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Everything posted by jharaldson

  1. Let's look at the regular season then. The Twins have gone 32-109 against the Yankees since 2002. That .227 Winning% is worse than the New York Mets baseline of 40-120 that is commonly used as replacement level. Seeing the Twins getting dominated by the Yankees year after year and seeing the Twins and AL Central have so many issues in the postseason make me think that we need to weight your "mediocre" scale. In FIP they often have a ballpark rating to adjust expected ERA up or down depending on ease of hitting HR and such. I am going to apply a factor to teams in the AL Central. An 81-81 team in the AL East is better than an 81-81 team in the Central so while you used +-10 games to get to 76-86 and 86-76 I am going to use 80 as my starting point and go 80-82 and 90-72 which means requiring 4 additional wins per season to get out of "mediocre" for an AL Central team. This adjusts your table to the following: 2002: 94-67 - Good 2003: 90-72 - Mediocre 2004: 92-70 - Good 2005: 83-79 - Mediocre 2006: 96-66 - Good 2007: 79-83 - Bad 2008: 88-75 - Mediocre 2009: 87-76 - Mediocre 2010: 94-68 - Good 2011: 63-99 - Bad 2012: 66-96 - Bad 2013: 66-96 - Bad 2014: 70-92 - Bad 2015: 83-79 - Mediocre 2016: 59-103 - Bad 2017: 85-77 - Mediocre 2018: 78-84 - Bad 2019: 101-61 - Good 2020: Too short to compare 2021: 73-89 - Bad I personally view 14 of the past 20 season as either mediocre or bad.
  2. From what I can see in the link below it is actually less than 1.5 seconds. Washington Post Baseball Swing Study I'm not saying that this is easy, it is incredibly hard. But being able to identify a pitch is part of what distinguishes a professional from a minor leaguer and is a defined and recognized skill in major league baseball. In regards to Chapman, from what I can read his injury was caused as a result of the ball being excessively darkened by spit, dirt, and other substances plus the fact the game had extended into the late afternoon with no artificial lights. Not being able to react because you can't see the ball vs. not reacting well to a ball that is fully visible and is well-lit are two entirely different things.
  3. I will disagree with the fact that this injury is not Buxton's fault. Below I have 2 screenshots from the pitch that hit him. The first shows him with his hands protected behind his triceps and the second is from a fraction of a second later when he had brought his hands in to start a swinging motion. He obviously massively misjudged this ball and instead of protecting his hands during a non-swing he had to instead try to protect them mid-swing which is why they were out there in plain sight. Better pitch identification and him reacting by turning his left shoulder in instead of bringing his hands into the zone would have prevented this injury.
  4. Something a little outside the box I would like to see is the Twins go after Yu Darvish on a trade. He ranked 7th among all starters in K% and 10th in xFIP. His ERA and FIP were inflated due to uncharacteristically high HR% which may be solved by leaving Wrigley and can help reduce his trade cost. he is down to 4Y/$81M on his contract which helps reduce the risk.
  5. In regards to the 3AM discussion, I would ask that people would evaluate this based on the culture of the Dominican Republic and not in US standards. I traveled to Brazil last year and because they are used to having American guests they worked with a restaurant to ensure they would be open at 8PM when they were going to take us out to eat. I asked why this is and they said because it is so hot out during the day that most activity takes place at night and that late dinners at 10,11,12 is fairly common. I am not sure how many cultural norms Brazil and the Dominican Republic share but it seems like a possibility that this is one.
  6. 5 years ago I took my kids to a game and we got there early. We hung around the dugout and Tony Oliva saw my kids and autographed a couple of balls and rolled them over the limestone to them. Made their night.
  7. Just to confirm, I had done some research and found that Mike Beradino reported it as an "OR" in 2014 when the contract was signed: https://www.twincities.com/2014/12/12/twins-signing-ervin-santana-about-more-than-the-arm/ I would trust Beradino over all of the other sources as I think he may have actually spoken to someone vs just being an aggregator of news articles written by others. Are you saying Mike is wrong as well?
  8. Pioneer Press reporter Mike Beradino reported it as an "OR" in his article in December of 2014 covering the signing: https://www.twincities.com/2014/12/12/twins-signing-ervin-santana-about-more-than-the-arm/
  9. Here are 3 things I take as facts: - Joe Mauer revealed in March of 2016 that he had been experiencing vision issues during the previous season. - The Twins were surprised at this fact and were not aware of Joe's vision issues. - The Twins medical staff asked Joe dozens, if not hundreds of times, a set of specific concussion related questions between August 2013 and March 2016. I would be interested in another theory as to how these can all be true that doesn't involve Joe Mauer lying about his symptoms to the Twins medical staff.
