A couple new pitchers made their Twins debuts over the weekend. Ron Mahay, a lefty acquired from the Royals, debuted on Saturday, and yesterday Jon Rauch got his first win as a Twin in his debut.
Let’s start with the lesser of the two. Ron Mahay has had kind of a rough year, with a 5.71 FIP and only a 39.6 GB%. He has a 7.5 K/9, but he’s not exactly the type of guy you’d bring in to get a strikeout, as he doesn’t have great stuff. His fastball has been terrible this year, as has his changeup. About all I can say is that he can be another guy to get lefties out along with Jose Mijares.
Jon Rauch doesn’t strike a ton of guys out (probably because his fastball doesn’t break a lot) , but he has always had success, with a career 4.04 FIP. His fastball has always gotten results (career 14.2 RAA) and although it has been a bit worse this year, it is still a dependable pitch. Looking at his pitch f/x, Rauch gets the majority of swinging strikes on pitches down in the zone. This is very interesting because it is a generally accepted rule that the higher pitches in the zone the greater the whiff rate and the lower the higher the GB rate. Rauch seems to be bucking that trend. Since Rauch is under contract for 2010 the Twins certainly got great value and should have a good bullpen not only for the rest of this year but next year as well.