January 28, 2015

Twins Notes: Parmelee, Swarzak, Pelfrey, Boyd, Gladden, and Santana

Chris Parmelee Twins

Dave St. Peter and Jacque Jones were great guests at the second annual "Winter Meltdown" event Saturday night, but unfortunately due to technical issues their interviews were not properly recorded for "Gleeman and The Geek" purposes. We'll do our best to recap all the details on the next episode, but for better or worse the only people to hear the pair of half-hour interviews will be those who attended the event.

• Let go by the Twins after a combined 20 years in the organization, Chris Parmelee signed a minor-league deal with the Orioles and Anthony Swarzak signed a minor-league deal with the Indians. Parmelee, who was the Twins' first-round pick in 2006, hit .249/.317/.390 in 273 games. Swarzak, who was the Twins' second-round pick in 2004, posted a 4.48 ERA in 440 innings. They were both essentially replacement-level players in Minnesota.

• On a related note, Parker Hageman of Twins Daily looked at the Twins' bad run of drafts from 2006-2011 and how it helped lead to their current struggles.

• General manager Terry Ryan continues to ride the Mike Pelfrey train, telling reporters asking about a potential move to the bullpen for the rehabbing right-hander that he's "more interested to see what he can do as a starter." Pelfrey is 5-16 with a 5.56 ERA in 34 starts for the Twins and has a 4.55 ERA in 183 career starts. He's owed $5.5 million for 2015 because Ryan misguidedly signed him to a two-year contract extension in December of 2013.

Hudson Boyd, who was the Twins' supplemental first-round pick out of a Florida high school in 2011, has been suspended 50 games after a second positive test for a "drug of abuse." Boyd was billed as a big, hard-throwing starter prospect with lots of upside, but he's yet to advance beyond low Single-A and has a 4.27 ERA with just 153 strikeouts in 219 innings as a pro.

Johan Santana's latest comeback attempt has been derailed by more shoulder problems, but let's not lose sight of how amazing he was before his body broke down. Careers, compared:

                      IP     ERA+     WAR     WIN%
Sandy Koufax       2,324     131     53.2     .655
Johan Santana      2,026     136     50.7     .641

Sandy Koufax was a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 1972.

Zero players received enough votes to be inducted into the Twins' team Hall of Fame this year and the player getting the most votes was Dan Gladden, who hit .268/.318/.382 in five seasons for the Twins and is now their radio analyst. In terms of on-field performance, Gladden is not one of the top 50 players in Twins history.

David Schoenfield of ESPN.com tried to figure out "who had the worst defensive season ever?" and his answer is going to rile up a lot of Twins fans.

• With a month and some change before Opening Day, my best guess at the 25-man roster the Twins will start the season with includes a few potential moving parts.

• For anyone who felt that FanGraphs' projections for the Twins were too pessimistic: Baseball Prospectus projects the Twins to have MLB's worst record.


This week's blog content is sponsored by Uber, which is offering a free ride to first-time users who sign up with the promo code "UberGleeman."

  • McGivey87

    What is with this town’s infatuation with Dan Gladden?

    • GameND

      I don’t get it, yes he was on two World Championship teams, however, he was a very average player. I think his WAR with the Twins was actually below average.

      Now I really do enjoy him on the radio, so if at the end of that career, if they want to put him in the Hall of Fame, great, but his play does not justify it now.

      Brian Harper on the other hand should get more of a look. He has a bad rap as being bad defensibly, however, that was made worse by a poor showing in the 91 playoff run, and Dick Bremmer talking about how bad it was every time a Twins catcher misses a pop fly. However, Harper was way above average offensively as a catcher.

      • Kale

        Average player, but above average leader. He was an instrumental and gritty player for two World Series championships. Also, he’s still involved with the organization broadcasting games. That’s why people love him. You can’t sum everything up with numbers.
        I’d like him in the Twins HOF because of what he’s accomplished as a player and broadcaster.

        Offensively, Brian Harper was slightly above average. He had a career OPS+ with the Twins of 110.

        Fun Fact: Joe Mauer’s career OPS+ is currently 133. Most of those as catcher.

        • GameND

          Yes, Joe Mauer is better than Brian Harper.

          However, Brian Harper also had a great Mullet. I am pretty sure he was gritty and stuff too. Hard nosed, and all kind of other stuff that cannot be proved.

          Fun fact: Dan Gladden’s OPS+ as a Twin was 90. In ’87 it was 76 and in ’91 it was 80. He played LF.

          His broadcasting career is far from over, let’s analyze it in about 15 years when he is done. Then we can put him in the Hall of Fame.

    • Kale

      Seriously? Did you not see him play? Yeah, he wasn’t Kirby Puckett, but he was one the leaders on 2 championship teams. Gritty player with an All-Star mullet.

      • McGivey87

        So he had a fashionable hair cut 20+ years ago that’s now ironically funny now so that counts? Well Jeff Reardon was the closer in ’87 and had a sweet beard, better send him in too.

        • Kale

          Sorry, but you can’t place someone in the Twins HOF just because he had a beard. Do you know how ridiculous you sound?
          I would be all about putting him in the Twins’ HOF if he had played on both World Series championship teams, and was still involved with the Twins in some aspect…say broadcasting games for at least 15 years.

  • Dave T

    He was one of the heroes of both Twins World Championship teams.

  • tom

    Hmmm . . . I wonder if anyone will ever do a complete list of the Twins top 40 players all time?

  • by_jiminy

    Those BP projections are indeed interesting. The hitting stats are all decent but in pitching they are projected to be the only team to give up more than 800 runs except Colorado!