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Thread: Article: Twins Being Crushed by Constant Contact

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    The King In The North All-Star Nick Nelson's Avatar
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    Article: Twins Being Crushed by Constant Contact


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    You forgot Deduno. He should be able to help before May, Meyer, Gibson, or Perez are ready.

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    Senior Member All-Star Winston Smith's Avatar
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    I don't think healthy and Rich Harden fit in the same sentence.

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    Thank you for this post. This is the most frustrating part of the the Twins approach. Every other team has realized the most efficient way to get outs is by strikeout. This season and last the Twins have a team K/9 of 5.84 while the Indians are second lowest at 6.85. The Indians are actually closer to a top 10 team in terms of K/9 than they are to the Twins; the gulf is that large.

    Even if these guys were limiting hits, having five pitch-to-contact arms is never advisable. The good teams only have one per rotation. Why do they treat the pitching staff this way? They'd never put a lineup together with 9 leadoff hitters.

    This team is so set in it's ways it fails to adapt to the changing tides in this league. This is a multi-billion dollar industry and leaders like Ryan and Gardenhire belittle the one guy in the organization who deals in statistics. This "old school" way of managing a baseball team is crap. You now have these many tools to evaluate players, USE THEM. I don't know when stubborness became a positive attribute. Adapt or die.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
    Thank you for this post. This is the most frustrating part of the the Twins approach. Every other team has realized the most efficient way to get outs is by strikeout. This season and last the Twins have a team K/9 of 5.84 while the Indians are second lowest at 6.85. The Indians are actually closer to a top 10 team in terms of K/9 than they are to the Twins; the gulf is that large.

    Even if these guys were limiting hits, having five pitch-to-contact arms is never advisable. The good teams only have one per rotation. Why do they treat the pitching staff this way? They'd never put a lineup together with 9 leadoff hitters.

    This team is so set in it's ways it fails to adapt to the changing tides in this league. This is a multi-billion dollar industry and leaders like Ryan and Gardenhire belittle the one guy in the organization who deals in statistics. This "old school" way of managing a baseball team is crap. You now have these many tools to evaluate players, USE THEM. I don't know when stubborness became a positive attribute. Adapt or die.

    Agree times 100000!!!

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    The King In The North All-Star Nick Nelson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fairweather View Post
    You forgot Deduno. He should be able to help before May, Meyer, Gibson, or Perez are ready.
    You're right, I meant to mention him as well. Another guy who has a chance to break that mold a little bit, which is why I'd like to see him added to the mix ASAP.

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    What is the Harden situation as of now?

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    I don't think they are opposed to strikeouts, I just think they've done a terrible job of acquiring and devloping arms since they drafted Garza, Baker, Slowey. Hopefully that is about to change.
    Lighten up Francis....

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
    I don't think they are opposed to strikeouts, I just think they've done a terrible job of acquiring and devloping arms since they drafted Garza, Baker, Slowey. Hopefully that is about to change.
    I think they are opposed to A) the percieved risky price tag of strikeouts on the free agent market, B) the risk associated with young arms with a lot of torque which happens to generate strikeouts and C) the idea that young strikeout pitchers tend to allow too many walks.

    This team is just too frightened of risk.

    I think they are gradually getting away from B), likely because they've now realized all pitchers can get hurt. Still, they need to realize allowing an extra walk a game is better then allowing an extra hit as runners don't move over two bases on a base-on-balls and the runner on 3B doesn't score unless the bases are loaded.

    This team is about a decade behind the rest of the league in this facet of the game.

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    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    LEN III posted something recently, saying he was surprised that Correia has been able to get through 7 innings a start considering he is not a strikeout pitcher. This reflects a misconception: Strikeout guys struggle to complete more than six innings because Ks require more pitches than the quick outs a sinkerballer can get, when he's on his game.

    This points up the reason the Twins prefer contact pitchers. In a word, innings. The two biggest strikeout pitchers in Twins history--Blyleven and Santana--tended to hit 100 pitches after six innings. Bert pitched before pitch counts and was an absolute horse. But Santana lived within pitch counts, and only rarely pitched into the eighth inning. Six innings was common for him. And he is exceptional in his own right. His combination of high Ks and low walks is almost unheard of in the game.

