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  • Twins Claim Brooks Raley from Cubs

    According to MLB Trade Rumors (via Mark Gonzales), the Minnesota Twins have claimed left-handed pitcher Brooks Raley from the Chicago Cubs. He takes the 40th roster spot vacated earlier this month by Andrew Albers.

    The lefty was the Cubs 6th round pick in 2009 out of Texas A&M University. He made five starts in 2012 for the Cubs, and made nine relief appearances in 2013. Combined, he has 38.1 MLB innings and sports a 7.04 ERA. Raley is 6-3 and 220 pounds. He is 25 years old.

    Last year in AAA Iowa (of the PCL), he posted a 4.46 ERA over 141.1 innings. He had just 95 strikeouts to go with 45 walks. However, in 2012, he posted a 3.62 ERA in 14 starts in the Pacific Coast League.

    Raley does have a four-pitch mix. He has a fastball that averaged 89 mph last year with the Cubs. He also throws a lot of sliders, usually in the low-80s. He also has a changeup and a curveball.

    Frankly, he sounds an awful lot like Scott Diamond. The 2012 Diamond would be terrific for a team. The 2013 version, maybe not. It's also entirely possible that the Twins will now attempt to pass him through waivers.
    Comments 91 Comments
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by old nurse View Post
      38 IP. hardly a large sample size.
      Yes. And I made essentially the same point about SSS to the proponents of this acquisition. Regardless, the point I was responding to concerning Raley's potetial even as a replacement player has very little support from Raley's career numbers, both major and minor league, that should have caused anyone to infer and proclaim that he represented a legitimate source of help to the pitching staff, whether as a Loogy, long reliever or Starter.

      If he works out, great, but taking up a roster spot with his set of credentials will prove to be a waste, IMHO. Even still, the organization got our hopes up that they were in dogged pursuit of filling that roster spot with the likes of a Garza, and failing that, an Arroyo, and failing that, a Suk min-Yoon. Quite a long way down from those 3.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      I doubt the Twins view him as a starter. As many have pointed out, there are more than a dozen starter candidates this year, and we're just starting to ramp up the influx of good starters from the system, after a longish drought.

      Let's assume, they got him to be a reliever. It is entirely possible he will be a good lefty specialist based on his .507 OPS against when facing lefties. We don't have access to his minor league splits, but the Twins do. I'm OK with this if he's seen as Thielbar insurance. Thielbar doesn't throw especially hard, but he dominated lefties in 2013. That's a valuable thing to have. It's nice to have two of them.
    1. spycake's Avatar
      spycake -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
      We don't have access to his minor league splits, but the Twins do.
      http://minorleaguecentral.com/player...384&split=3000

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/mi...milb_pbp::none
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Thanks. Looked all over for these, even on BB-ref. Upshot, his splits were still good, but not as good as his mlb splits. Great K rates, though.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      I don't understand the fuss. This is the type of moves teams make throughout the year. Pick up a marginal guy, let him throw some ST innings, and put him on waivers afterward. If he clears waivers, great. If not, no big deal. If he pitches out of his mind, put him on the 40 man roster.

      What's the big deal? Teams often need warm bodies who can throw ST innings or they need guys to fill out a AAA rotation. What makes anyone believe the Twins expect more than that from Raley?
    1. Linus's Avatar
      Linus -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      I don't understand the fuss. This is the type of moves teams make throughout the year. Pick up a marginal guy, let him throw some ST innings, and put him on waivers afterward. If he clears waivers, great. If not, no big deal. If he pitches out of his mind, put him on the 40 man roster.

      What's the big deal? Teams often need warm bodies who can throw ST innings or they need guys to fill out a AAA rotation. What makes anyone believe the Twins expect more than that from Raley?
      This a thousand times. Teams have to fill rosters for an entire system - many guys are picked up with this in mind. The Twins might view him as somebody who is going to compete with other similar filler for the last spot in the bullpen in Rochester. They can cut him tomorrow if they want. He will not prevent them from making a roster move if they want to - he may never even make it to spring training.
    1. The Wise One's Avatar
      The Wise One -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      I don't understand the fuss. This is the type of moves teams make throughout the year. Pick up a marginal guy, let him throw some ST innings, and put him on waivers afterward. If he clears waivers, great. If not, no big deal. If he pitches out of his mind, put him on the 40 man roster.

      What's the big deal? Teams often need warm bodies who can throw ST innings or they need guys to fill out a AAA rotation. What makes anyone believe the Twins expect more than that from Raley?
      It is certainly a mystery why there is a fuss over adding a borderline pitcher while there is a similar fuss over not adding a utility player
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinsfanstl View Post
      Hmmm. To me it signals the firing of Anderson. The promotion of Nieto and a player/coach contract to Johan to school this stable of mediocre lefties in the art of the changeup. (Doing my part to get this thread to 5 pages o comments)
      That would be hard. Nieto was fired a couple off-seasons ago (after the 2011 season). He is no longer with the organization. As a matter of fact he is the manager of the GCL Yankees...
    1. Paul Pleiss's Avatar
      Paul Pleiss -
      I'd like this guy a lot more if his name was Bruce. Brooooooooooooooooose is a lot more fun to say than Brooooooooooooooks. #Analysis
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by The Wise One View Post
      It is certainly a mystery why there is a fuss over adding a borderline pitcher while there is a similar fuss over not adding a utility player
      Simple. One guy adds proven major league value, the other guy adds, by your own characterization, "borderline" major league potential.
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      As said, he can be waived tomorrow. They saw something and grabbed him. The Twins do need to find people they CAN remove from the 40-man, and as long as a spot is full, why not fill it. Maybe the Twins are still dangling Diamond, Worley and Duensing (and Swarzak) out there. You never know. Any of those would bring a non-40-man prospect more than likely. Is Brooks a better bet than Albers was? Is he a better bullpen guy than Thompson is? Other question is, does he become a minor league free agent if he is waived? Of course, this shows the Twins have an interest in him. Yes, he will be getting a higher salary out of the spring training gate, so to speak.
    1. The Wise One's Avatar
      The Wise One -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      Simple. One guy adds proven major league value, the other guy adds, by your own characterization, "borderline" major league potential.
      Sigh. add them both, here comes a pennant
    1. snepp's Avatar
      snepp -
      Quote Originally Posted by The Wise One View Post
      Sigh. add them both, here comes a pennant
      Sigh. Pointless strawman that can only be construed as flamebait.


