The Minnesota Twins Add 2 Players + A Third Is Close To Signing And Familiar

Hughes was signed to a 3 YRs/24 Million Dollar Contract by the Twins.  The 27 Year Old from Mission Viejo, CA has a career record of 56 - 51, with a 4.54 ERA.  But you simply have to dig deeper to find out why he has struggled at points in his career.

Hughes was signed to a 3 YRs/24 Million Dollar Contract by the Twins. The 27 Year Old from Mission Viejo, CA has a career record of 56 – 51, with a 4.54 ERA. But you simply have to dig deeper to find out why he has struggled at points in his career.  Hughes finished the 2013 season 4 – 14, with a 5.19 ERA, but a lot of that was due to his clip of 1 – 10, and a 6.39 ERA at Yankee Stadium, compared to a 4 – 5, 3.89 on the road.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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The Minnesota Twins have decided to join the fight in the AL Central.

Over the course of the last week, they have added two Veteran Starting Pitchers in Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes in respective deals.

It is a sign the organization wants to be perched back up atop of the Division with other teams Detroit, and talented young teams in Kansas City and Cleveland.

With the club awaiting some top prospects, just a few years away, the stop – gap measure of a couple of cagey players is a great idea.

The team is also said to be near another deal with former Catcher A.J. Pierzynksi.

Phil Hughes 2013 Highlights – Mature Lyrics so parental guidance is advised

Ricky Nolasco was 5-8 with a solid 3.85 ERA in 18 games started with the Miami Marlins before he was traded to the LA Dodgers.  After he was in California for 1 month, he was 5 - 0, with a 1.64 ERA.  A slower September resulted in a 6.66 ERA in 5 Game Starts.  He still had an 8 - 3 record, with a 3.52 ERA for LA.  For his career, Nolasco is 89 - 73, (.543) with a 4.37 ERA.  The Twins gave the Free Agent Pitcher a 4 YR deal worth $49 MIL to anchor the Starting Rotation,

Ricky Nolasco was 5-8 with a solid 3.85 ERA in 18 games started with the Miami Marlins before he was traded to the LA Dodgers. After he was in California for 1 month, he was 5 – 0, with a 1.64 ERA. A slower September/October resulted in a 6.66 ERA in 5 Game Starts. He still had an 8 – 3 record overall, with a 3.52 ERA for LA. For his career, Nolasco is 89 – 73, (.543) with a 4.37 ERA. The Twins gave the Free Agent Pitcher a 4 YR deal worth $49 MIL to anchor the Starting Rotation.  He will be counted on to be at the top of the staff.

Let’s go over all 3 players – and what they will contribute to the franchise.

1st off, Ricky Nolasco inked a deal to be with the club until 2017.  While the team had to dole out $49 MIL over 4 years, the market dictates the money was extremely relevant to the RHP’s arsenal.

Nolasco was part of a competitive Marlins team in his early part of his career in Florida.  He always fashioned a decent record, ERA – and was a nick back end of the rotation starter.

When he was traded to Los Angeles last year, he thrived in the 1st 5 weeks.  If it wasn’t for a couple of unfortunate starts late in the season, that didn’t go his way, he would have been on the Post Season squad for the Dodgers.

Nolasco is about to turn 31, and likely will be the oldest pitcher in the starting staff.  He has 6 straight 10 Win seasons, that included a lot of time with a poor Miami franchise.

The man originally from Corona, CA, has continually dropped his HR rate for his career, and that should get another boost once he goes to Target Field for the majority of his games.

It is not just Minny’s home field, he will pitch in Kauffman Stadium and Comerica Park.  Stadiums which are also great for numbers.

I actually can’t believe that Phil Hughes is 27 years old.  The 7 year veteran couldn’t have picked a worse time to have his worst campaign.

But you really have to look at his numbers closely.  This problem has all of the ear-markings of the A.J. Burnett effect.

For his career, Hughes is 29 – 24 away from New York, with a respectable 4.10 ERA, whereas he featured a 29 – 24 record at home, but a startling 4.96 ERA.

Another facet of the Hughes signing I like, is you can convert him to a Reliever if he fails as a Starter.  In his time as a Reliever, he has a 2.06 ERA in 56.2 IP worth of work.  Hughes has a 4.78 ERA lifetime as a Starter.

