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by jiminy

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  1. It's too soon to know whether Buxton was a better long-term investment than Berrios. Buxton's injury issues have not exactly gone away. Berrios could have many more productive years than Buxton.
  2. You convinced me. Using Sands when you just need one inning mop up and Pagan when you need long relief does seem inexplicable. And I am saying that as someone who thinks most criticism of Rocco's bullpen usage is overblown. Most often the problem is just a lack of good options. But I can't defend this. I understand the temptation to stick with Pagan. He throws 97, has filthy stuff, and gets swings and misses. But when every fifth pitch is a mistake right down the middle, the results will be just what you see. Everyone in the big leagues can hit a mistake. It doesn't matter what you do between mistakes if you lead the league in home runs. And he now has a four year track record saying this is not going to stop. I just hope Alcala and Maeda are ready for the stretch run. They don't have starters that can protect the bullpen, and the don't have enough relievers to throw five innings every night. There is no right answer for Rocco till reinforcements arrive. But in the meantime, why not use Sands in long relief? That is a head scratcher. I hope it's not because they need him to start for Mahle, but that might be a consideration.
  3. Short starts and a long pen is a good strategy but requires a deep bullpen. Otherwise it's like the Timberwolves saying the most efficient way to score points is with the 3-point shot, and leading the league in 3-point attempts, but missing them all because the roster has no shooters. The roster and the strategy have to mesh.
  4. Back to the original point -- I think it's very astute to say you can't document the third time through the order effect just by ERA. Since most don't see the bottom of the order. The fair way would be to calculate batter by batter, then aggregate. Look at batters who faced the same pitcher three times, and compare the first two at bats to the third.
  5. I don't see why everybody assumes trading Correa would make the Twins worse. What if they traded him for pitching? They could get someone who could help right now, and maybe even had a year or two more on his contract instead of a few months. But even when considering just the effect this year, the equation is, does the drop off in production at shortstop outweigh the improvement on the mound? (Or at some other position that has a drastic underperformance due to injury.) The drop off from Correa to Lewis would be real but not catastrophic. And if he has been tearing it up in AAA, gets a promotion, and is hitting great as a utility player, while Correa is just okay, there might not be much of a drop off at all. But in any case it would probably not sink their playoff chances. Now imagine the bullpen is getting lit up on a regular basis, and it is costing the team games. The rotation is fine, the hitting and fielding is fine, but no one but Duran could be trusted against the Yankees. Or suppose Duran gets hurt. (I literally just knocked on wood.) I think there is a very strong case that the team could be a lot stronger with a solid bullpen, or a solid starter, if that is what they need, and Lewis at short, than Correa on a lame duck contract and a bullpen full of matches. Add to that another year or two of team control and I would definitely be taking calls about Correa. All it takes is an injury to a contender or would-be contender and the return could push us over the top.
  6. The current rotation doesn't have to last all year, just till Maeda, Balazovic, and some surprise guy who wasn't even on our radar show up. The bullpen just has to hang in there till Alcala and some current minor league starters get called up. Duran is for real, and they have numbers if not an intimidating top three. The hitting just has to keep doing what it is doing: With a healthy Kiriloff added to Buxton, Larnach, Garlick, Kepler, Celestino, and Gordon, the outfield should be good and deep. And an infield of Correa, Polanco, Arraez, Urshela, Gordon, Lewis, Miranda, and Sano should be able to weather the inevitable injuries. Is this a 100 win team that can beat the Yankees and Dodgers? Probably not. But it's probably not going to collapse like last year, and will probably hang around all year, especially in such a weak division. No team is a sure thing, even the Yankees and Dodgers. I don't think they are head and shoulders above the rest of the league, but I don't think they are a mirage, either. Here's to the pipeline!
  7. He was already under under team control for all those years. So I wouldn't say it brings stability to the rotation. It just brings cost certainty. Which is good for them, in case he becomes a star. And good for him, if he flames out. Signing him now is just a gamble this price will become a bargain later. Which would be great. But the alternative was arbitration, not losing him.
