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RE: Twins off-season

 
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RE: Twins off-season - 2/19/2024 9:29:09 AM   
Phil Riewer


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I believe enough that I would be on the phone and resign Taylor.

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Post #: 551
RE: Twins off-season - 2/19/2024 10:15:22 AM   
Trekgeekscott


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Phil Riewer

I believe enough that I would be on the phone and resign Taylor.



I wouldn't have let him get to Free Agency

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Post #: 552
RE: Twins off-season - 2/19/2024 10:58:13 AM   
Phil Riewer


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Trekgeekscott

quote:

ORIGINAL: Phil Riewer

I believe enough that I would be on the phone and resign Taylor.


I wouldn't have let him get to Free Agency


Still available....seems he thought he was going to get more than the 4.5 he was paid last year. No matter what...you put Taylor and Buck (if healthy) both in the outfield with Kepler/Wallner and not too many will drop and if they do all have strong accurate arms.

< Message edited by Phil Riewer -- 2/19/2024 11:00:09 AM >


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RE: Twins off-season - 2/19/2024 1:07:41 PM   
bstinger


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Taylor would be a smart insurance policy, which means we probably won't do it.

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Post #: 554
RE: Twins off-season - 2/19/2024 1:35:40 PM   
Phil Riewer


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quote:

ORIGINAL: bstinger
Taylor would be a smart insurance policy, which means we probably won't do it.


Seems like many are thinking either Duvall or Mike A Taylor will be signed.

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KIA 23 March 2007 Habbaniyah Iraq
Post #: 555
RE: Twins off-season - 2/19/2024 1:57:01 PM   
TJSweens


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Phil Riewer

quote:

ORIGINAL: Trekgeekscott

quote:

ORIGINAL: Phil Riewer
I believe enough that I would be on the phone and resign Taylor.

I wouldn't have let him get to Free Agency

Still available....seems he thought he was going to get more than the 4.5 he was paid last year. No matter what...you put Taylor and Buck (if healthy) both in the outfield with Kepler/Wallner and not too many will drop and if they do all have strong accurate arms.

I say no to Taylor. I like his defense, but he is a total liablility at the plate. Last year was an outlier for him on a HR and OPS basis. He was 40 points over his career OPS, yet he was below league average. Last year was only second time in his career with an OPS of .700 or more. His OBP was a pitiful .278. 47% of his outs were via strike out . He not only didn't get on base a whole lot, almost half of his outs were completely non productive. Again, this was his second best year of his career at the plate. Logic says he will regress to his mean. Find a better alternative to Taylor.

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RE: Twins off-season - 2/19/2024 2:21:49 PM   
Phil Riewer


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TJSweens

quote:

ORIGINAL: Phil Riewer

quote:

ORIGINAL: Trekgeekscott

quote:

ORIGINAL: Phil Riewer
I believe enough that I would be on the phone and resign Taylor.

I wouldn't have let him get to Free Agency

Still available....seems he thought he was going to get more than the 4.5 he was paid last year. No matter what...you put Taylor and Buck (if healthy) both in the outfield with Kepler/Wallner and not too many will drop and if they do all have strong accurate arms.

I say no to Taylor. I like his defense, but he is a total liablility at the plate. Last year was an outlier for him on a HR and OPS basis. He was 40 points over his career OPS, yet he was below league average. Last year was only second time in his career with an OPS of .700 or more. His OBP was a pitiful .278. 47% of his outs were via strike out . He not only didn't get on base a whole lot, almost half of his outs were completely non productive. Again, this was his second best year of his career at the plate. Logic says he will regress to his mean. Find a better alternative to Taylor.


Austin Martin if not Buck?

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RE: Twins off-season - 2/19/2024 9:54:19 PM   
TJSweens


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Phil Riewer

quote:

ORIGINAL: TJSweens

quote:

ORIGINAL: Phil Riewer

quote:

ORIGINAL: Trekgeekscott

quote:

ORIGINAL: Phil Riewer
I believe enough that I would be on the phone and resign Taylor.

I wouldn't have let him get to Free Agency

Still available....seems he thought he was going to get more than the 4.5 he was paid last year. No matter what...you put Taylor and Buck (if healthy) both in the outfield with Kepler/Wallner and not too many will drop and if they do all have strong accurate arms.

I say no to Taylor. I like his defense, but he is a total liablility at the plate. Last year was an outlier for him on a HR and OPS basis. He was 40 points over his career OPS, yet he was below league average. Last year was only second time in his career with an OPS of .700 or more. His OBP was a pitiful .278. 47% of his outs were via strike out . He not only didn't get on base a whole lot, almost half of his outs were completely non productive. Again, this was his second best year of his career at the plate. Logic says he will regress to his mean. Find a better alternative to Taylor.

