Minnesota Twins vs AL Central: Starting Pitching

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Aug 5, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Phil Hughes (45) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /

How does the Minnesota Twins’ starting pitching compare to their AL Central competition?

Heading into the 2016 season, the Minnesota Twins, Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox and even reigning World Series champions Kansas City Royals, all have question marks regarding the starting rotation.

Really, the one team that pretty much knows what they have going into the season are the Cleveland Indians. And what they have is what the Twins are in desperate need of.

Strikeouts.

It’s a seemingly deep position for the American League Central and one that should be an interesting aspect to watch within the division.

More from Puckett's Pond

Minnesota Twins 2015 Recap

It was no coincidence the Twins improved season also saw a better performance from their starting pitching.

Despite a down year from Phil Hughes, an injury-plagued year from Ricky Nolasco and an 80-game suspension for Ervin Santana, the Twins were able to get solid performances from Kyle Gibson, Tommy Milone and a strong first half from Mike Pelfrey.

Once Santana returned and Tyler Duffey entered the rotation, the Twins found themselves in the hunt for a playoff spot.

Still, there was a big difference between the Twins’ first and second halves of the season. Throughout the first half the Twins had a combined ERA of 3.81 but saw those number bump up to 4.39 in the second half.

That wasn’t all on the starting staff as the bullpen struggled mightily but the hope is that the Twins will get a boost in 2016 from a full season of Santana, a healthy return of Hughes and the continued improvement of Gibson.

Next: The Rest of the AL Central

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