Sep 13, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Phil Hughes (45) throws a pitch against the Chicago White Sox during the third inning in game one of a doubleheader at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Why They’ll Be Better:
To say there are too many reasons to list is not even close to an overstatement. Minnesota got a tremendous year out of Phil Hughes a season ago, and while they don’t need the walk-to-strikeout ratio to remain where it was, he can be expected to be an asset once again. Ervin Santana is a huge addition, and a rebounding Ricky Nolasco is virtually another free agent acquisition. Kyle Gibson should take steps forward and having multiple options for the 5th spot is huge. Putting Alex Meyer into the rotation at some point only raises the bar.
Why They’ll Be Worse:
It’s hard to think of a scenario that the Twins starting rotation could be worse than it was a year ago. Having to cycle through pitchers left and right due to injury, while watching underperformance across the board, 2014 was ugly. Minnesota will need to stay clear of the injury bug, and get the production counted on from those at the top of their rotation. If those things don’t happen, the Twins could unravel quickly.