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Showing content with the highest reputation on 10/11/2021 in all areas

  1. Before we dig into some of the numbers, here’s a quick video on a handful of harder-throwing starting pitchers who could be value targets for the Twins this offseason: Here is a team-by-team breakdown sorted by average four-seam fastball velocity. It’s color coded, so green is good and red is bad. The information below was gathered from FanGraphs. Team vFA ERA FIP xFIP WAR CHW 95.5 3.73 3.74 3.85 27.1 NYY 94.9 3.76 3.90 4.00 22.3 BOS 94.8 4.27 3.95 4.07 19.2 NYM 94.5 3.90 4.04 3.99 16.4 COL 94.5 4.83 4.47 4.38 13.4 SDP 94.4 4.10 4.18 4.08 12.8 CIN 94.3 4.41 4.34 4.18 16.2 ATL 94.3 3.89 4.08 4.09 15.9 LAD 94.1 3.03 3.54 3.75 26.9 TBR 94.1 3.67 3.79 3.97 18.7 PHI 94.1 4.39 4.15 4.02 17.9 DET 94.1 4.32 4.60 4.65 10.2 KCR 94.0 4.65 4.39 4.52 12.5 CLE 93.9 4.34 4.43 4.27 10.2 MIA 93.8 3.96 4.01 4.21 15.1 SFG 93.7 3.25 3.55 3.87 21.9 TEX 93.6 4.80 4.76 4.57 4.5 TOR 93.5 3.91 4.18 4.06 14.6 STL 93.4 4.00 4.30 4.66 12.1 PIT 93.4 5.08 4.74 4.70 5.0 WSN 93.3 4.82 4.87 4.53 6.5 MIL 93.2 3.50 3.72 3.75 23.5 HOU 93.2 3.78 4.12 4.12 16.9 OAK 93.2 4.02 4.10 4.35 15.1 SEA 93.2 4.30 4.26 4.47 14.3 CHC 93.0 4.88 4.88 4.43 4.9 LAA 92.9 4.68 4.25 4.26 15.4 BAL 92.9 5.85 5.15 4.91 7.9 MIN 92.2 4.83 4.66 4.44 8.2 ARI 92.2 5.15 4.88 4.85 4.0 As you can see, there’s a fairly strong correlation between teams that throw harder and success. Not only are the Twins near the bottom, there’s also a significant gap between them and the Orioles. That 0.7 mph gap is the same as what separates the fourth-place team from the 15th. Let’s switch things up a bit and look at pitches in excess of 95.0 mph instead of average fastball velocity. The information below was gathered from Baseball Savant. The color-coded column is percent of pitches thrown at least 95.0 mph. CWS 27.9 6626 23713 NYY 21.5 5112 23761 BOS 20.8 5033 24193 MIL 20.7 4966 23967 NYM 21.4 4799 22405 PHI 20.0 4745 23739 MIA 20.5 4704 22990 COL 20.0 4603 22960 DET 18.1 4339 23914 CIN 17.6 4316 24548 ATL 18.5 4294 23228 LAD 18.3 4187 22927 TB 17.4 4027 23169 KC 16.5 4017 24307 TOR 16.6 3911 23549 SD 14.0 3386 24196 OAK 14.4 3325 23102 STL 14.1 3299 23419 WSH 13.2 3125 23732 SEA 13.0 3111 23859 CLE 13.0 3057 23459 BAL 10.6 2598 24474 SF 10.4 2386 22859 HOU 9.9 2368 23917 CHC 9.4 2238 23877 PIT 9.3 2225 24045 TEX 8.3 1967 23586 LAA 7.6 1847 24415 MIN 6.4 1516 23714 ARI 5.0 1188 23827 Being 29th is bad enough, but even if the Twins were to double the number of pitches that were 95+ mph they’d still only rank 22nd. The Kansas City Royals threw 2,501 more pitches 95+ mph than the Twins — or 15 more per game played — and they barely rank in the top half of the league themselves. Do the Twins have an aversion to high-velocity pitchers? That seems like a crazy question to ask, but let’s take a look at some former Twins prospects who were shipped out in trades. 2021 % of Pitches 95.0+ mph 66.0 Brusdar Graterol 44.2 Luis Gil 38.4 Huascar Ynoa 15.1 MLB Average 6.4 Minnesota Twins Graterol (Kenta Maeda trade), Gil (Jake Cave trade) and Ynoa (Jaime Garcia trade) all have well above average velo, all were traded away. They also just lost Edwar Colina and his triple-digit heat to waivers. Are the Twins actively avoiding high-octane pitchers? At the very least it sure doesn't feel like they’re making them a priority. This seems like a great time to revisit the Twins carpool commercial from 2007 featuring Johan Santana and Joe Nathan. That’s how you win Cy Youngs, baby! While this ia a velocity-obsessed article, pitching in the big leagues is obviously about more than just throwing hard. It sure does seem to help, though. While the lack of velo is nothing new for the Twins, to be fair, it didn’t prevent them from having successful pitching staffs the previous couple years. Here’s a look at some the numbers throughout the Falvey-era: Minnesota Twins Four-Seam Fastball Velo 2021: 29th, 92.2 mph (26th in ERA) 2020: 30th, 92.0 mph (4th in ERA) 2019: 24th, 93.0 mph (9th in ERA) 2018: 21st, 92.7 mph (22nd in ERA) 2017: 30th, 92.4 mph (19th in ERA) Still, any pitcher who tells you he wouldn’t like to throw harder is either a liar or in denial.