Austin Martin if not Buck?

It's a real possibility. Martin has done really well defensively in CF. He is also more of an OBP type hitter. Martin is supposed to have really good pitch selection, makes a lot of contact, doesn't strike out a lot and draws walks. The Twins initially tried to adjust his swing to add power, but backed off when it just appeared to be messing him up. Martin also has great speed and stole 16 bases in 20 attempts with St. Paul. I'd be more interested in Martin as a back up RHB OF than Taylor.

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RE: Twins off-season - 2/20/2024 8:26:55 AM   
TJSweens


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3 True Lies From the Twins Offseason

By Cody Christie

Minnesota Twins fans’ morale should be near an all-time high. Instead, the club spent the winter spreading what can be perceived as true lies that will impact the organization beyond the current season.

Pitchers and catchers reported to Fort Myers earlier this week, which is typically a time for fans to get excited about the upcoming season. Teams try to build support throughout the winter by hosting events like Twins Fest and Winter Caravan, where leaders from the team can answer questions from fans and the media. The Twins have tried to spin different storylines this winter and direct the narrative surrounding the team. Unfortunately, those quotes looked like the truth at the time and have morphed into lies, whether intentional or not.

True Lie 1: There will be no blackouts in 2024
Current impact: The Twins are back on Bally Sports North for the 2024 season, which means fans will be limited in how they can consume the team’s games. Cory Provus, the team’s new television announcer, and others in the organization told fans that blackouts were going away. However, those statements were made before Amazon made a deal with Diamond Sports, BSN’s parent company, to save them from bankruptcy. The Twins decided to return to BSN for one more season because of an estimated $30-40 million being paid to the team. Fans hoping for easier access to television broadcasts, especially streaming options, are left empty-handed.

Future impact: The Twins are among a group of teams who will be television free agents next winter. MLB has a few options with these clubs if they package them together as one group of 12-15 clubs. They can offer television and streaming rights to a larger company like Amazon or Apple to broadcast through their platforms. Another option is for MLB to take over the broadcasts for these teams, which is what the Colorado Rockies, San Diego Padres, and Arizona Diamondbacks are doing this year. Overall, there should be more access to Twins games in 2025, but there are no guarantees in a quickly changing television landscape.

True Lie 2: The Twins must cut payroll.
Current impact: Minnesota’s front office was bizarrely forthcoming at the start of the offseason that the team’s payroll would be dropping. Fans were told it was necessary, because the team expected to lose significant revenue due to the lack of a television contract. Last year, the Twins earned $54 million in television revenue, so the removal of that revenue stream figured to lower the payroll from $159 million to around $124 million. Minnesota received an influx of revenue with their one-year renewal with Diamond Sports, but there are no signs the team is about to embark on a spending spree. It seems likely for the team to add one more right-handed outfield bat, which should keep the payroll under $130 million for 2024.

Future impact: If asked about the payroll, the Twins would likely point to the young players on the roster and say there would be a natural decline in payroll. Many of those players have yet to become eligible for arbitration, which means they are making close to the league-minimum salary. Starting next year, Pablo López sees his contract rise from $8.25 million to $21.75 million. There will also be a slew of players eligible for arbitration for the first time, including Royce Lewis, Joe Ryan, Bailey Ober, and Jhoan Durán. The Twins roster will get expensive in a hurry, and those issues will only be further magnified if ownership continues to limit spending.

True Lie 3: The front office is attempting to improve the team.
Current impact: Every contending team enters the offseason hoping to make improvements to their roster. This proposition was difficult for the Twins because of the organization’s self-imposed payroll limits. The team also lost Sonny Gray and Kenta Maeda, two starters who recently finished runner-up for the Cy Young Award. Derek Falvey indicated at the Winter Meetings that the Twins would attempt to trade some of their veteran players, with Jorge Polanco being the lone casualty at this point. Minnesota turned him into a fifth starter, a late-inning reliever, and two prospects. Strictly on value, the Twins did well in this trade, but it’s easy to argue that the current roster is worse than last year's.

Future impact: The front office will always make moves where the Twins acquire more value. The Polanco trade is just one example of this type of swap. On the eve of the 2022 season, the Twins traded Taylor Rogers, the team’s closer, and Brent Rooker to the Padres for Chris Paddack and Emilio Pagán. It was a move that made sense from a value perspective, but the timing of the trade seemed suboptimal for clubhouse morale. Unless the payroll situation drastically changes, the front office must continue making value trades, even if it hurts the current roster. Expensive veterans must be shed, especially when a large chunk of the team’s payroll is tied to Carlos Correa, Byron Buxton, and López. Dropping payroll by $30 million will make any team worse, unless the team’s young core takes massive strides forward in 2024.


