Game 157: Almost Done Losing

The Twins are almost done losing for the year, so that's a positive. Tonight's meaningless tilt features Kyle Gibson (12-11, 4.64 ERA) hoping to be good Gibson going against some guy named Andrew Chafin (0-0, 1.64 ERA).

It would be great if the Twins could at least notch four more victories in this last week to hit 70-wins. The 7 at least looks a little better than the 6. It would be really great if the Twins could shore up this pitching staff for next season. The box scores from an offensive standpoint seem fun and encouraging.

I was sitting around relaxing on the couch last night after another long deck day and came a across a tweet from a certain brunch enthusiast about Vance Worley's success in Pittsburgh. The discussion below was pretty terrible, basically saying Rick Anderson should be fired because of this (and Liriano). In other words, between that and the way Joe Mauer gets slagged by the loudest people online makes me think this losing team is deserved.

37 thoughts on “Game 157: Almost Done Losing”

    1. I said earlier give him the rest of the season. That's happened and my opinion: he might be serviceable. Earlier his strikeouts were down and walks not down enough to compensate, but both rates have improved and he has a 3.53 FIP now.

      1. Maybe Im in the minority but losing Vance Worley, and them him being successful elsewhere, just doesnt make my blood boil.

        1. Same. I think the Twins cut him too early, but not that bothered. It's probable returning to the NL has helped him too.

        2. I thought I remembered reading something about an undisclosed injury when he was with the twins. Whether I'm right about that, or not, I just don't see how Worley is on Rick Anderson.

          At any rate, that's a minority of at least two of us.

            1. I'm guessing the opinions of Twitter are most definitely not reflected on this site, call me crazy.

                1. or maaaaaayyybeeeee

                  according to, that figure is now 5.6 pct. League average is 9.1 pct. Of course, it's still better than what he did with the Twins (4.4 pct swing-and-miss).

                  1. That was a problem noted last year: his higher than average occurrence of called strikes inflating his strikeout numbers. Having a great framer, like the Pirates have in Martin, will help tremendously.

                    * Of the last decade or so.

                2. I don't know about that. Worley's BABIP is .313 compared to a team SP average of .307, the worst on the Pirates. If anything, his defense has performed poorly behind him. The Twins SP BABIP is .314. Of course, he might perform six percentage points worse on the Twins as well.

                  Note: data from FanGraphs except where noted.

                  1. according to fangraphs, his BABIP with the Pirates this year is .291. The .319 figure is for ZiPS (R). [not sure where you found the .313 figure]

                    1. Indeed it is. I blame the meeting I wasn't paying attention to. That explains why B-R and FG disagreed. I recant that LTE.

                      Instead, he's four percentage points worse than the team average (.293 vs .297). Oh wow, the Pirates have identical BABIPs between relievers and starters. The Twins have a 30 point difference: .299 vs .329.

                3. Would he be better than Darnell or Yohan? Isn't that all that matters for the Twins?

                  As long as things are "comfortable," this organization is happy.

    2. O.k. Having an 8-4 Vance Worley on the 2014 Twins would only mean that perhaps they'd be looking down on the White Sox, not looking up, I get that.

      But I think the Twins giving up on Worley is endemic of what's wrong with the Front Office and coaching staff. Time and time again the Twins are unable to look past quirky personalities, inconsistent play, injuries, etc., to properly evaluate who they have on their team and how to use those players in their best roll or to get the most out of their abilities. Vance Worley's career pro and minor league numbers have demonstrated that he would be a decent #3 or #4 starter. And on team that has lost over 90 games for 4 straight seasons, (with a lot of that to do with pitching), someone like that should be nurtured and valued, not given up on, like the Twins did. That's why Vance Worley's season with the Pirates is so damning.

      1. Yes. The media complains about lack of personality on the team but anybody that is outspoken is moved.

      2. giving up on Worley may well have been a mistake. But not exactly a huge one.

        According to fangraphs in this season, Worley's REW (wins above average, based on the 24 base-out states) is a robust +0.32. Meaning he's basically a league-average pitcher with the Pirates this year. Last year with the Twins, he was -2.00. With the Phillies in 2012, he was -0.94.

        Basically, he was a league-average NL pitcher before the Twins acquired him, and he's returned to being a league-average NL pitcher. Some of that is defense, some is luck (he's sporting a markedly lower BABIP this year).

        On the other hand, Ricky Nolasco has consistently been a below league-average pitcher for most of his career by the same measure. The Twins basically exchanged one -2.00 win pitcher for another, but this one has a longer track record of below-average outcomes.

        Obviously, the Twins could use a few more league-average pitchers in their rotation....

        1. The first sentence of my post essentially agrees with you. But I maintain the Vance Worley situation reflects issues other than will they win 68 or 72 games. Bottom line is that in order for the Twins to be succesful, they are going to have to figure out how to make the Vance Worley's of the world into servicable MLB players. Right now they haven't shown any ability to do that or have the patience to do that.

      3. But see: Phil Hughes. Was there a better off-season pitcher signing in baseball last year?

        Note, this doesn't excuse their quick trigger finger on serviceable players with personality. I will agree that is a problem for this team. I just think considering the two pitchers next to each other provides a more accurate picture of the FO. If they had both pitchers this year, that'd've been great. So what are they doing right that they can do more of, and what did they do wrong that they can correct?

        1. That was one case where they seemed to have looked at the numbers (not just Wins) and realized that the more spacious Target Field would benefit his already pretty good stats. Or the signing was dumb luck in which case my head hurts.

        2. I had no problem with Hughes or Nolasco.

          I will have a problem if they dump Nolasco after this season.

          1. Same. Though I think his performance after coming back from injury suggests that injury really does explain the bad performance at the start.

  1. Let's play fill in the blank with the name of a Diamondback:

    One of the bandages I put on before my run fell off, which lead to some _________.

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