The Process Versus Twins Pitchers | The Process Report

The Process Versus Twins Pitchers

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Carl Pavano

As a member of the Twins, Pavano has experienced a career renaissance. His success over the past two years can be attributed to him throwing a really good changeup over the same time frame. Instantly, thoughts of Danks Theory came to mind; however, his changeup is an equal opportunity offender. On the other hand, he has shown a reverse-platoon split in regards to results over the last two seasons. While his change-up has been effective against lefties, his slider and fastball have not. Where Scott Baker‘s slider (see below) works as against lefties, Pavano’s is more of a platoon pitch.

Nick Blackburn

The Twins have a “type.” They are attracted to guys with average stuff who do not get many strikeouts, yet are still somewhat effective. Perhaps that is why they are trying their hardest to conform Francisco Liriano from a strikeout machine to a luck-dragon slayer who pitches to contact. On the other hand, Blackburn is fit the mold. He owns a career K/9 of 4.23 and has just four strikeouts in 11 innings so far. He is a groundball pitcher who throws four pitches (fastball, cutter, curveball, changeup). Neither of them are particularly good and he’ll give a home run here and there. In terms of splits, expect a heavy left-handed lineup against him.

Scott Baker

Baker is somewhat of a James Shields-type. He is right-handed with a solid frame and makes the best out of what he has. His stuff is effective, but at the same time not over powering. Also like Shields, he has a tendency to give up the longball. His HR/9 is 1.21 lifetime and he has already give up four home runs in 11 innings thus far. A few years ago, Baker decreased the use of his effective slider in favor for a less effective curveball. This continues to be the case. Even with the drop in usage, the slider serves as a nice equalizer against lefties which helps him maintain a relatively neutral platoon split.

Brian Duensing

Duensing has spent the last few seasons as a swing man for Minnesota. He has 79 career appearances with 24 of them starts. Overall, he has been solid with a career 3.08 ERA. Defensive Independent metrics have him closer to 4.00, but still serviceable. He is a four-pitch pitcher (fastball, slider, curveball, changeup) who gets groundballs. Of the four pitches, the pair of breaking balls are most effective. As a reliever, his weakness against right-handed hitters was covered up, but he no longer has that luxury. Expect the standard lineup versus lefties.

Bullpen

Pitcher Throws LHOPS RHOPS
Joe Nathan Right .573 .527
Matt Capps Right .760 .730
Jose Mijares Left .562 .727
Jeff Manship* Right .741 .886
Glen Perkins Left .874 .821
Dusty Hughes* Left .658 .786
Kevin Slowey Right .819 .725

(Three-year samples used when possible)
*Career numbers because of small sample size in recent years. These tables all exclude 2011 stats

(Favors means the split is +/- .020 points)
Matchup favors LHB: Nathan, Capps, Perkins, Slowey
Matchup favors RHB: Mijares, Hughes, Manship
Matchup is a push: N/A

(Credit to Chris St. John for the data)

Pre-Tommy John Surgery, Joe Nathan was a bonafide relief ace with the ability retire any batter. He is still working on regaining his velocity, but it would be nice if the Rays could skip seeing him altogether. Other than Nathan, there is no shutdown reliever in the Twins’ pen. Matt Capps is a nice guy to have around, but not dominant. Outside of lefties Jose Mijares and Dusty Hughes, the left-handed heavy Rays should be in favorable conditions late in games.



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  1. […] saved his best hit of the early season for the ninth inning against Joe Nathan. As mentioned in The Process Versus Twins pitchers, Joe Nathan was a legitimate relief ace before Tommy John Surgery. Regardless of the batter’s […]

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