10-26-2012, 11:43 AM #41
Seems every offseason we get to say, 'we need a 3B, a shortstop and a 2B'. Since Santana left, we added starting pitchers.
10-26-2012, 02:32 PM #42
Another way to look at the rotation's effect on the bullpen is this: The AL teams with the weakest rotations (Twins, KC) in terms of IP depended on their bullpens for more than 100 extra innings pitched than the teams with the starter IP totals did.
100 innings. Purely in terms of innings pitched, that's enough to wash away the collective sins of Jeff Gray (5.71 ERA), Tyler Robertson (5.40), and Jeff Manship (7.89).
Can you totally eliminate your 2 or 3 worst relievers' damage to your season by getting 100 extra innings from your starters? No, of course not, thanks to the effects of usage limits/leverage/strand rate/etc. But you can damn well reduce it, and expend fewer resources shoring it up when there are plenty of other holes to fill.
Last edited by LaBombo; 10-26-2012 at 02:40 PM.
10-26-2012, 03:35 PM #43
10-26-2012, 10:48 PM #44
Most of this past season, the Twins had Burton, Perkins, Fien, and junk in their pen (to keep it simple). The rotation went around 5.1 innings per start.
If the Twins sort out some of their pitching woes next season and pick up some starters, let's say they average 6.0 innings per start (not gonna happen but I'm only illustrating a point here). That is a whopping 320 less outs the bullpen needs to get over the course of a season. It also pushes out most of that "junk" from the previous bullpen because they don't need to pitch as often. The vast majority of those 320 innings went to the worst members of the bullpen. That's roughly two seasons' worth of work you no longer need to dish off to your "junk" relievers. Two full seasons of replacement level or worse baseball, poof, gone. That's huge.
As an added bonus, the Twins could then shift Duensing to a full-time bullpen role, adding another quality arm to Burton, Fien, and Perkins. That's four quality relievers you now have... Four relievers who need to cover 320 less outs (two full reliever years) in a season. You now have more quality arms in the pen who need to throw less innings per season. That's how a good rotation can help a bullpen.
As I said, I'm not against the Twins picking up another reliever in case one of those four guys falter or get injured (uh, Slama, anyone?), but I am surprised that JR considers it the second biggest priority on the team. I don't see it that way. I think more could be gained by pursuing a middle infielder (but admittedly, this FA crop has very little to offer in that department) because the Twins are going to be flat-out awful in the MI unless they get really, really lucky with one of the guys they have in the minors.
10-27-2012, 12:35 AM #45
A few point, Pig:
First, Twins starters averaged 5.4 IP per start in 2012, not 5.1. Not a big deal, but still.
Secondly, you're mixing up "outs" and "innings" in paragraph 2. You start out talking about 320 outs, end up with 320 innings. Dropping 320 innings from the bullpen isn't going to happen, I'm sure you'll agree. Even dropping 320 outs is going to be difficult; they'd need to be up among the league leaders next year in IP from starters to come close to that.
Third, you're planning on only the "bad" relievers losing innings. That's not going to be the case. You're still going to have a 6 or 7 man pen, and all of those relievers are going to pitch at least some high level innings...again, most baseball games are relatively close. You cannot get through a season without exposing the bottom half of your bullpen in situations where that is going to hurt you if the bottom half of the pen sucks. Hopefully they can use Burton regularly next season on back to back nights, but that's just one example of why you can't depend on a couple guys to pitch every time it matters. Not to mention the liklihood that some of your "good" relievers are going to miss time during the course of the season. You're not going to see any poof, two full seasons of replacement level or worse baseball, gone. That's totally unrealistic. Less, possibly, but not gone.
Finally, call me crazy but I'd like to see more of Fien (and Burton for that matter) before I count on them being consisitent, quality relievers who can be pretty much counted on. For that matter, Duensing probably needs to be exposed to as few good RH hitters as possible to truly be an asset in the pen.
I'm certainly not against upgrading the MI. But I think ignoring the bullpen will likely waste a good portion of whatever improvement they can squeeze from the starters. If they want to contend in 2013, they need better pitching...1st inning through 9th.
10-27-2012, 12:58 AM #46
In regards to the MI, what is out there? From the list of FA and players discussed not much. That could be why bullpen is the second priority. There is more of a chance to improve the bullpen than the MI.
10-27-2012, 01:16 AM #47
I typed "innings" in one portion of the post but all the math is based on outs so we're good there.
Not only the "bad" relievers are going to lose innings... That's not the point. The point is that the "good" relievers will also have more of their workload shifted to where it should be... The seventh, eighth, and ninth innings. No more Burton in the fifth helps the team quite a bit, maybe even more than Jeff Gray not pitching the fourth.
As I said, I'm not against the Twins looking for more bullpen help. That's not the point of my statements... My point is that I question whether the bullpen should be the second highest priority this offseason.
