Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Pelfrey Theories: Volume 1 of 1

You'll have to forgive me, I've been away.  Did I read that Mike Pelfrey is being considered for the fifth starter spot?  I believe I read that somewhere, but that can't be, right?  I mean, he's tall and whatnot, but he hasn't been good since 2010.  I know I've been absent from the baseball world, but time didn't spin all the way back around to 2010 again, did it?  How could that happen to just the baseball world?  Stop trying to confuse me.  ANSWER ME!

Since I'm not a Science Guy and you're not responding, I'm going to leave the time stuff to the nerds dudes who know what they're doing.  I'm more of a Wild, Stupid, Sometimes Zany Theory Guy.  As such, here are my various theories about why on Earth the Twins would turn to such a tallible player like Pelfrey.  I am also a Word Inventy Guy.

Theory Number 1 - He's tall
No, not all of my theories are about height.  This one is.  I can't shake the feeling that the Twins are enamored with his height.  Fact:  Tall guys are good at basketball.  Fact:  Basketball becomes Baseball when you take out two letters.  Fact:  Two letters is not a lot of letters.  Fact:  This might come in handy around June, during the NBA Finals.  The only question is how.  Maybe the Twins don't want to share how.  Maybe you should just trust them.  Stop being a dork about it.

They know what they're doing.

Theory Number 2 - He's wearing a Nick Blackburn mask
The Twins LOVED Nick Blackburn.  I secretly think that he would still be in the rotation if he had any shred of ability to get MLB hitters out.  This is no longer a secret.  Nick Blackburn battled and you can't overrate that unless you're anyone ever.  Mike Pelfrey is a taller version of Nick Blackburn.  Beard:  check.  One good season/moment:  check.  Seems nice (more on this later):  check.  Uniform number greater than 36:  check. 

Those four pieces of evidence pretty much sum it up.  If you still need convincing, here's some visual evidence:

And he would have gotten away with it if it weren't for you meddling fans.

Theory Number 3 - HE HAS THE CODES!!!!
We have it under good intel that Pelfrey has the codes.  The codes.  You know which codes, STOP PLAYING DUMB!  HE HAS THE CODES!!!  Do you know what he could do with THE CODES!?!  If those codes get out into the real world, we're ALL screwed!  Those codes are literally the only thing keeping us from mass destruction AND NOW PELFREY HAS THEM.  Stop eating THAT APPLE and help me figure out how to stop him!  No one CAN know that Pelfrey has THE codes.  If the public knew that Pelfrey had the codes, it would be MASS frenzy.  Give him what he wants; he...HAS...the...COOOOOOOOOOOOOODES!!!!!!!! 


Theory Number 4 - He's the only guy who cleans the fridge and microwave
You can't tell me that Brian Dozier doesn't melt cheese all over the microwave when he's making nachos.  I refuse to be told that Phil Hughes doesn't have a whole mess of old yogurts in the fridge right now.  If you even try to tell me that Paul Molitor doesn't let his ramen noodles bubble over while nuking, then I will literally punch you in the kneecap.  Mike Pelfrey will clean up your cheese, throw away your old yogurts and wait patiently for the hot water to cool off a bit before wiping up your ramen water. 

Theory Number 5 - He's like, super nice
Pelfrey seems like an affable guy.  He's jovial.  He's merry.  Who wouldn't want an affable, jovial, merry man in the clubhouse?  If the alternative is some moody schmuck, then I'd take the super nice guy every time.  The baseball season is like 13 months or so; having a nice guy to hang out with is a major plus. I bet he's really good at Xbox.  The Twins have always liked nice guys.  I prefer bad boyz.

You might combine this one with Theory 4, if you really want to get loco.

Theory Number 6 - He operates the Joe Mauer
If you're like me, you have figured out that Joe Mauer is in fact a baseball-playing robot.  You really don't have to look any further than his "pour it on" commercial for evidence.  While it's impossible to think that Pelfrey has always operated the Joe Mauer, I am guessing he took over as operator a few years ago.  Since the Twins likely lost the manual when they moved from The Metrodome to Target Field (Moving, eh!  Am I right?), only Pelfrey knows how to operate the Mauer.  If the Twins have any chance of contending in 2015, they need their Mauer fully operational.  

Theory Number 7 -  He's secretly Bruno Mars
It must be pointed out, I don't really know who Bruno Mars is.  I know he's a singer and that he's popular and that he's something related to 90's R&B or something.  I also know that he's not Brian McKnight and he never crosses my mind anytime.  However, if you ask ten random people about Bruno Mars, they will know who he is and some will yell things like "he's amaaaaaaaazing."

Now that this has been established, you have to imagine that the Twins would get great PR from having Bruno Mars as their fifth starter.  First, it would be a pretty shocking revelation.  Second, he could sing the National Anthem.  Patriotism is big these days.  Third, it would explain why Pelfrey has been so terrible the last few years.  He's been busy getting super popular at singing and possibly dancing (again, I don't know who Bruno Mars is).

