The Minnesota Twins Add 2 Players + A Third Is Close To Signing And Familiar
By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): Follow @chuckbooth3024
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The Minnesota Twins have decided to join the fight in the AL Central.
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
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.
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.
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.
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Posted on December 2, 2013, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged alex meyer, byron buxton, carlos villanueva, ed whitson, edwin jackson, javier vazquez, jim abbott, josh willingham, kevin brown, miguel sano, minnesota twins, ryan doumit, target field. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.