    8 points
  2. It's not that velo is the end-all, but it allows for a much larger margin of error when pitching. This is why it is important.
    6 points
  3. You continue to use batting average while it's just a part of overall offense. Yeah, other people hit around .200, like Kepler for example. Except Kepler slugged .413 while Simmons "slugged" a comically bad .274. I literally did a double take when I saw that number, it's that bad. I can't even recall the last time I saw someone slug that low. When I think of "mediocre no power slap hitter", the player that always pops into my head is Jamey Carroll and he managed to have a career slugging percentage of .338, or a whopping .064 higher than Simmons in 2021. And that's why Kepler's overall offense (98 OPS+) was just kinda bad for a corner outfielder while Simmon's overall offense (57 OPS+) was hilariously bad.
    6 points
  4. The Yankees were eager to stay under the luxury tax threshold this year to potentially reset and they had precious little salary room to do so. Taking on Simmons' contract would probably have been a non-starter as a result. That puts the Twins into a situation of saying, okay, so what are you offering besides clearing a 26 man roster spot we still have to pay? Evidently, the Yankees didn't propose anything the Twins' front office viewed as legitimate talent in exchange for eating several million dollars of Simmons salary while he played in Yankee Stadium instead of Target Field. It's not hard to expect the Yankees to have kicked the tires on Simmons and offered nothing to the Twins as there may have been the perception the Twins would just DFA Simmons and release him for nothing after the trade deadline anyway.
    5 points
  5. Watch the playoff teams' bullpens and then try to tell me velo isn't important. Of COURSE velo is important. It's obviously not the only thing that matters, but a fastball on the corner at 98 is just better than the same fastball at 91. To argue otherwise is ridiculous. And yes, this front office has done a poor job of adding it, and keeping it, to the staff. Despite CLEAR evidence successful teams have seen velo as a weapon for years now.
    5 points
  6. I think the Twins need improvement from the shortstop position on offense, but the defense at short has to be acceptable. Simmons was more than acceptable in the field, but the numbers show how bad he was with the bat. If the brain trust believes either Martin or Lewis can seize short it might make sense to save some money and sign a stopgap. I don’t want to see Simmons with the Twins any more. Considerable capital needs to be expended on a starting pitcher or two (one acquired by trade, one free agent?). Finally, no on Cruz. He’ll be 42 at midseason and he hasn’t torn it up for Tampa. But the real reason he’s no longer a fit is that they have several guys who can rotate as DHs and really can’t afford to carry a DH only IMHO.
    5 points
  7. Wait a minute folks. Simmons had the 6th highest fielding percentage in the American league at SS in 2021. . He made some awesome plays at SS. He also made some heads up plays at SS. However his batting was pathetic. His swings looked like my high school teammates. I don't want him back either, but my reasons have nothing todo with his fielding percentage.
