• Cole in the Stocking

    The Minnesotan, Golden Gopher alum and baseball fan inside me all want to see Cole DeVries succeed in a Twins uniform. The analyst inside me knows that he probably won't.

    DeVries is a great story. He was signed by the Twins as an undrafted free agent back in 2006 after a solid career at the University of Minnesota, and has gradually worked his way up the organizational ladder. On Tuesday, the 27-year-old was called up to the majors to fill Jason Marquis' vacant roster spot. He'll make his big-league debut on Thursday in a start against the White Sox.

    The soft-tossing right-hander's minor-league track record is far from spectacular. In six seasons, he has gone 32-42 with a 4.01 ERA and 1.39 WHIP. He has proven extremely hittable in the high minors, allowing 413 hits in 366 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. That's an average of 10.2 H/9 – not exactly a change of pace for a Twins team that currently leads the American League in hits allowed.

    DeVries hangs in the mid-80s with his velocity and has largely survived by peppering the strike zone, especially this year as he's issued only seven walks in 46 2/3 innings for Rochester. MLB hitters are likely to tee off on his brand of soft serve, so I suspect his stay in the Twins' rotation will be short.

    Nevertheless, it's cool to see him get a chance to pitch on the big stage and perhaps – like Scott Diamond and P.J. Walters before him – he can catch an unfamiliar league by surprise and conjure up some good results for a desperate staff.
    This article was originally published in blog: Cole in the Stocking started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 21 Comments
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      Is it possible that Diamond, Walters and DeVries might all make it as MLB starters?
    1. Nick Nelson's Avatar
      Nick Nelson -
      Maybe. I'd say Diamond and Walters both have track records that are much more suggestive of big-league success. As an extreme fly ball pitcher with an underwhelming arsenal and high contact rate, DeVries has a steep hill to climb.
    1. TwinsGuy55422's Avatar
      TwinsGuy55422 -
      Let's hope the fan in you is right instead of the analyst.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      WHIP down to 1.157 this year and a 7.1/1.4 K/BB ratio. He was terrible in 2010. Without those numbers that year, he is not as bad as it sounds.
    1. Top Gun's Avatar
      Top Gun -
      The best is yet to come.
    1. IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
      IdahoPilgrim -
      While the sentamentalist in me also hopes he does well, the practicalist agrees he's probably going to get lit up. There's a reason he was undrafted - he doesn't have big-league stuff. You can get away with mistakes in the minors what you can't get away with in the bigs. He looks like a journeyman AAA roster filler. No shame in that, but that's just being realistic. In a season where there was any hope, this move isn't made.
    1. rogrulz30's Avatar
      rogrulz30 -
      I hope Cole does well on Thursday, I am def rooting for him. If the Twins win today, I hope it isn't another rally killer Jason Marquis type of performance, I was hoping Duensing would have been the guy, he probably deserves it the most at this point. I would really like to see another good performance by a callup. Go Twins!
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      DeVries looks like a AAAA type. Sure, he doesn't have the dominating stuff which is why he's debuting in 2012 as a 27 year old. Of course, the same can be said of PJ Walters. Take out 2010 and DeVries has had good success at every level. I agree, expectations should certainly be tempered, but it is ok to be optimistic too... Frankly, I at least have some hope with Cole DeVries. He's replacing Jason Marquis, a guy who provided little hope to Twins fans. It's a rebuilding year. Why not give DeVries 5-6 starts and just see. I think his big league role would be more as a back of the bullpen type, but I know I'm excited for a good guy, a local guy, and a guy who has certainly put in his time in the organization!!
    1. SirLoin's Avatar
      SirLoin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      DeVries looks like a AAAA type. Sure, he doesn't have the dominating stuff which is why he's debuting in 2012 as a 27 year old. Of course, the same can be said of PJ Walters. Take out 2010 and DeVries has had good success at every level. I agree, expectations should certainly be tempered, but it is ok to be optimistic too... Frankly, I at least have some hope with Cole DeVries. He's replacing Jason Marquis, a guy who provided little hope to Twins fans. It's a rebuilding year. Why not give DeVries 5-6 starts and just see. I think his big league role would be more as a back of the bullpen type, but I know I'm excited for a good guy, a local guy, and a guy who has certainly put in his time in the organization!!
      I compare him, at least statistically to Matt Guerrier. I don't know how their "stuff" compares, but their career minor league stats aren't all that different. I think he is best suited as a 7th or 8th inning guy. But correct me if I'm wrong, Guerrier did some starting at the beginning of his career....
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by SirLoin View Post
      I compare him, at least statistically to Matt Guerrier. I don't know how their "stuff" compares, but their career minor league stats aren't all that different. I think he is best suited as a 7th or 8th inning guy. But correct me if I'm wrong, Guerrier did some starting at the beginning of his career....
      DeVries' fastball (like PJ Walters' btw) tops at 89 and usually sits at mid 80s. His curveball (like PJ Walters' btw) is pretty wicked. Nothing like Guerrier who was sitting in low 90s and dialing mid-90s occasionally. Lots like Walters with a bit more of a deceptive delivery. Let's see how he will do.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Good luck to DeVries. Hoping he succeeds, thinking it is unlikely (it is unlikely any AAA pitcher actually succeeds....) given his stuff, but we can always hope. How exciting for him to make the Twins. Even if he doesn't do well, I hope he and his family always remember this as a great time. Really, how many players are regarded so highly that they even get a shot.
    1. SweetOne69's Avatar
      SweetOne69 -
      The key to success as a pitcher is NOT velocity. The key is keeping the hitter off balance. If you have movement on your pitches and can hit your spots and have the hitter guessing wrong as to what pitch is coming then you can have success.

