• Deciphering Deduno

    The second-best pitcher in Minnesota's rotation is a 29-year-old journeyman with five innings of previous major-league experience who has issued 36 walks in 46 innings this season.

    Obviously, that speaks to how bad the club's starting pitching has been, but it also speaks to the success Sam Deduno has enjoyed in spite of his outrageously bad control. The right-hander has tallied five quality starts in eight turns, and with a little run support on Sunday he would have improved to 5-0 on the season.

    He's a fascinating pitcher to watch. His erratic tendencies are unparalleled; he's averaging 7.0 BB/9 – among MLB pitchers with 40-plus innings pitched, only the train wreck Jonathan Sanchez has a worse rate and no one else is close. Yet, up to this point Deduno has been able to work around the extreme control issues by limiting damage when the ball is put in play. Five qualifying pitchers in the American League (Jered Weaver, Felix Hernandez, Justin Verlander, David Price and Chris Sale) are yielding a lower batting average lower than Deduno's .228.

    Is this a sustainable recipe for success? Probably not. It's tough to expect anyone to maintain a .250 BABIP, and he's been fortunate to strand as many walks as he has. Then again, a free pass only gives the batter one base, and if you're not allowing the big hits, things generally won't get out of hand. Really, it's the same bend-don't-break philosophy that applies to a successful pitch-to-contact guy like Scott Diamond, though with a very different formula.

    Deduno is so far on the other end of the spectrum from this organization's typical pitching mold that it's hard to believe he was even given a chance. Typically the Twins have shown a strong preference for strike-throwers, even if it means they're among the most hittable pitchers in the league (Nick Blackburn and Carl Pavano are great examples). While he's unbelievably wild, Deduno has been extremely tough to square up, and his minor-league career – where he allowed only 7.6 hits per nine innings on average – suggests that's no fluke.

    Regardless of what moves the Twins make this offseason, it is a virtual certainty that at least a couple spots at the bottom of the rotation will be up for grabs next spring among a number of borderline pitchers already within the organization. When stacked up against the likes of Blackburn, Brian Duensing, Cole De Vries, Liam Hendriks, P.J. Walters and others, Deduno is far more likely to issue a walk but also far less likely to give up a hit or home run. At the end of the day, that might make him a more effective pitcher.

    Certainly that has been the case this season.
    This article was originally published in blog: Deciphering Deduno started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 41 Comments
    1. PopRiveter's Avatar
      PopRiveter -
      It is an awfully fun formula to watch. Seems more likely to be a long-term bullpen option, but I like him.
    1. COtwin's Avatar
      COtwin -
      I think he has shown an extraordinary ability to execute his pitches when he needs to. OR his pitches are unhitable AND down in the zone. Regardless I think he needs to be able to start to be effective. Seems like he could just come in and walk the bases loaded. He needs the longer leash given to a starter, so he can fix his mistakes. Hopefully this is a focus think and he can get squared away. So refreshing so see someone be unhurt able again. Think if Frankie had had his ability for damage control, dang.
    1. COtwin's Avatar
      COtwin -
      I hate autocorrect on these dang smart phones.
    1. greengoblinrulz's Avatar
      greengoblinrulz -
      think Gardy's postgame comments may show how the organization views him.
      He wasnt complimentary today & said he/they cannot afford to walk that many, that it'll catch up with him & blamed some of the hitting problems on Duduno's pace/long innings.
    1. kirbyelway's Avatar
      kirbyelway -
      Quote Originally Posted by greengoblinrulz View Post
      think Gardy's postgame comments may show how the organization views him.
      He wasnt complimentary today & said he/they cannot afford to walk that many, that it'll catch up with him & blamed some of the hitting problems on Duduno's pace/long innings.
      They are on the field with Blackburn just as long. The difference is Deduno is giving them quality starts!
    1. COtwin's Avatar
      COtwin -
      Gardy is weak. We hit like crap yesterday. Maybe that was on Diamond.
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      Gardenhire complaining about Deduno in public seems counterproductive. The focus should be on working privately with him to reduce the walks.
    1. JP3700's Avatar
      JP3700 -
      Maybe Deduno should talk about how poorly Gardy manages. Putting in Robertson yesterday in a 2-2 game when Perkins had thrown 8 pitches in a week which made Robertson unavailable today.. Which forced Gray in the game to pitch to 4 consecutive left handed batters.. (LH batters' OPS is over 200 points higher against Gray than RH batters).. only to bring in Perkins in a 5-1 game just to get some work in. I understand players have to play but the manager's job is to put the players in the best position to succeed. I've watched blunders like this all year.. And no one says a word.

