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  • Talking Pitching: Kevin Correia

    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.

    On stats:

    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.
    This article was originally published in blog: Kevin Correia Talks Pitching started by Parker Hageman
    Comments 28 Comments
    1. Parker Hageman's Avatar
      Parker Hageman -
      But as a primary signing, it seemed like the team wasn't serious about solving its starting rotation problems. Which they weren't.
      Frankly, Terry Ryan was not going to solve the starting rotation problem via free agency last year.

      Nick and I went back and forth on this some on Twitter today. First, I don't believe there were many "top-of-the-rotation" arms available on the free agent market for the Twins. What some people seem to believe is that there was just a pile of free agents available and that the Twins could have chosen from any of them. From what people in the organization have told me, there were plenty of free agent pitchers who -- for whatever reason -- rebuffed the Twins. One reason cited was that some free agents wanted to play for a contender rather than the back-to-back 90 loss Twins.

      I didn't like the Correia signing. I will admit that he performed well enough for them to provide positive value (I was expecting a Ramon Ortiz-like exit at some point). That could still happen in year two of his contract but, for now, <golf clap>.
    1. panolo's Avatar
      panolo -
      John I am 100% with Parker on this one.

      I also believe they thought that the pitching was in a better position than it turned out to be. I think that the consensus was that Worley and Gibson would provide some positive innings. That Deduno would have not been hurt and that Diamond would not have been coal.

      I really don't think there can be a winner in this discussion because both points are relevant to a degree.

      Although I am mad at myself for having a bad attitude about going to games at TF when he pitched. He was pretty decent there this year.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by Parker Hageman View Post
      Frankly, Terry Ryan was not going to solve the starting rotation problem via free agency last year.

      Nick and I went back and forth on this some on Twitter today. First, I don't believe there were many "top-of-the-rotation" arms available on the free agent market for the Twins. What some people seem to believe is that there was just a pile of free agents available and that the Twins could have chosen from any of them. From what people in the organization have told me, there were plenty of free agent pitchers who -- for whatever reason -- rebuffed the Twins. One reason cited was that some free agents wanted to play for a contender rather than the back-to-back 90 loss Twins.
      I still don't believe that the Twins couldn't have overpaid to get some guys here. I do believe that Ryan would refuse to overpay though. I'd imagine if pressed, Kevin Correia would have said he wanted to play for a contender in 2013 too after all.

      We can also take into account the fact that the Twins could have had Ervin Santana and Dan Haren if they'd been willing to take their salary and give over a couple non-prospects.
    1. Parker Hageman's Avatar
      Parker Hageman -
      I still don't believe that the Twins couldn't have overpaid to get some guys here.
      That may be true. You could have offered one hundred billion dollars and a pitcher would have just said, welp, where do I sign? That said, outside of Greinke/Sanchez, there is not a pitcher that was on the market worth overpaying for.

      I mean, we do have the advantage of hindsight on this which means, dammit, we should have signed Scott Kazmir out from the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Independent Leagues.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      How about he successfully fix the "number 3" starter one year? We aren't asking for "aces" here (well, I am, but let's say others aren't), but how about good pitching? If he had fixed 1 spot last year, he could fix one more this year, and then get lucky with a young guy, and boom, things are better. But saying "he couldn't fix it all in one year, so don't judge the moves he did make", that makes no sense to me, and that seems to be the argument many are making.
    1. Parker Hageman's Avatar
      Parker Hageman -
      How about he successfully fix the "number 3" starter one year?
      Again, I think it was more of a long-term plan -- which was the May/Meyer/Worley trades. If he hits on a couple of those guys, the Twins may have been looking at trying to find just an arm in 2015.

      To say they were not trying to fix the rotation is disingenuous. It just wasn't designed to be fixed in 2013.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by Parker Hageman View Post

      To say they were not trying to fix the rotation is disingenuous. It just wasn't designed to be fixed in 2013.
      Well, Ryan did say he's do everything possible to significantly improve the rotation for this year. So if it wasn't designed to be fixed in 2013, why did he say that at the season ticket holder conference and how wouldn't saying that, if it wasn't meant to be fixed in 2013, not be viewed as disingenuous?
    1. Alex's Avatar
      Alex -
      Quote Originally Posted by Parker Hageman View Post
      Again, I think it was more of a long-term plan -- which was the May/Meyer/Worley trades. If he hits on a couple of those guys, the Twins may have been looking at trying to find just an arm in 2015.

      To say they were not trying to fix the rotation is disingenuous. It just wasn't designed to be fixed in 2013.
      I disagree that that was the intent of the organization going into the last offseason unless you want to discount what they said as completely disingenuous (competing in September, pursuing pitching FA).
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