No need to hurry and over pay for the pitching that is available. Someone will be left at a good price and who ever that is will be a small upgrade. There is no one out there that is an ace. So just relax.
Sounds like many people already have figured out the entire off-season plan as of November 21st. That's impressive. I know I haven't.
Who predicted trading 2 CFs in the next 15 days at this point last year?
What I want to know is who's going to take PJ Walter's starts now that he's signed with KC.
i have a hard time addressing the rest because you are mixing descriptors like competent, not exciting, warty, etc to the point that I don't know exactly what your stance is. If the point was that it was revisionist to suggest that pre 2013 there were major reasons to doubt an improvement....I call shenanigans.
Early Judgement: Moby Dick is about a guy named Ishmael.
I actually think the pitching was better. Not good enough but it was improved in my opinion.
Stats will say differently I know but I believe we were "in" more games last year than we were in 2012. The offense failed to take advantage when the opportunity presented itself.
We still... Really need pitching... More than anything... But it was better than the stats indicated...
Early judgment? Yes. The Twins identified that they have significant concerns with respect to their rotation--but San Francisco has signed two starting pitchers so far. It appears SF got "in-front" of their "concerns" about their rotation.
Detroit had "concerns" also. Apparently they prefer to return Cabrera to 1B and start a young guy who is better-suited for defense at 3B and reduce payroll (perhaps only temporarily) to permit the expenditure for an improved bullpen. They are "in-front" of their concerns. Texas also had concerns--apparently they believe they need more offense, and hope to get much of the improvement from Fielder--and maybe another player. Texas is "in-front" of their concerns. This should not be construed as a criticism of the Twins but rather, as the thread contends, "business as usual".
The annual meetings, held in December, should be illuminating. If the Twins make an announcement on or before the Tuesday after these meetings (which I think would be December 10) then we can conclude that business has changed (for the Twins). But if there isn't an announcement of significance, well, I think we can conclude that things haven't changed. So, we wait--but just a bit--say until December 10, to see if "Things Haven't Changed in Twins Territory".
It was pretty bad not even in hindsight counting on Pelfrey coming back 9 months after TJ to be an factor in the rotation & Worley who had shown promise but had a year full of elbow problems. Everyone knew they were going to be iffy at best health wise.
Looking at only 'The very best free agents' would show that the Twins have never been involved when TR was the GM. We ask only that he look to sign someone who could likely be above MLB average. Instead the Twins are linked to Nolasco & Arroyo. These are two fine pitchers, but neither can realistically be expected to be at all exceptional. Both, if they have good years, could measure all the way up to 'average MLB pitcher'.
After 3 years of over 95 losses, some of us who have supported the Twins for decades are getting frustrated. Tough to be me, right?
But that is why I hang out here. I love baseball. I love the Twins. I am usually an optimist, kind of to the extreme.
At this point, however, I cannot imagine the Twins ever having a really good team (like, competitive even into the playoffs) for as long as TR is GM. He cannot get himself to pay what it takes to get better.
I have bled Twins all my life. I have never had so little faith in what the future holds. Sano & Buxton, et al, cannot win games with no pitching. As near as I can tell, we will never have enough quality pitching until TR retires, at which point I expect to be dead.
So call it an easy target if you like. See how if feels in 20 years.
The thought of substantial improvement in the rotation was far from unreasonable and had support within analytics. The most readily available projection set (Steamer) had the Twins improving their rotation ERA by roughly 15% (even with some laughable HR/FB numbers and a few other quirks I found questionable). That improvement would have made them the 6th most improved rotation in the majors.
I'm fully aware that there were people who expected this rotation to be poor. What I consider revisionism is the idea that people, through reasoned and sober analysis, expected the rotation to be as bad as it was. After 2 90+ loss seasons, the lack of any glamorous/sexy FA signings and the departure of favorites like Liriano, it'd be like me bragging about my meteorological skills for predicting that my recent planned outdoor afternoon date was forced inside by the rain. I'm a pessimist-of course I predicted it would rain. There was little reason to expect "Good" out of the Twins last year.
Again, if you (or anyone else) can show your work on having the 3 acquisitions and Diamond performing as poorly as they did, I'd be interested in seeing it. As it stands though, I have a tough time believing that anybody got to this level of ineptitude by the rotation without a variety of baseless assumptions that wound up being accurate.
And my general point stems from that distinction.... There is no reason to suspect that Duensing, Swarzak and to a lesser extent Johnson are anything besides BAD MLB starters. One is 29 without having received meaningful MLB time and the others are bad enough as starters that they couldn't grasp consistent playing time even while sharing a roster with the rollercoaster of revulsion the rotation has been over the last 2 years.
If your grading scale doesn't allow for two different grades (perhaps "Below Average" and "Awful") and a distinction between a group consisting of [PJ Walters, Brian Duensing, Anthony Swarzak, Nick Blackburn, Kris Johnson and the performances of Jason Marquis and Carl Pavano] and a group consisting of the projected 2013 performances of [Correia, Worley, Pelfrey and Diamond], then I understand why we seem to be on opposite ends and talking past each other. If that's the case, then we're having a semantics discussion rather than a baseball one and I apologize for dragging it out :)
One of these is an existential threat to a pitching career and the reason Pelfrey was available on a 1 year deal. The other is a fairy common procedure (with a fairly minimal rehab timeline) that many movement-dependent pitchers (a category that Worley/Diamond fall into) report easing/removing the pain that makes it difficult to throw their arsenal properly-often leading to both short and long term improvement. But I absolutely grant you that the projected weakest member of the 4 was either Correia or Pelfrey, depending on your feelings on Tommy John.
With regards to Diamond and Worley-I'd have found Diamond's strand rate as a better indicator of the flukiness of his season (Which should serve as a warning for Correia after this year), but we agree regression was likely. a 2pt rise in ERA and 1.5 in FIP seems harder to justify, though. Worley followed up his rookie season (where he finished 3rd in RoY voting) with a sophomore campaign in which he was a touch below league average while dealing with injuries that tend not to be chronic. I don't know that relatively minor elbow surgery warrants the levels of pessimism necessary to project his 2013 as being below average-even with K numbers inflated due to called 3rd strikes.
Regarding recently successful, the distinction is almost meaningless if you widely broaden the definition of both terms
Worley: ERA+ of 127 in his rookie year (2011), RoY Consideration, 96 ERA+ in sophmore campaign (2012)
Diamond: ERA+ of 116 in 2012. Decent minor league track record prior but poor cup of coffee in 2011.
Humber: 4 years of abysmal MLB and MiLB stats. Showed hints of maybe getting it in KC in 2010. 3 amazing months in 2011 followed by 3 awful months to end 2011(total ERA+: 116) and a 66 ERA+ in 2012.
Slowey: 61 ERA+ in 2011. Injury and a horrible stint in the minors in 2012. One >100 ERA+ season in his career.
I do apologize, I mistook Correia's SDP seasons for each other in my head. He has been solidly below average for a considerable time before the Twins picked him up.