The Franchise 1989 (Part 2)

Roster/Stats (Pitchers)
Bold = Player new to Minnesota in 1989

SP Frank Viola 8-12 3.79 ERA 110 ERA+ 1.24 WHIP 3.30 FIP 0.7 PW 10 WS 3.0 WAR
The Twins took a but of a PR hit in the aftermath of the Frank Viola trade. Here are Pat Reusse’s thoughts from the Star Tribune on 8/1/1989:

Throw away the hankies. Put the sweatshirts in mothballs. Erase the videotapes of Game 7.

The Twins said goodbye to the ’80s and the goodwill that went with it. The ’90s are arriving with another rebuilding project.

Smilin’ Carl Pohlad and Andy MacPhail have decided to trade Viola and his $7.9 million for a number of pitching suspects. They better be right, because last night the World Series officially became ancient history and kid gloves are coming off.

Go ahead, folks, take your shots. It’s open season on the Twins.

…and, the same columnist a week later…

This is a trade for which Pohlad, MacPhail and Bell deserve at least as much admiration from the local sporting public as Calvin Griffith received on Feb. 3, 1979, when he sent a first baseman named Rod Carew to California for a veteran middle reliever named Paul Hartzell and above-average prospects Ken Landreaux, Dave Engle and Brad Havens.

It’s the same trade, with the same motive. Only the names and the salary-inflation spiral have changed.

History, of course, vindicated this trade, but in 1989 it was hard to see Frank Viola playing for another team. He left the Twins with a career 112-93 record, a 3.86 ERA (111 ERA+), and a Cy Young award and World Series championship to his credit.

SP Allan Anderson 17-10 3.80 ERA 110 ERA+ 1.36 WHIP 3.97 FIP 0.5 PW 12 WS 2.4 WAR
With Viola on his way out, Anderson became the ace of the staff. He pitched well for the second consecutive year, and seemed to give the Twins lots of hope for the future.

SP Roy Smith 10-6 3.92 ERA 107 ERA+ 1.34 WHIP 4.33 FIP 0.2 PW 10 WS 2.4 WAR
Smith, who was acquired from the Indians in the 1986 Ken Schrom trade, had a few short stints with the Twins between 1986 and 1988. The 27-year-old finally got the chance for some regular playing time in 1989 and made the most of it. Smith felt he had pitched well enough to earn a regular job, but he was bumped from the rotation late in the season as the Twins made an effort to get a few rookies in the mix. There was some talk that Smith might be the team’s long reliever in 1990, an idea that he was not too fond of.

SP Shane Rawley 5-12 5.21 ERA 80 ERA+ 1.57 WHIP 4.77 FIP -1.6 PW 3 WS 0.2 WAR
The Twins tried to get some value from the Tom Herr debacle by making the unhappy infielder the centerpiece of a deal to bring Shane Rawley to the pitching staff. The 33-year-old left-hander had some good seasons with Philadephia, the best of which came during the hitter-friendly year of 1987. He seemed to be struggling in 1988 with an 8-16 record. While conventional wisdom generally chalked that record up to bad look, Rawley’s underlying numbers suggest that 8-16 was probably about right for how well he pitched. He had almost an identical season for the Twins in 1989, and it became clear that Rawley’s problem was not bad luck, but that he just wasn’t that great of a pitcher at this stage of his career. He never returned to the major leagues after 1989.

SP Rick Aguilera 3-5 3.21 ERA 130 ERA+ 1.16 WHIP 2.83 FIP 0.7 PW 5 WS 1.5 WAR
Aguilera was the most well-known of the players the Twins received in the Viola trade thanks to his post season experience in 1986. With just Aggie alone, the trade already seemed to be paying dividends for the Twins by the end of the 1989 season:

Aggie w/Twins 11 GS 75.2 IP 3-5 3.21 ERA 130 ERA+ 17 BB 57 K
Viola w/Mets 12 GS 85.1 IP 5-5 3.38 ERA 98 ERA+ 27 BB 73 K

SP Mike Dyer 4-7 4.82 ERA 87 ERA+ 1.56 WHIP 3.73 FIP -0.9 PW 2 WS 0.0 WAR
The Twins drafted Dyer in the fourth round of the 1986 draft. He made his major league debut in 1989. In his only season with the Twins, Dyer was used primarily as a starting pitcher. His most successful seasons, from 1994-1996 with Pittsburgh and Montreal, Dyer was primarily a relief pitcher.

CL Jeff Reardon 5-4 4.07 ERA 103 ERA+ 1.10 WHIP 3.54 FIP 0.2 PW 11 WS 1.0 WAR
“The Terminator’s” last year with the Twins was, quality-wise, an awful lot like his first (1987). Like 1987, he struggled early on. Reardon’s fastball did not seem to have its usual velocity for the first two months of the season. Once he regained his regular velocity, things went much better. Reardon pitched well down the stretch and ended with what looks like a league-average season for a closer. Reardon left after the season as a free agent and signed with the Boston Red Sox. He had one great year with the Twins (1988), but will always be remembered as one of the last pieces to fit into place for the 1987 World Series run.

RP Juan Berenguer 9-3 3.48 ERA 120 ERA+ 1.35 WHIP 3.74 FIP 0.8 PW 9 WS 1.2 WAR
On May 27, the Twins and the Texas Rangers exchanged pleasantries on the field in a game that included several brush back pitches. At the center of the issue was Juan Berenguer, who threw one pitch four feet over the head of Texas shortstop Scott Fletcher. After hearing that manager Bobby Valentine made some comments about Berenguer’s pitch, Juan responded:

He thinks he is a smart manager, but he is dumb. That pitch was not that close. Next time, it might be closer.

RP Gary Wayne 3-4 3.30 ERA 127 ERA+ 1.28 WHIP 3.90 FIP 0.6 PW 6 WS 0.9 WAR
Wayne was originally drafted by the Expos in 1984, but the Twins grabbed him in the rule V draft following the 1988 season. He pitched very well as a left-handed specialist in 60 appearances with the Twins.


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