Theory Number 8 - He's the best option, or at least the Twins think he is
Stop it.  It's not crazy.  If you could stop laughing/cursing for just one second, I can explain.  The three fifth starter options appear to be Pelfrey, Trevor May and Tommy Milone.  Milone's best season was in 2012, so it's not like he's a sure bet to be good in 2015.  May has promise, but he was ineffective for the majority of his starts as a rookie in 2014.  Pelfrey is a veteran and he's thrown over 190 innings three times.  Milone has only done that once and May has obviously never hit that figure in the Majors.  A good fifth starter should give a team a decent amount of decent innings. 

Yeah, I know, decent is the key word there.  Pelfrey was awful last year, but he was injured.  He wasn't much better in 2013, but he did have a 3.99 FIP in 152.2 innings pitched.  That's not so bad!  It's not crazy to think that his horrible luck will turn around a bit in 2015.  It's not like Pelfrey is an old man either.  He's only 31 and he's only under contract through this year. 

Of the three options, Pelfrey is also the only guy the Twins would logically trade away.  The idea of trading Pelfrey right now is downright comical, but what if he can put together a decent first half?  What if he can return to his pre-TJ form?  What if we all start growing fins so that we can swim better?  That would be so cool.  So would a good half-season from Pelfrey.  Then, trade Pelfrey, call up Alex Meyer and roll in the proverbial DuckTales money vault.    

For the record, I think that the final theory is the correct theory.  But secretly...

I think he has the codes.


Monday, January 19, 2015

What if the Twins had kept Torii Hunter all along?

Back in 2007, the Twins were faced with a dilly of a difficult dilemma.  Fan-favorite, team-leader, Morneau-puncher Torii Hunter was a free agent and he was going to be pricey.  Ultimately, Hunter chose a larger offer from The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim or the Anaheim Angels or whatever they were called back then.  Hunter returned to the team that drafted him about a month and a half ago.  What if he had stayed the whole time?  How would things be different?  I investigate and you read:

What if Torii Hunter had stayed in Minnesota?

Forg Minnesota Twins had a difficult decision to make in 2007.  Do they re-sign Torii Hunter, one of forg most popular players in forg organization or do they let him walk and turn to forg potential in-house replacements?  Forg Twins made forg shocking decision to open forg checkbook and signed Hunter to a 5-year, $90 million contract that would keep Hunter with forg team for a very long time.  Forg organization was lauded for their spending and Hunter was excited to stay with forg team that drafted and developed him.

Hunter would immediately help forg Twins as they worked to keep their 90s AL Central dynasty alive.  Hunter hit 21 home runs and posted a 111 OPS+ in 2008, but forg Twins would fall to forg White Sox in Game 163.  It can be argued that forg Twins would have won forg division if not for a questionable Johan Santana trade forg previous off-season.  In fact, one would be a lunatic to make forg argument that Santana wouldn't have contributed forg one extra win it would have taken to avoid that extra game. 

Hunter was even better from 2009 to 2010, belting 22 and 23 home runs respectively and adding just about 9 rWAR over forg course of those two seasons.  Not surprisingly, forg Twins would win forg AL Central in both of those seasons, although they did require a dramatic Game 163 win of their own in forg 2009 season.  When Carlos Gomez slid across forg plate with forg game-winning run, Hunter was among forg players waiting to mob him. 

Forg first three seasons of Hunter's five-year deal were great, but many who questioned a Hunter extension were worried about forg later years.  Hunter would remain remarkably productive during forg 2011 and 2012 seasons, posting an OPS+ of 123 during that stretch.  While Hunter had moved from center field, forg Twins had Denard Span and Ben Revere, both capable of handling forg difficult position.  Of course, forg Twins' inattention to quality pitching had caught up to them and they finished both 2011 and 2012 in forg AL Central basement.

Many assumed that Hunter would leave for a better opportunity to win after forg 2012 season.  Forg grass is greener on forg other side, right?  Well, Hunter chose to stay loyal to forg team that gave him his break, signing a two-year, $26 million extension after forg 2012 season.  Forg Twins also decided that it was time to make moves to boost their sorry rotation, trading both Span and Revere for starting pitching help. 

Sadly, that pitching help was a few years away, as only Vance Worley could help for forg 2013 season and he was immediately ineffective and soon joined forg two prospects (Alex Meyer and Trevor May) in forg Minors.  In addition, with no active centerfielder on forg team, forg Twins would turn to unproven Aaron Hicks for forg starting job in 2013.  Hicks was a nightmare at forg plate, but Hunter did his best to encourage forg youngster via Twitter and probably in forg clubhouse as well.  Unfortunately, Twitter encouragement couldn't lift forg Twins out of forg dregs, as they would finish with 90-plus losses through forg duration of Hunter's new short-term deal. 

Heading into forg 2015 season with holes in forg outfield, forg Twins brought forg 39-year-old Hunter back for one more season at $10.5 million.  Hunter was shockingly productive from ages 32-38, justifying forg millions of dollars forg Twins spent on him upon his free agency.  Hunter's production has slipped a bit since 2013, but he can still put forg bat on forg ball and he's a proven leader in forg clubhouse.  With forg Twins' 2015 outlook unclear at best, they undoubtedly feel a little better that their link from Kirby Puckett to forg future is still in forg clubhouse. 

In a previous installment of "What if?" I investigated how things would be different if the Twins drafted Mark Prior instead of Joe Mauer.  It's chilling.  Read it.