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Cap'n Piranha

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Everything posted by Cap'n Piranha

  1. As we tick off the last few meaningless games of the 2022 season, attention turns to 2023. With a little bit of Falvinelli self-reflection, I think a very successful 2023 is well within the realm of possibility. Here are 6 reasons why. The starting rotation should (hopefully) be at worst solid, if not a strength. With Gray and Ryan returning, the Twins have 2 starters with sub 4 ERAs--while advanced stats are a little more cautious, both are still seen as solid options. Add in the expected return of Maeda, who when last healthy pitched like a borderline ace, reasonable progression from Varland, Winder, and Ober, the potential emergence of SWR, and a potential return from injury for Mahle and Paddack, and the Twins have 9 options who profile as legitimate MLB starters. That is more depth than the Twins have had in the rotation in a long time; are there still questions, particularly around health? Absolutely. But there is also hope. The starting lineup should (hopefully) be filled with above average hitters from just about top to bottom. Jeffers at C, Kiriloff at 1B, Polanco at 2B, Lewis at SS, Miranda at 3B, Buxton at CF, Wallner/Larnach at the corners, and Arraez at DH; that's a very solid lineup that should be able to put up some runs. Add in Gordon as depth, and the top 10 for the Twins, on paper, looks like a first division outfit. Everyone will need to stay healthy, which is a very big ask, but if that happens, the Twins should score runs in bunches. The bullpen has (hopefully) a very solid foundation. Duran is all-world; 1st in velo, 13th in ERA, 3rd in xFIP. Theilbar and Jax have been very solid contributors, and Alcala should hopefully be back, bringing yet more velo to the pen, Moran has shown some flashes, and if he can get the walks under control, he'll be a real weapon. Lopez is unfortunately a major question mark, and potential liability, but there is reason to hope that the Twins already have 4-5 solid options in the pen, 3 of whom have average velo above 95. That's the best talent base for a pen the Twins have had in quite some time. Falvine should (hopefully) avoid some of the bad decisions that have plagued the last 2 seasons. For two years in a row, Falvine have acquired a bullpen arm, installed that arm as closer, and watched said pitcher absolutely torpedo the season. If they didn't know before, they should know now; the bullpen cannot be allowed to sink the season through lack of options, especially if starters are going to be inning restricted. I think Falvey and Levine are both intelligent, and if they're humble enough to admit mistakes, I have every confidence they will avoid repeating them. The injury luck should (hopefully) be better. I mean, it can't be worse, right? Right? The payroll should (hopefully) allow the Twins to make one, or maybe even two big moves in FA. According to Spotrac, the Twins have $118M on the books for next year; however, that includes Correa, Bundy, Archer, and Sano. If none of those players return, that $118M drops precipitously, to $48M; if the Twins are also able to move Kepler's contract, that drops below $40M. Between arb raises and rookie-scale deals, the Twins should easily be able to keep the payroll below $100M (this all changes if Correa opts in, of course). That's plenty of room to make a big move.
  2. I yearn for an alternate universe where the FO signed one of Gausman, Ray, or Rodon in FA, and therefore didn't need to trade for either Paddack OR Mahle. A Twins team with one of those 3 in the rotation, plus Rogers instead of Pagan in the bullpen might very well be headed to the playoffs; the resulting increase in fan interest along with added revenue from postseason games would pay for a sizable chunk of that salary. When Falvinelli does their post-mortem of this season, I hope that fact stands out; refusal to invest money led directly to the need to part with talent multiple times, while also directly impacting the financial topline negatively.
  3. I think Falvinelli are in complete and total lock step, which is why I put the pen more on Falvine than Baldelli. All 3 of them think they have cracked a code by limiting starters to 4-6 innings depending on when the order turns over for the second time. The thing is, they’re right. The stats are undeniable. However; there was never a plan to address bulking up the bullpen to pitch 486-810 innings, which is why the Twins have generally rolled out 8 guys who more or less only pitch one inning, and need a day off after pitching in order to stay highly effective. Combine that with Baldelli’s penchant to use all his best bullpen options anytime the game’s margin is 3 or less, and you have a recipe to blow out your bullpen constantly. If the FO wants to continue their “5-and-fly” strategy, they MUST dedicate a significant amount of resources to the pen this offseason. Theilbar and Jax need to be your 5th and 6th option at best, and you need at least 2 guys that can handle 3-4 innings every third day. If they can’t get that done, and they still refuse to get more innings from starters, then Falvine should be told they’ll need to start paying for tickets to Twins games (because they were fired).
