• 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. twinsnorth49's Avatar
      twinsnorth49 -
      Quote Originally Posted by JP3700 View Post
      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
      That's only a problem if the slider gets left up, which is his problem, because he's a lousy pitcher. Most relievers don't go with more than a couple of pitches anyway, the good ones just execute them a lot better.
    1. DAM DC Twins Fans's Avatar
      DAM DC Twins Fans -
      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.
      Me too--reminds me of Ryne Duren when I was a kid--so wild batters had no clue and wouldnt have solid AB. I hope it lasts--he deserves a chance to be in rotation in 2013--more so than Blackburn and Baker.
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      I agree. he needs to be here. Mauer has commented as a catcher, he has no idea where the ball is going, if this is the case, how can the hitters. Walks are not good, but he seems to get some ground balls for double plays. Let this play out, he is better at this point than most of the starters the Twins are throwing out there. You can't teach ball movement and late movement is what the hitters cannot handle.
    1. Teflon's Avatar
      Teflon -
      Deduno has only given up 37 hits in 46 innings whereas most Twins pitchers give up at least a hit per inning. (ahem Nick Blackburn - 143 hits in 98 innings) In most cases a walk surrendered is a better outcome than a hit surrendered in not moving baserunners as far around the diamond and keeping the double play in order - so a low-hit high-walk pitcher should fare better than a high-hit low-walk pitcher if their baserunners to innings pitched are proportional.

      I'd like to see some kind of stat that measures how many feet of bases both hitting and advancing a pitcher surrenders per inning pitched. For instance, if Blackburn gives up a single and then another single with the runner moving to third, that would be 1 base for the first single, and 3 bases for the second single - for 4 total bases. If Deduno gives up a single and then walks a batter, that would only be 3 total bases. Over the course of a season, they may put the same number of runners on base, but fewer runs would score against Deduno because the runners are not advancing to the same degree. It's sort of like the argument that a Joe Mauer who struck out more with men on base might actually be a good thing based on the number of double plays he grounds into by not striking out.
    1. anthonyq77's Avatar
      anthonyq77 -
      Let Deduno keep doing what he is doing. he has been very effective thus far and the Twins don't tend to spend much in FA. If he does "blow up" send him packing its not like he is getting paid a ton of money. Just because you think he might hit the wall, ots no reason to get rid of such a remarkably effective pitcher. (i mean remarkably as in "how is this guy doing it.)
      Also i just don't get all the extreme Gardy hate around here. Do any of you actually believe the teams he had in several of those playoff years were anything more than average talent wise? I would say that atleast three of those teams had no right to even be in the playoff race on talent alone.

      Sure he has his flaws that have all been repeated ad nauseum around here but seems to be a very good motivator who gets the most out of limited options (the last two years excepted.)
    1. 70charger's Avatar
      70charger -
      Quote Originally Posted by Teflon View Post
      I'd like to see some kind of stat that measures how many feet of bases both hitting and advancing a pitcher surrenders per inning pitched. For instance, if Blackburn gives up a single and then another single with the runner moving to third, that would be 1 base for the first single, and 3 bases for the second single - for 4 total bases. If Deduno gives up a single and then walks a batter, that would only be 3 total bases. Over the course of a season, they may put the same number of runners on base, but fewer runs would score against Deduno because the runners are not advancing to the same degree. It's sort of like the argument that a Joe Mauer who struck out more with men on base might actually be a good thing based on the number of double plays he grounds into by not striking out.
      Seems like that would be a very useful stat. Certainly more useful than WHIP; kind of like a pitchers' version of wOBA.

      I imagine it would correlate well to the hit vs. run yield rate (e.g. one team getting 5 hits may yield 5 runs, whereas another getting 5 hits may yield 1 run). That sort of stat might finally put the vague concept of "clutch" hitting to rest.
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      No reason not to leave him in the rotation for this year. If he is one of the top five starters entering 2013, that's a failure by management.
    1. PseudoSABR's Avatar
      PseudoSABR -
      Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
      No reason not to leave him in the rotation for this year. If he is one of the top five starters entering 2013, that's a failure by management.
      This
    1. frightwig's Avatar
      frightwig -
      Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
      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.
      That K/9 might be just fine if his walk rate were less than half his 7.0 BB/9. But he does have a 7.0 BB/9(!), and his minor league BB/9 is 5.2. He's 29 years old. He probably won't ever develop a respectable command of the strike zone if he hasn't done it by now. His K/9 could well drop, and his BABIP probably will rise, as the league gets a longer look at him, or he loses any velocity, or if his luck just regresses to the mean.

