It is clear that everyone knows what has cost this team an incredible amount of wins. The question is it the talent in the bullpen or just their performance.
My guess is that the talent level in the current bullpen is not bad. Why does a team like the Twins get great performances out of guys like Reyes (he sucked the last 2 years with other teams, now he is very good), Nathan (he was average with the Giants, now he is lights out), Neshek, and Rincon? Are these guys really any more talented than Carmona, Cabrera, and Davis? Does anybody doubt that as soon as the tribe gives up on one of these three (through a trade) any of them could be a great set-up man or closer for a team like the Twins?
With this thesis, what is the strategy for next year?
- Buy some relievers. - This will cost players or money. It is easy to overpay for relievers, and you are not going to get someone as good as Howry for Howry money now. What is to keep any of the new guys being sucked into the whirlwind of ineptitude called the bullpen?
- Make the performance of the current players better. - How does one do this? Shapiro/Wedge certainly can't seem to figure it out. Gardenhire never seems to have a problem.
- Hope. - I think this will be the main strategy. Maybe they will win some close games at the beginning of next year, and it will snowball. It hasn't worked for three years, but who knows? What else can they do besides a change in management?