On the surface, the Twins weren't trying to lie to fans, but given the way various situations above have unfolded in recent months, that's how it turned out. Some fans were already wary about the team’s historical spending record, and those worries have been multiplied this winter. Minnesota is still the odds-on favorite to win the AL Central, but it’s tough to be optimistic about how the offseason played out.

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"The eternal fate of the noble and enlightened: to be brutally crushed by the armed and dumb."
Post #: 559
RE: Twins off-season - 2/20/2024 11:05:17 AM   
Jeff Allen

 

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Duvall, to me, would be more Kepler/Wallner/Kirilloff insurance than Buxton. I like the idea of Martin as a backup as well as Duvall. I like Castro as the infield backup. Vazquez as backup catcher. That leaves Farmer and Larnach as the odd men out.

1B -- Santana
2B -- Julien
SS -- Castro
3B -- Lewis
DH -- Kirilloff
Post #: 560
RE: Twins off-season - 2/20/2024 11:42:33 AM   
twinsfan


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I'm starting a new segment called twinsfan's truths. I believe it will be helpful to all readers.

------------------------------------------

True Lie 1: There will be no blackouts in 2024
Current impact: The Twins are back on Bally Sports North for the 2024 season, which means fans will be limited in how they can consume the team’s games. Cory Provus, the team’s new television announcer, and others in the organization told fans that blackouts were going away. However, those statements were made before Amazon made a deal with Diamond Sports, BSN’s parent company, to save them from bankruptcy. The Twins decided to return to BSN for one more season because of an estimated $30-40 million being paid to the team. Fans hoping for easier access to television broadcasts, especially streaming options, are left empty-handed.

Future impact: The Twins are among a group of teams who will be television free agents next winter. MLB has a few options with these clubs if they package them together as one group of 12-15 clubs. They can offer television and streaming rights to a larger company like Amazon or Apple to broadcast through their platforms. Another option is for MLB to take over the broadcasts for these teams, which is what the Colorado Rockies, San Diego Padres, and Arizona Diamondbacks are doing this year. Overall, there should be more access to Twins games in 2025, but there are no guarantees in a quickly changing television landscape.

twinsfan's truths: Subscribe to cable and get every single game.

True Lie 2: The Twins must cut payroll.
Current impact: Minnesota’s front office was bizarrely forthcoming at the start of the offseason that the team’s payroll would be dropping. Fans were told it was necessary, because the team expected to lose significant revenue due to the lack of a television contract. Last year, the Twins earned $54 million in television revenue, so the removal of that revenue stream figured to lower the payroll from $159 million to around $124 million. Minnesota received an influx of revenue with their one-year renewal with Diamond Sports, but there are no signs the team is about to embark on a spending spree. It seems likely for the team to add one more right-handed outfield bat, which should keep the payroll under $130 million for 2024.

Future impact: If asked about the payroll, the Twins would likely point to the young players on the roster and say there would be a natural decline in payroll. Many of those players have yet to become eligible for arbitration, which means they are making close to the league-minimum salary. Starting next year, Pablo López sees his contract rise from $8.25 million to $21.75 million. There will also be a slew of players eligible for arbitration for the first time, including Royce Lewis, Joe Ryan, Bailey Ober, and Jhoan Durán. The Twins roster will get expensive in a hurry, and those issues will only be further magnified if ownership continues to limit spending.

twinsfan's truths: At the time of most of the major free agent signings, the Twins had no idea what their TV revenue situation would be. Now that it's been hammered out, you shouldn't spend money just to spend money on "leftover" free agents that you were not interested in pursuing in the first place.

True Lie 3: The front office is attempting to improve the team.
Current impact: Every contending team enters the offseason hoping to make improvements to their roster. This proposition was difficult for the Twins because of the organization’s self-imposed payroll limits. The team also lost Sonny Gray and Kenta Maeda, two starters who recently finished runner-up for the Cy Young Award. Derek Falvey indicated at the Winter Meetings that the Twins would attempt to trade some of their veteran players, with Jorge Polanco being the lone casualty at this point. Minnesota turned him into a fifth starter, a late-inning reliever, and two prospects. Strictly on value, the Twins did well in this trade, but it’s easy to argue that the current roster is worse than last year's.

