Saturday, August 22, 2015

Still think that Trevor Plouffe and JJ Hardy might be the same guy

Who is Neal Cotts, and What does he do for the Twins?

The Minnesota Twins announced that they have acquired 35 year old. lefty reliever Neal Cotts from the Milwaukee Brewers for a player to be named later.    They also optioned AJ Archer to Rochester to make space of their 25-man roster.  Cotts is on the tail end of an one year, $3 million contract, of which the Twins will be responsible for about $725,000.

Cotts has played for the Chicago White Sox, Cubs, Rangers and Milwaukee.  All but his September call up with the White Sox, he has been exclusively a reliever.   Cotts has been out of baseball from 2009 till 2012 battling elbow and hip issues:  Underwent Tommy John surgery in July of 2009, had the first of four hip surgeries while signed by the Pirates in June of 2010, failed his physical after he signed with the Yankees for the 2011 season.  He signed a minor league contract for the Rangers and played for Round Rock the second half of the 2012 season.  This is a great read for his health troubles.

One can look at his career numbers, but a player like him, really has two parts of his career and looking at the part before the injuries will not help predict what he might do for the Twins in 2015.   The "new" Neal Cotts, while with the Rangers, abandoned his curve, change and slider, and has primarily become a two seamer (89-90 mph) and a cutter (83-86 mph) pitcher, with his cutter (which he throws about half the time) his most effective and only above average pitch.   This season lefties are hitting .185/.230/.346 (but with a ridiculous .204 BABIP) and righties .282/.373/.466.   For comparison purposes, Ryan O'Rourke's splits are: .156/.250/.250 against LHB (with .267 BABIP) and .167/.375/.167 against RHB.  Add a .333/.395/.385 line against the American League, which includes a .182/.250/.182 line against the Twins, and it seems pretty clear that Cotts should be at the end of the line as LHP options go for the Twins.  On the other hand, as indicated above, Cotts has had success with the Twins this season and last (the Twins were 1 for 14 against him in 2014 while with the Rangers,) and the Twins' Front Office likes players who perform well against the Twins.

But the Twins do not play the Twins. They are playing (Slash line of each team's batters against Cotts in 2014 and/or 2015 in parenthesis) : Baltimore (2014: .429/.500/.643), Tampa (2014: .286/.444/.429) , Houston (2014: .394/.447/.667), Kansas City (2014: 0 for 6 & 2015: .385/.429/.462), White Sox (no appearances in 2014 and 2015), Detroit (2014: .385/.467/.538), Angels (2014: .185/.290/.296), and Cleveland (2014: .222/.222/.333 & 2015: .375/.500/.500).  In other words, every other team the Minnesota Twins are playing the rest of the season, other than the Angels and the White Sox (against whom he did not appear), hit Cotts better than Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds and Willie Mays ever hit regular pitching.

Not sure what this trade was about, other maybe for Terry Ryan to be able to say that he did something.  The Twins clearly have better internal options, including the departed AJ Achter who has held opposing RHBs to a .176/.176/.353   line.   Depending on who the player to be named later is, this trade can be rated from "Blah" to a "Disaster", and really does nothing for the Twins in their pursuit of a wild card spot.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Minnesota Twins sign another pitcher.

The Twins announced that they have signed 25 year old RHP Nick Anderson, formerly of the Frontier Greys, a travel team with no home, who has only Independent League professional experience and has been assigned to Cedar Rapids to face kids 6 years his junior. If you have not guessed it by now, he is from Minnesota. Brainard. He was the closer for the Grays and fairly successful, but I would have felt that this move was more baseball and less PR, if he was assigned to AA where 25 year olds usually play. Still nothing to help the big team that fell 3 games behind the second wild-card spot.

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Twins add a pitcher and an outfielder, switch minor leaguers, but should target one more player

Currently the Twins are trying to avoid further damage by the current 1-9 avalanche.   To that effect, Terry Ryan replaced Tyler Duffy and Chris Fryer (who was DFA'd)  with AJ Achter and Chris Herrmann.

In addition he went outside the organization and signed two free agents: 30 year old RHP Loek Van Mil, who was traded as a prospect to the Angels for Brian Fuentes last decade, and his claim to fame is that at 7'1" he is the tallest player in the minors.  He also signed 21 year old undrafted free agent Christian Cavaness, who is lefty outfielder and playing at the GCL.

No matter Price or Tulowiski.  Ryan has the right idea.  Van Mil, plus another former Twin can save this team.  Who?

You guess it:

Monday, August 3, 2015

Terry Ryan said that the Twins will do nothing in the deadline. Why are you upset?

After the trading deadline passed and with the Twins' having the league's worst record in the last couple of months and their lead for the first and then the second wild-card position was getting smaller and smaller, there was hope that Terry Ryan will do something to improve the team in the 3 biggest positions of need, shortstop, catcher and the bullpen.

But he did nothing, other than trading the teams' 18th and 25th prospects (and that is from this off-season) for a 30 year old middle reliever with another year of arbitration in the middle of a 4.22 FIP and 1.333 WHIP season (and aided by a .254 BABIP.)

The Twins' fans feel that have every reason to be upset  because of Ryan's inactivity.  On the other hand, they should not be, because Ryan himself said exactly what he was going to do.

“I have every intention of trying to improve this club and find a piece here and a piece there,”   7/31 

The "a piece here and a piece there" should had clinched that Ryan will be up to  his usual dumpster diving

There’s nobody that’s more sensitive about that than me. They’ve done a hell of a job getting to this point, and we’re in a good position, and now it’s my responsibility to help the cause,”  7/31

It was his responsibility, but if nobody holds him accountable for not doing things he is responsible, might well be anyone's responsibility...

I’m aware that one correct move by me could help that cause immensely because it’s going to change that attitude in the clubhouse. I don’t want them thinking a white knight is coming around the corner, because it might not be. But it also is a possibility that you don’t have to tinker with this too much to get us going back in the right direction.  7/31

Here you have it.  Clearly; "might not be".  And you don't have to tinker too much, just get a mediocre reliever who is slightly better that the awful ones that are with the club.  "a piece here"; not a white knight; not an All-Star reliever.  That would be too much tinkering.

And here is the kicker:

“We’re not going to mess around much with this major league team,”    7/31

And he didn't.   True to his word.  And you don't have to read between lines.

It was all there.  Why hope that Ryan will not be Terry Ryan in 2015, since he had been Terry Ryan since 1994 (with the small break of "retiring" to let someone else deal with the Santana and Mauer contract and the Ballpark situation, before returning.)

This is Terry Ryan.  

And unless he goes away, the Twins' fans will not see another parade downtown Minneapolis.   And if the Twins' owner cares about the Country Club more than winning, he should tell the team to one who cares about winning. 

Mengenai Saya

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