And compare that to 2006 in the bullpen! He was dominant. One would think that the goal would be to maximize the dominance from him as opposed to just being terrified every time he started a game.
But I have to ask . . . has anyone analyzed his pitches in the first inning vs. the subsequent innings of trouble?
I don't know about the mental aspects, but I'll be keeping an eye on whether the move to the bullpen pumps some life into Liriano's fastball and especially his slider. His pitches just haven't had their normal bite even when in the zone.
Not that this blog post was great, but really? Does no one even want to say "you're wrong, he can't handle the pressure"?
I do think I am right, by the way. And hell, with a THIRTEEN-man bullpen, a Duensing-Burton/SLAMA-Liriano 8th (if the batters are L,R,L) seems possible.
Well neither one of those things are going to happen if he does well in meaningless innings and then goes back to sucking as a starter. Left-handed setup-type relief pitching is very valuable.
I am not usually down on the Twins, but putting Liriano into the bullpen looks to be a) an attempt to get his self-confidence back up and b) hopefully increase his trade value as a lefty bullpen guy or a fringe starter if he can ever get his mental problems worked out.
By the way, somewhere I recently called out Andy Leer as quite replaceable at 3B at Fort Myers. Granted, he was playing 1B tonight, but he hit two homers . . .
Seth, I think they probably have a different attitude towards players like Burton and players like Bailey (who was not terrible last year) and Lambin. Burton wasn't merely a AAA fill-in player--he was going to be given a chance to compete. And that was a good sign. And the other ones this year have been good signings as well. I didn't say that no such veterans should be signed, but rather that I would like the veterans-as-AAA-fill-ins only kept to a minimum.
The Twins did a very good job in the off-season with players who were bound to start at Rochester or New Britain. But in-season they then turn to Clete Thomas for the Twins and Joe Thurston for Rochester. That's what I don't understand.
I can agree about Sano and Rosario for now, yes.
Shane - If they didn't sign minor league veterans for Rochester, the Twins wouldn't have Jared Burton. Aaron Bates was a pretty good signing. Rene Rivera has been of value. Chris Colabello has been a good sign. Bailey and Lambin were long-time International League All Stars. Bailey had some big league success. Matt Brown had big league time. Wilkin Ramirez was a good signing this year. Where would the Rochester pitching staff be without some minor league veterans? All organizations hvae to sprinkle in some minor league veterans. Bailey was terrible, so was Lambin. If they would hvae been at all good, they probably would have been given a shot with the Twins.
Link the 'blog' in the forums. Comments in two places, I guess... but may be more.
YHIMH - I just have a hard time believing that a guy with 40 strikeouts in about 120 plate appearances isn't being challenged. I might, as a manager or minor league decision-maker, challenge him to say... hey, if you cut your K-Rate to 25 in your next 120 plate appearances, we'll move you up.
Sano and Rosario need a challenge Seth. They are killing opposing pitchers in Beloit and would also benefit from the better coaching. I love promotions too!
Another thought: I would prefer that Rochester were a place where the vast majority of the roster was serious, meaning either legitimate prospects or older veterans who the big club wouldn't hesitate at all to call up to fill in here and there. Of course you need some other guys too, like one or two catchers who are planted at AAA for stability's sake and working with pitchers, and super utility guys who provide flexibility. You know, like Drew Butera and Brian Dinkelman, guys one would never dream of calling up . . . wait (I realize that isn't fair to Dinkelman and I like that he got to play some for the Twins last year).
Without looking back past last year, I am thinking of Jeff Bailey, Chase Lambin, and Matt Brown. What on earth? Bailey was actually pretty good too, but apparently they weren't serious about him. I know that people are going to talk about making Rochester competitive with solid AAA veteran players, but that doesn't necessarily make the team more competitive. Sometimes prospects and smarter minor league free agent signings will do that.
(I originally started this as a forum post, but then it got longish and bloggish--that decision is probably detrimental for discussion perhaps)
Seth, thanks for the response. I did neglect to mention that I would imagine at some point, say, Maloney gets DFAed and the Twins add a position player . . . probably either Mastroianni or Carson, so that would open it up somewhat. You were right to note the congestion that would be there otherwise.
How much of a signing bonus did Romero get. I wouldn't think that sweet minor league monthly money would allow for laziness! This year's reduced K rate and increased slugging might deserve a reward though.
