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  • Samuel Deduno showing progress in World Baseball Classic

    Don’t look now, but Samuel Deduno has not walked a batter yet this spring.

    I know, I know: It has been five meaningless spring innings. Give it time, right? And, sure, four of those innings were against Spain in the World Baseball Classic, a team whose lineup was littered with players lacking even minor league deals. Pump the brakes, Parker.


    The reality is that last year he handed out more free passes than the gals standing out front of Dream Girls gentlemen’s club. With 121 innings split between Rochester and the Twins, he walked 75, or 14% of all the hitters he faced. Five measly innings of not throwing four balls in a given at-bat is not going to change that fact.

    His inability to work ahead of hitters put Deduno in many precarious situations in 2012. A whopping 8% of his match-ups resulted in 3-0 counts (league average being 5%). Overall, hitters knew his reputation and refrained from chasing much of anything outside of the strike zone. According to Fangraphs.com Deduno got opponents to chase after just 23.5% of all out-of-zone offerings – the second lowest rate in baseball with a minimum of 70 innings pitched.

    Here’s the catch: Despite being behind hitters frequently, he was not damaged significantly. He walked plenty, but teams were unable to put the ball in play sharply. Thanks to his incredible movement of his fastball which had an MLB-best 67% ground ball rate, the opposition showed they simply could not square up. Even in situations where they should have an advantage, they were unsuccessful. While the rest of the American League’s pitching staffs had a .299/.465/.513 batting line when behind in the count, Deduno produced a walk-heavy yet respectable .244/.524/.389 line.

    With his nearly unhittable fastball (not to mention decent curve), Deduno has the foundations to be a very good pitcher. The giant elephant on his chest is his incapability to throw the ball over the plate consistently. Behind the small sample size, there may be some reason why he is throwing the ball better. Look how free and easy his motion is – particularly his finish - while in the World Baseball Classic compared to last season:






    Notice the “Francisco Liriano” twirl with his back leg after his follow through. He is finishing higher with his upper body. This is the follow through of someone who is not over-thinking, not aiming, not over-throwing on every pitch. He’s just letting it fly, as they say. Maybe that is all that it takes with him to achieve that next level.

    Then again, who is to say that this will carry over to the season? At 29 years old, he’s had numerous opportunities to try to get his walk rate in order and failed. Frankly, Deduno represents a fringe player; one whose skill set can get him near the top level but never fully entrench him into a starting rotation. That said, it is still important for a an organization to have a pitcher like Deduno available. As Russell Charlton’s research at Baseball Prospectus showed that pitchers who have had previous injuries have high odds of a reoccurrence. For example, pitchers who have had elbow injuries have had a 27.4% chance of re-injury. That means three-fifths of the projected rotation - Vance Worley, Scott Diamond and Mike Pelfrey – stand the likelihood of spending time on the DL in 2013. If Deduno is able to harness his control, he could be a valuable contributor in some capacity.

    Deduno will get the start for the Dominican Republic on Thursday, taking on a far superior Team USA lineup. Watch his command, walk total and scrutinize his mechanics – if he is throwing free and easy, it could translate to a rough day for Team USA in the WBC.
    This article was originally published in blog: Samuel Deduno showing progress in World Baseball Classic started by Parker Hageman
    Comments 106 Comments
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Brooks View Post
      The point is guaranteeing $5 million for next year.
      You are right that they are not spending any money this year, but they have shown that they will spend up to their budget if they feel they can be competitive.
      If some combonation of Hicks/Gibson/Dozier/Arcia/Hendricks/May/Meyer does enough to convince them that they have the young base in place to go ahead and spend money to put some legitimate free agent pieces around them, you'd hate to have $5million of that money wasted on a guy who might be our 7th or 8th best starting pitcher at that point.
      You really think $5MM, on top of all those guys making the minumum, is going to matter? IF (and I do not think this is true, btw) you are right, and they are willing to spend money to clsoe a hole, and if all those guys are on the roster making the minimum, you think $5MM is going to matter? Not if your premise is true, that they are willing to spend money (which, imo, is not true, and we saw it again this year, and every previous year Ryan was GM).
    1. Willihammer's Avatar
      Willihammer -
      Quote Originally Posted by Riverbrian View Post
      My issue with Correia is the 2nd year primarily.
      If Correia's ERA+ keeps trending at +10 per year, he'll be above average in that 2nd year!
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by Riverbrian View Post
      It's an over simplication on my part... However, I can't speak to luck... I can't predict it and I won't declare it but I know it's a large part of the game and that goes for Verlander as well.

      Basically from 2010 to 2012... Correia has gotten better each year... ERA and WHIP is trending in the right direction. I'm not saying that trend won't come to a complete stop in 2013. I'm just not going to let him ruin my off-season before he actually does fail for us.