      One of Swarzak's starts earlier this year, he breezed through the batting order the 1st time through. Then the batter's discovered that he was throwing a 1st pitch fastball every time and they started swing at the 1st pitch and got several hits and runs before Swarzak adjusted. Very few pitchers can survive when the batter knows what pitch is coming.
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      This is probably the only chance he'll ever get, so it would be a shame if he did screw up.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      This is what it's all about, thanks to KSTP-Channel 5 last night: http://kstp.com/article/stories/S2629690.shtml?cat=1
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      This is what it's all about, thanks to KSTP-Channel 5 last night: http://kstp.com/article/stories/S2629690.shtml?cat=1
      Nice. Adding his AFL numbers from last year (I forgot about that), and DeVries had a very nice year last year.
    1. wolf eyes's Avatar
      wolf eyes -
      Good article, bad pun.
    1. SirLoin's Avatar
      SirLoin -
      Quote Originally Posted by SweetOne69 View Post
      The key to success as a pitcher is NOT velocity. The key is keeping the hitter off balance. If you have movement on your pitches and can hit your spots and have the hitter guessing wrong as to what pitch is coming then you can have success.

      One of Swarzak's starts earlier this year, he breezed through the batting order the 1st time through. Then the batter's discovered that he was throwing a 1st pitch fastball every time and they started swing at the 1st pitch and got several hits and runs before Swarzak adjusted. Very few pitchers can survive when the batter knows what pitch is coming.
      Isn't that Chapter One of "Anthony Slama's Field Guide to Effective Pitching"?
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by SirLoin View Post
      Isn't that Chapter One of "Anthony Slama's Field Guide to Effective Pitching"?
      I am looking forward to his Preface to the Second Edition in two or three years, after he gets some more experience at the major league level. Maybe he'll say it was exactly as he expressed it in the First Edition; or he might say "wow, that ball sure travels farther in a major league park for some reason".
    1. Ultima Ratio's Avatar
      Ultima Ratio -
      Go carbon compadres! Diamond and Cole. Get it?
    1. Nick Nelson's Avatar
      Nick Nelson -
      Quote Originally Posted by wolf eyes View Post
      Good article, bad pun.
      Ha! I agree. It was like midnight and I just needed something.
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