      Look, we're talking about a minor league journeyman sporting a 5.40 FIP, 5.07 xFIP, with a mediocre K/9 and horrible command, who already has to rely on "pitching out of trouble" for the success he's had in 46 IP this season. And there's some question about whether he might be one of the Twins' better rotation options going into next season? Oy.
    1. JP3700's Avatar
      JP3700 -
      I mean.. Let's be honest.. What he's currently doing isn't sustainable. But I do agree he should finish out the season.. But he does need to improve his walk rate. Hard to believe he will.. considering he's almost 30 and still hasn't figured it out but I hope he does cause he does have good stuff.

      For the Deduno lovers.. Get excited about Esmerling Vasquez. Should be up September. Similar to Deduno. Wild with good stuff.. Has a much better track record though.
    1. frightwig's Avatar
      frightwig -
      Quote Originally Posted by Teflon View Post
      Deduno has only given up 37 hits in 46 innings whereas most Twins pitchers give up at least a hit per inning. (ahem Nick Blackburn - 143 hits in 98 innings) In most cases a walk surrendered is a better outcome than a hit surrendered in not moving baserunners as far around the diamond and keeping the double play in order - so a low-hit high-walk pitcher should fare better than a high-hit low-walk pitcher if their baserunners to innings pitched are proportional.
      Can you give some examples of "low-hit high-walk" pitchers (let's say a BB/9 above 4.0, but the closer to a 7.0 BB/9 the better) who sustained above-average success by that approach? And would any pitchers on such a list also have a K/9 below 6?
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      DeDuno has a FIP of 5.40 and an xfIP of 5.07

      If you are going to walk a ton of guys, you frankly need to strike out a ton as well. Sanchez is the perfect example, he has always walked a ton of guys, but when he was striking out 9.5-10 guys per 9 innings he was able to get away with it. This year his k rate dropped below 7 and he has gotten shelled.
    1. Kobs's Avatar
      Kobs -
      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.
      "I told one of my employees to do my job" is not a valid excuse.
    1. JP3700's Avatar
      JP3700 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kobs View Post
      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.
      "I told one of my employees to do my job" is not a valid excuse.
      Might be the best comment I've read
    1. Teflon's Avatar
      Teflon -
      Quote Originally Posted by frightwig View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Teflon View Post
      Deduno has only given up 37 hits in 46 innings whereas most Twins pitchers give up at least a hit per inning. (ahem Nick Blackburn - 143 hits in 98 innings) In most cases a walk surrendered is a better outcome than a hit surrendered in not moving baserunners as far around the diamond and keeping the double play in order - so a low-hit high-walk pitcher should fare better than a high-hit low-walk pitcher if their baserunners to innings pitched are proportional.
      Can you give some examples of "low-hit high-walk" pitchers (let's say a BB/9 above 4.0, but the closer to a 7.0 BB/9 the better) who sustained above-average success by that approach? And would any pitchers on such a list also have a K/9 below 6?
      I think you would look for pitchers with comparable WHIPs and then compare the percentages of walks of each. My supposition would be that the pitcher with the higher walk total should give up fewer runs, barring a large discrepancy in extra-base hits between the two. For instance, Aaron Harang and Dan Haren have almost identical WHIPs (1.391) in a fairly comparable number of innings (143 - 129) with a similar number of strikeouts (112 - 101) Harang has walked twice as many batters (67) as Haren (33) but has an ERA over a run lower. (3.65 to 4.90) To my mind, Harang would be the better choice between the two BECAUSE he walks more batters. I'm not saying Harang would be better than a pitcher with a lower WHIP - just better than a pitcher with a comparable WHIP and fewer walks.
    1. kab21's Avatar
      kab21 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Teflon View Post
      I think you would look for pitchers with comparable WHIPs and then compare the percentages of walks of each. My supposition would be that the pitcher with the higher walk total should give up fewer runs, barring a large discrepancy in extra-base hits between the two. For instance, Aaron Harang and Dan Haren have almost identical WHIPs (1.391) in a fairly comparable number of innings (143 - 129) with a similar number of strikeouts (112 - 101) Harang has walked twice as many batters (67) as Haren (33) but has an ERA over a run lower. (3.65 to 4.90) To my mind, Harang would be the better choice between the two BECAUSE he walks more batters. I'm not saying Harang would be better than a pitcher with a lower WHIP - just better than a pitcher with a comparable WHIP and fewer walks.
      This would only be true if you were leaving BAPIP out of the equation as well as GB rate and HR/FB rate. Going forward you would expect Harang's BAPIP to climb some and for him to give up a similar number of HR's as Haren.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
      No reason not to leave him in the rotation for this year. If he is one of the top five starters entering 2013, that's a failure by management.
      I somewhat disagree. It's going to be a real challenge to fill four rotation spots in one offseason. Say you have Diamond and Hendriks filling the first two spots. You add a decent FA for the third spot, maybe even the fourth spot if you get a guy in a trade.

