Monday, August 5, 2013

Monday Morning Madness: August 5, 2013

We can finally put the "could the Twins even beat a AAA team" jokes to bed.  They can.  The Astros are pathetic, even if their rebuild strategy is being lauded by many.  While that strategy might work out long-term, the current team is rotten and I can't even imagine being an Astros fan right now.  At least the Twins have a couple players worth watching while they flail.  Anyway, the Twins rebounded nicely after the Royals series and if that matters to you, then you are probably quite happy.

Kyle Gibson's MLB career is not off to the start that he likely dreamed of.  Unless he suffers from night terrors.  Looking just at this season and comparing these 36.1 MLB innings to his AAA stats, the differences are kind of staggering.  His strikeout rate has dipped from 21.3% to 11.9%.  His HR/9 went from 0.39 to 1.24.  His BABIP was .285 at AAA and is .344 with the Twins.  His strand rate has dropped from 72.7% to 63.2%.  His walk rate has actually decreased slightly, from 7.6% to 7.1% (this is a great reason to use K% and BB% instead of K/9 and BB/9, btw, as his BB/9 is slightly up). 

It all adds up to a 6.69 ERA and a memorable debut for all the wrong reasons.  Slightly encouraging is his 4.97 FIP and the hope that the more luck-based stats like strand rate and BABIP could even out.  However, he needs to strike out more batters or he'll become just another Twins starter.  We all know that we hoped for better than that. 

Colabello's Power?

I can't say I watched a ton of Chris Colabello at AAA, so you might have to help me out with this one.  Does he have any pull power?  He stands very far from the plate, which is fine, but it would seem that would make it harder to pull the ball over the fence.  The two home runs he has hit with the Twins and the two I happened to see while watching AAA games were muscled to right or right-center.  It's not to say that he can't hit for power, but having a right-handed hitter with pull power certainly plays well at Target Field.  I'm not really sure what my point is here, to be honest.  Should we be expecting a lot of home runs from Colabello?

Plouffe Vs. Righties

Trevor Plouffe now has 845 career plate appearances against right-handed pitching.  In those plate appearances, Plouffe has posted a .216/.277/.377 triple slash, with 29 home runs and 187 strikeouts.  His BABIP is .249, but I can't believe this is a luck thing.  His line drive rate is actually better as a righty, but his strikeout and walk rates are worse.  Platoon splits are normal, but with a borderline MLB player like Plouffe, this split makes me wonder if he needs to actually be part of a platoon, just to provide value.  We can't even say that these stats are the remnants of his poor MLB start, as he has posted similar numbers this season, with  a .213/.272/.351 triple slash in 247 plate appearances.  It's a shame he's on the wrong side of the platoon because he does crush lefties. 

Ugh, enough sadness.  More madness!

Fun Stat - Deduno is Rare

Sam Deduno is having a magical season.  For real, it seems like he's getting by on magic.  He doesn't get hit hard.  In fact, he has pitched to a .242/.322/.344 triple slash.  That looks great, as it's about what Clete Thomas produces.  When Deduno takes the mound, the entire opposing team becomes a mess of Clete Thomas's.  Fun, terrifying, but how rare is this?  I pulled the data using Baseball Reference's play index and here is a link to the results

As you can see, these numbers have only been posted by 15 pitchers in the last 30 seasons.  Wild.  Of course, rarity is not exactly the friend of replication. 

Poll Results - What do you think of Joe Mauer?

I forgot to include this last week, so my blog has gone a whole week without a poll!  Sad!  Here are the results of the Mauer poll:
  • I love him; I'll name my first born "Seven" in his honor - 3 votes
  • Hall of Fame Talent - 18 votes
  • He's great, but overpaid - 8 votes
  • He's a bum - 0 votes
  • Who is Jo Mauer? - 0 votes
I expect to see those kids named "Seven" pop up in my future social studies classes.  I'm pleased that no one resorted to calling him a bum.  I posted a new poll, please take some time to vote.  Democracy.

Random Image

I found this picture of the Twins battling:

Hard to say if they are winning, but they certainly are battling.

Answer to a hypothetical Facebook question

Going to the Twins' Facebook page is like going to the dentist.  It sucks, it's going to be painful, but you just gotta do it.  Preferably you go just once per six months though.  Here's a cool question:

Question:  Gatorade shower for BARELY beating the worst team in the league?? Stay classy Minnesota..

Answer:  First off, an ellipsis has three dots.  Second, does a second question mark make this a special double question?  Third, good gravy do some people hate fun.  I imagine that some people only enjoy World Series clinching games and nothing else.  Besides, the Twins win so infrequently that they have fewer chances to celebrate.  When the Rays win in a walk-off, its one win of like 100.  When the Twins win, it's one in 60.  Think about that.  Or, just calm down and enjoy the baseball game.  Even sucky teams should be allowed to enjoy their victories.  I mean, people cheer for the Vikings and Timberwolves and they've pretty much always sucked. 

Baseball Card from the Past

Look at that dude!  Francisco Liriano is pitching as well as he ever has with Pittsburgh this season.  He's a huge reason why they have one of the best records in baseball.  It's hard to believe that he's been in pro baseball for over ten years.  He was probably 18 or 19 in that picture.   I tried to look up how much that card is worth on eBay but there were like fifteen different versions and I just got bored.  You can own it for somewhere between 8 and 2 million dollars, but if you want to narrow it down, do your own research. 

The Week Ahead

I have some stuff planned for the week.  I wrote about the Hall of Fame and some current players who I think will be enshrined one day.  On Tuesday, I plan to post the older guys and on Wednesday, I'll post some younger guys.  I'm recapping two Twins trades on Thursday and Friday.  One trade is pretty minor and the other might be the most controversial trade in Twins' history.  I hope you are adequately salivating right now. 

Song of the Week - Gutter Twins - God's Children

Parting Thought

I'm in love with the Casey Fien-Glen Perkins 8th and 9th inning combo.  Fien is fired up from the jump and Perkins is chill as what.  However, both guys just come in and say, "hey man, here's my stuff, try to hit it, yo."  Most can't.  Fien has been a revelation, in my opinion.  With Fien and Perkins both under team control for the foreseeable future, the back-end of the bullpen is an part of the team that the Twins can rely upon, possibly even when the team is good again.  It would be nice to have some pieces in place, right?

Have a nice week, everyone!

If you enjoyed this post, the least you could do is follow me on Twitter:  @bridman77.  I'll tweet a lot one night, then disappear for weeks.  It's a hoot.  If I get to 1000 Twitter followers, I'll live-tweet Timecop, just like the pros.  If you're really bold, I have a Facebook group too.  There are ten members.  Yep.  If it gets to 50, I'll give away my only 1991 Score Gary Wayne card.  I'm being honest.  

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