    Guys who have strikeout stuff but don't have Santana's control struggle to get through five innings, especially when they are developing. Because everyone wants strikeout pitchers, they are really expensive. Strikeouts are like home runs, they're expensive. So you can only really afford to have K pitchers when they are developing. Getting more than five innings out of a developing K pitcher is rare.

    If you have more than a couple of guys in your rotation who only give you five innings on a regular basis, and then you have a short start every other time through the rotation or so, you need 13 pitchers. That is a huge cost for the love of strikeouts.

    The Twins prefer to have guys who get quick outs and have a chance to get you into the eighth inning regularly. Then you bring in the strikeout guys to shut the door. Good contact pitchers are also rare, which is why we end up with the likes of Blackburn and Correia. But it makes sense to me to develop better contact pitchers. Not to abandon the philosophy of contact pitchers.

    I hope Gibson is the kind of contact pitcher we need. We could have the luxury of a strikeout pitcher with good control in Meyer for a while. And if he turns out to be that guy, we should find a way to keep him long term. May looks more like the prototypical strikeout pitcher, one who will pitch five innings with six Ks and four BBs.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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    Guys, GUYS...

    The Twins don't pitch-to-contact anymore, remember? So says Rick Anderson.

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    Super Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    LEN III posted something recently, saying he was surprised that Correia has been able to get through 7 innings a start considering he is not a strikeout pitcher. This reflects a misconception: Strikeout guys struggle to complete more than six innings because Ks require more pitches than the quick outs a sinkerballer can get, when he's on his game.

    This points up the reason the Twins prefer contact pitchers. In a word, innings. The two biggest strikeout pitchers in Twins history--Blyleven and Santana--tended to hit 100 pitches after six innings. Bert pitched before pitch counts and was an absolute horse. But Santana lived within pitch counts, and only rarely pitched into the eighth inning. Six innings was common for him. And he is exceptional in his own right. His combination of high Ks and low walks is almost unheard of in the game.

    Guys who have strikeout stuff but don't have Santana's control struggle to get through five innings, especially when they are developing. Because everyone wants strikeout pitchers, they are really expensive. Strikeouts are like home runs, they're expensive. So you can only really afford to have K pitchers when they are developing. Getting more than five innings out of a developing K pitcher is rare.

    If you have more than a couple of guys in your rotation who only give you five innings on a regular basis, and then you have a short start every other time through the rotation or so, you need 13 pitchers. That is a huge cost for the love of strikeouts.

    The Twins prefer to have guys who get quick outs and have a chance to get you into the eighth inning regularly. Then you bring in the strikeout guys to shut the door. Good contact pitchers are also rare, which is why we end up with the likes of Blackburn and Correia. But it makes sense to me to develop better contact pitchers. Not to abandon the philosophy of contact pitchers.

    I hope Gibson is the kind of contact pitcher we need. We could have the luxury of a strikeout pitcher with good control in Meyer for a while. And if he turns out to be that guy, we should find a way to keep him long term. May looks more like the prototypical strikeout pitcher, one who will pitch five innings with six Ks and four BBs.
    I'm going to need to see some evidence before I accept any of this. In fact, I'm pretty skeptical of your theory that strikeout pitchers pitch fewer innings than guys who don't strike anyone out.

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    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
    I'm going to need to see some evidence before I accept any of this. In fact, I'm pretty skeptical of your theory that strikeout pitchers pitch fewer innings than guys who don't strike anyone out.
    There's that word again. Evidence. What counts as evidence for you? Just stats? How about inductive reasoning from stats? How about quotes from the coaches? How about observations? Stats only provide you with a limited view of reality. If you're going to limit the discussion to stats, you're going to be disappointed with a lot of what I write. I don't have any control over whether you accept what I write or not. Give me a counter argument and I can work with you.

    My theory is you have to be able to get quick outs to get into the eighth regularly. If you strike everybody out, you're going to average around 15 pitches in inning. That's seven innings, assuming no hits and no walks. Best case scenario, you go seven, with today's pitch counts.

