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Posts posted by jokin


    Nick Anderson continues his ascendance to majordomo status for the Rays bullpen in tonight's Wild Card game vs. the A's. 


    After yielding a leadoff single to Greg Olson, he strikes out the next 4 straight (3 swinging) in 1.1 IP in the 8th and 9th innings. HIs velocity has actually ticked up in the postseason, with most of his FBs coming in at 97 and 98 MPH. And the big drop on his breaking ball had the A's hitters flummoxed. 


    ESPN announcers noted that the Rays were 11-14 in 1-run games before Anderson joined the Rays, and 12-2 in 1-run games ever since.


    Although the MLB braintrust and sponsors might have a heart attack, I think it would be amazing if Tampa Bay (with the lowest MLB payroll) and the Twins (TB and MN rank #1 and #2 in bullpen MLB fWAR since August 1) were to somehow knock off the vaunted Astros starting staff and the Yankees Murderers Row lineup, and then play late next week in the ALCS. 




    The Brewers were one game away from a World Series appearance. I would say it's a fairly small sample size, but to say it doesn't work seems a bit disingenuous. 


    Disingenuous a bit?  It seems inevitable that it's bound to happen. The Brewers came just "this" close.


    Small market teams like the Royals took the first baby steps towards the trend, last year the Brewers, and now the Rays qnd Twins (albeit almost via necessity and accidental and unfortunate circumstances) have shown the way to potentially overcome the financial handicaps of hoping to compete as a small market team- get some shutdown pitchers for the late innings that are still cost-effective in their arb years, collect a secondary group of RPs both internally and externally with varying pedigrees (but still on the cheap), and avoid putting any significant sunk costs into expensive and sparkly FA SPs that will hamper your financial flexibility for other needs (or cripple it should they blow up via injury, ineffectiveness or suspensions).







    Who makes the first eight starts for Pineda?

    As for Gaterol, there is no everyone for the verducci effect. None. I think it's clear he can be a great reliever, less clear he can be a good starter. Two pitches is probably not enough....

    But, given their lack of willingness to spend big, or draft pitchers in round one, they need to start him in AAA next year, imo. If he doesn't develop another pitch by June, call him up as a reliever


    Fair points, all.


    On Pineda, the Twins have a bevy of SP hopefuls hanging around. Thorpe the most obvious, Goncalves if healthy, Smeltzer if necessary. I think giving them each a "tryout" or two will suffice until Pineda is elgible.


    My impression is that Pomeranz would kill to get another legit shot at starting, the Twins have put themselves in the position to hand him just that opportunity- with a team that hits better than the Brew Crew- he just might rise to the occasion.


    On Graterol, I think he will have a 3rd pitch in the works by next April. The kid is as good looking a young fireballing prospect as anyone I've seen this side of Strasburg or even Nolan Ryan. That easy motion and delivery should be most amenable to teaching an effective 3rd pitch if he's willing to put in the time.


    They may carry two starters and 10 relievers into the playoffs with bullpen games 2 and 4. Graterol is one of my 10 or even 9 if they keep a third starter. Even with a start from Perez they still need a lot of relievers behind him. I don’t think Gibson will be healthy enough to start.


    This would have been crazy talk to even consider a scenario like this even just 5-6 years ago, but now, given the Twins current circumstances, it makes perfect sense. Perez as a long RP, maybe in a still-winnable game where the SP goes bust?


    People are (justifiably) questioning Graterol's results thus far. translating to post-season. But I have an inkling that this guy's a sponge, and his learning curve is steep. And seriously, why not roll the dice with Graterol? You can feature Duffey, then May, then Graterol- Fast/Faster/Fastest- with Graterol maybe getting one or two tough outs and then handing it over to Rogers.


    I think it makes sense to manage his innings next year and I think it does.

    The easiest way to manage his innings is to make him a pitcher and forget starter or set up guy designations.

    Don’t make him throw 6 innings as a starter when he pitches and don’t limit him to 1 inning as a reliever when he pitches.

    We will be losing a lot of innings that have to be replaced next year if Odorizzi, Pineda, Gibson and Perez go away.

    You can try shove arms into the traditional 5 man rotation model created by past generations or... you can be like Steve Jobs and create something new and effective.

    Just call them pitchers and find 15 good ones and divide the innings up based on performance.

    Think differently. The teams that have been are consistently winning.


    Great post. It's coming. The crazy economics and pitching arm fragility demands it.


    Tampa Bay and MN are the #1 and #2 teams in RP fWAR since August 1.