    5 points
  8. 49 errors!!!! That's terrible! With a glove like th- .... wait, across 4 years? 12 errors a year? For a shortstop? If SS errors are your thing, you won't enjoy a return of Polanco to the most visible defensive position - he made 18 and 22 errors in his two full-time stints at the position (and he committed 17 this season, mostly at 2B). Gordon was error prone in the minors and the team showed reluctance to even try him there this year. Arraez... no. Just no. We need range in a shortstop, and an arm. Simmons touched the ball over 500 times this season, as did every full-time shortstop in the majors - his rate of plays made per inning was second in the AL among full-timers (though in years past, he usually would be #1). The number of errors that get charged are a drop in the bucket to a shortstop's total picture, in part because the official scorers are directed not to call an error on every play-not-made for statistics-keeping purposes. I'm not going to defend Simmons. He was "only" 31 but played like an old 31. He has slipped defensively to only better than average, and his bat is impossible to support no matter how good the defense - no player can save enough runs to make up for the black hole he was in the lineup. He was below replacement-level and won't be missed IMO. But I like to make roster decisions based on the full resume a player brings, not the superficial aspects. Oh, and, Welcome To Twins Daily. I wound up doing a little deep-dive on one of the supporting points you made, but overall I like the ideas you raised in this article.
    5 points
  9. With the exception of Gant, salary should not be a deciding factor on keeping or jettisoning any of these players, and hopefully the team will find a satisfactory way to avoid arbitration on each. E.g. I would not discard Duffey in hopes of getting someone equivalent but for less, nor would I keep Refsnyder just because he'll work cheaply. Even Gant is merely marginal at that price, and if his agent understands that his client will likely come out behind if he is cut and forced to find another team, the parties may be able to come to an agreement slightly under the listed value. That number sounds low for Garver, but I'm not going to invest effort trying to understand why it's fair nor what additional factors there may be. Don't play hardball on this guy's contract, Twins, there's something to be said for being known as a desirable organization to get drafted by and then succeed with!
    4 points
  10. Honestly, based purely on production WAR vs. free agency cost per WAR, almost all of them would be underpaid. That's really to be expected, though. Arbitration isn't designed to pay players for their production at market value. It's kind of the ramp up from being paid MLB minimum type levels to their actual free agency production value. It's not too hard to argue the current system is totally unfair or argue the system is actually balanced by considering the risk of player performance and team investment.
    4 points
  11. These are the players who would still be underpaid at that cost.
    4 points
  12. Simmons for Judge straight up. Why couldn't they get it done? I doubt there were serious discussions. If the Yankees really wanted Simmons I gotta think a ptbnl would have gotten a deal done.
    4 points
  13. It says quite a bit that after an 89-loss season, other franchises are still trying to lure away Twins executives.
    4 points
  14. This could have opened up at least three Joe Maggi at-bats.
    4 points
  15. You made me laugh. Of course we have a problem. Winning 90 in a division in which teams 2 - 5 are all below 500 is not a monumental feat. When the Rays win 90 in the American East that is a feat. There is something that impacts the central teams when they get into the post season and maybe it is the fact that they are not hardened by the competition during the season. We were 13 - 20 versus the East, 37 - 39 in our own division, and 13 - 20 versus the West. And 10 - 10 interleague. We often fool ourselves and think we are better than our record - even this year that might be true.
    4 points
  16. I would hate to see how many homeruns Jax, Barnes and Ober would have given up without Simmons and his magical glove at SS.
    3 points
  17. It's pretty rare players force arbitration, but those numbers are probably pretty good ideas of what it's going to cost to retain those players while avoiding arbitration. I could see Buxton, Rogers and Garver potentially going to arbitration because their values are hard to gauge, but all three are also extension candidates. Rogers is a big question mark, though. The Twins are obviously going to have the inside track on Rogers' finger recovery. Since I haven't heard anything about him having surgery, I'm going to guess the flexor tendon strain is actually recovering nicely as I'd expect he'd know whether or not surgery was going to be required by now. I'd non-tender the following since I believe all of them could be easily retained at close to MLB minimum if needed. I doubt any of them would get better than a MiLB contract on the open market. Astudillo $1.2M Cave $1.1M Minaya $1.1M Refsnyder $800k