      And if he does fail... Deduno, Devries, Gibson, Meyer, May, Harden and even an improved Blackburn(who knows) are available to step in. So in the end... My issue with Correia is the 2nd year primarily... And maybe that is what it took to get him even if most don't want him.
      No, you cant predict luck, so if by that you mean maybe he'll get lucky again this year, then sure, maybe he will. That seems like a risky bet to me though. I'd rather bank on talent and hope luck isnt a factor rather than vice versa.

      As far as Correia demanding a 2nd year to get him, that would be akin to me asking a supermodel on a date, then demanding she pay for dinner.

      I dont care what Terry Ryan or Dave st. Peter claim, Correia wasnt going to get 2 years from another club. Congrats to his agent for convincing them that he was, but it only takes a simple look at the offseason's transaction log to show that every single pitcher in Correia's tier got 1 year deals, so the market simply was not there for a 2 year deal.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      To be clear, I'm not defending either the signing or the 2nd year, both of which I HATE.

      I am arguing that the 2nd year does not matter in the grand scheme of TR's approach to building a cheap roster.
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      You really think $5MM, on top of all those guys making the minumum, is going to matter? IF (and I do not think this is true, btw) you are right, and they are willing to spend money to clsoe a hole, and if all those guys are on the roster making the minimum, you think $5MM is going to matter? Not if your premise is true, that they are willing to spend money (which, imo, is not true, and we saw it again this year, and every previous year Ryan was GM).
      Yes, that $5million could matter. The Twins have shown that they do not, and absolutely will not go over their "51%" model (obviously many years they dont even get to it, but they never go over it), so that $5 million could be the difference between signing an all star caliber player at a position of need, versus settling for just an above average player at that position.
      Sure, its unlikely that the stars will all align in that fashion, but why commit money to next year when it was absolutely unnecessary?
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Wow. It happened.

      I'm tired of Correia bashing! I no longer have it in me to rip on the guy!

      It was a bad signing. He's a Twin now. It's time to just knuckle down and hope for the best.
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      To be clear, I'm not defending either the signing or the 2nd year, both of which I HATE.

      I am arguing that the 2nd year does not matter in the grand scheme of TR's approach to building a cheap roster.
      The second year might not matter, but there are scenarios in which it could matter.
      One of them being, Correia completely stinks this year. We enter July and he has an ERA north of 6.
      Now what do you do with him?
      Last year with Marquis, it was easy, because he was only on a 1 year deal. Its very rare that you see a guy released with a contract extending beyond the current season, no matter how badly he plays, you are kind of stuck with him.
      Which brings us to another scenario in which the second year could prove to be a problem.
      Lets say that Meyer and or May completely dominate this year, and show that one or both is ready to compete for a starting spot in the lineup next year.
      Lets say Gibson is up by then, and has established himself as one of our best 5, and so has Diamond.
      You potentially put yourself in a situation where you feel tied to a guy because he's guaranteed 5 million dollars, and it could deny a spot in the rotation to a young guy, who is actually part of the long term solution, who would be making the league minimum.
      There are many ways the 2nd year has the potential to hurt you, many of which are not foreseeable at this time, but could develop themselves as we go forward.
      It was just so unnecessary.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      The money is a sunk cost.......the delta in ptiching May or Meyer, and sending down Correia is $500K. If they feel obligated to keep him up because they are paying him, they should be fired. This concept has been understood and taught in business school since the 80s.....
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Brooks View Post
      At least 14 starting pitchers who are basically in the same class as Correia, as far as talent, age and numbers, signed 1 year deals this offseason.
      All but 3 of them signed for less than 5 million dollars.
      I'm sorry but i'm just not buying it that the Twins would not be able to get a single one of these pitchers to come here on a 1 year deal, especially if they were willing to overpay by a million or so to get it done.
      IMO, whats more likely, is that the Twins have some scout who has convinced them that Correia, despite a 1000 inning sample size, is actually somehow "better" than the rest of the guys in this grouping of FA starting pitchers, so they had their sights set on him from the start.
      What likely happened is TR offered three or four guys the same or similar deals and told their agents the first guy who signs gets a deal, after which the other offers are null and void. After he made the offers, he said "we're going to sign a pretty darn good pitcher." He was confident one of the three or four would sign, and Correia did.

      None of those 14 guys are as good as Corriea, at least on a scouting basis. Maybe a few are by the numbers, but you don't pay for past numbers. You pay for future performance. Will Jason Marquis pitch better than Correia this year? After last year, I doubt any Twins scout would say that. Livan? Been there, done that. Go down the list and you have similar stories for each one.

      You can say you're smarter than the Twins scouts. I personally will not say that. I defer to the professionals. Anyway, it's not that outlandish to say he will have a better year than those 14 suspects. To claim definitively that any one of them will have a better year is even more arrogant than saying you're smarter than Twins scouts. Besides, put it in context. What's a few million or an extra year when we're already $20 million under budget?
    1. Badsmerf's Avatar
      Badsmerf -
    1. kab21's Avatar
      kab21 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Wow. It happened.

      I'm tired of Correia bashing! I no longer have it in me to rip on the guy!