    I'd wager that their RP budgets are some of the lowest in MLB.


    14 pitchers likely on most MLB active rosters in 2020. (The Twins, via SP injury, illness and suspension are already more than halfway there- they might become the first playoff team that logs more RP than SP innings during the post-season).


    I have defended him over the years.   He's a little like the 2nd version of Liriano.   He's not as good as people were hoping for so many write him off as bad....


    In the "disappointed in the career results" category, YES to Liriano comp.


    But in the "compelling, must see" category, a big NO. Scott Baker, or even more, like Jason Vargas, in the "provider of baseball entertainment" category.


    Tom Verducci at SI has been pushing this for years, but that stats haven't borne it out. It makes a great deal of intuitive sense, but it doesn't mean that it's a real thing.


    I like Graterol in the bullpen for this offseason, but I want him starting next year. The changeup needs work, and he'll need a 3rd offering to real lock it in as a starter in MLB, but I think he can do it. And while I'd love it to be the change, he could also be a guy who makes it work with 2 different fastballs and that nasty slider if the change doesn't come around.


    Let him compete for the rotation out of spring training, and if the change or other 43rd offering isn't ready for prime time, he can keep working in AAA (which may be a better training ground for pitchers than it was with them using the MLB ball now) until he's ready. I think he's got a solid chance to be starting next year. I think any innings limit should be based on how his shoulder is doing during the year, not based on arbitrary numbers.


    Great post. About where I think the Twins see it (hopefully).


    Just have him spend serious time doing the Berrios training regimen with Jose in Puerto Rico, And have him spend the remaining spare time working on a change with Johan. Brusdar will become a beast..


        Next year Berrios, resign Odorizzi, resign Pineda, start Graterol and give May another chance.    If not, I will say Dobnak has looked better in both of his last two starts than Gibson has all year.   Great control, hit 95 with a great breaking ball and change up.   


    1) Berrios

    2) Pineda

    3) FA... Dallas Kuechel

    4) Dobnak's spot to lose in-season

    5) Graterol's spot to lose in ST (Sign FA Drew Pomeranz- add some "Wes Magic") "Loser" of the 3 goes to the pen/AAA.


    QO for Odo (he declines)


    7th Inning- May/Duffey

    8th Inning-  Trade for Ken Giles

    9th Inning- Rogers





    Despite this, outside of Cruz, Mitch would get my vote for team MVP.



    I've been saying so for the last two months,

    thanks to Rowson for making the hitting approach changes, Rocco for being the first in the org to truly believe in Garver's full potential, and especially to Garver himself, Garver has to be the MVP or co-MVP. He's transforming himself into the heart and soul of the team, offensively and in handling the pitching corps.


    A catcher who frequently, and justifiably, hits in the #1, and last night, the #2 spot? I can't help but feel that under the previous manager and staff, he'd still be just another catcher fighting for ABs with the other guy who got the big contract. And now, the reality is, Garver's season at the plate in terms of team impact and overall statistical production currently eclipses all of Mauer's years except for his AL MVP year. (Mauer had a wRC+ of 170 in 2009, Garver's wRC+ is now around 160). 


    Garver's batting slash with RISP: .339/.397/.732/(1.129)

    Cruz's batting slash with RISP: .355/.466/.559/(1.025)


    Garver is the best in baseball in HR frequency. His HR/AB ratio is 1/9.75. By comparison, Trout's ratio is 10.444.


    Of course, his hitting splits differential are limiting him from becoming a true superstar.


    As Garver approaches his age 29 season, the Twins must me mindful of Garver's prodigious bat potential and consider how Buster Posey, Carlos Santana and Joe Mauer made transitions away from full-time catching duties. They need to do whatever it takes to insure that this is not just Garver's "career year" outlier. And Garver should take some off-season lessons from Max Kepler, and focus on improving his production against same-handed pitching. Perhaps he could slip into a more limited part-time catching/part-time DH or 1B role after Cruz/Cron are gone and help Garver productively extend his carer into his mid-30s.









    Our favorite team having a surplus of corner outfielders does not diminish Rosario's trade value. Our pals trading Bauer is a current example.


    The Indians traded- from a position of excess- a headcase distraction in Bauer, and acquired a headcase distraction (Puig) and a NL defensive liability (Reyes), in return. Plus, the Indians got another player and 2 prospects.


    Finding another team in a position of SP excess- AND- willing to deal like this is difficult, if not highly unlikely- in the Indians case, it took a 3-team deal to make it happen.