  4. I would phrase it as the car didn’t break down, but nor did it turn on. At no point this year have the Twins looked like a team that was going to make any other team nervous in a playoff series.
  5. The utter failure of the FO, knowing full well they would need 3-5 innings from the pen every day, to devote anything close to requisite resources to the bullpen.
  6. And now Arraez is out. Whoever is running the departments that address injury prevention and recovery for the Twins needs to be let go this offseason.
  7. Randy Dobnak is hardly the anchor weighing down the good ship Twinkes.
  8. BSN may want to re-think the home plate mics for tonight's game, at least until Greinke is out. I've counted at least 2 very audible instances of, shall we say, fruity language.
  9. The thing everyone forgets about Nick Punto is that he was actually a pretty good player who was imply asked to do more than he was capable of. He put up 3.6 WAR in 2006, and 2.7 in 2008; he finished his career with over 15 WAR (coming into this season, Buxton had 15 WAR exactly). If Punto had been allowed to bat 8th or 9th, and not 2nd in front of Mauer and Morneau, he'd be remembered very differently; as a spectacular defensive 3B with a pretty good OBP for a bottom of the order hitter.
  10. Leaving aside the debate on whether RBI is a valid statistic, but I never understood why a hitter doesn't get an RBI when grounding into a double play. He still put a ball in play that allowed the runner to score. Pretty clearly should be an RBI, IMO.
  11. As unlikely as making the playoffs are, I have to wonder why we would even want to. We’d either get the Rays and their all-around competence, the imposing lineup of the Blue Jays, or the Mariners who will trot out Castillo, Ray, and Gilbert. Any ways you cut out, no way this team takes 2 of 3 against any of those teams. Now is the time to see who can be helpful for next year. Archer should be shut down for the year, Bundy should be released, Pagan DFA’d, etc. Bring up SWR and Wallet at minimum, and then anyone else with a pulse across the river.
  12. Because the pitcher threw 4 pitches that the batter was incapable of putting into play. The goal of a hitter should not be to avoid strikeouts, it should be to put the ball in play. As such, preventing a pitcher from striking you out is no great accomplishment. Throwing 4 strikes to a hitter without him being able to put even one in play is an accomplishment.
  13. An easier way I think would be to ban pickoffs entirely, and instead create a circle around every base (say 7-8 feet in radius) that a runner must have at least one foot in until the pitcher starts his motion. The pitcher cannot throw to a base unless the runner has left the circle, and if the pitcher breaks that rule, it is a balk.
  14. I don't think it's players work ethic, but I do think it's coach's unwillingness, and it's because every front office has decided that the "best" way to win games is to work counts for walks, and hit for power. Accordingly, coaching a player to perform in a way that does not advance those desirables is counter-productive, and does not happen. If indeed the problem is that velocity is just too great, and hitters can't catch up to it, then we would expect to see shifts applied to righties, not lefties, as both would be struggling to catch up to the velo. This would results in lefties hitting their weak grounders to the 3rd base side, and righties hitting theirs to the 1st base side.
  15. Because 200-hoppers dribbling into the outfield for singles is the kind of action fans are clamoring for? Eliminating the extreme shift will not only not reduce the explosion of launch-angle driven pull hitting, it will increase it, as there now is less disincentive to hit that way.
  16. Spot on. Why can't Jorge Polanco stand 15 feet away from where he would be under the current shift, and simply backpedal there as soon as the pitcher disengages from the rubber? Why can't Carlos Correa stand one inch away from second base, and run over to the right side as soon as the pitcher disengages from the rubber?
