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  • Who's Got Next?

    There has been plenty of speculation the last week or two about which Twins starter would be replaced in the rotation, and by whom. First, it was Kevin Correia, and now he has had two straight terrific starts including last night’s 1-0 loss to the Red Sox. Sam Deduno has had two very poor starts in a row, and now the discussion is about who will take his spot in the rotation starting on Thursday.

    The Rochester Red Wings starting rotation has been very impressive which means that speculation of who will make Deduno’s start on Thursday can lead in several directions. We’ll try to clarify that today, or at least arm you with what you need to know as it relates to the Twins decision.

    While we are at it, we’ll take a look at some of the other players (relievers and hitters) in Rochester who deserve at least consideration for a call up to the Minnesota Twins.

    RED WINGS STARTERS

    We’ve been informed via Chris Fee that Sean Gilmartin has been called up to the Red Wings and will start on Tuesday. Yohan Pino will now start on Wednesday. Alex Meyer has been pushed to Thursday. Logan Darnell follows Meyer in the Red Wings rotation. Trevor May pitched on Monday night, and Kris Johnson pitched on Sunday. So, here’s a look at the Red Wings starters and their promotion credentials.

    Alex Meyer – Meyer is the top prospect, the guy that we are all waiting for. He has been solid with the Red Wings this year. Meyer has a record of 4-3, with a 3.62 ERA. In 64.2 innings, he has given up 56 hits, walked 30 and struck out 76. We love the strikeout rate. We love the big fastball, and the fact that he has four pitches that most evaluators believe will make him a top of the rotation starter. That said, if you’re walking 4.2 per nine innings in AAA, that isn’t very good. It is his career high.

    He is coming off of his worst start of the year. He went just two innings on Friday and gave up three runs on five hits and two walks. He threw 55 pitches before being removed. The start before that he threw six shutout innings and gave up just four hits and a walk while striking out eight. The game before that, four runs in five innings. Consistency is a legit concern at this point for the 24-year-old, but there’s little question he can be a good big league starter.

    Yohan Pino – The Twins signed Pino in 2004. He was traded to Cleveland in the Carl Pavano trade in 2009. Since then, he’s been between AA and AAA but never made it to the big leagues. The 30-year-old right-hander is at least putting his name on the map as a possible call up. He is 9-1 with a 1.92 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP. Though he doesn’t throw very hard, he has been racking up strikeouts. In 61 innings, he has 61 strikeouts to go with just 16 walks. He has pitched out of the bullpen and as a starter and done well in either role.



    Kris Johnson – Johnson came to the Twins this offseason in a trade for Duke Welker, who was the player to be named later in the Justin Morneau trade to Pittsburgh. Last year, he led the International League with a 2.39 ERA. He’s doing just as well this year. He is 6-3 with a 2.60 ERA. He has 62 strikeouts and 28 walks in 72.2 innings. He did make one start for the Twins earlier in the season and went five innings. Johnson has struggled in two of his last three starts. Most recently, he gave up three runs on five hits and three walks in 5.2 innings. The start before that, he gave up two runs in eight innings. Three starts ago, he gave up five runs on four hits and three walks in five innings.

    Logan Darnell – The 25-year-old had a nice ten-day stint with the Twins earlier this season when the Twins needed a bullpen guy who could eat multiple innings. In his one appearance, he was very impressive in three shutout innings. With the Red Wings, he is 2-4 with a 2.75 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. In 55.2 innings, he has 53 strikeouts, but he also has walked 24 (3.9 BB/9 IP). On June 8, he gave up four runs on eight hits and three walks in 5.1 innings. In his most recent start, he threw five innings and gave up only an unearned run. He gave up just three hits, but he uncharacteristically walked five. His spot in the rotation comes up on Thursday, making him the starter who is in line to start in Deduno’s spot without altering his schedule.

    Trevor May – The speculation was that the 24-year-old might be the guy to come up to replace Deduno. Some of that may be because he was on the same schedule as Kevin Correia who two starts ago looked to be on his last leg. May made his scheduled start on Monday night. He wasn’t on a pitch count limit, to be sure. He threw 120 pitches and pitched in the ninth inning and gave up just one run. Control was his biggest issue earlier in his career, but his walk rate has drop from 4.7/9 innings in 2012 to 4.0/9 innings in 2013. After last night’s start, his walk rate is at 3.5 per nine. Like Meyer, May has the “stuff” and the prospect status that people believe will give him a shot to succeed in the big leagues.

    Let’s just compare the stats of these five starters. Try your best not to look at the name and especially their ages when evaluating who has been the best, or is the most deserving of the promotion.

    Pitcher W-L ERA WHIP H/9 BB/9 K/9
    Alex Meyer 4-3 3.62 1.33 7.8 4.2 10.6
    Logan Darnell 2-4 2.75 1.37 8.4 3.9 8.6
    Kris Johnson 6-3 2.60 1.20 7.3 3.5 7.7
    Yohan Pino 9-1 1.92 0.93 6.0 2.4 9.0
    Trevor May 7-4 2.77 1.11 6.5 3.5 9.4


    There is no statistical analysis that can look at the above numbers and say that Yohan Pino is not deserving of an opportunity. However, that’s where the statistical world and the scouting world will butt heads. Many will say that Pino doesn’t have the stuff to get big league hitters out. That may very well be true. However, my opinion (and maybe mine alone) is that when you put up those kinds of numbers at the highest level below the big leagues, you deserve an opportunity just to see. That said, if any of these five guys got called up, or get called up later in the season, it will have been earned.

    If you believe Trevor May should be the one promoted, they can do so creatively. They could have Darnell start for the Twins on Thursday, in his normal spot, and then after the game send him down. At that point, there could be a shifting of the rotation such that May would start on Sunday or Monday for the Twins as well. It can happen if they choose to go in that direction. That said, if it is Logan Darnell, he’s earned the opportunity and it would be nice to see him get a handful of starts.

    THE BULLPEN OPTIONS

    Real quickly I wanted to point out that there are a couple of good options in Rochester if the Twins needed a bullpen arm (and didn’t just move a starter there). AJ Achter and Michael Tonkin both have pitched well for the Red Wings. Tonkin has the name, and he’s on the 40 man roster, and he throws pretty hard. Achter is not on the 40 man roster, doesn’t throw as hard, but has consistently put up remarkable numbers. If they were to want or need a left-hander, Aaron Thompson should be considered.

    Pitcher W-L ERA WHIP H/9 BB/9 K/9
    AJ Achter 2-2 1.38 0.61 3.6 1.9 8.5
    Michael Tonkin 1-0 1.93 1.00 7.1 1.9 9.0
    Aaron Thompson 1-2 2.67 1.15 6.7 3.7 8.3


    HITTERS

    Chris Colabello and Josmil Pinto were a big part of the Twins offense early in the season. They are each working their way back in Rochester, but a few other names are worth getting to know.

    Deibinson Romero made a strong impression with his bat in spring training, and he has continued to rake in Rochester. He is now hitting .312/.407/.468 (.875) with 17 doubles and five home runs. He does already have 15 errors at third base, but his bat may be able to play in the big leagues.

    While Romero is the hitter, the Twins have a couple of glove-first guys in Rochester who would have to be considered if the Twins need another utility infielder (they have several already). We saw Doug Bernier last year. He has been playing all over the diamond this year, and he’s hitting .288/.369/.412 with 10 doubles and three home runs. James Beresford has been the Red Wings second baseman. He’s hitting .293/.343/.360 (.703) with 11 doubles, a triple and a homer.

    Eric Farris got one at-bat in 2011 with the Milwaukee Brewers. In 2012, he went 1-8 with the Brewers. He came to the Twins a year ago and split time between New Britain and Rochester. He’s been the primary centerfielder for the Red Wings this year. He has hit .289/.328/.362 (.690).

    So, there may not be as many hitters as pitchers putting up big numbers, but it’s always nice to know who could be next should a need arise.
    Comments 67 Comments
    1. Halsey Hall's Avatar
      Halsey Hall -
      Isn't that the truth. With Correia you know you've got a 50-50 pitcher. There's going to be some clunkers and some good games. The pitcher no one seems to mention, who IMO is questionable is Nolasco. I didn't much care for him this spring, (he's got an attitude). He seems to get thru 5 innings and just goes out and throws after that, as if I've got the money and done what I wanted. I just don't see him bearing down and giving the effort after 5. I'd move him first if there were any takers.
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      It is funny that even after giving up just one run over his last two starts (admittedly against a couple of teams from the weak AL East) that people still want Correia replaced. I'm not saying I think it'll last but it should hold off for right now and resume when he's pitching poorly again.
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      Re: Correia - I think it's reached the point where maybe complaining about him has just become a bad habit that we might want to reevaluate. Since that awful home start vs Boston where I legitimately thought he was one start from demotion:

      6 GS, 36 IP (or 6 per start), 3.50 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 41 hits (his biggest weakness) and a 20/4 K/BB ratio.

      He's never going to be an ace, but he's basically had one clunker, 3 gems and two that were good enough.

      For that matter, I'm a little hesitant to come down hard on Deduno right now too, and I was as angry at him as anyone could be on Saturday. He's basically just had two really bad starts in a row after a string of pretty good games, if memory serves. But it sure feels like it's time to see May up here. (And I'm a little worried that Deduno might be hurt or something. He was just SO bad.)

      And for the record, I have no problem with giving Darnell a spot start and then sending him back. In an ideal world, there would be room for him (and Pino) in the rotation. There isn't....yet.
    1. Beezer07's Avatar
      Beezer07 -
      Quote Originally Posted by h2oface View Post
      I find it interesting that a starter in AAA is "struggling" when they pitch to a line of "three runs on five hits and three walks in 5.2 innings" (Johnson - one out away from what is touted as a quality start for the Twins, and the same line would get a nice headline and it would be reported that they "gave the team a chance to win"). I also think that Pino and Achter will get the Slama treatment and never really get a shot with the Twins, but make for good politics and a winning AAA team for the Rochester fans.

      Do Twins' fans really want to see anyone other than Meyer and May? Is the front office going to wait until they are at the end of their pitch count for the year or give them an opportunity with fresher young arms?
      Part of this is undoubtedly because ML lineups are considerably better than AAA lineups. I want to see a variety of pitchers, any of whom can/should replace Deduno.
    1. Physics Guy's Avatar
      Physics Guy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      It is funny that even after giving up just one run over his last two starts (admittedly against a couple of teams from the weak AL East) that people still want Correia replaced. I'm not saying I think it'll last but it should hold off for right now and resume when he's pitching poorly again.
      I'm going to re-post my comment in the Correia thread:

      Thought I'd revisit this after tonight's start. Correia will most likely make it much longer than most are/were hoping for. Although it's pretty hard to complain about his last 6 starts.

      36 IP, 41 H, 4 BB, 20 K, 3.50 ERA and 1.25 WHIP

      He's not going anywhere unless,
      A) he puts up several straight stinkers and May forces the Twins' hands or
      B) he continues with what he has done the last month and garners something in trade.

      Edit: Sorry John, your post came in after I started reading the thread.
    1. Jaykay's Avatar
      Jaykay -
      Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
      3.6 H/9?

      3.6?!!!!?

      Are we sure Achter is throwing a regulation baseball?
      This jumped out at me as well. What does Achter do to get hitters out?

      I've heard he doesn't throw hard and that would explain why he was a 46th round pick, so what is he doing so effectively?
    1. Physics Guy's Avatar
      Physics Guy -
      Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
      3.6 H/9?

      3.6?!!!!?

      Are we sure Achter is throwing a regulation baseball?
      Yes, this is absurd. To put it another way, he gets over seven outs per hit.
    1. tobi0040's Avatar
      tobi0040 -
      Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
      Re: Correia - I think it's reached the point where maybe complaining about him has just become a bad habit that we might want to reevaluate. Since that awful home start vs Boston where I legitimately thought he was one start from demotion:

      6 GS, 36 IP (or 6 per start), 3.50 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 41 hits (his biggest weakness) and a 20/4 K/BB ratio.

      He's never going to be an ace, but he's basically had one clunker, 3 gems and two that were good enough.

      For that matter, I'm a little hesitant to come down hard on Deduno right now too, and I was as angry at him as anyone could be on Saturday. He's basically just had two really bad starts in a row after a string of pretty good games, if memory serves. But it sure feels like it's time to see May up here. (And I'm a little worried that Deduno might be hurt or something. He was just SO bad.)

      And for the record, I have no problem with giving Darnell a spot start and then sending him back. In an ideal world, there would be room for him (and Pino) in the rotation. There isn't....yet.
      I think a logical discussion about Correa has the following two questions:

      -Are we a contending team this year?
      -If Yes, is Correa going to be an upgrade over May or Meyer right now?

      If either one of those questions is a no (I think both are). Then Correia on this team only makes sense if we want to give Corriea an extension because we view him as someone in our rotation next year and beyond. Or if we think his trade value is going to spike for some reason, at 33 and in a season where he has a mid 5.00's ERA in mid June.

      I get another a few more no's.

      I am in the camp that we have better options right now that will help us win more games this year and the fact that those are guys with a future here is a huge bonus. So this notion that Kevin is here until he pitches his way out doesn't make any sense to me.
    1. drivlikejehu's Avatar
      drivlikejehu -
      Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
      Re: Correia - I think it's reached the point where maybe complaining about him has just become a bad habit that we might want to reevaluate. Since that awful home start vs Boston where I legitimately thought he was one start from demotion:

      6 GS, 36 IP (or 6 per start), 3.50 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 41 hits (his biggest weakness) and a 20/4 K/BB ratio.
      There is a lot of variation during a season and we shouldn't get too worked up over limited stretches, good or bad. The question is - what can we expect going forward?

      Deduno has an xFIP as a starter of 4.81, and that's the most charitable way of looking at his performance. His career numbers as a starter aren't great either - xFIP of 4.42, ERA of 4.51. There is no particular reason he should be in the rotation over someone with long-term relevance.

      The issue with Correia isn't whether he's still a decent 5th starter - it's whether he gives the team its best chance to win. His xFIP is 4.59... if May replaces Deduno, maybe that is better than the alternatives. But if it isn't, a change should be made. Correia shouldn't have a special claim to a rotation spot.
    1. jorgenswest's Avatar
      jorgenswest -
      Part of being ready is getting through at least 6 innings. It makes a difference on the burden in the bullpen. The Rochester pitchers have had some trouble due to walks or pitch counts. If one of them replaces Deduno, the burden on the bullpen wouldn't necessarily shift because Deduno can't go deep either.

      Below are the number of starts since May 1 and how often the pitchers went 6. I left out the April numbers because weather and early season pitch counts make it very difficult to go 6 innings.

      Darnell 2 of 7
      Meyer 2 of 8
      Johnson 4 of 8
      May 6 of 9

      I think it has been reported that Meyer is on an 80 pitch count limit. Maybe that is to preserve innings for the majors and would be lifted if on the Twins

      For comparison, Correia has gone at least 6 innings in 9 of his 14 starts and 5 of his last 6.
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      The 40-man roster is not a question. You can put Pelfrey on the 60-man. You can pas both Deduno and Florimon thru waivers and they should clear. In the wings you have Parmelee who could go thru waivers.

      Anyone you add has to have the ability to stay on the 40-man so you don't lose them, except perhaps Pino. If Pibno can succeed as a starter, you keep him around for the season so others develop. If he is okay, you can consider him a bullpen choice who can also start, which means you clear any of the fodder from the pne that includes Burton and Guerrier.

      If you do add Romero or Achter or Meyer, they have to stay on the 40-man. That is the biggest hurdle. Findng 40-man spots and rotating guys like Farris and Bernier and Ramirez and Rodriguez and Aaron Thompson thru is not the question.

      At least no one is mentioning Diamond yet!
    1. Monkeypaws's Avatar
      Monkeypaws -
      Correia don't get no respect.

      Attachment 7838

      Deduno's high-wire act is catching up to him; I'm pretty sure he could be replaced by any of the leading candidates.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
      I personally believe May and Meyer over KC will help this team win more games now, and obviously Kevin will not be part of this team next year. So it is inevitable at this point. We may as well accept it and move on.
      many of us may believe that, but we don't know that they will help win more games. We don't know that they would come up and pitch great, or if they would come up and post their own 5+ ERA. It's easy to assume that all prospects will come up and do well, or at least better than the veteran, but that's now always true.
    1. JB_Iowa's Avatar
      JB_Iowa -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      many of us may believe that, but we don't know that they will help win more games. We don't know that they would come up and pitch great, or if they would come up and post their own 5+ ERA. It's easy to assume that all prospects will come up and do well, or at least better than the veteran, but that's now always true.
      I agree with that. It is pretty clear from the last couple of games that Correia has learned something about PITCHING (as opposed to throwing) over the years. He frustrates me terribly when there are 2 on in the first inning but at least lately, he has escaped.

      I think it comes down to the value of getting May/Meyer experience in MLB vs. trying to win this year.

      At this point (while they are still trying to win this year), keeping KC in the rotation makes sense as long as he pitches like he has the last couple of games. A month from now, this team may be in an entirely different place. "Contending" may seem hopeless. KC may have fallen apart again -- or he may have built good trade value.

      I just can't see doing anything with him now. In July??? Whole different story. And really, that would still be time to get May (and maybe Meyers) some time at the mlb level.
    1. Trevor0333's Avatar
      Trevor0333 -
      Maybe Slama never would have stuck & I don't truly believe they missed on him. However I think teams do a real disservice to players who are older minor leaguers who seem to have figured it out. They make them prove it that much more clinging to them as depth rather than sending them to a team needing a starter due to injury or performance. Then the players get their shot 2 years later after losing the bit of magic they found followed by the team saying "see, I told you so" when they don't succeed.

      Moving a Deduno & Corriea for young A ball guys letting Pino & Achter see if it carries makes sense. Especially with the Meyer, May, Darnell etc being able replacements if they fail.
    1. spycake's Avatar
      spycake -
      Quote Originally Posted by jorgenswest View Post
      Part of being ready is getting through at least 6 innings. It makes a difference on the burden in the bullpen. The Rochester pitchers have had some trouble due to walks or pitch counts. If one of them replaces Deduno, the burden on the bullpen wouldn't necessarily shift because Deduno can't go deep either.

      Below are the number of starts since May 1 and how often the pitchers went 6. I left out the April numbers because weather and early season pitch counts make it very difficult to go 6 innings.

      Darnell 2 of 7
      Meyer 2 of 8
      Johnson 4 of 8
      May 6 of 9

      I think it has been reported that Meyer is on an 80 pitch count limit. Maybe that is to preserve innings for the majors and would be lifted if on the Twins

      For comparison, Correia has gone at least 6 innings in 9 of his 14 starts and 5 of his last 6.
      Replacing Deduno could shift bullpen burden by putting Deduno back in the pen as a long man. Not a huge fan of a 13 man pitching staff, but our bench isn't seeing much action right now anyway (i.e. Florimon and Parmelee). Burton probably wouldn't be missed either (nor frankly would Swarzak if a better long-man option presented itself.)