    Our favorite team having a surplus of corner outfielders does not diminish Rosario's trade value. Our pals trading Bauer is a current example. Anderson is far from from proven. Once the book is out on him, video game numbers will cease.


    Once the book is out on him (Anderson)?


    He's been a major league pitcher for nearly a full season, and he's actually drastically IMPROVING his numbers (every MLB team has fully comprehensive video on demand on every big league pitcher).


    It looked like to me, as to how the ball was clearly on the way down and hit the wall at about halfway up..... that in any other ballpark that would have been a routine fly ball ..... maybe to the warning track, but probably not even that deep, the outfield would have been playing deep to normal, a routine catch right to the left fielder and three outs and the end of the game right there. We still would have been robbed of the fantastic play and throw and put out at home with the bounce off the shallow left field green monster, though.



    Not enough people are aware of how unusual Fenway is relative to any other ballpark.


    LF, RF and CF configurations are all downright strange, and pose a challenge of sensory adjustment to visiting OFers. For a guy who only plays 3 games here/year, it's amazing how perfectly Rosario played both the carom and made the perfect throw home with his back to the infield.


    I find it interesting the Twins have played 8 more games against teams with above .500 record.  The remaining schedules have Cleveland only playing 3 more games against above .500 teams, that Twins do not play as well.  Cleveland plays 3 games against Philly.  So why the 5 game difference by end of season, who did we play Cleveland did not, or is that stat based on where they were when played them?  




    Twins play 4 against Milwaukee.

    Tribe play 4 against Cincinnati.


    Rosario has accumulated 5 times the career fWAR of Anderson and is over a year younger.



    Anderson is a rookie and has made a bigger impact than Rosario has in his 5th season.

    Anderson plays at a position of current extreme need.

    Anderson has produced at a position of need more than Rosario has at a position of surplus.


    The coup de grace?


    Anderson is one of only FOUR pitchers (out of over 400) who have a K/9 greater than 15.

    Of the 18 LFers who have qualified ABs, Rosario ranks FIFTEENTH with his fWAR of 1.1- he's producing just barely above Robbie Grossman's 1.0.

    Robbie Grossman?


    In summary-


    The Twins have a surplus of high-rated prospect and door-knocking OFers.

    The Twins have a passel-full of prospect but unproven MLB-level pitchers.

    Anderson has 5 more years of inexpensive control.

    Rosario is expensive, and will be gone sooner or later, but no later than 2021.


    Bottom line:


    Effective, proven MLB-level pitchers are scarcer than corner OFers.

    Hard to visualize the Twins getting a good #3 SP for Rosario except giving up more prospects- not many teams with surplus quality arms.

  15. Jaylin Davis debuts in RF tonight for the Giants. Here's a capsule review from NBC Sports:



    "...Giants people have described Davis, called up Wednesday, as a good runner, and that certainly showed as he got his first big league hit out of the way. Davis did so quickly, reaching on an infield single in his first at-bat. He hit a slow grounder to third and got up to 30.1 feet per second while beating out a wide throw.


    That was the second-best sprint speed of the season by a Giant, trailing just an Austin Slater dash of 30.4 feet per second. Anything above 30 is considered elite..."


    An infield hit and a BB for Davis. I must admit, I didn't know Davis possessed this much speed. Nice combo with his power burst. The Giants press is giddy about a guy they assumed was just another power bat.


    The article has a quote from Davis, as well. Seems like he has a nice shot at a decent major league career.


    24th round draft pick by the Twins. Kudos to Ricky Taylor, who signed him ( I hope he got the proper love from the previous and current FO for his fine work). You can't fault the Twins for making the move, hopefully it works out for the best for both teams. It was just very unfortunate that the Twins couldn't have worked out a larger deal with the Giants that involved Bumgarner and additional Twins prospects in the transaction.


    If they decide to go relievers, he would bring back 3 or 4 Fearless Nick Andersons.


    September 3 "Fearless Nick Anderson" update:


    Innings Pitched- 1.1 (High Leverage situation)

    Batters faced- 4

    Strikeouts- 4

    Swinging Ks- 3

    K/9- 27

    K%- 100%

    Pitches- 18

    Pitches In Strike Zone- 17 ( 2 mistakenly called balls)

    FBs- 15 (Avg ~96 MPH)

    Sliders- 3 (2 for swinging Strike 3s)

    ERA- 0.00

    FIP- -2.78


    Maybe "Supremely Confident Nick Anderson" would be a better moniker?

    (I'd settle for even one more Nick Anderson on the current Twins roster).

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