      That still leaves one spot open to fill. Given the "prospects" on the team after Hendriks, I'd just as soon see Deduno get a shot as anyone else on the roster.
    1. COtwin's Avatar
      COtwin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
      No reason not to leave him in the rotation for this year. If he is one of the top five starters entering 2013, that's a failure by management.
      I somewhat disagree. It's going to be a real challenge to fill four rotation spots in one offseason. Say you have Diamond and Hendriks filling the first two spots. You add a decent FA for the third spot, maybe even the fourth spot if you get a guy in a trade.

      That still leaves one spot open to fill. Given the "prospects" on the team after Hendriks, I'd just as soon see Deduno get a shot as anyone else on the roster.

      Agree. With how often we have let average or worse pitchers with average or worse stuff try to pull it together, Deduno should definitely be in the picture for next year. Lets say Diamond, Hendriks, and only one decent free agent. 2 spots remaining for Deduno, Hernandez, Devries, Walters, maybe Vasquez, Baker remote chance. Deduno has to be in the picture. He pitches fairly deep into games and doesn't saddle the team with big deficits. Sure only 25% of a seasons work, but we let way worse (results) pitchers go to the mound day after day. Marquis, Blackburn, Gray (RP so what), Pavano. Deduno has a much higher ceiling (IMO) than any of the 4 just mentioned, and probably higher than a couple of the others he'd be battling.
    1. Mauerzy4Prez's Avatar
      Mauerzy4Prez -
      Quote Originally Posted by COtwin View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
      No reason not to leave him in the rotation for this year. If he is one of the top five starters entering 2013, that's a failure by management.
      I somewhat disagree. It's going to be a real challenge to fill four rotation spots in one offseason. Say you have Diamond and Hendriks filling the first two spots. You add a decent FA for the third spot, maybe even the fourth spot if you get a guy in a trade.

      That still leaves one spot open to fill. Given the "prospects" on the team after Hendriks, I'd just as soon see Deduno get a shot as anyone else on the roster.

      Agree. With how often we have let average or worse pitchers with average or worse stuff try to pull it together, Deduno should definitely be in the picture for next year. Lets say Diamond, Hendriks, and only one decent free agent. 2 spots remaining for Deduno, Hernandez, Devries, Walters, maybe Vasquez, Baker remote chance. Deduno has to be in the picture. He pitches fairly deep into games and doesn't saddle the team with big deficits. Sure only 25% of a seasons work, but we let way worse (results) pitchers go to the mound day after day. Marquis, Blackburn, Gray (RP so what), Pavano. Deduno has a much higher ceiling (IMO) than any of the 4 just mentioned, and probably higher than a couple of the others he'd be battling.
      Diamond and Henricks as our #1 and 2 is not good. Diamond is a #2-3 type pitcher on a legit staff, and Hendricks is right around the same. We have Gibson coming back next year hopefully by July, and I'd like to see him in the 2 spot. That leaves it up to the FO to pick up a solid #1 guy, and figure out their 4 and 5 spots... Personally I think they will end up giving Deduno, Duensing, maybe DeVries/Walters/Vasquez/Hernandez, a chance to fill up the back of the rotation. We will see how some of these young guys do in the next 45 games...

      For all you that are going to rip me for mentioning Duensing, the main reason I have him listed is because everyone from the organization publicly talks about how they believe he can start in the major leagues. The Twins aren't as ready to give up on him as some of the fans might be.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mauerzy4Prez View Post
      Diamond and Henricks as our #1 and 2 is not good. Diamond is a #2-3 type pitcher on a legit staff, and Hendricks is right around the same. We have Gibson coming back next year hopefully by July, and I'd like to see him in the 2 spot. That leaves it up to the FO to pick up a solid #1 guy, and figure out their 4 and 5 spots... Personally I think they will end up giving Deduno, Duensing, maybe DeVries/Walters/Vasquez/Hernandez, a chance to fill up the back of the rotation. We will see how some of these young guys do in the next 45 games...

      For all you that are going to rip me for mentioning Duensing, the main reason I have him listed is because everyone from the organization publicly talks about how they believe he can start in the major leagues. The Twins aren't as ready to give up on him as some of the fans might be.
      In no way is either Hendriks or Diamond a #1 pitcher. I was merely using those numbers as placeholders, not the intended position of each player in the rotation.
©2014 TwinsCentric, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Interested in advertising with Twins Daily? Click here.