Future impact: The front office will always make moves where the Twins acquire more value. The Polanco trade is just one example of this type of swap. On the eve of the 2022 season, the Twins traded Taylor Rogers, the team’s closer, and Brent Rooker to the Padres for Chris Paddack and Emilio Pagán. It was a move that made sense from a value perspective, but the timing of the trade seemed suboptimal for clubhouse morale. Unless the payroll situation drastically changes, the front office must continue making value trades, even if it hurts the current roster. Expensive veterans must be shed, especially when a large chunk of the team’s payroll is tied to Carlos Correa, Byron Buxton, and López. Dropping payroll by $30 million will make any team worse, unless the team’s young core takes massive strides forward in 2024.

twinsfan's truths: Sonny Gray had no interest in returning to Minnesota. He's a southeastern good ol' boy and he wanted to wind down his career in a climate and area that he's most comfortable in. A combination of improvement from Joe Ryan and health from Chris Paddack may well be enough to equal what Sonny Gray would have done in 2024. Gray is an aging vet that will assuredly see a drop in production this year, the next and the next. Much of the team's payroll is "tied up" in Carlos Correa because he was one of the top 2-3 free agents on the market each of the last two offseasons. Can't be critical of the Twins going out to improve their team when they have proven they invest in the players they view as difference-makers.

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RE: Twins off-season - 2/20/2024 11:58:07 AM   
TJSweens


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Courtesy of the twinsfan sheep 🐑 to English translator.

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"The eternal fate of the noble and enlightened: to be brutally crushed by the armed and dumb."
Post #: 562
RE: Twins off-season - 2/20/2024 12:07:19 PM   
Phil Riewer


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TJSweens

Courtesy of the twinsfan sheep 🐑 to English translator.


Lies and/or almost truths from TwinsFans.

1. Hulu, YouTube TV, DirecTV, and other providers had FSN but don't now due to impossible rates/negotiations which won't be fixed for yet another year.
2. The Twins have known since December that they were getting 85% of TV revenue compared to 2023 from TV but decided in early November that they were going to announce TV issues and were cutting payroll.
3. Twins didn't offer Sonny a contract. Nothing to do with location (St. Louis versus MN?) but there were other opportunities out there that were reasonable such as Burnes, Luzardo, etc. There still are Montogomery, Snell, others who can be had for a 1 year contract. It isn't always about money until they made it about money.

< Message edited by Phil Riewer -- 2/20/2024 12:09:26 PM >


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RE: Twins off-season - 2/20/2024 5:05:29 PM   
Phil Riewer


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Another example of just horrible PR:


Nick Nelson
@NickNelsonMN
The messaging from this team is just brutal man 😭
Quote
Jimbob Smith
@RealJimbobSmith
·
1h
Joe Pohlad is on WCCO rn, when asked about payroll dropping he pointed at the Tampa Bay Rays, and said "there are other ways to win" and that "they are focusing on other methods of winning currently"

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KIA 23 March 2007 Habbaniyah Iraq
Post #: 564
RE: Twins off-season - 2/20/2024 5:07:54 PM   
Phil Riewer


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From: MN
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Fans only get pissed about salary cap when you don't make moves (that actually can save payroll money and make the team better) and claim it is about payroll limitations when it clearly isn't.

_____________________________

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KIA 23 March 2007 Habbaniyah Iraq
Post #: 565
RE: Twins off-season - 2/20/2024 5:13:39 PM   
Mister Ed


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quote:

Joe Pohlad is on WCCO rn, when asked about payroll dropping he pointed at the Tampa Bay Rays, and said "there are other ways to win" and that "they are focusing on other methods of winning currently"


L

The trust fund must be protected

at all costs!!

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What was old is new again
Post #: 566
RE: Twins off-season - 2/20/2024 5:23:59 PM   
Phil Riewer


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I think it is a bright note but not sure....bad for Topa:


Nick Nelson
@NickNelsonMN
·
4h
IT'S OVER FOR THE LEAGUE
Quote
DanHayesMLB
@DanHayesMLB
·
4h
Justin Topa backed up a pitch inside and Royce Lewis hit it out to right field on a line, ball smacked off the concrete. Had like a 15-degree launch angle. Coaches, teammates were shaking their heads. “A ridiculous swing.” #MNTwins

_____________________________

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Post #: 567
RE: Twins off-season - 2/20/2024 5:25:34 PM   
Phil Riewer


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Maybe too early hype:

Twins Player Development

@TwinsPlayerDev
Our 2023 draftees were throwing fuego in live BPs 🔥

Charlee Soto (34th overall pick): topped out at 98mph
Dylan Questad (5th round pick): topped out at 95mph
Jack Dougherty (9th round pick): topped out at 97mph