    3 points
  18. I look forward to the day we again achieve this lofty level.
    3 points
  19. When I was growing up playing the game our pitchers would get schooled in two primary things; throwing strikes, and changing speeds. Just making up numbers here, a pitcher today that can throw a fastball at 92, a changeup or slider at 82 and a curve at 72, and throw them for strikes will keep a hitters timing off by mixing up the pitches, regardless of the count, as long as he can throw them for strikes. But you do need a staff of pitchers who have different velo rates as well; when you change pitchers you also change velo rates and spin rates, which can also throw off the timing. A good mix of pitches by each pitcher and a good mix of velo and spin rates in the staff as a whole is a good combination. As much as I love the guys who throw 3 digits, IMO we don't need as many as we might think. Go for control, velo variance and spin rates that compliment each other, and you have a good staff.
    3 points
  20. The Rays have been among the lowest IP from SPs and they have 100 wins in the AL East. They have been using this model very successfully for a while now. I prefer SPs that can give you 7 but there is more than one way to succeed.
    3 points
  21. I was a Milwaukee Brave fan and my family journeyed to see them for one series every year. Loved all those great players. You are right - he and Yogi Berra at the Battle of the Bulge. What a career and what a life. Without the war he might have won 400, but Koufax and others got their days of fame while he just annually did great. So consistent that he was overlooked.
    3 points
  22. This specific FO doesn't hunt velo. I don't think they're averse to it, but it's not what they're looking for. They're looking for elite pitches. Spin rate and what not. Maeda's splitter. Wisler's slider. Ryan's fastball. Their approach to pitching is that if you already have an elite pitch they can get you to use it more effectively (usage rate, location, etc) and teach you to throw more efficiently, which hopefully helps with location (repeatable delivery) and velo.
    3 points
  23. In order of priority isn't location, movement, velocity the old pitching refrain?
    3 points
  24. There are many guys who have succeeded without throwing 95+. On Baseball Savant I see the speeds of Tyler Rogers, Kyle Hendricks, and Zach Grienke with 4 seam speeds well below 90, yet they are very successful. What I see at the top is an amazing change in velocity from fastball to curve - DeGrom 99.2 to 83.3,, Cole 97.7 - 83.4. To my amazement Griffin Jax had and average 4 seamer at 92.6 and curveball at 79.9 - which should be really good. Is that what the team sees in him? John Gant has 92 - 74.7. Michael Pineda had a 90.6 4 seam and no curve ball, but an 81.2 slider. Bailey Ober was 92.3 with a 75 mph curveball. Joe Ryan is the slowest of all these pitchers - 91.2 and had 72.7 curveball for contrast. Lots of stats, but the results say Pineda Ryan and Ober were our top pitchers last year.
    3 points
  25. Starters getting pulled in the 6th is pretty much par for the course now. The Twins aren't doing anything the rest of the league isn't doing as well. That's just the modern game and how they protect arms. Nice article - I agree strongly on Simmons. He was a putrid offensive player whose one calling card is no longer elite, just good. You can find "good" shortstops that aren't slap-hitting .500 OPS guys. You damn sure don't have to pay them 10M and bring a bunch of other issues along with them. The team has too many no-field hitters as is. As much as I love Nellie, this team isn't the right fit for him. They'll need to look for leadership inside the current locker room.
    3 points
  26. Hi Everyone - I really like all the responses here and I am 1. really thankful you all took time to read it and 2. you left your honest thoughts. I am excited to continue my growth with writing and all of you!
    3 points
  27. Not to get sidetracked ... but there is a huge difference between a rookie batting barely .200 and a veteran batting .200. Rookies are adjusting to the best pitching they have seen so far in their careers. The hope with rookies is they take this and learn to adjust - whether they will or won't is yet to be seen; but a veteran batting at that level? That's as good as they get.
    3 points
  28. "We already went over this. You give us the rights to Andrelton Simmons's contract. We give you the right to no longer have Simmons. Is that not clear enough?"
    3 points
  29. Leaving my error uncorrected because trying to cover it up now would be all the more shameful.
    3 points
  30. Please not Stroman. I'm not sure I can handle several years of TwinsDaily articles arguing whether or not Stroman is an "ace."