      It might be time to file this particular tangent under agree to disagree and move on.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
      I doubt the Twins view him as a starter. As many have pointed out, there are more than a dozen starter candidates this year, and we're just starting to ramp up the influx of good starters from the system, after a longish drought.

      Let's assume, they got him to be a reliever. It is entirely possible he will be a good lefty specialist based on his .507 OPS against when facing lefties. We don't have access to his minor league splits, but the Twins do. I'm OK with this if he's seen as Thielbar insurance. Thielbar doesn't throw especially hard, but he dominated lefties in 2013. That's a valuable thing to have. It's nice to have two of them.
      If there truly are a dozen legitimate MLB starting candidates....and I will repeat what no one seems to want to address.....why such the doggedly aggressive offseason pursuit of another proven starter?....Garza?....Arroyo?....Suk min-Yoon?

      I have no problem with kicking the tires on this guy- and T-Bar insurance is a prudent move, but it sure is a come down if he ends up with a roster spot taken up- and so many other holes to fill- so many more names can end up becoming available in the next month and a half- I hope the Twins are just as willing to pull the trigger and bite the bullet in clearing a roster space, if and when it occurs. And importantly, we still don't even have a guy on the roster from the Left-Hand side that we're sure can dependably pick up the ball every 5th day- Paul Maholm has been available as a Twins get for years, and the Dodgers just picked him up on the cheap, Capuano is still out there.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      If there truly are a dozen legitimate MLB starting candidates....and I will repeat what no one seems to want to address.....why such the doggedly aggressive offseason pursuit of another proven starter?....Garza?....Arroyo?....Suk min-Yoon?

      I have no problem with kicking the tires on this guy- and T-Bar insurance is a prudent move, but it sure is a come down if he ends up with a roster spot taken up- and so many other holes to fill- so many more names can end up becoming available in the next month and a half- I hope the Twins are just as willing to pull the trigger and bite the bullet in clearing a roster space, if and when it occurs. And importantly, we still don't even have a guy on the roster from the Left-Hand side that we're sure can dependably pick up the ball every 5th day- Paul Maholm has been available as a Twins get for years, and the Dodgers just picked him up on the cheap, Capuano is still out there.
      I guess what I meant was, there are a dozen better starting candidates. After that, it's a semantic discussion as to what a "legitimate MLB starting candidate" is. That dozen includes the guys they already signed, of course.

      As for Capuano, I don't disagree, if your goal is to improve the current roster this year. If your goal is more long term than short term, then, I'm not so sure. I for one want to make sure Gibson and Meyer get MLB opportunities this year. I think both are better than Capuano right now. And I think they have upside, whereas, he does not--regardless of their handedness. BTW, they both are part of that dozen.

      It's a little like the Bonifacio discussion. Yes, he could help the team maybe win one or two more games this year. But it comes at the expense of guys developing for next year.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      I don't understand the fuss. This is the type of moves teams make throughout the year. Pick up a marginal guy, let him throw some ST innings, and put him on waivers afterward. If he clears waivers, great. If not, no big deal. If he pitches out of his mind, put him on the 40 man roster.

      What's the big deal? Teams often need warm bodies who can throw ST innings or they need guys to fill out a AAA rotation. What makes anyone believe the Twins expect more than that from Raley?
      The move is a little off-the-wall but not upsetting. I don't have much interest in the guy but I think the consternation from some comes from the roster spot he's taking up. If we assume he will be removed if/when another free agent is signed then no harm, no foul. But that is an assumption at this point.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
      The move is a little off-the-wall but not upsetting. I don't have much interest in the guy but I think the consternation from some comes from the roster spot he's taking up. If we assume he will be removed if/when another free agent is signed then no harm, no foul. But that is an assumption at this point.
      this....as long as they view him as someone dispensible if a better option appears, I don't care (as long as it doesn't push prospects down layers in the org, also).
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      Maybe the pickup was incase the Twins get an offer they want to clear some roster space. Duensing + x for a decent prospect or position player that has a chance to help the Twins this year and in the future. You can't make the moves unless the replacements or possible replacements are already in place.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      The most likely, though, is that they picked him because they think he can help somehow. That doesn't require a lot of scenarios.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
      The move is a little off-the-wall but not upsetting. I don't have much interest in the guy but I think the consternation from some comes from the roster spot he's taking up. If we assume he will be removed if/when another free agent is signed then no harm, no foul. But that is an assumption at this point.
      The thing is that teams often need warm bodies in March just to throw ST innings. Maybe the Twins see something in Raley, maybe they don't and just need a warm body to take up space for a month of ST.

      My point is that this move means absolutely nothing until the Twins break north at the end of March. That's when they have to pare down roster sizes and decide who stays and who goes.
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