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Thread: Article: The Curious Case of Anthony Slama

  1. #21
    Speediest Moderator All-Star snepp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
    At what point do we just rename the site: SlamaDaily?
    Or, WhatDaveApprovesOfDaily?
    "Maybe you could go grab a bat and ball… and learn something. Maybe you will get it."
    - Strib commenter educating the elitists on the value of RBI's

  2. #22
    Senior Member Triple-A Steve Lein's Avatar
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    (apologies in advance for the long comment, I've been on the Slama Bandwagon for years)

    Some career AAA numbers of current Bullpen arms for the Twins and others given the opportunity Slama has not:

    Player A: 198.2 IP, 219 hits allowed, 101 BB's, 1.435 WHIP, 142 K's, 3.94 ERA.
    Player B: 254 IP, 290 hits allowed, 78 BB's, 1.449 WHIP, 186 K's, 3.97 ERA.
    Player C: 205.2 IP, 186 hits allowed, 54 BB's, 1.167 WHIP, 193 K's, 3.46 ERA.
    Player D: 33.2 IP, 32 hits allowed, 15 BB's, 1.396 WHIP, 39 K's, 4.01 ERA.
    Player E: 23.1 IP, 31 hits allowed, 9 BB's, 1.714 WHIP, 21 K's, 5.79 ERA.
    Player F: 201.2 IP, 208 hits allowed, 51 BB's, 1.284 WHIP, 120 K's, 3.21 ERA.
    Player G: 188 IP, 192 hits allowed, 87 BB's, 1.484 WHIP, 126 K's, 4.07 ERA.

    Now, you might look at those numbers and say, okay, a few of them maybe are/were worth a look. But keep in mind, these are all RELIEF PITCHERS. None of those numbers are dominant. Not a single one with an ERA below 3.00, and only one who has managed to strikeout more than 1 batter per inning.

    Now of course, I give you the same career AAA line for Anthony Slama:

    154.1 IP, 105 hits allowed, 74 BB's, 1.160 WHIP, 191 K's, 2.27 ERA.

    This isn't rocket science, the guy deserves a chance. I understand fully that he doesn't have the "stuff" that maybe some of those other guys above do (A through G: Jeff Gray, Jeff Manship, Casey Fien, Tyler Robertson, Alex Burnett, Kyle Waldrop, Luis Perdomo) and he walks quite a few (but is actually not worse than a few of those guys either in that regard), but do you want outs, or "stuff"?! Is he the second coming of Pat Neshek? Probably not. Is he a shoe-in for MLB success? I wouldn't go that far either, but there's gotta be room for him on a team this bad.
    Follow me on Twitter: @HangingSL
    Spring Training Regular since 2010.

  3. #23
    First, I think Slama should be up with the club due to his performance this year. That said I don't think he will be taken in the rule 5 draft. Relief pitchers usually aren't taken he would need to remain on the Big league roster the entire year and he is a risk. Also, Slama has hurt himself with bad luck. I believe he would have been called up earlier in the year but missed two months with an injury and he has had injuries last year that cost him as well. When he has been up in the majors he hasn't looked dominate which the Twins probably noticed as well. These are pretty big factors to why Slama isn't playing for the Twins. I think he gets a chance at the Bigs next year especially if he can stay healthy.

  4. #24
    Pixel Monkey MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanS7921 View Post
    First, I think Slama should be up with the club due to his performance this year. That said I don't think he will be taken in the rule 5 draft. Relief pitchers usually aren't taken he would need to remain on the Big league roster the entire year and he is a risk.
    He's almost a zero risk in the Rule V draft. He has dominated AAA for multiple seasons and is now healthy after being injured in previous drafts. Where is the risk? You pay a little money, put the guy on your roster, and see what he does. If he fails, just give him back to the Twins. No loss outside of the $50,000 or whatever it costs to acquire a Rule V guy.

  5. #25
    Well, Slama got thru the system last year because he was injured, which also hurt his chances for a call-up at the end of 2011. Seems that when he got injured this year, he deep-sixed his big opportunity. He came back gangbusters, but the Twins see the need to have a longer look at Waldrop and others. But think about this, to escape the Rule 5 the Twins just need to add Slama to the 40-man. They do this is November and its for 2013. There is really no reason to add him for 2012. They still have the options of sending him up and down. And (correct me if I am wrong) he was only on the 40-man in 2010 and 2011, so the Twins can still have another year even to fool with him if he continues to shore an upsize, 2014. Shades of Pat Neshek for an aging reliever that may shine for a few years for minimal pay. Maybe management knows how to run things more than, say, us fans!