_____________________________

SSG Riewer, Greg A Co 2/136 CAB
KIA 23 March 2007 Habbaniyah Iraq
Post #: 568
RE: Twins off-season - 2/20/2024 9:20:50 PM   
bstinger


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Phil Riewer

Another example of just horrible PR:


Nick Nelson
@NickNelsonMN
The messaging from this team is just brutal man 😭
Quote
Jimbob Smith
@RealJimbobSmith
·
1h
Joe Pohlad is on WCCO rn, when asked about payroll dropping he pointed at the Tampa Bay Rays, and said "there are other ways to win" and that "they are focusing on other methods of winning currently"

I believe he's referring to winning financially. Just be good enough to keep the sheep interested, but don't really try to contend. Same with Vikings, although the NFL requires payrolls in a certain range and they haven't been afraid to spend to the cap, they never really reset and just keep kicking the can down the road.

< Message edited by bstinger -- 2/20/2024 9:22:07 PM >


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RE: Twins off-season - 2/21/2024 7:19:56 AM   
TJSweens


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I think the Wilf's actually want to win. They just don't know what the hell they are doing.

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RE: Twins off-season - 2/21/2024 7:23:43 AM   
Phil Riewer


Posts: 26680
Joined: 8/24/2007
From: MN
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: bstinger

quote:

ORIGINAL: Phil Riewer

Another example of just horrible PR:

Nick Nelson
@NickNelsonMN
The messaging from this team is just brutal man 😭
Quote
Jimbob Smith
@RealJimbobSmith
·
1h
Joe Pohlad is on WCCO rn, when asked about payroll dropping he pointed at the Tampa Bay Rays, and said "there are other ways to win" and that "they are focusing on other methods of winning currently"

I believe he's referring to winning financially. Just be good enough to keep the sheep interested, but don't really try to contend. Same with Vikings, although the NFL requires payrolls in a certain range and they haven't been afraid to spend to the cap, they never really reset and just keep kicking the can down the road.


Somehow may end up ok...Ober, Ryan can maybe get to #2 status and Festa and Raya in the minors are looking good plus there is a slight chance the SP we got on the cheap from Seattle could hold up and revisit his 2021 season. But just too many maybes on the SP front before we start talking about Buxton, Kirilloff.

TB has less revenue coming in there Joe but they make shrewd decisions like signing Rosario for 1.5 million....also this:

The Rays strategy isn't just money. Here are the 2023 plate appearances for hitters in their Age 32 season or higher;
Rays - 0
Twins - 1,562

< Message edited by Phil Riewer -- 2/21/2024 9:16:35 AM >


_____________________________

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KIA 23 March 2007 Habbaniyah Iraq
Post #: 571
RE: Twins off-season - 2/21/2024 9:47:13 AM   
TJSweens


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Here is an article making the case not to give up on Simeon Woods-Richardson. It's worth noting that despite a disappointing season, he finished strong with a 3.05 era in his last 71+ innings/

Here is the link if you want to look at the plots and graphes referenced in the article.

Understanding What Goes into Pitching Stuff Models
Featuring Simeon Woods-Richardson


By JohnFoley@JohnFoley_21 Feb 7, 2024, 10:00am EST

Twins pitching prospect Simeon Woods Richardson makes for a useful example to understand pitch quality models Photo by David Berding/Getty Images
Simeon Woods-Richardson was once a very highly regarded (Top 100 overall) young pitching prospect. He was twice traded as a key part of major MLB deals, but some of the shine on his prospect apple has worn off a bit after a perceived stalling of his development in a traditional scouting tool sense and a couple of decent, but unexciting seasons in the high minors.

Woods-Richardson has not achieved the velocity gains that were projected of him as an amateur and now operates with a seemingly pedestrian 90-91 mph fastball, an above-average changeup that he throws nearly 40% of the time, a big breaking, vertical curveball, and a slider.

The scouting report on him at FanGraphs includes this line: “There’s no plus pitch here, but there are four viable offerings that all move in different directions as well as sentient command of them all.”

Though that hardly reads as the makings of an arsenal that would grade well by the increasingly popular stuff quality models, by the 2023 season’s end Woods-Richardson’s Stuff+ mark ranked 10th out of more than 1,200 AAA pitchers. His arsenal also graded out favorably in limited major league action in 2022 and 2023.

That apparent disconnect makes Woods-Richardson a good use case for understanding what goes into pitch quality models and the focus for this next installment in Twinkie Town’s Analytics Fundamentals series.

