Levale Speigner Report

Here’s something that I compiled over the season, that I haven’t even looked at until now. I thought it was somewhat interesting (obviously, since I spent the time to compile the numbers), but we’ll see whether it was worth it.

Levale Speigner made 6 starts this season for the Washington Nationals. In the five starts against a team other than the Twins, he never lasted more than 4 innings, he allowed 30 earned runs, and 49 baserunners (hits+walks) in 17 2/3 IP.

Of course, against the Twins, this was his line: 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 3 SO for his only victory as a starter.

Anecdotally, this seemed to be a pattern for the Twins this season. When they faced a struggling pitcher (probably young, especially left-handed) they seem to have enormous struggles putting up any kind of offense. I know it’s easy to remember getting only 2 hits off of a pitcher like Speigner, but if Minnesota had knocked out 7 or 8 hits in five innings and put some runs on the board, the game would have been quickly forgotten. Do the Twins actually struggle more against below average pitchers? Or is this a case of selective memory making a problem seem worse than it actually is?

To investigate that question, I looked at the 93 different opposing starting pitchers the Twins faced in 2007. I looked at the 5 starts immediately preceding their start against the Twins for each opposing starter (if they didn’t have 5 starts under their belt, I just took the 5 starts closest to their start against the Twins) to get an idea of how the pitchers were doing about the time they faced Minnesota. I calculated FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) as well as the more conventional ERA statistic for the 5 starts. Then I calculated runs per nine innings and WHIP for the start against the Twins.

Data and all that after the jump.

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Twins Give Up On Mysterious No-Name Player

Here’s my question. Prospects in Twins system are at least 18 years old, right? Then how is it that some of them don’t have names yet? That’s a heck of a way to go through life, always having to respond to “Hey, you!” I would think that would lead to some kind of identity crisis.

The Twins traded one of these players to be named later to the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday, acquiring Craig Monroe. This isn’t all that big of a deal in terms of the 2008 roster, if Monroe receives consistent playing time, it will probably be due to injury or lack of production from those in front of him on the depth chart. This move is, however, the first acquisition of the offseason, so everyone who has been waiting with bated breath for a move to dissect, criticize, and dismiss as worthless, finally has something to sink their teeth into.

Personally, I like Monroe. He had a couple good years with Detroit, followed by a disappointing year last year. He strikes out a lot, but also is capable of hitting the ball out of the park. Essentially, if he produces somewhere between his 2006 and 2007 seasons, he’s the kind of player I wish the Twins had a few of on their bench at times. Hopefully, now we can say the Twins have that asset for real (as opposed to Rondell White, who theoretically filled that role in the last two years).