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by jiminy

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Everything posted by by jiminy

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. Yeah there is -- no one is on base. It's a wasted RBI opportunity.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. 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.
  8. That's really interesting -- I did not know that most Americans are magnesium deficient! Or that that is why Epsom salts are helpful. Were you told about this by your doctor? Because if you were, one would assume his doctor told him, too. Still, if I were a reporter, I would ask him if he's taking magnesium. Maybe this is something John Bonnes or Aaron Gleeman could ask about. Can't hurt. And what heroes they would be if they fixed the Twins' 80 million dollar man!
  9. I agree with Minny505: this is a really great way to see at a glance how someone has been doing over time, and it would be cool to see a player's history in comparison to league average.
  10. He looks like John Turturro! If he is as intimidating in the rotation as Turturro was in The Big Lebowski....
  11. Those Rodriguez highlights look amazing. I wonder if we could have gotten him for Wade, or Wade and somebody else; Shaun Anderson seems like a pretty big wild card, pun intended. But Rodriguez does look like someone who could really help. Very impressive velocity and movement in those clips. I would be much less confident that Kuhl's breaking balls would be as effective without the possibility of a fastball coming. I don't think it's that simple to just drop your fastball and live on only curves and sliders. It can happen, obviously, as Wisler and Romo were successful doing that. But that doesn't mean the element of surprise, and changing speeds, are not important. I'd certainly trust the Twins to know whether or not he was someone they thought they could improve, based on their track record. But I don't think just dropping your fastball works for most people.
  12. If the hope is he becomes the next Wisler, why not just sign Wisler and keep Wade? They basically just sold Wade for $1.15 million.
  13. I completely agree with the comments that now we need to sign Paxton or Walker. I can't believe more people aren't clamoring for this. Those are reasonably priced veterans who should easily fit our payroll. We could add one of them and a solid reliever or two and still be around where we were last year. This is no time to cut the budget. Have we forgotten all those years of spending less than 50 percent of revenue, even after the public stadium subsidy, because there was no point throwing good money after bad, and they were waiting for our window of contention to spend? Well, this is our window. If they won't spend $9 million on a 4th starter now, on a risk free one year contract, when will they? This is the time to go for it. We're not asking fur a 9 figure contract. It's 7 figures. We've waited long enough. We watched our previous window, when we had three MVP level players in Mauer, Morneau, and Santana, get squandered with sub-replacement-level players dragging us down at other positions and basically canceling them out. This time it's time to push them over the top. I can see not spending on free agents when you have a 90 loss team. But then you have to balance that out by spending more when you finally have a contending team. Which they did not do last year, BTW. They still barely spent 50 percent of revenue on payroll at $140M. The really sad part is there has never been a better time to splurge on free agents. Now is the time. The market is heavily depressed by Covid and collusion. Not long ago a guy like Walker or Paxton would have gotten a three year contract at $13M a year. Hell, relievers were getting that. A one year contract at $10 million would be a bargain. They have the money! And even if they didn't, they could roll over some of the savings from the lean years. But it's not like they would lose money by actually trying to win. It never made sense that if the public invested in the team, they only had to spend half of it on the team. They are still making a huge profit, even before the windfall when they sell the team. This team actually has a chance to win. But right now that chance depends on catching lightning in a bottle with someone like Balazavich or Duran emerging as unhittable by playoff time, and a couple rookie hitters blossoming right away, and Buxton, Donaldson, Polanco, Cruz etc. Having rare injury free years. But there is virtually no scenario in which no one on the rotation will get hurt. You always need depth there, and we aren't even starting five sure things. A mid-level starter and two relievers would make us a team to be reckoned with. And thanks to patient player development, forward thinking trades, judicious free agent spending, smart coaching and analytics, we are in a position to do it, this year, without reckless spending our mortgaging our future. If not now, when?
  14. One big question mark is how Covid affects the arbitration process. If it's still solely by precedent, players will cash in. If it takes into account the drop in revenue this year, they won't. But I have no idea whether revenue dips will be factored in or not. I am certain the free agent market will be bad for players, just unsure if that will lower his value in arbitration.
  15. That's depressing. The 2020 team may be the most talented one we ever see. Looks like the last time we will ever have a lineup, rotation add bullpen with no significant holes (except for injuries).
  16. I am more concerned about the bullpen than the lineup. Half your hitters having a good day is enough to win. But a bullpen failure can cost you the game, and they all seem to be looking shaky at the same time. Romo has been getting hammered, Wisler's spell seems to have broken, Rogers hasn't been getting it done all year -- suddenly I don't feel comfortable with any of them, and they are going to need them all without any off days. This would be a really good time for the bombs squad to show up in full force, especially Cruz and Buxton, who can carry a team by themselves. I can handle not winning, but if health derails us again, just when we finally have all the pieces in place, that would be hard to take.