    3 points
  31. roger

    Better Late Than Never

    Many believe they will bring Pineda back, probably on a two year contract. With Maeda returning late this year and lots of good prospects arriving the next couple years, a Kluber or Thor one year deal may be the perfect fit for a year in which the Twins could surprise. Kluber/Thor, Ryan, Pineda, Ober and Dobnak work for me as their opening day 5. Send Jax and Barnes to St. Paul as early depth before Maeda is ready for the stretch run come August. Add Winder and a few other prospects later in the year and the starting pitching should compete. Will the Twins?
    3 points
  32. A plan with a total lack of specificity is no solution. When offseason plans start coming out from posters I hope you fill in these gaps.
    2 points
  33. Looks like the Twins were dead last in avg fastball velo in 2020 while having a top 5 staff and 24th in avg fastball velo in 2019 while having a top 10 staff. 2019-2020 Twins pitching staffs had more WAR (according to fangraphs) than any other AL team and only behind the Dodgers in all of baseball while being 26th in fastball velo. Not sure that shows a great correlation.
    2 points
  34. Twins assistant GM Jeremy Zoll is a finalist for the Cubs' GM job. He came to the Twins as the minor league director just a few years ago, and was promoted before the 2020 season to assistant GM with most of his focus remaining on the minor leagues. That leadership of the Twins approach to team-building and better player development may be exactly what the Cubs are looking for. Other finalists include Carlos Rodriguez (Rays), Carter Hawkins and James Harris (Cleveland). Cubs president Jed Hoyer narrows search for next GM as finalists emerge – The Athletic
    2 points
  35. I think the real question you have to ask is if fastballs even matter anymore. Most competitive teams have started to go away from fastballs. The Rays pitchers threw fastballs in just 43% of their mix. Twins were 49% (up from 43% from last year, thanks Joe Ryan). Dodgers, Yankees, Braves and Astros were all also under 50% fastballs thrown. The future of this organization is not fastballs.
    2 points
  36. 2 points
  37. The rule in question is 5.06(b)(4) apparently -- and while umpires didn't have discretion to place runners in that specific situation last night, there are already similar rules about letting runners advance 2 bases from their position when the ball goes out of play, which would have allowed the Rays to score (rather than 2 bases from when the ball was pitched, which held the Rays lead runner at 3rd). So the rule governing last night's situation could easily be modified to include the same, without opening up any kind of Pandora's box. No umpire discretion is involved, really. Should be easier to administer now than ever before, with synchronized replay cameras (like they use for runners tagging from third on fly balls) -- if a team doesn't agree with an umpire's placement of runners, it could be reviewed. Rule Book (PDF) From page 28, in the circumstance of a wild throw by a fielder (emphasis mine). EDIT TO ADD: Just to be clear, this should not have been the ruling last night -- it wasn't a wild throw, and the umpires got it right, according to the current rule book -- but this is an example of how the rule could be modified going forward.
    2 points
  38. Look at Simmons' WAR in the field and it's clear to me that we got more or less what we wanted. At the plate, he was a disaster. He struck out quite often in key situations where if he at least made contact, it would have helped. If it means putting Polanco at SS, then, I would rather re-sign Simmons... having a minus WAR at SS does not bode well for the team.
    2 points
  39. Must be Warren Spahn - greatest left hander ever, Milwaukee Brave and my favorite, but never got ranked the best, just won 20 games in each of 13 seasons. If it was you were a lucky guy.
    2 points
  40. THis is what I was thinking on Simmons too. His defense is fine. I expected him to lose a half step in the field. I did not expect his offense to crater. His offense was historically bad. I was thinking of an ops in the .660 - .720 range. He was well below that even. I figured he would get pinch hit for at times or maybe lose a few starts in the field and be the late inning defensive replacement during some offensive slumps and be the #9 hitter. but again I thought he will hit significantly better even if that meant he was still a below average hitter. I will be honest though. I would be ok with bringing him back on a low cost with incentives deal if we do not sign a high profile high offensive SS over the winter. Maybe 5 million guarantee with up to 5 million more with so many plate appearances. 1 that means we signed Buxton to an extension and 2 it means the Twins are planning on 1 of Lewis or Martin to take over SS when ready.
