Minnesota Twins: Five Bold Predictions for 2016

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Jun 19, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins left fielder Eduardo Escobar (5), center fielder Byron Buxton (25), and left fielder Eddie Rosario (20) jump up and celebrate after beating the Chicago Cubs at Target Field. The Twins won 7-2. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 19, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins left fielder Eduardo Escobar (5), center fielder Byron Buxton (25), and left fielder Eddie Rosario (20) jump up and celebrate after beating the Chicago Cubs at Target Field. The Twins won 7-2. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Sep 14, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Tyler Duffey (56) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 14, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Tyler Duffey (56) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /

THE ROTATION WILL BE GOOD, NOT GREAT, BUT BETTER

There were some serious signs of improvement for the Twins’ rotation last season. The ERA went down but the strikeouts were still not there.

These numbers are sure to improve. No more Mike Pelfrey, a full season with Ervin Santana and the soon-to-be emergence of Jose Berrios will all play into the Twins’ rotation taking a leap forward.

Santana had a rough set of outings during his shortened seasons but really came along in the final month as he found his stride. With a full Spring Training and, hopefully, a shorter gap than 80 games between the spring and his regular season debut, Santana should be ready to go.

Another plus for the Twins will be a full season of Tyler Duffey in the rotation. Duffey played an integral part in the Twins’ race for a postseason berth as he added some much needed stability to the staff.

With Berrios potentially being added to the rotation, Phil Hughes looking strong so far this spring after an injury-plagued season and Kyle Gibson looking to improve on his exceptional 2015 season, the Twins’ rotation may continue its upward trend.

Strikeouts, however, are still elusive. Duffey and Gibson both have the “stuff” to become strikeout pitchers but until they show they can be capable of that; the Twins will look to some of their veteran staffers to do so.

Next: The Bullpen

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