    The best pitchers pitch to contact and can strike people out when they need to. Verlander comes to mind. He throws sinkers in the low 90s early in the game. When he gets into trouble, he breaks out the high 90s four seamer and the curve. That's why he leads the league in innings every year. He primarily pitches to contact and only tries to strike people out when he gets guys on base.

    Then again, Verlander is a rare bird. Teams are lucky to have one such pitcher on their staff. Most staffs have a lot of middling pitchers. If you have those guys, what do you emphasize? I would emphasize getting quick outs if they can. It saves the bullpen and gives you a better chance to win.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    There's that word again. Evidence. What counts as evidence for you? Just stats? How about inductive reasoning from stats? How about quotes from the coaches? How about observations? Stats only provide you with a limited view of reality. If you're going to limit the discussion to stats, you're going to be disappointed with a lot of what I write. I don't have any control over whether you accept what I write or not. Give me a counter argument and I can work with you.
    Do we have to listen only to the Twins coaches? Because the other 29 teams seem to favor strikeout pitchers. My inductive reasoning tells me the more balls that are put in play means more opportunity for runners moving over on routine outs, sac flies, errors, seeing-eye-singles, Texas Leaguers, Steve Bartmans, Delmon Young pirouette triples and Jose Conseco-head-homers. All those are taken out of the equation if the ball hits the catchers mitt.

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    Last season, 31 pitchers threw 200+ innings. Of those, 5 had a strikeout rate under 6 per 9 IP.

    It takes more pitches to get through an inning when the opposition keeps getting hits.

    Everyone in baseball knows you want pitchers who actually have good stuff. Why the Twins are so devoid of such pitchers is another issue.

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    Super Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drivlikejehu View Post
    Last season, 31 pitchers threw 200+ innings. Of those, 5 had a strikeout rate under 6 per 9 IP.

    It takes more pitches to get through an inning when the opposition keeps getting hits.

    Everyone in baseball knows you want pitchers who actually have good stuff. Why the Twins are so devoid of such pitchers is another issue.
    This would count as evidence to me, CMat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    Santana lived within pitch counts, and only rarely pitched into the eighth inning. Six innings was common for him.
    'Santana lived within pitch counts, and only rarely pitched into the eighth inning.'

    Santana became a full time starter for us in 2004. From 2004-2007, Santana pitched into the 8th inning 36 times between. That's more than 1/4 of his starts. So that's not 'rarely'

    'Six innings was common for him.'

    In 2004, he had 25 games where he pitched into the 7th inning. 22 games where he went 7 inning or more.

    In 2005, he had 24 games where he pitched into the 7th inning. 22 games where he went 7 innings or more.

    In 2006, he had 26 games where he pitched into the 7th inning. 24 games where he went 7 innings or more.

    In 2007, he had 20 games where he went 7 innings or more.

    How was 6 innings common for him?

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Boom Boom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
    The best pitchers pitch to contact and can strike people out when they need to. Verlander comes to mind. He throws sinkers in the low 90s early in the game. When he gets into trouble, he breaks out the high 90s four seamer and the curve. That's why he leads the league in innings every year. He primarily pitches to contact and only tries to strike people out when he gets guys on base.

    Then again, Verlander is a rare bird. Teams are lucky to have one such pitcher on their staff. Most staffs have a lot of middling pitchers. If you have those guys, what do you emphasize? I would emphasize getting quick outs if they can. It saves the bullpen and gives you a better chance to win.
    Strikeout pitchers CAN get quick outs. It's much easier for a strikeout pitcher to pitch to contact than for a contact pitcher to blow somebody away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
    Thank you for this post. This is the most frustrating part of the the Twins approach. Every other team has realized the most efficient way to get outs is by strikeout. This season and last the Twins have a team K/9 of 5.84 while the Indians are second lowest at 6.85. The Indians are actually closer to a top 10 team in terms of K/9 than they are to the Twins; the gulf is that large.
    it's even worse than that. Starters have a K/9 of 3.76. RP'ers check in at a still unimpressive 6.89.

    I think there has been a shift in philosophy recently. Meyer, May and Berrios were added in the last year and they all have strikeout stuff but it will take awhile for this to pay off.

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