Notepad Scribbles: 1/26/11

New Blog

In case you haven’t heard, I just started up a new blog titled Things I’ve Learned…. Think of it being like a NotGraphs to Off The Mark’s FanGraphs, except with even less sports.

Every year since my freshman year of college, I’ve written a Facebook note titled “Things I’ve Learned From My _____ Year At Gustavus” with the blank being the respective year in college. These notes always have focused on the things I’ve observed about life and my surroundings that is not taught in classes. With how popular these notes have been with my friends, I felt like it would be nice to expand on some of these musings every once in a while. I deem these writings would not be appropriate for this blog, such as my “retirement” from Guitar Hero. I hope you check it out and enjoy what I have to say.

Swapping Relievers

Earlier today, it was announced that the Twins claimed LHP Dusty Hughes off waivers from the Kansas City Royals and designated RHP Rob Delaney for assignment. Despite chatting with some people on Twitter, I’m still not a big fan of this move.

Hughes is your typical 4-pitch pitcher (fastball, slider, curveball, change-up) that had a bad season in 2009 with a 5.14 ERA  (albeit less than 15 innings) and a fairly good 2010 (3.83 ERA). However, his solid ERA is backed up by allowing very few home runs, something that we probably shouldn’t count on happening consistently. Also, his strikeout rate was below-average and he doesn’t get many grounders, meaning that Hughes will likely keep the outfielders busy when he’s in the game.

On Twitter, I was jumping to conclusions that it was a given that Hughes would start the season in the majors, but by my count, he still has options remaining and could be sent down to Triple-A. At the very least, he will provide some competition for Glen Perkins, Scott Diamond, and perhaps Chuck James to be the second lefty in the bullpen behind Jose Mijares.

A common trend I’ve noticed about myself is that I don’t like to see Twins go that haven’t really gotten a fair shot in the majors. I’ve said something along this line with Boof Bonser, Juan Morillo, and now Delaney. He was a dominant pitcher from 2007 to 2009 as he moved from Single-A to Double-A, but he seemingly hit a wall in Rochester. He now has 127.2 innings at Triple-A, pitching to a 4.65 ERA, so it appears as though he’s no longer the same pitcher as when he won the Minor League Pitcher of the Year award in 2007. However, he’s managed to maintain an excellent strikeout rate with an above-average walk rate, along with an FIP below 4.00 for that season and a half, so it appears as though Delaney has just had some bad luck.

Along with Anthony Slama and Bobby Korecky, it seems like the Twins don’t fully like what they see from Delaney, which I find to be maddening. I sincerely hope that he is not claimed by another team, because I still believe he can be a good major league reliever.

Minor Changes to Off The Mark

Just to alert you, I started making some tweaks to Off The Mark. First, you may notice I’ve gone back to using a few more pictures in posts. Second, I went though the 40-man roster and spring training invitee lists on the right side of the main page and switched all the links from the profiles to the FanGraphs profiles. I did this mainly for more ease for myself when finding stats for certain players, but also because some players (such as Kyle Gibson) only have minor league stats, something that does not show. The only player that did not have his link changed was Tsuyoshi Nishioka, only because he does not have a FanGraphs profile created yet. If you have any comments about these changes, feel free to leave a comment below.


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