I agree with minor league players (Arcia) and others. Let them play. Dominating AAA doesn't help them adjust to whatever the problem is at the MLB level. I never hear about the adjustments the coaches are making with the batters approach. It is always why isn't the player making the neccessary adjustments? You see coaches make in game adjustments all the time in football and basketball. I would like to know - What are the Twins telling these minor league struggling athletes to do (adjustments)? Not just patience - but slow this down - speed this up - move hands here - move feet there - etc. etc.! Arcia, Colabello, Pinto, Hicks are too good to be this bad on a regular basis. IMO
You're welcome. Although, he left last night's game early so I hope I didn't jinx him.
Thanks for the note on Nate Roberts, I have been a fan of his and hope he can force his way up the depth chart and to the Twins Cities soon
What is a small sample size. In articles I do not recall seeing margin of error statistics.
If numbers for relief pitchers at the end of a season are valid as predictive I would think many starters would have pitched a large enough sample of batters faced to have valid predicive numbers. fip et al does not differentiate between starters and relievers.
There are a lot of great points here. I wish I could address them all. I think that Nolasco has been part bad, part unlucky, part a product of his situation and part who he has always been. I'm optimistic that he can be a 200-inning, 4.50 ERA pitcher for a few years. I was hoping for more when he signed, but his second half with the Dodgers (and in their very forgiving stadium) clouded my judgment.
I do like h2oface's comment about small samples. Just because we can't use them to predict anything, doesn't mean they don't have some value. If nothing else, they tell us what happened and that's something.
His xFIP in May is quite similar to his career. Tough April, but to be expected considering the changes he faced.
He is who the Twins signed. That's how free agency works. He isn't going to be better this far in his career than his average over the whole 4 year contract.
To say that a derivation from the norm on HR/FB and BABIP is all luck is not always true . A certain Twins pitcher in 2012 had 19 starts with career highs in BABIP and HR/FB ratio. Nobody said he was being unlucky.
Nolasco's velocity hasn't changed. The mix of pitches does not appear to be unchanged. Results are different. To blame it on a poor defense could be valid. Look at many people's favorite starter to hate, Correia. Stable K/9, BB/9, and a drop in HR/FB. Results have not been good. Career high in BABIP.
Great article and posts. Thanks.
Nice article. good read.
It had to be known when the OF was going to consist of Willinham/Hicks/Arcia & Kubel it was going to be much harder on the pitchers. That defense is terrible. Hicks has all the tools but is a very average CF at best right now. Thats a brutal defense and not even considering the parade of AAAA middle infielders manning so much OF time.
It really makes you have to look at some of these stats that don't account for the atrocious "Twins baseball" defense.
Some of the data is beyond the small sample threshold and has been for a while.
Strike out rate
fly ball rate
The drops in strike out rate and groundball rate is not a good combination. The drop is enough that it can not be explained by league change. The sample is large enough that it can't be explained by bad luck. I hope it is the pitch mix and increased use of his fastball. His slider has always been his most effective pitch. He needs to find that pitch and use it often.
These 2014 stats are just as valid as the "small sample" of the last half of 2013. I think a lot can be told from small samples, especially if you are managing a team. It is important to be able to identify a players streaks and make lineup changes sooner than later to maximize the benefits to the team. Waiting for the average or the mean, will lose games that could be won.
The NL to AL switch should be factored in as well.
The study was from 2000-2005 and there is also a SSS alert in dealing with 57 FA pitchers but the point remains that the AL is undoubtedly the tougher league on pitchers. The 29 pitchers who switched to the NL from the AL saw their ERA+ go from 97 to 110. The 28 pitchers who made the opposite move saw their ERA+ decrease from 113 to 100. Basically, an average AL starter becomes an above average NL starter and an above average NL starter becomes an average AL starter.
The bad news is Nolasco was a below average NL starter judging by his career ERA+ of 92. I don't think the league switch is entirely responsible for his horrid ERA+ of 66 in 2014 but is certainly a significant factor. FIP is kinder to Nolasco but his FIP has consistently been better than his ERA throughout his career. Nolasco will get better but don't hold your breath waiting for a repeat of his 2013 season. He's a back of the rotation guy who is better at fooling Twins fans into believing their team is willing to spend than he is fooling professional hitters.
I imagine BABIP captures what I've seen a few times. In looking through his game log, I found this interesting:
5/25 - BABIB .444 - His defense included Santana, Nunez, Parm outfield.
5/18 - BABIP .333 - OF of Kubel, Hicks, Parm
5/13 - BABIP .267!! - I can't tell who played CF, but the lineup included Nunez, Parm, Santana, Kubel and Escobar. I imagine three of those played OF, but it's hard to know who.
5/7 - BABIP .357 - OF of Kubel, Fuld, Colabello.
5/2 - BABIP .286 - OF of Kubel, Fuld, Colabello
4/24 - BABIP .391 - OF of Fuld, Hicks, Colabello
4/18 - BABIP .435 - OF of Mastro, Hicks, Colabello
4/12 - BABIP .200 - OF of Kubel, Hicks, Colabello
4/6 - BABIP .353 - OF of Kubel, Hicks, Bartlett!!
3/31 - BABIP .421 - OF of Arcia, Hicks, Willingham
Point is that he's had some pretty bad OF defense behind him. Particularly bad for a flyball pitcher. It seems to me that since May, he's been pitching about how we should expect him to, and if we put a good defense behind him (a topic in another thread, I believe), we might actually see good results.
Cake ball, frosting ball, ball ball, whatever. Just so long as a colorful explosion of something occurs at random, I'm in.
What if, instead of cake balls, they were given frosting balls. seems it might be easier to make a ball out of frosting that aproximates a baseball. Or frosted balls, from a Minnesota Moose. Which would just be his regular balls, but they would have to have been nipped while it was still below freezing.
Even as a non-Minnesotan, and a relatively apathetic fan for everything but baseball I tallied 18 too--a glutton for self-reflection/flagellation.
I forgot about the Marbury/Allen trade--I remember hating that even in Montana, thousands of miles from real basketball anywhere.
I would add the Morneau Concussion, the '08 Game 163 and Johnny Flynn to the list for sure.
Thanks again. I love it!
This brought a smile to my face this morning. Since I'm at work, and I hate my job, that is no mean feat.
Uh, ok. I guess I find more creativity in the fire Gardy/TK threads
Every team has their ghosts, not just the Twins, no doubt.