  6. #26
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Lein View Post
    (apologies in advance for the long comment, I've been on the Slama Bandwagon for years)

    Some career AAA numbers of current Bullpen arms for the Twins and others given the opportunity Slama has not:

    Player A: 198.2 IP, 219 hits allowed, 101 BB's, 1.435 WHIP, 142 K's, 3.94 ERA.
    Player B: 254 IP, 290 hits allowed, 78 BB's, 1.449 WHIP, 186 K's, 3.97 ERA.
    Player C: 205.2 IP, 186 hits allowed, 54 BB's, 1.167 WHIP, 193 K's, 3.46 ERA.
    Player D: 33.2 IP, 32 hits allowed, 15 BB's, 1.396 WHIP, 39 K's, 4.01 ERA.
    Player E: 23.1 IP, 31 hits allowed, 9 BB's, 1.714 WHIP, 21 K's, 5.79 ERA.
    Player F: 201.2 IP, 208 hits allowed, 51 BB's, 1.284 WHIP, 120 K's, 3.21 ERA.
    Player G: 188 IP, 192 hits allowed, 87 BB's, 1.484 WHIP, 126 K's, 4.07 ERA.

    Now, you might look at those numbers and say, okay, a few of them maybe are/were worth a look. But keep in mind, these are all RELIEF PITCHERS. None of those numbers are dominant. Not a single one with an ERA below 3.00, and only one who has managed to strikeout more than 1 batter per inning.

    Now of course, I give you the same career AAA line for Anthony Slama:

    154.1 IP, 105 hits allowed, 74 BB's, 1.160 WHIP, 191 K's, 2.27 ERA.

    This isn't rocket science, the guy deserves a chance. I understand fully that he doesn't have the "stuff" that maybe some of those other guys above do (A through G: Jeff Gray, Jeff Manship, Casey Fien, Tyler Robertson, Alex Burnett, Kyle Waldrop, Luis Perdomo) and he walks quite a few (but is actually not worse than a few of those guys either in that regard), but do you want outs, or "stuff"?! Is he the second coming of Pat Neshek? Probably not. Is he a shoe-in for MLB success? I wouldn't go that far either, but there's gotta be room for him on a team this bad.
    Great summary.

    The AAA competition issue is baffling to me. If these other pitchers are better than Slama, why don't they actually, you know, pitch better than him?

  7. #27
    Senior Member All-Star SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rosterman View Post
    Well, Slama got thru the system last year because he was injured, which also hurt his chances for a call-up at the end of 2011. Seems that when he got injured this year, he deep-sixed his big opportunity. He came back gangbusters, but the Twins see the need to have a longer look at Waldrop and others. But think about this, to escape the Rule 5 the Twins just need to add Slama to the 40-man. They do this is November and its for 2013. There is really no reason to add him for 2012. They still have the options of sending him up and down. And (correct me if I am wrong) he was only on the 40-man in 2010 and 2011, so the Twins can still have another year even to fool with him if he continues to shore an upsize, 2014. Shades of Pat Neshek for an aging reliever that may shine for a few years for minimal pay. Maybe management knows how to run things more than, say, us fans!
    A+ post!

  8. #28
    Speediest Moderator All-Star snepp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    The AAA competition issue is baffling to me. If these other pitchers are better than Slama, why don't they actually, you know, pitch better than him?
    Well, it works a little something like this....

    Slama's "stuff" doesn't "play" at the ML level, while the "stuff" those other guys have (apparently) does. But it's special "stuff" they possess, it doesn't work at the AAA level.

    I don't know what to say, I tried. *shrug*
    "Maybe you could go grab a bat and ball… and learn something. Maybe you will get it."
    - Strib commenter educating the elitists on the value of RBI's

  9. #29
    I agree that based on the terrible performance of the rest of this roster, there's no point in keeping him in AAA... let him have his one shot.

    That being said... I am curious about the success rate of relievers that throw <89 MPH... off the top of my head i can't think of many that started their careers with this little "stuff." It's one thing for a veteran reliever to hold on as his velocity dims... but to start a career with a noodle like this? I doubt it's very effective

    (again, don't get my skepticism about Slama's abilities with a belief that he shouldn't get a chance to pitch at the MLB level)

  10. #30
    A RP who can't even hit 89 on the radar gun? I guess we have different opinions on what is interesting.
    Funny thing is Jake Peavy was sitting right around 89 yesterday and baffled the Twins all day. His numbers say he is better then half of the Twins staff right now. Swarzak is a AAAA pitcher, Perdomo is AAA, Robertson AAA, Manship...is just Manship, bad. On and on. The Twins management, scouts etc are not always right. Brian Harper comes to mind. Kelly hated him. But he couldn't keep him out of the lineup cuz he just kept hitting....for 6 years at a .300 clip. At any rate, a look see for on a team about to lose 90+ games just makes sense. And the Twins blew it and pissed off their fan base.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Niedermann View Post
    A RP who can't even hit 89 on the radar gun? I guess we have different opinions on what is interesting.
    Funny thing is Jake Peavy was sitting right around 89 yesterday and baffled the Twins all day. His numbers say he is better then half of the Twins staff right now. Swarzak is a AAAA pitcher, Perdomo is AAA, Robertson AAA, Manship...is just Manship, bad. On and on. The Twins management, scouts etc are not always right. Brian Harper comes to mind. Kelly hated him. But he couldn't keep him out of the lineup cuz he just kept hitting....for 6 years at a .300 clip. At any rate, a look see for on a team about to lose 90+ games just makes sense. And the Twins blew it and pissed off their fan base.
    What does that make Jeff Gray?