The makeup of every play in baseball more or less follows the same high-level script. There is an interaction between the pitcher, the hitter, and the defense that happens in this order: the pitcher delivers a pitch, the batter decides to swing (or not), he hits it (or doesn’t), and, if the ball is put into play, the defense tries to turn it into an out (or more).

For a long time, the way we evaluated pitcher performance was limited to the result of that sequence. Did the batter get a hit? Did the pitcher get an out on a ball in play? Did they get a called strike, or a swing and a miss? If they got good outcomes, our thinking went, then they must have done well for themselves and we parsed credit to them accordingly.

That long-standing foundation of thinking started to be challenged when Voros McCracken introduced the concept of defense-independent pitching, a way of evaluating pitchers based on the factors over which they had greater control — strikeouts, walks, hit-by-pitches, and allowing home runs — and ignoring the ones over which they did not. That meant setting aside batted balls in play, which McCracken showed were largely outside of a pitcher’s direct control because of luck and their dependence on the team of defenders behind the pitcher turning balls in play into outs.

In the twenty-plus years that have passed since that concept became mainstream, all kinds of metrics that you’re probably now well-versed in — like fielding independent pitching (FIP), expected FIP (xFIP), and SIERA — have been spawned.

Although those represent improvements — and they have shown to be more predictive of future performance than actual results — if you dig into those metrics and their inputs you’ll find that they are also heavily dependent on the results end of the typical play sequence. They still don’t tell us very much about how and why the pitcher got the results he did.

Leading vs. Lagging
The Statcast system and the various measurements it makes throughout the play sequence have moved our ability to analyze earlier in the sequence, which has enabled more understanding of the physical characteristics of the pitches themselves — like pitch type, velocity, velocity differential, spin rate, spin efficiency, spin direction, location, movement, and release points.

These are all things the pitcher has much more direct control over than the result of the play. Instead of using the results to evaluate a pitch, we now can measure and quantify the inputs to it and assess which of those tend to lead to good (or bad) results.

That capability has led to a proliferation of metrics and models that aim to understand and explain the pitch characteristics (and combinations of characteristics) that tend to make pitches successful. Those include many of the public-facing “stuff” or “pitch quality” models that have become more mainstream in the past few years.

You’ve likely come across Eno Sarris and Max Bay’s Stuff+, Cameron Grove’s pitchingBot, and Pitcher List’s Pitch Level Value (PLV), among others, and MLB teams and places like Driveline have their proprietary versions, too.

When you take a look at the pitchers who score well by these methods, you’ll see the names you would expect based on how we traditionally think about ‘stuff.” High velocity and ridiculous movement are usually good ways to grade well and tend to lead to good results.

Jhoan Duran and his triple-digit heater, otherworldly curveballs, and physics-defying splitter are at or near the top of any of these models’ lists. Griffin Jax and his big breaking, but powerful sweeper are there, too. The same goes for Pablo López and his array of pitches that move every which way.

But then there are the guys that grade out well for not-so-obvious reasons. Former Twin Kenta Maeda has regularly graded out pretty well by stuff models, despite 10th percentile fastball velocity and a slider with below-average raw movement.

And of course, there is Simeon Woods-Richardson:

Model Inputs
The various pitch quality models deviate from each other in terms of methodology and the inputs they use. Instead of dragging you through the nitty-gritty details of each of them, let’s use Sarris and Bay’s Stuff+ as an example of the overall concept.

In June of 2021, Sarris published a high-level explainer of Stuff+ in The Athletic that contained this helpful graphic laying out the model’s primary inputs and their relative importance:

You can see there that the things you’d expect — like velocity and movement — are included, but they are relatively less important than the differential of velocity and movement. In other words, that’s referring to the difference between a pitcher’s breaking and offspeed pitches from their fastball. Similarly, previously thought to be small details about a pitcher’s release point, have shown to be just as important as the raw movement measurements of their pitches.

The relative importance of the different variables is not random or arbitrarily assigned. The Stuff+ model was trained against real run value results using a decision tree model that captures the relationships across the variables. In short, overly simplified terms, the model identifies the variables and combinations of variables that have led to success in the run value results and evaluates their relative importance to those results.

The SWR Use Case
Why does Woods-Richardson grade out well even though his traditional scouting report isn’t as rosy? Let’s go through some of the inputs and find out.

As we go through, keep in mind that in pitching it often pays to be different. Characteristics in the extremes tend to be good, most of the time. That’s illustrated well by these plots, again from Sarris, that show Stuff+ marks for fastball and curveball movement profiles. Notice all the red (high Stuff+) around the outside edges and all the blue (low Stuff+) in the middle.

