Preview: Todd's Twins
A Sabermetric examination of baseball, baseball announcers, analysts, and the Twins to refute the baseball Luddites.
"Baseball people generally are allergic to new ideas. We are slow to change." Branch Rickey
reposted his Twin's rankings on Gaetti so I decided to write about him today also.
I always loved Gaetti and his '88 card in Pursue the Pennant was awseome except for the fact that he was injury prone.
Like most Twins, his '88 season was actually better than his '87 season.
I don't want to blame it on religion, but there was talk of religion taking away his focus from baseball. Which is fine with me, I am not judging.
After he was hurt in '88 he found god during rehab and fell out of Hrbek's clique and into Gagne's "clique" and he became a born again christian.
Again I am not judging, I think it is perfectly fine and exceptable to find god.
In fact, it might have been a good thing for his career. He probably wouldn't have lasted as long if he would have kept drinking and smoking.
My only regret for him is that he and Hrbek grew apart. Up intil the injury they had been inseparable.
I rememeber the All Star game (I think it was '88) where Gaetti played and wrote T.Rex on his hand in honor of Hrbek and showed it to the camera as he was introduced.
T. Rex was Hrbie's wrestling name.
They were a cute couple.
I told you so
Baker has done it again. He pitched a great game, shutting out the powerful Cleveland Indians for 8 innings.
Like many young pitchers he has been inconsistent. He has hade a few bad starts but he has had many good and some great starts. His ERA is abaout average. So he isn't a star but as he pitches more I believe he will just get better and be a very big part of the Twin's future success.
His Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) is 3.84. So if he his defense was playing better he would be having an excellent season.
He will probably suffer from the long ball as time goes on, much like Santana. But if his strikeout to walk ratio improves from the already great ratio of 3.7:1, he will be a quallity pitcher for years to come.
I would say that the league should watch out for the Twins but I don't really think the league has to fear a team who has Tyner as a leadoff hitter. Or a team that has a manager who thinks Tyner is a leadoff hitter.
One positive is that Tyner
is having the best walk rate and homerun rate of his career!!! He has already walked 11 times!!! He is only 4 walks away from his career high of 15 in 2001 which is the only season he played more than 100 games.
I have been very busy the last few weeks but I will be back soon.
The Twins were swept in a 3 game series at home against Detroit. Detroit is a good team and they were all 1 run games so if the Twins would have had a little luck they could have easily been the sweeper rather than the sweepee.
Wait, they did have a little luck, Leyland still insists to use the very below average Todd Jones as his closer. I liked the Twins chances to come back in every one of those games. He is not a good closer, he allows way too many baserunners and has way too high of an ERA.
It would be like using Rincon as the Twins closer!!!
It shouldn't have been difficult to come back on Det with their best too relievers on the DL. What a choke-fest. Did somebody tell them that this was the playoffs?
Dick gets it wrong again.
The Twins completed a very good sweep of the Oakland A’s. They pitched well and hit OK. Basically, everyone did pitch pretty well. Did they pitch well or are the A’s just that bad offensively? Probably both.
Speak of the A’s bad offense did you hear Dick talk about the 3 worst offenses in the league on Friday night. It was another example of him not understanding what the important elements at scoring runs.
He went on and on about Texas, Chicago and Oakland being the worst offenses in the league.
That made me curious, were they really? Knowing Dick I figured he did not really mean the worst offense but he probably meant the worst hitting team ranked by batting average. I was right.
Sometimes the worst hitting teams are indeed the worst at scoring runs, but not always. As most of us know, it takes more than batting average to score runs. In fact, OBP and SLG are much integral than AVG at determining the amount of runs scored.
So how bad are the bottom three teams that Dick was talking about? Well Texas, Oakland and Chicago are indeed the worst hitting teams
. But Texas is a much better team at scoring runs than the other two teams. They rank 7th in the league at runs scored but are in a virtual tie with four other teams for 4th in runs scored.
Chicago and Texas play in hitters parks while Oakland plays in a pitchers park. So Chicago is indeed the worst offensive team in the league
The Twins called up Garrett Jones
again and started him at DH. But he is not the answer at DH. His minor league numbers
show that he does not have a very high OBP. And so far this season at AAA it is .317.
With that being said he is still a better choice at DH than Tyner or Ford. He has some homerun potential at least.
Its time for Terry Ryan to decide if he wants to make a run at the playoffs or not. Shit or get off the pot!!! As they are now, the Twins are not good enough to make the playoffs. The rotation is young but decent and they have some quality hitters but they have some huge holes to fill at third and at DH.
Finding a DH should not be that hard. Either you want to make run this year or wait until next year. But next year Torii probably won't be with the Twins so there will be 1 more hole to fill in the lineup. So this is the season to make the run. Trade a young pitcher and get a quality DH and third baseman here.
