The Twins sent down Doug Bernier today, a move many thought should be made when Shane Robinson came back. Instead, it was Tim Stauffer, who returned from injury. Meanwhile, Kennys Vargas and Josmil Pinto are toiling away in Rochester, while we keep hearing about dominating performances from the young pitching prospects all the way down to Cedar Rapids. What on earth are the Twins doing?
Well, winning, for one thing. We’ve discussed the trials and tribulations of Torii Hunter, Joe Mauer and Ricky Nolasco, and the fact that there are bound to see some fluctuations in their production going forward. Whether they do well or not, one thing is fairly certain. None of them are going anywhere.
What about the guys for whom the regression monster is a little more ominous. When things start to go downhill for these players, they are more likely to be replaced by someone like Pinto or Vargas. Even more unfortunately for them, their success to date seems to be smoke and mirrors.
1) Aaron Thompson: The reliever has been a journeyman through his career, and has struggled to make the leap because he doesn’t ever seem to strike anyone out, save for the last two years. He has reverted to form in the Majors this year, striking out less than 6 per nine and allowing a whole bunch of fly balls. His BABIP is down by .10 vs. last year, and raw average is down .050. He also can’t seem to induce ground balls, but few of his fly balls seem to leave the park. Something has to, and inevitably will give.
2) Eduardo Nunez: Eduardo Nunez is still on the roster, essentially because he has a .375 average. He also only has 26 at bats and a BABIP of .429. The regression monster is coming hard for Nunez.
3) Mike Pelfrey: As unfortunate as Ricky Nolasco has been, Mike Pelfrey has been fortunate. His success can be tied directly to his strand rate. He keeps allowing base runners, but they don’t score. This is impressive, because he has never been able to strike people out, which means the ball is constantly in play. Eventually, he won’t be able to get out of the jams he keeps finding himself in.
4) Chris Herrmann: OK, so there is no regression monster coming for him. He rightfully has a tough time getting on base, because he doesn’t make great contact. He makes contact, but it isn’t ever good. His numbers are bad, and his peripherals are worse, but there is an explanation.
If you make a few maneuvers with these players, suddenly, you see there is plenty of room for Tommy Milone, Kennys Vargas and Josmil Pinto. For the time being, though, the Twins are best off just letting the hot players stay hot.