  8. Super bargain fur the next Dallas Keuchel! And lifetime financial security for a guy two years from his first arbitration. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Now all that’s left is fur him to win the Cy Young award -- this year! Not a totally crazy sleeper pick, either, especially if Donaldson, Simmons and Buxton stay healthy. As a Twins fan, I am thrilled!
  9. I don't see why you would put a proven hitter like Arraez on the bench in favor of a AA player, no matter how talented he is. My opening day left fielder would be Arraez. And if not him then Rooker. People who say, If he was good enough to start a playoff game, how can you say he is not good enough to start in the majors, are actually making a case for Rooker, not Kiriloff. Who was considered farther along last year? Rooker. Who was promoted first? Rooker. Who has done more to demonstrate he can hit major league pitching? Rooker. Who would have started that playoff game if not for a fluke injury? Rooker. And who is playing better right now? Rooker. The last thing we need is to rush another highly hyped outfielder to the majors before he is ready. They did that with Gomez, Span, and Buxton, and it did all of them, and the Twins, a disservice. All three floundered for years because they were deprived of development time they needed. Gomez and Span both blossomed only after they left, and the same may still happen with Buxton. It won't kill Kiriloff to play in AAA a little. He might even learn something. And people seem to forget how good Rooker is. If it weren't for all the Kiriloff hype people would be really excited about him. Well I for one still am. And unlike with Kiriloff I am confident he is really ready. I would love to see him out the there in left field opening day, and I think it is insulting to suggest he didn't deserve it, or it is unfair to Kiriloff to play Rooker. Kiriloff will get his chance. But Rooker is older and more experienced and he can rake too. If it isn't Arraez, I hope to see Rooker out there on opening day.
  10. Yeah there is -- no one is on base. It's a wasted RBI opportunity.
  11. I still think he got promoted too soon. He should have worked out his issues with outside breaking balls in AAA. Then he would have been much more successful once he got to the show.
  12. Fascinating article! In particular that chart showing the curveball basically becoming the same as the slider I found to be very revealing. Yes, five pitches is not enough to project an entire season from. But diagnosing the problem is the key to solving it. And the fact that his slider is already coming in three miles per hour than it did last year inspires great confidence that he is on the right track. Most people just chalked up his problems last year to bad luck, but this pointed out a specific, fixable fixable issue, which makes me way more confident that he will return to his previous effectiveness, which would be very good news indeed! Thanks!
  13. How could they have gotten something for Rosario? They offered him for free on waivers, and not one team bit. If you won't take him for free, why would you offer anything in trade? I think it's fair to assume the Twins offered him in trade before they cut him loose. The only way they could have gotten something in trade is if they offered him earlier, I suppose. But when? During the pennant race? He might have been a useful piece to a contender -- but that's what we were! We needed him too! So maybe a year earlier? He was coming off a leg injury, and given his lack of walks and suppressed defense, I doubt he would have brought much in return, at least not till he showed his fielding could rebound, which it never did. More than a year ago? I don't know. I was enjoying his contributions right up till the end. I don't mind replacing him with someone cheaper, if the replacement has higher upside, like Kiriloff. And with Rooker and Larnach in reserve, I think it's an acceptable risk for a contending team to cast off their long-time starter, but only because they are confident there won't be a huge drop-off. I can't say they handled this wrong at any stage. I will miss Rosario a lot -- his timely homers and dazzling throws to third and home seemed to give the team a real jolt. He could single-handedly take over a game. But his poor plate discipline and reduced fielding skills meant we had a good chance for more production at lower cost. And having invested several recent first round picks at his position, it was to let them give it a shot. But I will be rooting for him to hit 30+ homers, keep throwing out everyone except Twins, and for his legs to return to the days he was a plus fielder. I loved his passion and timely hitting, and I will miss seeing him come to the plate. I won't miss his boneheaded base-running blunders, but maybe they will seem a lot funnier now that they will be happening with the Tigers.
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