If not trade Torii for some decent prospects and give up on the season. They are going no where with the lineup as it is now.
Today's matchup Blanton vs Santana. I have the Twins as the 69% favorites.
The Twins need another hitter. They need either a 3B or LF/DH. Those are by far their weakest positions. I think Kubel will eventually be a decent leftfielder so 3B and DH are the biggest need.
There has been a lot of talk of trading for Wiggington
. I am not a big fan. He does have some pop in his bat, he has 13 homeruns so far, but his OBP isn’t much higher than the current Twin’s 3B. His numbers are .268/.316/.439, with an OPS of .755. And he creates 4.59 runs per game. And the worst thing about him is his very dramatic platoon splits
His OPS vs lefties is .976 and it is .300 points less vs righties. He creates 3.68 R/G vs righties and 7.25 vs lefties. There is no bigger upside for Ty. This is his average season and he is too old to all of a sudden make a dramatic improvement.
I don’t see this as much of a step up from Punto. Ty obviously has much more power but not so much that he is worth trading a prospect for.
Punto has better defense and will most likely improve at the plate over the rest of the season. Punto has a Zone Rating of .722, Ty’s is a dismal .636.
While Punto is not the answer at third Wiggington does not solve the problems the Twins have at that position. Trading for him would be a knee jerk reaction to a poor situation.
The best bet would be to somehow get Adam Dunn on the Twins. But according to Jim Souhan this morning, Dunn is overrated. Yeah, who wants a player with a high OBP and SLG? The Twins really need a truly overrated 3B.
You need sound to really appreciat this one.
Tyner is leading off
Jason Tyner is leading off. Jason effing Tyner. This shows how little understanding Gardenhire has of what a hitters job is to do.
It is to get on base and not make outs. Tyner is not good at either of those things. I assume he is leading off because of his "speed". But he doesn't even steal that often. And does he really take that "extra base" more than anyone else does. I would lead Kubel off before Tyner. He shows a propensity tto walk at least. And willl be in scoring position more often because he has hit an extra-base hit or two so far in his short career.
Hell, Cuddyer would be a much better leadoff hitter than Tyner.
I can't stop laughing after seeing this
. Watch the kid running.
A tale of two relievers.
Pat Neshek and Joe Nathan are two of the Twins best relievers. Neshek is having a fantastic season while Nathan seems to be struggling at times. He has a decent ERA but has given up 41 baserunners in 30 innings while Neshek has given up only 26 baserunners in 34 innings pitched. Pat’s ERA is a stellar 1.05 while Joe’s is a very good 2.37. It seems Joe has worked in and out of trouble all season. Though he has pitched a 1-2-3 inning in 11 of 30 appearances it does seem he has been lucky to get out of trouble at times. Does Carl Crawford ring a bell? Francisco Cordero has had a 1-2-3 inning in 14 of his 33 appearances this year, for comparison.The opposite seems to be in effect for Pat Neshek. He has pitched great all year and never seems to in trouble at all. In fact he has only given up 4 runs all season. All came on 2 different pitches, a 3 run homerun to Raul Ibanez and a homerun to Alex Rios. In the rest of his appearances he allowed no runs.I expect the fortunes of these two pitchers to change and in fact reverse over rest of the season. The main reason is that both have diametrically opposed Defense Efficiency Ratings (DER). Pat has a DER of .842, one of the best in the league, and Joe’s is .635.The current thinking is that pitchers have relatively little control over the outcome of balls put into play against them. There are some caveats to this but for the most part I believe it to be true. And if it is true both players will start to move towards the league average of .685. In doing so, the numbers of Joe will improve while Pat’s will decline.But the one thing they both will probably do is give up more homeruns. They both have homerun per flyball percentages around 5%. The league average is around 11%.All of this may be obvious. There is no way that Pat can keep up his current pace. I just think it is good to look behind the numbers to see what is really happening.Sunday’s game is Joes’ season in a microcosm. He gives up a weak, high flyball which the defense does not turn into an out. And in this case it turns in to a homerun. All season he has been giving up balls in play that defense has not turned into outs. A lot of luck goes into this. A bloop here, a texas leaguer there, and a slow roller will make a good pitcher look bad.Matt Guerrier will also be due for a drop-off for the same reason as Pat. The one thing they all have going for them is that they have very good strikeout to walk ratios of about 3 to 1. They are all very good pitchers but due for a big drop in effectiveness.[...]
There is a new poll. Please take a look and give me some ideas of what is important to you and what you would like to see more discussion of on this blog.
According to past polls Liriano was going to win the Cy Young award last season. Jason Tyner should rarely be in the lineup and if he is he should be at the bottom of the lineup. The Twins should trade a pitching prospect for a hitter. And lastly, the Twins should be patient with Scott Baker, but trading before his value drops too low is a close second.