      It was a bad signing. He's a Twin now. It's time to just knuckle down and hope for the best.
      I'm just as sick of the Deduno/Devries is just as good as him. These guys shouldn't be considered plan A or plan B in an MLB rotation. Plan C for a few starts is about all that I'm okay with.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by Badsmerf View Post
      I agree wholeheartedly
    1. Riverbrian's Avatar
      Riverbrian -
      Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
      If Correia's ERA+ keeps trending at +10 per year, he'll be above average in that 2nd year!
      I know... And by the time he's 36... We are talking 138 adjusted ERA bay-bee.

      Woo hoo... The trend is your friend.
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Quote Originally Posted by darin617 View Post
      Thank you, that was exactly what I was trying to say. I am not saying who is going to turn into another RA Dickey but I would rather have him on the club than Kevin Correia for $5M a year.
      Agreed, if he is not our starter to begin the seaon then i hope he is the long reliever as i expet no less then 2 pitchers being hurt nd out for the season and at least another not having the stuff to keep his spot...isnt Samuel a 3 year player? if he is he should have an opt out contract that is required for all mlb players with 3 year srvice time .o me if you keep Drew on the 40 man and let Samuel walk then your seeing the intelegence level of the powers that be.
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
      What likely happened is TR offered three or four guys the same or similar deals and told their agents the first guy who signs gets a deal, after which the other offers are null and void. After he made the offers, he said "we're going to sign a pretty darn good pitcher." He was confident one of the three or four would sign, and Correia did.

      None of those 14 guys are as good as Corriea, at least on a scouting basis. Maybe a few are by the numbers, but you don't pay for past numbers. You pay for future performance. Will Jason Marquis pitch better than Correia this year? After last year, I doubt any Twins scout would say that. Livan? Been there, done that. Go down the list and you have similar stories for each one.

      You can say you're smarter than the Twins scouts. I personally will not say that. I defer to the professionals. Anyway, it's not that outlandish to say he will have a better year than those 14 suspects. To claim definitively that any one of them will have a better year is even more arrogant than saying you're smarter than Twins scouts. Besides, put it in context. What's a few million or an extra year when we're already $20 million under budget?
      What does that mean, "on a scouting basis"? How much can "scouting" determine when talking about a guy with 1000 career innings over a decade? At this point he is who he is.

      And we didn't need to identify which one of those guys would be "the best". They are all going to be right around the same, give or take a little bit. We are not contending this year, the extra 1.5 to 2 wins that will separate #1 from #14 (and no, I dont mean W/L record) are completely meaningless to a 90 loss team. All we needed to do was get one of those guys, to have one more option to pitch some innings until some of the younger guys are ready. Any one of them would do just as well as any other one of them.
      Get whichever one you can get on a 1 year deal, and call it a day.
      Giving one of them a second year was completely pointless.
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      The money is a sunk cost.......the delta in ptiching May or Meyer, and sending down Correia is $500K. If they feel obligated to keep him up because they are paying him, they should be fired. This concept has been understood and taught in business school since the 80s.....
      I'm not arguing that it is a logical thought process. Just that it's the reality. Teams dont cut veterans with years remaining on their contract, it just rarely ever happens, no matter how terrible they are playing.
    1. PseudoSABR's Avatar
      PseudoSABR -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Brooks View Post
      I'm not arguing that it is a logical thought process. Just that it's the reality. Teams dont cut veterans with years remaining on their contract, it just rarely ever happens, no matter how terrible they are playing.
      Nick Blackburn and Jason Marquis say hello.
    1. twinsnorth49's Avatar
      twinsnorth49 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Badsmerf View Post
      I'm with ya

    1. twinsnorth49's Avatar
      twinsnorth49 -
      Back to Deduno, 7 K's in 4 innings is the most interesting thing any Twin pitcher has done this spring.....by far.

      Against a real lineup no less.
    1. Riverbrian's Avatar
      Riverbrian -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinsnorth49 View Post
      Back to Deduno, 7 K's in 4 innings is the most interesting thing any Twin pitcher has done this spring.....by far.

      Against a real lineup no less.
      I just like watching him pitch... Pure baseball entertainment. It's like watching Evil Knievel jump over buses. On the edge and every once in awhile he bounces off the last bus.

      He was one pitch from getting yanked in the 1st inning. The Bullpen was going and he was sitting 3-0 with the bases loaded against Adam Jones before coming back and getting the K on a beautiful spinner.

      Baseball beauty at it's finest... Watching him struggle against Bloomquist who was just trying to bunt and I'm saying to myself... Just lay it in there... take the out... You can't walk a guy who is trying to bunt and he almost did.

      Each time he walked off the mound... Arms pumped in the air following the K. Crisis avoided. How can you not love this game? I wish I would see that kind of emotion during the regular season.

      I really hope that Deduno gets a good look when he gets back to Twins Camp. You are right... That and Hicks hitting 3 dingers is the spring training story thus far.
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