It’s also worth noting that we don’t have perfect visibility into all the workings of the model. I’ll be using the public data we have about SWR for illustrative purposes to try to flag which model inputs might be the ones that give SWR an edge, but I must caveat that I’m probably mixing a few apples and oranges.

We’ve already covered that Woods-Richardson’s velocity does not stand out. Neither does his spin rate data. Those are all essentially below the major league average. However, he does stand out from the crowd in many of the other categories that go into Stuff+.

Differentials
Here’s a table summarizing how Woods-Richardson compares to the league average in terms of the top three most important features — velocity differential, vertical movement differential, and horizontal movement differential from his fastball:

I’ve highlighted in red the places where SWR is noticeably different from the league averages. The velocity differentials are not as big as the movement differentials, especially the vertical movement of his changeup and curveball, the large horizontal movement differential of his changeup, and the relative lack of horizontal movement differential on his breaking pitches.

Release Point
We can take horizontal and vertical release points together and illustrate how Woods-Richardson compares to the rest of the pitchers with a scatterplot from Savant:

I’ve highlighted him in the plot and you can see that he operates with a fairly unique release point, compared to other pitchers. Unlike the large majority of pitchers, he throws from almost perfectly over the top (which FanGraphs described as a trebuchet) and his hand is more or less right on the center line of the mound as he releases his pitch.

Movement
We covered movement differential, which gives some insight into this section, but it’s worth covering movement in more detail because Woods-Richardson has some unique raw movement features, especially with his fastball.

Whereas most fastballs move to the pitcher’s arm side 7 or 8 inches, SWR’s average fastball moves to his glove side almost 3 inches. His over-the-top delivery enables him to work straight behind and even a bit around the ball which gives his fastball a unique combination of above-average vertical break (ride) and glove-side cutting action.

What’s more, and largely because of his unique over-the-top release, Woods-Richardson is also differentiated in terms of spin direction and extension. He is the rare right-hander whose spin axis is on the high side of 12:00, which helps create that cut action on his fastball. He also gets extension down the mound just shy of 7 feet on average, which is significantly above average and serves to shorten the reaction time for the hitter and make his velocity play a touch above its mile-per-hour readings.

Although Woods-Richardson does not stand out in a traditional velocity and raw movement sense, he is differentiated (in some cases, significantly so) in many of the other categories that stuff models consider. And, in pitching, being different is usually a good thing. That likely explains much of why those models look favorably on his arsenal.

Conclusion
To wrap this up, it is worth making the usual disclaimers about aggregate statistics and models. All models are “wrong,” but some are useful. And, aggregate statistics are often poor predictors of individual outcomes.

That said, they often have value in helping us understand the things that tend to lead to successful outcomes. That’s what Stuff+ (and other models like it) do.

It’s also shown to be more predictive of future performance and a reliable indicator faster than our other metrics (like ERA, FIP, etc.) Just 80 pitches are required for Stuff+ to become reliable via Cronbach’s alpha, which is an approach that is widely used to determine when a statistic is more signal than noise. Stuff+ is also more sticky across seasons than other factors.

Of course, a high Stuff+ mark does not guarantee a pitcher will find success on the field, and it doesn’t guarantee anything for Simeon Woods-Richardson’s future. But, it might suggest he has a better shot than traditional scouting methods give him credit for.

Pitchers with high Stuff+ marks tend to be more successful than those with lower Stuff+ marks, and not only because they have superior velocity and movement. These types of analytic tools have enabled us to better identify and value the other characteristics that can lead to success.

_____________________________

"The eternal fate of the noble and enlightened: to be brutally crushed by the armed and dumb."
Post #: 572
RE: Twins off-season - 2/21/2024 10:13:20 AM   
TJSweens


Posts: 44629
Joined: 7/16/2007
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Phil Riewer

Somehow may end up ok...Ober, Ryan can maybe get to #2 status and Festa and Raya in the minors are looking good plus there is a slight chance the SP we got on the cheap from Seattle could hold up and revisit his 2021 season.

These are all key elements of the Twins strategy of hope.

Ryan and Ober are the keys to the whole strategy. Ryan was cruising along and looking like someone who could even garner some Cy Young votes through his complete game shutout. Then it all fell apart. The claim is that Ryan pulled his groin warming up for the Atlanta game and hid it from the team through several starts, while he tried to push through it. The injury allegedly caused a change in his mechanics that flattened out his off-speed pitches, turning them into perpetual gopher balls. Worth noting, his fastball continued to be one of the biggest swing and miss pitches in baseball.