Let me know what you would like to see, your comments are much appreciated.(image)
And for absolutely no reason I have included a picture of my dog. The wife likes to dress her up for holidays. And in our house Halloween is a major holiday. See what I have to live with. And yes, the one ear never goes up.
Johan shaved Bert's head...
...and I think he nicked his brain.
Bert just said, about Guerrier. " Its his first debut
at Shea Stadium."
Also, Gladden caught 2 balls during the broadcast and after the 2nd one he said (paraphrasing) "I got 2 balls tonight." Gordo then said "Its a rare night to have 2 balls."
Johan worked out a walk and hit a double tonight. He should be the Twins DH. He has shown the plate patience that Tyner has not shown.(image) In his career as a hitter Johan now walks in 3.5% of his plate appearances and Tyner has walked in 4.5% of his plate appearances.
Why is it so hard not to swing the bat. Watch how Mauer approaches an AB, hell watch how Johan approaches an AB.
He must think that if he keeps swinging he will eventually hit a homerun. It is really not worth it.
Somehow Sosa walked Tyner in the 3rd. I missed the at bat so I don’t know exactly how it happened.
The next inning, Tyner had the kind of at bat that I hate. He somehow worked the count to 3-1 and Sosa threw ball low and inside and so Tyner, halving already reached his walk quota for the month, swung and missed. Then on 3-2 Sosa threw a high fastball that also would have been ball four and grounded out.
The game was basically over then so it really didn’t matter. But it’s the principle. He has no power it makes no sense for that idiot to swing at ball four constantly.
I guess I should be thankful because a two walk game by Tyner would be a sign of the coming apocalypse.(image)
Thank you Jason.
RBIs and sportswriters
I read Jim Souhan's article in the Pioneer Press yesterday and this quote made me laugh."Manager Ron Gardenhire has tried Mike Redmond and Jason Kubel in the No. 6 hole. Redmond puts together good at-bats, but his career-high in RBI is 28. This isn't going to work for the long haul."Why does it matter what Redmond's career high RBI's are? The amount of RBI's is so dependent on where he bats in the lineup and his teammates that his past RBI totals just don't mattter.If he was in the 6 hole all season long and had 500 to 600 AB he would easily double or probably triple that total just by being a warm body in the lineup.I wonder why sportswriters so want to hold on to their old perceptions of baseball? What is the psychology of this.I believe it has to be a fear of math. It takes some understanding of math and logic to understand how much RBIs are team dependent. If all of your life you are told that batting average and RBIs are what make a good hitter than it will be difficult to change your mind.As a child I believed ther was a Santa Claus until I saw my uncle dressing up as Santa. I saw the evidence that there was no Santa.It is not so easy to see the evidence that RBIs are not a good way to evaluate a hitter. You can't just see someone "putting on a Santa suit." You actually have to be proactive and look at the mathematical evidence.Many people don't like math and don't trust statistics because they do not understand them and feel that they can be twisted to show any facts.Its too bad because baseball is the one sport where math and statistics can really tell us who the best players are.I have a feeling that it will be the next generation of sportswriters and TV analysts who will start looking behind the traditional batting numbers of RBIs and average. It will take time but as more and more generations grow up with computers and statistics more people will have a better understanding of the important statistics in baseball.Joe Morgan can't be a TV analyst forever. He hates computers and is basically Amish when it comes to technology.[...]
Here is my new theory about Tyner. Gardy knows the Twins have no DH. The Twins DH
s have been one of the worst DHs
in in the league. Also, The Twins don't have anyone off the the bench to pinch hit
. So Gardy is using the worst player possible to do both, Tyner.
I use to think he did this because he did not understand Tyner's
limitations as a hitter. But now I think he does understand Tyner's limitations. Yes, Gardy understands that Tyner should not be a DH or ever be a pinch hitter but does this to show Terry Ryan how bad this team needs a hitter on the bench to DH or pinch hit.
Gardy would never think it is OK to pinch hit a player with as many career walks as he has stolen bases. Or to DH a player with as many career homeruns
as I do.
Its obvious to me now that Gardy is sending Ryan a message to get him a real hitter. Gardy is a genius!!! Hopefully, Ryan has seen the obvious things that Gardy is showing him.
Gardy hates Bartlett
How much does Gardenhire hate Bartlett if he is willing to pinch hit Tyner
for him. So far this season They are basically the same player. In their careers Bartlett has been better and has a better upside. So why would you actually make a move just to put in the same player?
And why tweak the confidence of Bartlett. Gardy has already yanked him around enough. Show some confidence and patience in your shortstop.
Well,Tyner is lefthanded. But it is a crucial situation. There are 2 outs and nobody is on base. The run expectancy is already very low and adding Tyner to the mix doesn't change a thing. So why make a move.