  17. In defense of Houston, remember that teams played zero games against the other AL divisions. You can't compare records from one division to the next; they might as well have been in different leagues. Taking the top two from each division plus two wild cards only fair. If Houston made it instead of Cleveland or Chicago, I might say that was unfair, but that didn't happen, because of the wild cards. If the second best team in the west got bumped by the fourth place team in the East or Central, however, that would not be fair. They literally didn't play ANY of the same teams, so their records are not comparable. If you have to pick 8 teams, I think this is a good solution. Whether taking 8 teams from each league is a good idea, however, is another question entirely. In a short season with no interdivisional play, it makes sense, because the results haven't reliably filtered out the best teams. If Minnesota could still finish from 1st to 7th on the last day, the rankings are still too volatile to mean much. Abs dive we never played most other teams,rankings based on records are dubious anyway. But if they do this next year, I think it would be terrible. It would make both the regular season and the playoffs virtually meaningless. Take the AL Central race for instance. Three really good teams battling it out till the final day should have been incredibly dramatic! Instead, it was irrelevant, and felt that way. We've all known for months that all three would make the playoffs. If you have to have a losing record not to make the playoffs, it turns the regular season into a snooze. This was okay during a pandemic--I had plenty of stress already and didn't mind not having to worry about whether the Twins wouk make the playoffs. But during a normal year, it would be like watching spring training for 162 games. Six months is a long time to wait for meaningful competition to begin! Worse yet, when the playoffs finally do start, half the teams get eliminated before the real first round even starts, in a virtual coin flip! Subjecting the best team in baseball to a 3 game series against some rando that shouldn't even be in the playoffs makes a mockery of both the regular season, and the playoffs. You haven't winnowed out the best teams in either. That's not all bad, if it keeps a team like the Giants or Mariners from bailing on the season halfway through, trading away their best players, and leaving their fans a hollow shell of a team to root for. It definitely makes the season more exciting for teams like that, and could reduce tanking. And as a midmarket team ourselves, we would probably benefit from that more often than we would be hurt by it. But I still don't like it. Maybe it is just because we have finally put together a legitimate contender; but after waiting so long to see a team that can go toe to toe with anybody, would we want to watch them lose in 2 to a third place team and never get a crack at ending the Yankees curse? That would be horrible. And while it was nice for Giants fans that they weren't eliminated until the final week, whay if they had made it, and the Dodgers lost in 2 to a Giants team with a losing record in the play-in round? Would anyone really feel like winning a world series meant you were the best team anymore? Would anyone really care who won a joke of a tournament like that, except the two finalists? It reduces every playoff game to instantly forgettable instant gratification. What is uniquely great about baseball is the vast mental construct of meaning hovering around every event. Each pitch is a battle between pitcher and batter. But that battle is much more dramatic when seen in context of the full at-bat. A borderline pitch is much more exciting with 2 strikes, or 3 balls. The courage, and potential cost, of a pitcher throwing a 3-2 slider that drops out of the strike zone, knowing the batter has to protect the plate, is what makes it so interesting. And the drama of each at-bat in turn depends on knowing where you are in the inning, whether there are men on base, and how many outs there are. And that, in turn, depends on what inning it is, and the score. And knowing it is just one game in a 3 game series adds further narrative context. But the tension and meaning of all these games within a game get ramped up exponentially by a pennant race. The excitement of two teams that have been dogging each other for months finally facing off in September adds another whole layer of meaning and drama. Which the long wait only increases. And the context guess well beyond the season. A September game against Cleveland is much more meaningful knowing they are the defending champs, here been for years. Rivalries can extend for decades. When the Twins finally beat the Yankees in the playoffs it will be the culmination of a 20 year struggle. And we will feel the weight of all this history and context on every single pitch! That is what makes baseball so special. People complain that not much happens. But in no other sport is so much happening in your head. That is what MLB is throwing away for a few extra days of playoff excitement. By expanding the playoffs so much, they are trivializing the meaning of both the regular season AND the playoffs. I would happily trade the "excitement" of a three game playoff series against a team with a losing record -- a series that has a very real chance if costing us our chance at redemption against the Yankees, and our first shot at a title since 1991. I would much prefer the actual, ongoing excitement of a tension-filled, season-long race against Cleveland and Chicago, which could have provided months of gripping entertainment, precisely because one or more of these proud and deserving teams would NOT make the playoffs! That's what it means for a game to mean something. And if it can take years to build a team capable of playing meaningful games in September, that's what makes it mean so much when they finally do. That is what was lost this year, and quite possibly forever, if they expand the playoffs permanently.
