA'd to accommodate Winder while on the other hand... Winder can be stashed. In the end... that option was eliminated due to the volume of injuries anyway.

I would have... I don't think the front office would have. 

As far as the pipeline... those guys when called on did decently this year... it wasn't a failure... it just wasn't healthy. Next year we might find another batch of different non-healthy pipeliners but we have more capable young arms now and more on the way and we are closer to not needing Bundy or Archer types to muddle through the rotation in the future. When that day comes... You and I will both be happier. 😉      

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59 minutes ago, Riverbrian said:

We are closer to not needing Bundy or Archer types to muddle through the rotation in the future. When that day comes... You and I will both be happier. 😉      

I really wish I had that kind of optimistic outlook, but if/when that day comes I certainly will enjoy following this team more than the last few years. 

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On 9/24/2022 at 1:12 AM, ashbury said:

This is not a pattern of thinking that typically leads to success for the people with actual skin in the game. :)

Consider me overly hopeful & extremely generous then. I am certainly doubtful it will happen, but if we are deep in the playoffs in 2025 (which is only three years away) then I will do a happy dance. If the team craps its pants over the next few seasons and/or continue to be mediocre then it'll be time for change

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