Minnesota Twins: The Jose Berrios Domino Effect


With the Minnesota Twins calling up Jose Berrios, how will the rotation look moving forward?

So at this point it’s all pure speculation and by this time Thursday, we’ll probably know more but it’s still fun to try and figure out what Jose Berrios’ call-up means for the future of the current staff.

With Ricky Nolasco surprisingly stepping up as the Ace of the staff, Tyler Duffey now up with the club and Phil Hughes still being looked at as a staple of the staff, who will be the odd man (or men) out for the Minnesota Twins?

For now, the choice is simple as Ervin Santana and Kyle Gibson are both on the Disabled List but once they return what will happen?

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I think it’s safe to say that if Tommy Milone’s woes continue, he’ll be out of a rotation spot shortly and could be a bullpen option or a possible trade chip for anyone in need of another starter.

The problem there is how tough it would be to move a guy who has failed to go five innings in three of his four starts while sporting an ERA of 5.40.

So let’s play devil’s advocate and say Berrios is superb for the Twins. Do they risk a Stephen Strasburg or Matt Harvey like situation and let him rip? Or do they cautiously monitor him and eventually shut him down?

The latter seems more likely, regardless of where the Twins find themselves in the playoff race. This would still leave the Twins with Nolasco, Hughes, Duffey, Gibson, Santana and Berrios.

Jul 12, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; World pitcher Jose Berrios throws against the U.S. Team in the first inning during the All Star Futures Game at Great American Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports /

Injuries aside, Santana has done nothing to lose his spot. Duffey only has the one start for the season, so it is still too early to tell. Nolasco has been the best starter thus far and Hughes has been solid with a 3.91 ERA despite a 1-3 record.

That leaves us with Gibson who has been, well, really bad. His 6.10 ERA is the worst among the starting rotation. What’s worse for Gibson is his lack of effectiveness. His only start where he didn’t throw over 100 pitches was Friday’s start when he gave up seven runs over three innings. Prior to that, Gibson had thrown 105 pitches over five innings, 107 over 5 2/3 innings and 102 over seven.

Disappointing, considering Gibson was being touted as more of a strikeout pitcher this season and someone who could potentially be the Ace.

But that is obviously not the case as simply put, Gibson needs to get better to keep his spot. Especially if Duffey and Berrios are looking sharp.

Another option would be to trade away the now effective Nolasco as he could be of some value to teams in need but I don’t believe that would be wise. