• Random Thoughts On A Random Loss

    I donít know if these are questions, or thoughts, of forum topics, but after a 13-hour day, Iím pretty much free associating. Letís see what happens.

    Because Fourth Place Is Just Five Games Away?
    Why is Carl Pavano pitching? The Twins long term strategy regarding Pavano needs to be to have him demonstrate enough success to get some value for him at the trade deadline, right? What is the purpose of trotting him out there at 80% to look below average? Get him healthy, let him string a strong month or so together and then shop him in July. Doesnít this have to be the strategy? Why isnít this the strategy?

    Or Maybe It Was Andyís Whoopie Cushion.

    Liriano was Liriano. To me, the most encouraging sign wasnít that he got the first five guys out, or that he bounced back to get out of the second inning after almost completely falling apart, or that he struck out three guys. It was that he smiled and laughed on the bench with Rick Anderson for the first time since last May.

    Including The Door On Your Wait Out.
    Capps hasnít been bad this year, though last night was the second game he cost the Twins. I wonít site how many games heís ďsavedĒ as evidence, but I think itís worth noting that his WPA is still in positive territory even after losing 30 points last night. Mostly heís still just Matt Capps Ė he has been for years, so he should know how by now.
    For all the talk about his new pitch, heís got the same strikeout rate, a high home run rate and though heís walking fewer guys. To me, heís in the same boat as Pavano Ė the team needs to do whatever they can to boost his value, and if that means closing, then close away.

    Plus, Weíll Resemble The Pirates
    Ryan Doumitís OPS is up to 763 after last nightís game, which is a lot closer to the bat I thought we were getting. Thatís a season high mark Ė he was as low as 550 before he broke out in that Sunday game in Seattle, which was just a little over a week ago.

    But the better news is that heís worked out far better than I ever thought he would so far. His defense at catcher is better than we had heard. Heís hitting left-handers better than I had anticipated (albeit without any power). And heís been healthy. Heís also been the ideal guy to play on a team with Joe Mauer. Iím anxious to move a lot of guys at the trade deadline, but Doumit isnít one of them. I donít know what it would take to sign the 31-year-old, and Iíd want to limit the years, but he looks like a hell of a good fit for this team for the next few years.
    This article was originally published in blog: Random Thoughts On A Random Loss started by John Bonnes
    Comments 13 Comments
    1. jeffk's Avatar
      jeffk -
      Speaking of Doumit, who else has noticed that ridiculously bad-ass mustache he's been rocking?
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Yeah, though the trade Span crowd will surely descend on Doumit soon enough.

      I personally like the idea of Mauer-Doumit-Herrmann in 2013 and 2014 instead of involving Butera in 1/4 of the games.
    1. twinswon1991's Avatar
      twinswon1991 -
      Honestly what contender would have any interest in Pavano even when he is at his peak? Most contenders have AAA or long relievers with more skills than Carl who cost a lot less. Carl is not a guy you want to see the mound in the post season so why trade for him.

      I bet Terry Ryan wishes he hadnt given up that sandwich pick by resigning Capps as there is no way he gets anything more than a bag of balls or PTBNL in a trade.

      I encourage you to listen to the latest BA podcast. The Twins FO and scouting dept is a laughingstock. But they are such nice guys they wont be fired.
    1. Boom Boom's Avatar
      Boom Boom -
      "(Doumit's) defense at catcher is better than we had heard." You're absolutely wrong here, John. Doumit's defense at catcher has been terrible.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      It's mind boggling to send Pavano out there if he's not 100%. His only value, minimal as it is, to this team is as trade bait. But really, this is an organization that hasn't been able to figure out how the DL process works for 2+ years, so this isn't really a surprise to me. I continue to be underwhelmed at their understanding of basic organizational strategy.
    1. Mr. Ed's Avatar
      Mr. Ed -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      It's mind boggling to send Pavano out there if he's not 100%. His only value, minimal as it is, to this team is as trade bait. But really, this is an organization that hasn't been able to figure out how the DL process works for 2+ years, so this isn't really a surprise to me. I continue to be underwhelmed at their understanding of basic organizational strategy.
      Do they even have a strategy, Mike? I sure can't tell what it is right now.

      Only thing I can tell is the direction. Down. And staying down.

      Lead the majors in ground ball %.

      Hint: This is not the Metrodome. Slappy singles hitters don't get the turf hit any more. Yet the roster has multiple slappy hitters. Unreal.
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      I don't see where you are getting the idea that Doumit's defense is "better than we heard" either John. His Rdrs/yr and fielding % are slightly higher, but not enough to claim we have gotten different defensive play entirely. He is still below average behind the plate and that was totally expected of him anyway.
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      On Capps: He has improved his pitches quite a bit, but last night he reverted to his old bad habits. His stuff was coming in mostly flat, so hitters were starting to find it and pound it. Even so, Capps has done two things to improve his pitches. He has learned to move it around in the zone, and he has added movement, including a decent splitter. Unfortunately, last night he looked tense, so he wasn't getting his pitches to swerve and dip. He also was a little off balance with his footwork, which produces erratic location. Joe Nathan almost always plants his stride foot in exactly the same place, and finishes on balance. That's what gives him pinpoint control. Why all pitchers don't do that is mysterious to me.

      Ryan Doumit isn't Mike Redmond. Twins got really lucky with Red Dog, and it probably won't happen again. However, Doumit does occasionally belt one into the seats. In fact, we may see more offense out of Doumit now that his body isn't taking the punishment from catching every day. That was the idea going in, and it looks to be happening.

      Liriano looks terrible. His delivery is so inconsistent, it's hard to imagine him regaining control for a whole game. He really, really needs to simplify his recipe. He needs to stand tall, start on balance and finish on balance. A good delivery should be reversible: You should be able to balance on the stride foot, then rock back to your drive foot and raise your knee just like before you let go of the ball. How many pitchers could do that? Maddox, Koufax, Seaver, Verlander, Lincecum, Nathan, Rivera... It would be hilarious to see Liriano try it.
    1. Blake's Avatar
      Blake -
      Just how bad was the word on Doumit's defense, John, if you think Doumit is better than advertised? Even I know a catcher is supposed to move laterally behind the plate, not just move the glove.
    1. jeffk's Avatar
      jeffk -
      Seems to me we're getting exactly what we expected from Doumit, and I think it was a decent deal.
    1. Montecore's Avatar
      Montecore -
      Capps is wretched. That re-signing exemplifies the the abysmal incompetence of the entire organization. A rotation of Garza, Lohse, Santana, and Dickey would be a 1000% improvement on what they've got now. At least Doumit can hit.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      I think that Doumit has been a good replacement for Kubel at a fraction of the price. His defense is Kubel-like, but where Doumit really added value in this team was to keep Bu-terror in the minors. Now that the Manager of the Millennium has nixed that and starts Buterror in 40% of the games, Doumit's value lessens. I still think that he brings a lot to the table and could be a good deadline trading chip.


      Starting pitching, especially the "veterans" Pavano and Marquis have been horrid. Marquis' acquisition is shaping to be worse than that of Livan, Ponson, Ramon Ortiz, if you factor in the money. At this point, the Twins are better hanging the "For Sale" sign early, get a bunch of young pitchers in return and see what they can do in the majors in preparation for next year. As far as Marquis goes, he would make a good starter in Rochester, and that might apease the natives who have been screaming that the Twins have gutted their team.

      I am just thankful that Ryan still has the "interim" tag and that Gardy and his cohorts' contracts are expiring in 2013.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Montecore View Post
      Capps is wretched. That re-signing exemplifies the the abysmal incompetence of the entire organization. A rotation of Garza, Lohse, Santana, and Dickey would be a 1000% improvement on what they've got now. At least Doumit can hit.

      You should be looking for any positive you can find for Capps. The organization has to already be sending out feelers around both leagues based on his 7/7 save conversion rate and new-found magic out pitch. If the Twins play it right they will find their very own, just-desperate-enough, GM like Billy Smith and land themselves a prospect before July 31.
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