Bartlett must have made a move on one of Gardy's daughter's. Why else would he hate Jason Bartlett
Scott Ulger cost the Twins at least 1 more run
The third base coach just sent Punto home on a play that wasn't even close. It probably won't cost the Twins the game but it does show a lack of understanding of physics.
There was 1 out, Punto was on 2nd, Castillo hit a hard shot through the hole between 1st and 2nd. It was a well hit ball. Francouer was charging, the ball was hit right to him. It wasn't even going to take a good throw to nail Punto. I assumed Punto would be held at third. He wasn't. He was tagged out easily.
When a ball is hit hard and directly at the rightfielder, who wasn't playing too deep, don't send the damn runner!!!
Scotty, the harder a ball is hit the faster it goes and when the fielder is running straight in, it is easier to get a good strong throw than when he is moving to the left or right.
There is your lesson for today. If he keeps it up, he will be scouting with former thirdbase coach Al Newman.
was a GM for the NY Mets. Somehow his Mets made it to the World Series but lost. I don’t understand how, this man does not understand baseball.
On ESPN last night someone asked him about possible trades including the Reds. He said that Griffey
was the most likely to be traded because he was the teams best commodity. He went on to talk about Adam Dunn
. (image) (image)
He said that some teams like him and other teams hate him, mostly because he “ends too many innings and rallies”. Dunn has too many walks, homeruns and strikeouts. Yes, too many walks and homeruns end a rally and innings.
Adam Dunn does strikeout often. He has 83 so far leading the league by a large margin. But how is a strikeout different from other outs? He doesn’t advance the runner as much, no big deal. He doesn’t hit into as many double plays then either.
But he does get on base. He is 15th in the league in walks, giving him a .346 OBP. That isn’t great but it isn’t bad either. It is below his career average of .377.
He has 15 homeruns, tied for 3rd in the league with Griffey. Griffey is having a great season but Dunn is younger and would be more valuable for a longer period of time than Grifffey.
Any out will end and inning and double plays end innings too. As does being caught stealing. Dunn doesn’t do either much in his career. He has hit over 40 HR 3 times in his career and walked over a 100 times 4 times. When you walk you are not making outs therefore you are not ending innings.
A team like the Twins could use a player like Dunn. Please!!
The Twins take 1 of 3 from the Nationals which can only be described as a major disappointment to lose to one of the worst teams in the NL.
They beat Mike Bacsik
after Silva blew up on Friday, big surprise, and after only scoring only 1 run off of former Twin farmhand Levale Speigner
. The 1 run allowed lowered his ERA to 7.79. That is not a typo, his ERA before the game was a Ponsonesque 9.10.
I was unable to see the game yesterday but I listened to most of it. Did anyone else think listen? Gladden basically spent the whole time making fun of Bacsik. Since he threw so softly he kept making sarcastic remarks about the speed of his pitches. He even called one the pitches an “81 mph toad-ball”. It was pretty fun but a bit harsh
Mauer is back
And he will be batting the 2nd spot in the lineup. Yaaaay. It is a good spot for him. Mostly because then it will move Punto out of that spot. Punto gets way too many at bats for a player with a .333 OBP. Mauer's ability to get on base will help this offense a great deal. Especially, since it moves a weak hitter out of the top of lineup.
The effects will be felt throughout the whole lineup. Over the rest of the season Cuddy, Morneau and Hunter will now be getting more at bats which will lead to more runs. Imagine that, giving your best hitters more at bats.
For once Gardy is doing the right thing. But since it such a rebellious even revolutionary thing for Gardy to do, once Mauer starts to struggle or the Twins don't score for a game or two. I bet Gardy shuffles the lineup around and moves everyone back 1 spot in the lineup to make room for Punto or Tyner.
The Twins start a 3 game series tonight with Kevin Slowey
making his MLB debut against Joe Kennedy
. Slowey has been compared to Radke in the way he pitches. He has great control and so far in AAA this season Slowey has a 10 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio.
He differs from Radke because he just won’t shut up. I hear he is a talker. Read more about Slowey here
I have the Twins as slight favorites in the first 2 games than a 2 to 1 favorite with Santana going against Chad Gaudin
the third game. Gaudin is second in the league in ERA but he is no Santana.
Pick of the Day:
The System did great yesterday winning big on some and losing on some but overall it was another big day. The picks that I posted did well. The 2 favorites won but the 2 underdogs didn’t. The longshot did pay off though.
Best Favorite: CHN -165, NYA -115
Best Dog: Tex +135, Ari +113. The System also picks PIT over the favorite LAD but it seems not to like Randy Wolf too much. Will see what happens after this game.
The Twins are also a good dog to bet.
Longshot: Baltimore +170.