      At some point shouldn't he be held accountable instead of throwing his players under the bus? The Astros just canned their manager for having the worst record in the NL. A team where only die hard baseball fans could name more than 5 players on their team with a payroll at this point well under $50 million. Well our team has double the payroll and two former league MVPs and we have the worst record in the AL.
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      Deduno is the most fun to watch of the five starters. His main strength is that he somehow manages to throw about 50 percent strikes, despite his crazy stuff. That means hitters can't depend on him to get a walk, so some of them swing and make bad contact.

      Problems happen when he walks two or more in one inning, or when he uncorks a (remarkably rare) wild pitch. Also, there are some batters who appear to be able to get Deduno into a bad count, then sit on a pitch with less movement, when he's just trying to get a ball over the plate.

      Still, with a really good fielding team behind him, Sam Deduno could keep the team in a lot of games. This argues for getting guys like Hicks and Arcia up from the minors, and keeping guys like Florimon and Casilla up the middle.
    1. greengoblinrulz's Avatar
      greengoblinrulz -
      Quote Originally Posted by JP3700 View Post
      Maybe Deduno should talk about how poorly Gardy manages. Putting in Robertson yesterday in a 2-2 game when Perkins had thrown 8 pitches in a week which made Robertson unavailable today.. Which forced Gray in the game to pitch to 4 consecutive left handed batters.. (LH batters' OPS is over 200 points higher against Gray than RH batters).. only to bring in Perkins in a 5-1 game just to get some work in. I understand players have to play but the manager's job is to put the players in the best position to succeed. I've watched blunders like this all year.. And no one says a word.

      At some point shouldn't he be held accountable instead of throwing his players under the bus? The Astros just canned their manager for having the worst record in the NL. A team where only die hard baseball fans could name more than 5 players on their team with a payroll at this point well under $50 million. Well our team has double the payroll and two former league MVPs and we have the worst record in the AL.
      I am by far not a Gardy supporter, but its not Gardy who runs the pitching staff....he gives Rick Anderson almost full power. Several people have had severe problems with the bullpen use this yr, so I agree with ya.
      However, you lose me completely by trying to justify Gray's problems
    1. CDog's Avatar
      CDog -
      Quote Originally Posted by greengoblinrulz View Post
      blamed some of the hitting problems on Duduno's pace/long innings.
      I watched the postgame and did not hear him say anything of the kind.
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      Do I think he's good? Not really. Better than Blackburn and Devries at least. 29 and he still can't control his pitches. I don't know if there is any way you can get him to issue less walks. He would have solved that problem by now. His WHIP is extremely high and that's a big warning sign.
    1. JP3700's Avatar
      JP3700 -
      Quote Originally Posted by greengoblinrulz View Post
      I am by far not a Gardy supporter, but its not Gardy who runs the pitching staff....he gives Rick Anderson almost full power. Several people have had severe problems with the bullpen use this yr, so I agree with ya.
      However, you lose me completely by trying to justify Gray's problems
      Lol I wasn't trying to justify his problems. He's a bad pitcher.. No doubt about it. But if he's going to be on the roster.. For some apparent reason that no one knows of (free Slama).. Then you have to at least put him in better situations to pitch. His stuff is similar to Robertson in that they only throw two pitches.. It's just Robertson doesn't throw his fastball as hard but has more movement on it. He has a low 90s fastball that he can sneak by righties at times because he has a slider that dives down and away from righties. But he's a one pitch pitcher to lefties cause when he throws his slider to lefties it dives down and in which is their happy zone
    1. Montecore's Avatar
      Montecore -
      Quote Originally Posted by JP3700 View Post
      Maybe Deduno should talk about how poorly Gardy manages. Putting in Robertson yesterday in a 2-2 game when Perkins had thrown 8 pitches in a week which made Robertson unavailable today.. Which forced Gray in the game to pitch to 4 consecutive left handed batters.. (LH batters' OPS is over 200 points higher against Gray than RH batters).. only to bring in Perkins in a 5-1 game just to get some work in. I understand players have to play but the manager's job is to put the players in the best position to succeed. I've watched blunders like this all year.. And no one says a word.