  10. I have had a concussion and had to follow up on it with my doctor. At every visit I was specifically asked a number of questions: 1. Are you having headaches or memory issues? 2. Are you experiencing any vision issues including blurred vision, sensitivity to light, etc... 3. Are you feeling sluggish? etc... I would answer these honestly each time because a concussion is a serious injury. I have a hard time believing that Mauer was not asked these questions on a frequent basis by the Twins staff because after the Morneau concussion they truly understood how serious an injury this is. By frequently I mean no less than once a week and more likely it was once before any game. I would guess he was asked these questions hundreds of times between having the concussion and revealing his vision issues in spring training, 2016. Based on the Twins surprise when Mauer revealed these vision issues I have to assume that when he was asked these questions that he lied to the Twins.
  11. I think Mike is on point here and I think I have a pathway that the Twins can use to get this done. The Twins have a big advantage over the competition, they can influence the amount he can get paid this year. I would go to Brian with the following points: 1. Daniel Murphy was right after you in WAR for 2B last season and his free agent contract in 2016 was 3 years/$37.5 million. 2. $5.5 million of that was deferred. 3. We have room in our 2018 budget due to BAMTech to get you more money immediately. My formal offer would be the following: - 3 years/$45 million - No deferred money - $6 million raise in 2018 to bring his salary up to $15 million - $5 million signing bonus This would allow us to use our financial flexibility over the next few years but comes off the books as guys like Buxton, Sano, and Rosario hit free agency.
  12. I am all for silver linings but I think you have a couple items in here that do not qualify: I don't get how this is a silver lining. There were 15 players last year that pitched 200+ innings. The average WAR was 4.4 with the lowest being 2.0. I don't know any contending team that would turn down a 1 year/$14 million contract for that kind of production. WAR Link For comparison purposes, the 4 big free agent pitchers this year (Darvish, Arrieta, Cobb, Lynn) had an average WAR of 2.5 with the low being 1.4 and they seem to be in line for 4-6 year contracts for $15-21 million a year. Free Agent WAR Link The Twins are a mid-market team and should be expected to be middle of the pack on payroll. The median salary in MLB is about $135 million (Link). Inflation was 2.13% in 2017 (Link). If we project that over the next 6 years the median payroll in 2023 will be $153 million or higher, as MLB payroll has grown significantly faster than inflation in the past. The Twins have no payroll obligations past 2019 and should easily be able to absorb 13.7% of their payroll being dead money. They got by this year with Phil Hughes, Nolasco, Park, and Perkins consuming 25% of their payroll.
  13. When I hear “4 or 5 years” I interpret that as meaning 4 guaranteed years and a vesting option for a 5th. Doogie also seemed to imply the yearly value was in the $20-22 million range. He was projected to get 6 years and $160 million by mlbtraderumors and the Twins could be offering 4 years and $80 million. This is a lowball offer if true.
  14. Here is a link to my most recent blog post, Twins Analytics Infrastructure. It is a little on the nerdier side but I would love to get any feedback and/or comments. Thanks!
  15. This Twins have had a bit of a tortured history with analytics. In 2010 Rob Antony did an interview with TwinsDaily’s own Parker Hageman and revealed some interesting facts about the Twins and Sabermetrics. Antony stated this about their analytics department, “we're probably one of the last, if not the last, team to address it with a person dedicated solely to that.”. He went on further to fail to understand some fairly basic concepts about Sabermetrics. He thought FIP was “first strike in inning pitched” and was unable to guess about BABIP. He then revealed they had just hired their analytics guy and stated he would be “Gathering information and creating databases. This will be his first year. The guy that we brought in will start creating systems to build a foundation of our own that we can look at.” This is what I primarily want to get into as I have a background in IT. In corporate America one of the techniques we use to understand what our competition is doing is to analyze their job postings. Have they posted an unusually large amount of Sales positions? Are they looking at specific geographic locations that have a concentration of talent? Are they asking for specific or unusual technical skills? These are all things we can look at to try to get an idea of intent and structure. I applied this technique to the Twins and their development job postings and found some interesting things. 2014 Posting 2015 Posting One of the common details in both job postings is the fact that the Twins were looking for a developer who had experience doing front-end work (HTML, JavaScript), middle tier (.NET Framework, ASP.MVC), and the data layer (SQL Server). This implies a couple of things. The first is that the Twins are employing a standard three-tier architecture for their analytics. It also implies that they only have “full stack” developers, which means they are required to know and to be able to develop in all 3 of their architecture tiers. This is problematic because is you are required to be able to code in everything that usually means you are unable to specialize or gain really in-depth knowledge on any single tier. For the Twins to take the next step in analytics I think they need to be hiring specialists in each of these areas. Another thing I noticed is that the only data store they referred to is SQL Server. The reason that this is important is that the industry still values relational datamarts like SQL Server but they are also moving in the direction of unstructured Big Data repositories as well. Applications like Hadoop, HBASE, MongoDB, and many others allow unstructured data to be quickly stored and analyzed which allows for more experimentation by analysts when compared to a structured DB. I think the PITCH f/x and Trackman data has likely been analyzed enough but I think the next frontier is going into some less structured data. Putting medical records into a big data store and analyzing test results and notes to find patterns in identifying healthier players. Putting free text scouting reports into it and running natural language analytics on them using IBM Watson or some other AI service to identify key language or sentiments that indicate a player that is more likely to succeed. The addition of weather data and the analysis of its impact on specific players. I think there is a lot of room to grow here. In short, I think it is likely this lack of specialization and not embracing the newer Big Data technologies led Thad Levine and Derek Falvey to go in a new direction this last fall with the analytics department. I wouldn’t be surprised if the hiring surge described in a recent article by Pat Reusse did not include hires to address these concerns. I am interested in your thoughts and feedback.