  17. This is the best post in this entire thread. Football and basketball have both implemented rules that fundamentally changed their games, massively for the better (imagine the NFL existing in 2022 with only handoffs, or an NBA with no 3-point line where the first team to score could just sit on the ball until the game clock ran out). MLB needs to do the same. My suggestion would be to give each team 125 pitches, all with the exact pitch clock being implemented next year by MLB. Everything else in the game will be the same (3 strikes, 4 balls, switch team batting after 3 outs, 9 innings in a game, etc.), with the exception of some new bonuses available at the end of the game. For every 3 outs your team does not make while at bat, you get a bonus run. For every 4 pitches your team does not need to use to get 27 outs, your team gets a bonus run. For example, the Twins send 30 men to the plate in 125 pitches, but only 21 make outs; the Twins are awarded 2 bonus runs. Or the Twins record all 27 outs while only throwing 113 pitches; the Twins are awarded 3 bonus runs. To ensure batters don't constantly waste pitches, a new rule is added that says it's a strikeout after 4 strikes of any kind (so 4 foul balls is now an out, or 2 called strikes and 2 foul balls). To also ensure teams don't use too many pitchers in a game, only 4 different players can throw a pitch in any given game, unless a pitcher leaves because of an injury. If a pitcher does leave due to an injury, they must immediately be placed on the 15 day IL. Every pitcher now has an incentive to attack hitters, hitters have an incentive to put the ball in play, and games will be all but certain to end in 2.5 hours at most.
  18. I think that example serves as a pretty big nail in the coffin to the "RBI is the most important statistic in evaluating players" argument, which is the one Chief was making. If you honestly believe RBI is the most important statistic to measure offensive performance, then you have to believe that 2019 Eddie Rosario was a better offensive player than 2019 Mike Trout. And no, you absolutely do not need to put the ball in play with authority with RISP to get an RBI. You can hit a bases empty homer. You can hit a swinging bunt that just gets past the pitcher. You can hit a duck fart blooper that falls in between 3 fielders with 2 outs. Or heck, you can get a walk or HBP with the bases loaded, and get an RBI despite not hitting the ball at all. Think about it this way--which player did more to help his team score a run? The hitter who fought off 6 two-strike pitches to get a hustle single, then stole second base, and scored on a bloop single to right when he accurately read it would fall, or the hitter who hit the 74 MPH exit velocity blooper on an excuse-me swing? It's like thinking the fullback who scores a 1 yard TD did more than the halfback who turned a 2 yard loss into a 79 yard gain.
  19. 2019--Eddie Roasrio had 109 RBI in 590 PA, Trout had 104 in 600 (source is fangraphs) 2020--I will retract, Rosario had 42 in 231, Trout had 46 in 241. The point remains--across those 2 seasons, Eddie had 151 RBI in 821 PAs, Trout had 150 RBI in 841 PAs. Since you said you will take RBI over any other offensive stat, are you willing to admit that you think for the two year span of 2019 and 2020, Eddie Rosario was a better offensive player than Mike Trout?
  20. Aaron Judge has been walked 80 times this year in 577 PAs (13.9%). Bonds was walked 177!!! times in 664 PAs (26.7%). Say whatever you want about Bonds, but he was hardly the only player juicing at the time, and no one else even sniffed his numbers. Barry Bonds is one of the 5 greatest hitters in MLB history.
  21. So in 2019 AND 2020, you think Eddie Rosario was a superior offensive player to Mike Trout, since Eddie had more RBI than Trout in both years, in fewer PAs.
  22. It's also pretty hard to consistently score runs if you don't have guys in the lineup who score them (by getting on base).
  23. I meant more the owners cut ties with all current affiliated teams, and partner instead with some of the teams they just withdrew affiliation from. All those stadiums are theoretically still standing. Or, every MLB team could establish a complex in both Arizona and Florida, and have two teams based in each state.
  24. On another note, I'm also curious to see how far down the representation goes? Is it just the "A" levels, or are complex and Dominican leagues included? Also, I wonder if there comes a point where the owners decide to blow up a large portion of the MiLB system as it currently exists, and reformulate with wholly-owned teams.
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