Ober was having a similar season to Ryan. Just cruising until he hit the wall...hard. He pitched 165 innings last year after only pitching 72 the year before. His previous high for innings pitched in a season was 108.

The Twins HOPE Ryan's problems were 100% due to his groing injury and another off-season trip to the pitching academy will improve his secondary pitches.

The Twins HOPE Ober will be up to the workload of a full major league season now that he has reached a high triple digit level and won't fade late.

The Twins HOPE DeSclafini will regain a pre-injury form from 3 or so years ago.

The Twins Hope that Varland (with the additional relievers I now agree that Varland at AAA may happen) or SWR will stretch out and be ready in case DeSclafini proves to be another scrap heap, rag arm failure.

_____________________________

"The eternal fate of the noble and enlightened: to be brutally crushed by the armed and dumb."
Post #: 573
RE: Twins off-season - 2/21/2024 10:25:09 AM   
twinsfan


Posts: 62883
Joined: 12/21/2009
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: TJSweens

quote:

ORIGINAL: Phil Riewer

Somehow may end up ok...Ober, Ryan can maybe get to #2 status and Festa and Raya in the minors are looking good plus there is a slight chance the SP we got on the cheap from Seattle could hold up and revisit his 2021 season.

These are all key elements of the Twins strategy of hope.

Ryan and Ober are the keys to the whole strategy. Ryan was cruising along and looking like someone who could even garner some Cy Young votes through his complete game shutout. Then it all fell apart. The claim is that Ryan pulled his groin warming up for the Atlanta game and hid it from the team through several starts, while he tried to push through it. The injury allegedly caused a change in his mechanics that flattened out his off-speed pitches, turning them into perpetual gopher balls. Worth noting, his fastball continued to be one of the biggest swing and miss pitches in baseball.

Ober was having a similar season to Ryan. Just cruising until he hit the wall...hard. He pitched 165 innings last year after only pitching 72 the year before. His previous high for innings pitched in a season was 108.

The Twins HOPE Ryan's problems were 100% due to his groing injury and another off-season trip to the pitching academy will improve his secondary pitches.

The Twins HOPE Ober will be up to the workload of a full major league season now that he has reached a high triple digit level and won't fade late.

The Twins HOPE DeSclafini will regain a pre-injury form from 3 or so years ago.

The Twins Hope that Varland (with the additional relievers I now agree that Varland at AAA may happen) or SWR will stretch out and be ready in case DeSclafini proves to be another scrap heap, rag arm failure.

Nothing wrong with being hopeful.

_____________________________

Magic Number
Billy Hamilton 0
Post #: 574
RE: Twins off-season - 2/21/2024 10:36:54 AM   
Phil Riewer


Posts: 26680
Joined: 8/24/2007
From: MN
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: twinsfan

quote:

ORIGINAL: TJSweens

quote:

ORIGINAL: Phil Riewer

Somehow may end up ok...Ober, Ryan can maybe get to #2 status and Festa and Raya in the minors are looking good plus there is a slight chance the SP we got on the cheap from Seattle could hold up and revisit his 2021 season.

These are all key elements of the Twins strategy of hope.

Ryan and Ober are the keys to the whole strategy. Ryan was cruising along and looking like someone who could even garner some Cy Young votes through his complete game shutout. Then it all fell apart. The claim is that Ryan pulled his groin warming up for the Atlanta game and hid it from the team through several starts, while he tried to push through it. The injury allegedly caused a change in his mechanics that flattened out his off-speed pitches, turning them into perpetual gopher balls. Worth noting, his fastball continued to be one of the biggest swing and miss pitches in baseball.

Ober was having a similar season to Ryan. Just cruising until he hit the wall...hard. He pitched 165 innings last year after only pitching 72 the year before. His previous high for innings pitched in a season was 108.

The Twins HOPE Ryan's problems were 100% due to his groing injury and another off-season trip to the pitching academy will improve his secondary pitches.

The Twins HOPE Ober will be up to the workload of a full major league season now that he has reached a high triple digit level and won't fade late.

The Twins HOPE DeSclafini will regain a pre-injury form from 3 or so years ago.

The Twins Hope that Varland (with the additional relievers I now agree that Varland at AAA may happen) or SWR will stretch out and be ready in case DeSclafini proves to be another scrap heap, rag arm failure.

Nothing wrong with being hopeful.


Especially if they had added a surefire #2 on top of the hopefuls.

_____________________________

SSG Riewer, Greg A Co 2/136 CAB
KIA 23 March 2007 Habbaniyah Iraq
Post #: 575
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