Thursday, February 13, 2020

Remember Randy Flores? Probably not

I've been building up a rant about how obvious it has become this offseason that Rob Manfred, the commissioner of baseball, doesn't actually like the game. But

  1. I don't really have the energy for it right now and
  2. I think I'll turn it into my Monday print column

Instead ... from the Department of Meaningless Details ... I noticed while double-checking a detail about the 2019 St. Louis Cardinals for my next solitaire Strat-O-Matic project that the scouting director of the Redbirds is one Randy Flores.

Twins fans can be forgiven if they've forgotten Flores. The lefty kicked around pro baseball for 15 years, seeing major league time in seven of them -- but he only had one full season with one major league team. He bounced around, a ping-pong ball on baseball's table.

Minnesota was his last major league team. The Twins picked him up to bolster the bullpen for 2010's playoff push. The stat line shows 11 appearances and 11 outs (3.2 innings) for the Twins and an ERA of 4.91.

As I recall, Ron Gardenhire pretty much gave up on him early in Twins tenure. Gardy brought him in to face a lefty, Flores threw the hitter a fastball, gave up an important run, and Gardy said after the game something along the lines of: I brought him in to spin the ball. If I wanted a fastball, I'd have used a right-hander.

That stuck with me because of the use of "spin the ball" to mean "breaking pitch." That was a new one to me at the time.

Anyway: Flores saw time with three Triple A teams in 2011 and that was it for his pitching career. Now he runs the scouting department for a consistently good organization. And I half-seriously wonder how much of a priority he puts on spinning the ball when evaluating a pitcher.

1 comment:

  1. I'm looking forward to the rant about Rob Manfred. Please post it.