When the Twins signed Kevin Correia this offseason, they knew his ceiling was not high as, say, Francisco Lirianoís would be. They also figured that Correiaís floor would not be as low as Lirianoís either. Their goal was to acquire some semblance of consistency that was grossly lacking in 2012.
To their credit, the Twins got just that Ė a pitcher who made every start and, after tonightís outing, will have accumulated almost 200 innings.
Sure, the win/loss record and ERA were reflective of a slightly below average starter but when it comes to value, his innings total help offset that gap. According to Fangraphs.comís valuation metrics Correia has been ďworthĒ 1.1 wins above replacement equaling $5.5 million in value Ė or a surplus of $1.5 million compared to his $4.5 million actual contract for 2013.
With the exception of Anibel Sanchez and the aforementioned Liriano, no other starting pitching free agent was able to provide as much value
as Correia has. With one year remaining on his two-year deal, Correia will likely be one of the few carry-overs to the 2014 rotation.
He recently answered a few questions from TwinsDaily.com:
Correia on his approach after switching from the National League to the American League:
No, it comes down to trying to get batters out one at a time. In the National League obvious there are different situations, like thereís a pitcher involved and you are going to have more bunting situations and you are going to be taken out of the game maybe a little earlier because your spot is coming up to bat, but as far as when you are out on the mound I got what I got. Iím gonna try to attack you with what I got that day, with the best stuff that I have. It doesnít really change league to league.
Itís more of just learning the hitters a bit, their approaches and just going from there.
On being able to limit stolen base attempts:
I think Iím just quick to home plate. Iím comfortable slide-stepping and getting the ball quickly to home plate. Some guys like a big leg-kick and it is harder for them to slide-step and Iím comfortable with it. Itís hard to run on a slide-step. Not to mention Joe Mauerís been there most of the time and if you want to go on the slide-step, heís probably gonna throw you out. So itís tough.
On his best pitch:
For me itís any given day it can change. Thatís how I pitch. I donít have one pitch that if they know itís coming, I might be able to get it by them. I work on being able to throw four different pitches for strikes at any point in the count. So it really changes thorough out the game.
On making changes to his approach:
Iíve changed my whole career. I came up as a hard-throwing four-seam guy with a circle-change and a slider. Now I throw more two-seam fastballs, a curveball and a split. I mean, you are constantly changing. I think if you are going to play as long as I have you have to make adjustments and I have done so when I needed too.
On throwing his changeups to same-sided hitters:
I mix it into righties, I mean, not as often as I do to lefties but like James Shields, heís got an incredible changeup and he can throw it all day to righties. I just think I am forced to throw all my pitches.
I throw a split and a circle-change. I think my split is more like a changeup and my circle-change is more like a split. I donít know why itís been like that, but I try to use them both and whatever one feels better that day.
I barely look at my ERA or anything like that. I think I was kind of before that stuff started so I never really factored that stuff in.
On game preparation:
I look at video a lot. I know my stuff isnít moving a ton. I face these guys four times this year and Iíll watch pretty muchÖIíll get the lineup and Iíll watch how I faced all these guys before. I donít really look atÖa lot of guys like to look at a pitcher who kind of compares to them and how they pitched them but I kind of like how Iíve done in the past because it gives me and idea of what they might be looking for or whatever theyíve been successful off of. I go with feel a lot. I like getting in a game and feeling how it is going.