      Another way to look at it, total innings last 6 starts (to reward those pitchers going further than 6 innings):

      Deduno 27.2
      Correia 36
      Johnson 39.2
      May 39.2
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Quote Originally Posted by Trevor0333 View Post
      Maybe Slama never would have stuck & I don't truly believe they missed on him. However I think teams do a real disservice to players who are older minor leaguers who seem to have figured it out. They make them prove it that much more clinging to them as depth rather than sending them to a team needing a starter due to injury or performance. Then the players get their shot 2 years later after losing the bit of magic they found followed by the team saying "see, I told you so" when they don't succeed.

      Moving a Deduno & Corriea for young A ball guys letting Pino & Achter see if it carries makes sense. Especially with the Meyer, May, Darnell etc being able replacements if they fail.
      Need a love button for this post.....
    1. tobi0040's Avatar
      tobi0040 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      many of us may believe that, but we don't know that they will help win more games. We don't know that they would come up and pitch great, or if they would come up and post their own 5+ ERA. It's easy to assume that all prospects will come up and do well, or at least better than the veteran, but that's now always true.
      I get the death and taxes logic. But believing something will happen is the basis for almost every roster decision. We can't not make the move because a chance exists it won't work out.
    1. spycake's Avatar
      spycake -
      Seth: I am a Pino fan too, but it should be noted his K/9 rate is only 6.9 while starting this year. He's been his most effective, strikeout-wise, out of the pen (although his control and run prevention have been consistently good across both roles). He might be a better bullpen/swingman option than permanent starter (maybe taking Swarzak's spot?).
    1. tobi0040's Avatar
      tobi0040 -
      Quote Originally Posted by JB_Iowa View Post
      At this point (while they are still trying to win this year), keeping KC in the rotation makes sense as long as he pitches like he has the last couple of games. A month from now, this team may be in an entirely different place. "Contending" may seem hopeless. KC may have fallen apart again -- or he may have built good trade value.
      KC had a 4.18 ERA last year and asked for an extension and we politely said no. We signed three free agent pitchers in that off-season and had several in-house candidates.

      I have no inside information, but I am guessing we tried unloading Kevin in the off-season and we didn't find anything of value in return. Teams preferred giving Scott Feldman $30M than giving up a decent prospect and taking on $5M for Kevin. So with an ERA in the 5's in mid-June, I think the people holding out for anything of value in return are going to be dissapointed. I have to believe we will get even less now.

      Maybe I am wrong about the trade value, but I am confident waiting another 8-10 starts is pushing off the inevitable and that is 8-10 fewer starts we won't have to evaluate/develop a good young starter.
    1. golfboy1's Avatar
      golfboy1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
      Replacing Deduno could shift bullpen burden by putting Deduno back in the pen as a long man. Not a huge fan of a 13 man pitching staff, but our bench isn't seeing much action right now anyway (i.e. Florimon and Parmelee). Burton probably wouldn't be missed either (nor frankly would Swarzak if a better long-man option presented itself.)

      Another way to look at it, total innings last 6 starts (to reward those pitchers going further than 6 innings):

      Deduno 27.2
      Correia 36
      Johnson 39.2
      May 39.2
      I'm not a big fan of a 13 man staff either but maybe it is the best answer. Parmelee doesn't have much of a role since Morales signed. Cut Parmelee, send Deduno to the pen & call up either May or Darnell. I prefer Darnell but they both have pitched well enough to get a shot.

      I like Darnell since I think it is a good idea to have a LH starter. It's a nice change to have several good options to chose from . There are a number of bullpen arms who they could promote if they cut Burton. Pressley, Achter, Tonkin or Pino are all candidates for the bullpen.

      I'd like to see Lester Oliveros promoted to AAA soon. He's dominating AA, they just need a spot for him.
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