10-27-2012, 01:36 AM #48
The point is that the "good" relievers will also have more of their workload shifted to where it should be... The seventh, eighth, and ninth innings. No more Burton in the fifth helps the team quite a bit,
Not to beat a dead horse, but Burton entered a game prior to the 6th inning six times in 2012. Once after mid May, when he had proven himself healthy, effective and one of the trusted few.
In any case, we're splitting hairs, because I don't know whether the bullpen should be "priority 2" either. All I know is i doubt the Twins 2012 bullpen would have been able to stand up to the rigors of a pennant chase, but we don't talk about it much because the putridity of the rotation masked it, or at the least made it moot. And...as it is currently constructed, I don't think it very likely the bullpen would stand up in 2013, were the Twins to somehow find themselves trying to win important games next August and September.
So I'll leave it at this...I hope JR somehow manages to get lucky with the MI, or upgrade it, AND finds a couple quality RH arms to augment the pen and the 4 above average starters he somehow pulls out of a hat. That's not asking too much, is it?
10-27-2012, 02:08 AM #49
I'd be fine with a cheap bullpen option and some scrap heap signings but I don't think it should be second on the priority list. Perkins and Burton make a fine setup and closer combo. Duensing is a great situational lefty and Fien should be serviceable in the 7th(this is my most likely target to regress). Swarzak is a decent option for long relief, despite what his ERA may show, most of the ugliness came from his handful of starts. I'd much rather see the money spent in the infield, guys like Kelley Johnson or Drew are intriguing and shouldn't break the bank. I hear Mark DeRosa is available as well.
As it is we have a questionable Plouffe(was that streak a mirage?) at 3B, an aging Jamey Carroll or a no hit Pedro Florimon at SS, and a disapointing(thus far) Dozier at 2nd. It's not as if there is any sort of help coming from the minors for these positions either. Even with a good year Levi is likely a year away.
10-27-2012, 07:44 AM #50
I'd say we need a left hander. Duensing can't be the only capable lefty. I'd say that is fairly important. Perkins could be that guy and if he is. We will need a closer and I'd say that is fairly important. Injuries and failure is always a real possibility with current staff. We also need an uptick in Gas. TR tried with Zumuya last year. He just might take another swing at someone with a live arm.
If SP improves and the bullpen isn't addressed and Fein is cut in May with a 8.56 ERA. Twinsdaily will crucify TR for not addressing the pen.
I have no problem with the #2 priority assessment of the pen.
10-27-2012, 09:09 AM #51
One or two new starters aside, the starting rotation maystill need a good bullpen to back them up. If Bakers is resigned, he will be returning with pitch count or inning limitations doe to his rehab. The same goes for Gibson if he makes the big leagues at the beginning of the year ormid-season. The rotation will still need one of the players from the 2012auditions; Hendriks, Deduno, or (dare I say it…Blackburn), any of these candidates are still “projects” and could easily give way in the early innings for bullpen support. Guess I understand where Ryan is coming from.
10-27-2012, 11:58 AM #52
10-28-2012, 07:29 AM #53
10-28-2012, 09:28 AM #54
I think we are looking at this wrong. TR said in the interview that the bullpen is the second priority. He also said that he will bring in competition for third base. He has the huge list of players on his wall. I think he knows exactly who his options are at third and the bullpen. For some reason, I think the competition for Plouffe and also the MI addition will be through rule 5 and through trades. The additional arms will come in the form of FA signings. I think there a bunch of arms out there that they have identified as good additions to the pen and they will go get them. The position player additions might be throw-in's executed during a trade for a pitcher. It may just be a case where TR knows the RP he wants and they will be early signings. The pitching will be addressed first, It is the number one and number two priorities.
10-28-2012, 08:43 PM #55
I am going to go out on a limb for the bullpen and suggest the return of Latroy Hawkins. He can be had on a 1 year deal at this stage of his career and he is reliable and will likley cost between 2-3 million and he knows Gardy and Rick and is familliar with their philosophies and meant to resign here anyway and he has a fanclub here so more fans in the stands...
The 3B competition will come from Inge. I bet they sign him to a 1 year 1-2 million. Terry Ryan said his biggest concern about Plouffe is his ability to field at 3B. Inge is a good fielder. He can also be the 3rd string Catcher and catch maybe 50-100 innings throughout the season next year. I think he can even play a little second base if he goes on an offensive tear for a while.
Last edited by Brandon; 10-28-2012 at 08:44 PM. Reason: spelling and embellishing the post a little
10-28-2012, 08:45 PM #56
You know, Inge isn't the worst idea in the world. It kicks Butera off the roster and provides a backup option to Plouffe. I forgot about the guy.
10-30-2012, 06:57 PM #57
Joey Devine became a FA today and would certainly be worth a minor league deal...