Sep 27, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco (47) pitches in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Establish A Third Starter
We looked at the amount of benefit this provides just under a week ago, and there’s no other way to quantify it than by saying it’s huge. If you can send a pitcher to the mound that allows you to be capable of winning 3/5 of the games you play, you are going to be in a very good situation.
Last season, the Twins leaned heavily on their ace Phil Hughes. Unfortunately there wasn’t much other than an abyss behind him. That has been addressed this offseason through the signing of Ervin Santana. Looking at both of them, there should be little doubt Minnesota has two very quality starters at the top of their rotation.
The key is finding the third guy, and there’s plenty of options. After being tabbed the big signing a year ago, Ricky Nolasco should be expected to bounce back after experience a year pitching through injury. Kyle Gibson is poised for a breakout campaign in which his pitches experience more movement, and he establishes himself as a strong major league starter. Whoever fills out the fifth rotation spot, whether it be Tommy Milone or Alex Meyer, has the ability to be a quality starter as well.
If Minnesota can turn any one pitcher behind Hughes and Santana into another guy that’s a quality workhorse, things will have broken in the right direction.