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Niedermann;52407[B
    ][/B]A RP who can't even hit 89 on the radar gun? I guess we have different opinions on what is interesting.
    Funny thing is Jake Peavy was sitting right around 89 yesterday and baffled the Twins all day. His numbers say he is better then half of the Twins staff right now. Swarzak is a AAAA pitcher, Perdomo is AAA, Robertson AAA, Manship...is just Manship, bad. On and on. The Twins management, scouts etc are not always right. Brian Harper comes to mind. Kelly hated him. But he couldn't keep him out of the lineup cuz he just kept hitting....for 6 years at a .300 clip. At any rate, a look see for on a team about to lose 90+ games just makes sense. And the Twins blew it and pissed off their fan base.
    I don't know what Slama's velocity was this year, but here's his velocity chart for his FB for 2010 and 11- http://www.fangraphs.com/pitchfxo.as...ion=P&pitch=FA

  13. #33
    Speediest Moderator All-Star snepp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    What does that make Jeff Gray?
    An enigma?
    "Maybe you could go grab a bat and ball… and learn something. Maybe you will get it."
    - Strib commenter educating the elitists on the value of RBI's

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by snepp View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    What does that make Jeff Gray?
    An enigma?
    ..., wrapped in a riddle inside a mystery? Kind of epitomizes the FO thinking on this, too.

  15. #35
    Senior Member All-Star Bark's Lounge's Avatar
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    I think I have this thing figured out. Slama requested that the Twins not call him up as he excepted the title role in the Charles Bronson motion picture biopic. I can't wait!

  16. #36
    Head Moderator All-Star glunn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bark's Lounge View Post
    I think I have this thing figured out. Slama requested that the Twins not call him up as he excepted the title role in the Charles Bronson motion picture biopic. I can't wait!
    Finally an explanation that is at least plausible.

  17. #37
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Niedermann View Post
    The Twins management, scouts etc are not always right. Brian Harper comes to mind. Kelly hated him. But he couldn't keep him out of the lineup cuz he just kept hitting....for 6 years at a .300 clip.
    Harper played more than he had in any of his previous 8 seasons the first year he arrived, full time from the year after that, and immediately after he left here he went back to not playing nearly as much as he had here.

  18. #38
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbknudson View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
    It really isn't a curious kind of situation. This organization is stuck in the 20th century. It believes in seeing-eye scouting predominantly. Statistics "lie" is clearly the mantra.
    Having studied statistics in school (I was a math major) I know that statistics can be made to say just about anything you want. They can be a helpful tool, but I would never trust them completely in making decisions. They are an aid to the decision-making process, but not the sole (or even the most important) aid.

    About the article, well written and cogently argued. That said, how many more "Free Slama" articles are we going to have? At what point does this become dead-horse-beating?
    Sure you were a math major and studied statistics "in school", sb. And that's how you were able to brilliantly deconstruct the stat-based argument in favor of giving Slama a chance instead of relying on some of the worst pitchers in baseball.

    Oh, wait. At least one of those things never happened. Also, how many posters can you name who are backing the idea of scouting that's based purely on statistics?

    Yeah, that's what I thought.

  19. #39
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDog View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Niedermann View Post
    The Twins management, scouts etc are not always right. Brian Harper comes to mind. Kelly hated him. But he couldn't keep him out of the lineup cuz he just kept hitting....for 6 years at a .300 clip.
    Harper played more than he had in any of his previous 8 seasons the first year he arrived, full time from the year after that, and immediately after he left here he went back to not playing nearly as much as he had here.
    Harper was finally given a full-time job when the Twins left themselves no other alternative to Tim Laudner, who went back to being Tim Laudner in 1989 by batting .222/.293/.351. And Harper's reduced playing time after his very good run with the Twins was due to the fact that he was, at age 34, nearing the end. And even then, he was a better hitter than Matt Freaking Walbeck, the guy with the mediocre minor-league stats who the Twins scouts loved. Who cares about numbers when a hitter's swing looks good?

  20. #40
    Senior Member All-Star LaBombo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by old nurse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
    It really isn't a curious kind of situation. This organization is stuck in the 20th century. It believes in seeing-eye scouting predominantly. Statistics "lie" is clearly the mantra.
    I am all for giving Slama a chance. Your line is preposterous. Metrics alone do not predict major league success. David McCarty comes to mind as he tore up the minor leagues, fizzled at the majors. There is a clear difference between the skill levels of the players at different levels . To the Twin's credit they are not public about their perceptions of what is lacking in Slama's pitching. On the other hand, they must still be interested in him when discussing winter baseball option.
    .
    Yet another straw man from the anti-stat crowd. Who is saying "metrics alone"? Nobody. And what on earth could you possibly think that dropping David McCarty's name does for your 'argument'? He was a mediocre hitter in his only full season of minor league ball before getting his first extended look in the majors at age 23. Why are you attempting to equate that to Slama's brilliant minor-league record?
    Last edited by LaBombo; 09-07-2012 at 09:18 AM.

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