  16. Then you say no and let Darvish figure out if he wants to accept that 3 or 4 year deal he can get right now from this depressed market. Does he want to earn more money in 1 year than any MLB player has ever done and go to free agency in 2019 when the Yankees and Dodgers would be in the mix? Or does he want to accept half that annual contract value and not get the 5-6 year term he wants?
  17. I agree the idea could be repurposed. A 4 year/$140 million contract with $60 million being a signing bonus using the BAMTech money might get him to agree to a reduced term from the 5-7 years he is likely looking for. I wouldn't be opposed to Falvine putting both options on the table.
  18. Here is a link to my first blog post, New Approach on Signing Yu Darvish. I would love to get any feedback and/or comments. Thanks!
  19. It is no secret that this offseason has been particularly slow. Judd Zulgad and Phil Mackey had a conversation about it this week on their radio show because the lack of news was taking the excitement out of the offseason. ESPN has set up a free agency tracker and only 2 of the top 10 free agents have signed and only 7 of the top 20 overall. The 4 top pitchers in this market are unsigned as well (Darvish, Arrieta, Cobb, Lynn). This glut of unsigned talent this late in the offseason leaves teams with unique opportunities. http://22927-presscdn.pagely.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Yu-Darvish-3-640x355.jpeg I think the Twins can take advantage of how the market has played out to do something innovative with Yu Darvish. Here are some baseline items I believe are contributing to his unsigned status: The Yankees and the Dodgers are staying out of the market due to a desire to reset the luxury tax threshold and by doing so they are creating a void that has yet to be filled. Darvish has likely not received any 5 or 6 year offers at this point or I think he would have signed. The world series performance by Darvish may be leaving a bad taste in the mouths of many clubs. Here are some baseline items in regards to the Twins: The Twins have a large bubble payment of $50-68 million coming in Q1 2018 from the MLB sale of BAMTech (Correct Source) The Twins need pitching help in the starting rotation, preferably someone with top of the rotation potential. The Twins are adverse to long-term free agent contracts which I am putting at anything over 4 years. My idea is for the Twins to offer Darvish a massively over market contract for 1 year. Here are the details: 1 year/$40 million Vesting team option for a second year at $15 million if Darvish does not pitch at least 100 innings. Majority of the $40 million is in the form of a signing bonus so as to allow a tax favorable payment to Darvish with his current residency being in Texas, a state with no income tax. This deal is advantageous to both parties given the current climate. Darvish gets a number of positive outcomes: Extremely high salary for 1 year. Significant tax savings. The ability to re-enter the market in 2019 when the Dodgers and Yankees will theoretically be back in the mix. The chance to put the bad World Series performance out of teams minds. Ability to play with a team with good outfield defense and that is on the rise. The Twins get a number of things in return as well: They get the services of a potential ace pitcher, similar to what they did in 1991 with Jack Morris. The Twins are not on the hook for a massive 5+ year contract. The Twins have a dedicated funding source (BAMTech money) to fund this initiative. If they don’t spend it in this fashion it is likely just going to go to the Pohlad family and won’t improve the team. The Twins are protected in case of injury due to the team option provision. Will the Twins try to innovate in this fashion? I am not certain. This would be the highest per year contract ever given out in MLB history. The current leader is Greinke with a per year average of $34.5 million. The Pohlad’s have not shown a willingness to be big spenders on the open market and Falvine have yet to show it as well. Darvish may also have some apprehension. He may decide that a 4 year/$100 million offer provides more security. He may blow out his arm at any point in 2018 and want the security of the long term contract, even if it is not as long term and as valuable as he might have hoped. What are your thoughts? Do you like this 1 year approach? Who do you think says no? Please leave comments, thanks!
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