    2 points
  41. ashbury

    Better Late Than Never

    And maybe deservedly. People were flinging facts back and forth, So I decided to toss in a fact that was semi-relevant but really not. All in a spirit of good fun and if someone felt like responding in kind I took it in the same spirit. I think long-time readers are fairly aware by now of my exasperation with 2021's outcome, and its portents for the future. And if not.... it's only a ballgame.
    2 points
  42. I don't think anyone is suggesting moving both Garver and Polanco, I certainly wasn't. What I did say that both players held enough value to get a good return, perhaps enough to give the chance to contend next year, if a lot of other things go right. I looked back at my original post on this topic and it could be interpreted that " a couple of players" were both Polanco and Garver. I didn't intend to infer that. To me, trading a replaceable regular coming off a good year and signing the right free agents along with a lot of other things going right might be enough to get back to contention.
    2 points
  43. I believe the Twins got what they wanted out of Simmons, Defense. Anything from his bat was gravy, unfortunately it was more like water. Had he hit .250 or .260 they and us would have been thrilled. With Lewis and Martin probably 1 year away yet another 1 year stop-gap SS will be needed. Please don't put Polanco there, he belongs at 2B. I'd really like to see Arraez get more reps at 3B spelling Donaldson and have JD get more AB's at DH to save his legs. With that scenario a reunion with Cruz is highly unlikely or appropriate. Especially if they keep Sano for 1B/DH and Kirolloff getting time at 1B as well. As for Gordon I'd like for him to be the main utility guy. Him as a full-time SS won't fly and for all we know his bat might not be any better than Simmons was. Let's see what he can do getting a full season under him first. As for the hole Simmons creates in the lineup it wasn't much worse than the holes created by Sano and Kepler. The rotation is a mystery once you get past Ober and geeze I even hate to say it, Ryan, but I'm sure they are both locks going into next year. It's been talked about but I'd like to see Pineda brought back. Then you've got to look at outside arms that will make a difference if you are serious about contending in 2022. Will the FO spend the money needed to bring in 2 top quality arms? Cause only 1 won't be enough. And then will those 2 top quality guys even want to come here? We all know how Free Agents look past this organization. It might take a trade to get the arm/s they need and at what cost? Where is the depth in the minors that would allow a fixture in the lineup to be traded? 3B Miranda is the most likely guy close to MLB ready which means Donaldson or Arraez are expendable. Both have baggage with Donaldson's contract and Arraez's limited fielding ability, however beyond Polanco, Arraez could be a good enough, not great, fit for some other team at 2B. As for Cruz, it is intriguing to bring him back but it will only make sense if Donaldson and Sano are both traded.
    2 points
  44. To call Simmons even a bad signing is to ignore a lot. He wasn’t even the signing that worked out the worse this year. To forget about the likes of Nolasco, Correa, or Park is a good thing unless the topic is worse signings ever. The mistake they made was at the trade deadline when the Yankees were interested in him. The team must have wanted Gil back. Bringing Cruz back works if the clutter at the corners get moved.
    2 points
  45. His defense in front of inexperienced pitching was the reason he played the last two months. He is a far better glove at SS than anyone else on the roster and based on OOA he was among the best in the league. I don’t think it is an obvious choice to take the salary relief and play Gordon or Polanco. If the top priority was developing pitchers then defense does matter.
    2 points
  46. They aren't making major roster decisions only for opening day, imo.
    2 points
  47. If they plan to retain Pineda and didn’t receive any decent offers, I can understand keeping him. I literally would have given Simmons away to anyone who would take him.
    2 points
  48. Or to make manifest just how far from genuine competitiveness they really are.
    2 points
  49. Rigby

    Who Can the Twins Deal?

    Buxton could.....
    2 points
  50. I don't trade Garver unless I'm punting next year, of someone gives me an insane deal. You win by having players be A LOT better than other team's players (position by position)....and Garver is one of the best hitting catchers/1B/DHs in the game. I'm ok with dealing any of the others you mention, because I believe in the next wave of corner fielders. (not counting Buxton, who you didn't really mention).
    2 points
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