Whenever I peruse MLB Trade Rumors, I always keep an eye out for one thing: “Twins.” Usually, I don’t find anything interesting. Most of the time, my eyes seek out the first three letters, “Twi-” and I get excited, only to realize that I’ve actually spotted “Twitter.” Then there are days like today, when I came across this headline: “Twins Claim Randy Flores.”
At first, I admit I was excited. Then I got past “Twins” and realized that the Twins claimed Randy Flores. Unfortunately, Flores isn’t a very special player, especially when you look past his 2.96 ERA and .222 batting average allowed. I’m talking about his 5.22 FIP, .234 BABIP, 1.32 HR/9, 5.93 K/9 and 4.28 BB/9. All of these point towards Flores being a rather poor pitcher.
According to texasleaguers.com, Flores throws mainly a high-80s fastball, low-80s slider, and mid-70s curveball. However, according to FanGraphs’ Pitch Type Linear Weights, only his fastball has been an above-average pitch this season.
I understand that many people (including myself above) will cite Flores’ low BABIP and say how he’s been lucky this year, but I have a counterargument. While with the Rockies this year, Flores was a lefty specialist, so he’s only thrown 27.1 innings in 47 games this year. Therefore, even though his BABIP is low and many people will cite that in a larger sample, it would regress to his career .338 mark, he’s probably only going to face a handful of batters every week and his BABIP could stay low for the final 5 weeks of the season. There were definitely better options out there such as Brian Tallet or George Sherrill (look at his splits against lefthanded batters), but Flores might just work out.