I don't want to see Sano and Rosario struggle, but I am going to want to see them challenged in a month or so. Sano, in particular, facing better pitching will be good for him. Right now I have to wonder if he isn't just swinging as hard as he can at everything and since the pitching is fairly weaker at low-A, it doesn't really matter because they groove enough pitches. And if they do struggle a bit, that might tell us more about Arcia, and to a lesser extent Morales, than Sano and Rosario.
Fair enough about AAA. But there is a difference between Matt Carson and Joe Thurston . . .
Notice that I didn't touch pitching. That is a stranger animal when trying to figure out promotions and probably requires more "eye" scouting.
This is good stuff, Shane, and I enjoy the discussion. Do you really want to see Sano and Rosario struggle in Ft. Myers the way that Arcia did (and does)? Arcia dominated in Beloit during April last year (almost as much as Danny Ortiz did) and then after his surgery went right to Ft. Myers where he was OK, but really struggled to make contact. We see his splits vs lefties and all those strikeouts. He is where he needs to be. I believe in Rosario and Sano, but I do think that thye should not be promoted until at least the half-way point of the season, just to see if they can make some of the adjustments they need to at Beloit. Again, Ortiz started the season with an 1.100 OPS in Beloit and ended the year well south of .700 OPS. I'm not comparing Sano/Rosario to Ortiz, but I just think that a little patience is good for two guys that aren't going to be with the Twins for 2 1/2 to four years anyway.
I'm good with Clete Thomas in Rochester until Joe Benson turns things around in New Britain. Once he does that, then they can let him go. But right now, the Red Wings outfield is filled with Mastroianni, Revere, Tosoni, and Carson has played well too. It's about getting at bats, and I don't know that Thomas will get a ton, certainly not in front of those three. Ramirez is interesting because he is still young enough to believe he has a future of some sorts, but again, might as well keep him playing every day.
DJ Romero used to be a good prospect, one the Twins put on the 40 man roster. But reports indicated that he stopped working and got really lazy. His numbers in AA last year were OK... I think he'd be ready to move up, but frankly, I think that Chang and Burroughs have more of a future with the Twins. But I don't disagree with the thought of finding out based on Valencia's performance.
I love promotions, writing and talking about promotions, so I really enjoyed this blog. I don't even disagree with it as much as it probably sounds. Look at AAA rosters around MLB... they're not a place for prospects. They're generally for older, veteran, former big leaguers (in many cases).
Thanks for the update. Always good to read something about BiG 10 BB. My uncle played on the Gophers in 56 and 60 and my boss has a nephew on the Boilers. So I am was kind of watching for Brad Schrieber, looks like he is shut down for the year. Question for you, what do you think of some of the proposals I have heard about Big 10 baseball looking for alternatives to the NCAA? Becoming like a summer wooden bat league,playing some pro clubs here and there.
I was wondering the same thing. I'd love to see you start this as a topic in the forum.
I agree that Liriano should go to the bullpen but I don't think or expect that he will become a dominant reliever. It doesn't make sense that a guy who has seemed to melt under the pressure in the early innings would have the mental makeup to succeed in late innings with high leverage. Liriano has often shown great stuff, but he hasn't produced. Perhaps a trip to the bullpen will help him find what works again and be an effective pitcher.
I have been saying this for the last two seasons. Liriano is a relief pitcher not a starter. I think in two years he could be the closer with Perkins as set up.
Put Liriano in the pen now and give Swarzek and Hendricks the ball every 5th day and maybe Duensing too.
TJ Oakes has looked real good since he stepped foot on campus, having your pitching coach as your father must be an interesting dynamic.
Including Nebraska, 22 Big 10 players were chosen in the 2011 MLB draft.
I will comment on my own blog first. I should add that if I am right about Grimes and Santana, what has been a lack for the Twins (middle infield) suddenly becomes a strength, with good prospect depth (Rosario, Dozier, Michael, Goodrum at the top).
Originally Posted by Fanatic Jack
Hicks is just another #1 first round bust by Deron Johnson our great scouting director. Hicks in 2008, Gibson in 2009, Wimmers in 20120, and Michael in 2012. We need Mike Radcliff back in charge of the scouting department.
That Levi Michael -- what a bust!