With the team also needing Relievers, this works on a few different levels.

Hughes was at the point where he was mentally psyched out of pitching at Yankee Stadium, and the results bared that.

On the road, was a different story, his numbers are within the parameters any club would deem acceptable.

At 3 YRs/$24 MIL for a contract, this may seem like a lot for a pitcher of Hughes 4 – 14, 5.19 ERA last year, but this is not that foreign.

Consider that recent Free Agent Veterans like Joe Blanton, Edwin Jackson, Carlos Villanueva in 2012 signed similar deals – with reflective numbers.

Like I also said with Burnett,  he could be a perfect example of what can happen once you leave New York.

Other pitchers that have failed in New York are Jim Abbott, Kevin Brown, Javier Vazquez and Ed Whitson also seemed to have problems in the Big Apple, yet foraged outstanding careers outside of the Bronx.

I think you are looking at the next case with Hughes. This guy looks like a stud pitcher – when on the hill.   A lot of frustrations with the Yankees fans were just with that.

But it was an ill – advised HR, or an inopportune loss of mechanics with him, that led to his demise.  I think a lot of Hughes’ problems stemmed from confidence.

Once he is with the Twins organization, and throws in a pitcher’s ballpark, with a forgiving fanbase,  I expect Hughes to pitch better than he has ever in his time in the Major Leagues.

That bring us to A.J. Pierzynski.  He could potentially be heading back to the franchise that Drafted him in 1994.

He is about to turn 37 years old, and has played in 1763 Career Games in his 16 years, which he has been a full time player for 13 of those seasons.

Pierzynski would be a great fit with the Minnesota club.  The Pitchers would have a great game caller, and a fiery guy in clubhouse could be just the infusion the young guys need to turn it around.

This club has lost 291 games over the last 3 seasons, and Pierzynski’s teams have all had great records for the clubs he has been on.

One could say the White Sox completely missed him more than they care to admit.  Pierzynski has a lot of interest from teams, but the Minnesota team may be in his heart for a return.

Signing the former Twins player could also workout for the team in the form of trade-bait.

The Twins could trade Josh Willingham and Ryan Doumit with the move.  Deals that could warrant more upgrades for the Pitching core, or perhaps other young positional players.

I buy in the franchise trading one or two of these guys in  the winter, and then again near the Trade Deadline.

With the Catching Free Agent quickly being depleted, Doumit could be a nice commodity to enter into trade waters.

All of these moves may not have the Twins on the cusp of contention just yet, however if their top prospects of Byron Buxton, Alex Meyer and Miguel Sano work out soon, coupled with the veterans adding, this team could be back to playing meaningful games late into season in the near future.

Pierzynski is nearing the end of his career, but that doesn't mean he wouldn't make a great addition to a contending team, that needs a Veteran Backstopper. Pierzynski was drafted originally by the Twins, and put up a 3 Slash Line of .301/.341/.788 between 1998 - 2003.he Catcher was part of a great White Sox team that saw them win the World Series in 2005, before Chicago. let him walk to the Rangers in 2012. The Veteran has a Career Slash of .283/.322/.750 - and his services would help the Minnesota club on so many levels.

Pierzynski was drafted originally by the Twins, and put up a 3 Slash Line of .301/.341/.788 between 1998 – 2003. The Catcher was part of a great White Sox team that saw them win the World Series in 2005, before Chicago let him walk to the Rangers in 2012. The Veteran has a Career Slash of .283/.322/.750 – and his services would help the Minnesota club on so many levels.

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About chuckbooth3023

I played competitive baseball until 18 years old and had offers to play NCAA Division 1 University Baseball at Liberty University. Post-concussion symptoms from previous football and baseball head injuries forced me to retire by age 19. After two nearly made World Record Attempts in 2008, I set a New World Record by visiting all 30 MLB Parks (from 1st to last pitch) in only 24 Calendar Days in the summer 0f 2009. In April of 2012, I established yet another new GWR by visiting all 30 Parks in only 23 Calendar Days! You can see the full schedule at the page of the www.mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker

Posted on December 2, 2013, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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