      At some point shouldn't he be held accountable instead of throwing his players under the bus? The Astros just canned their manager for having the worst record in the NL. A team where only die hard baseball fans could name more than 5 players on their team with a payroll at this point well under $50 million. Well our team has double the payroll and two former league MVPs and we have the worst record in the AL.
      Too many otherwise savvy analysts on-air (and off) don't hold him accountable. I think they're afraid of him as if he were a Mexican drug lord or something. In playoff seasons Gardenhire has always been over-rated. It's easy to see how it happened. But, his abysmal post-season record and the last two seasons have exposed his deficiencies. He's a stupid, hidebound, petty, selfish fool. I don't know what the Pohlad's problem is. But, they're being taken for a ride.
    1. Jack Torse's Avatar
      Jack Torse -
      Even after completely and utterly dominating minor league baseball for four years, the controll artist by comparision anthony slama never got much of a chance because they said he walked too many. I realize he's been injured and is a reliever but impossible not to come to mind when the topic of BB comes up.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      It seems like only a matter of time before DeDuno completely blows up, it seems like every other inning he has the bases loaded with 0 or 1 outs and is able to get out of it with little to no damage, that can't possibly continue.

      He needs to have some extreme control improvement if he ever wants to stay in the league.
    1. DPJ's Avatar
      DPJ -
      I love the guy, hell I'd rather see him walk the world onbase and get his K's then watch him pound the zone and give up hits galore like everyone else in this rotation. WIll it last...probably not. But I have no beef with the walks as long as he's getting his K's and limiting hits.
    1. jeffk's Avatar
      jeffk -
      A lot of people are dismissing his success as low-BABIP luck... however, it's hard not to notice the pitchers you mention as having low BABIP are more less recognized as excellent pitchers - something about what they do keeps hitters from making good contact, and we accept that they're aces. Now, those guys also rack up strike outs and limit walks, so nobody's saying Deduno is an ace. But maybe he's a #3 who will continue to give up walks but not hits. I understand it's statistically rare and I wouldn't bet much on it, but I also think there's more to it than the idea that everyone should have the exact mean BABIP or else they're just lucky.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by DPJ View Post
      I love the guy, hell I'd rather see him walk the world onbase and get his K's then watch him pound the zone and give up hits galore like everyone else in this rotation. WIll it last...probably not. But I have no beef with the walks as long as he's getting his K's and limiting hits.
      The problem is his k rate is only 5.9 per nine innings.
    1. twinsnorth49's Avatar
      twinsnorth49 -
      Quote Originally Posted by DPJ View Post
      I love the guy, hell I'd rather see him walk the world onbase and get his K's then watch him pound the zone and give up hits galore like everyone else in this rotation. WIll it last...probably not. But I have no beef with the walks as long as he's getting his K's and limiting hits.
      Yep, and if anyone else references Nick Blackburn as some kind of comparison, punch yourself in the face for me
©2014 TwinsCentric, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Interested in advertising with Twins Daily? Click here.