  18. What pennant race? Every team with a winning record is automatically in the playoffs this year. They could play the ball boy and it wouldn't matter. The entire season matters less than a single best of three series at the end.
  19. I think the author makes a good point that Rooker should come up before Kiriloff or Larnach. For one thing, he's more likely to be ready; a .933 OPS at AAA shows more readiness to contribute than a .756 OPS at AA. Also, you don't need to worry about wasting an option year. He's too old to worry about using up his options. And you need to put him on the 40 man roster anyway. Why wait? Promoting Kiriloff, on the other hand, would start his service time before he was ready, sacrificing control of later years at his peak. Let him develop and bring him up when he's ready to be a star. I'm not categorically against promoting Kiriloff or Larnach early. If they give the Twins the best chance to win, do it. But unless they are clearly better than Rooker, right now, I'd promote Rooker first.
  20. I'm not sure what you mean. He says they won Sunday to "clinch at least a split" and "will look to take a 3-1 series win" Monday.
  21. (But if he can throw both at will that would be pretty cool. Imagine those two pitches in succession--first get them to swing at a pitch that starts over the plate but ends up way outside, then freeze then with a cake strike that could the corner!)
  22. That first pair of gifs supports Ashbury's concern that the increase in velocity came at the expense of a loss in movement. The left one, from last year, moves about eight inches to the right. The new, improved one only moves about an inch. If he's really grooving his four seamer like this now consistently, it is going to keep getting hit even if it is 97 mph.
  23. Alcala has a long way to go before being counted as an elite pitcher at the level of Pressly, a guy who can be slotted into a high leverage role for a playoff team. I'm not saying that to knock the trade -- you also have to take into account years of service time, and cost in salary, as Alcala's value will be accruing at low coast for several years to come, while Pressly's cost is already up to market rate. But I don't think you can just look at Alcala's velocity and say, Done! Elite pitcher in the making! As we've seen so many times, velocity is not enough to achieve consistent success. He's got good stuff, and the odds he can contribute in the near future are very good. But what I saw in his last game was an awkward, off balance, inconsistent, out of control delivery, and inconsistent command of his pitches. He got swings and misses, but he also frequently was off target and gave up a massive home run. That is not the kind of elite level relief pitching that you can plug into a late inning role on a playoff team. Can he still become that? Sure. But it's not a sure thing. Most people don't suddenly jump up a level in control and consistency. He's young enough that it's too early to judge -- he should be in the minor leagues right now, working on a consistent, repeatable delivery, away from the prying eyes of people who would unfairly judge him before it's fair to do so. If there were minor leagues, that's where he would be, and should be until he is truly ready. I know that. So I'm not judging him. But that works both ways: If it's too early to judge him negatively, it's also too early to judge him positively. We simply don't know yet whether he will mature into a consistent, lights out, late inning reliever, or will always be a somewhat wild, somewhat unreliable flamethrower. That doesn't make the trade a failure, just because Pressly put it all together and the return is still unknown. The trade could still deliver many years of low-priced value that will far exceed the cost of one year of an elite reliever several years before. I will say, though, that I was disappointed at the time to lose Pressly. His sudden emergence was not really out of the blue. Many people at this very site had pointed out that his peripherals, particularly his spin rate, were elite, and could indicate an emerging star. I think with the upgrade to our pitching staff he very likely would have blossomed here just as he did in Houston. I would love to have seen the Twins sign him to an extension and lock up a potential bullpen ace for years to come. And the extension he signed with Houston would still be a bargain if he hadn't gotten injured. I don't think he's any more of an injury risk than anyone else, so I don't think it's fair to judge the trade harshly on that basis. Truly elite players are had to find, and I think one sure thing is probably worth two prospects who may or may not pan out. I'd love to have him locked up for two more years right now, as Houston does. Given the choice to reverse the trade or keep it, I'd probably still go with keeping Pressly. But I'm certainly not upset about it. This front office is very, very smart! I think the odds great that we will get years of great value from Alcala, and he will produce many more productive innings, at many millions of dollars less cost, than Pressly will. That's how you build long-term success. And if Celestino emerges as a reliable backup CF, all the better. I have no problem with this trade. It's just not one of my favorites--yet. It could still become the greatest trade they ever did, if Alcala surpasses Pressly in production next year, and then keeps it up year after year at sub-market wages. That is a very strong possibility. The roster these guys have put together boggles my mind, with elite depth in both the lineup and the bullpen, at league average salary. It's as good a front office, and as good a foundation, as there is in the game. So I'd need a really, really good reason to second guess anything they do, and this trade is most certainly not an occasion to do that.
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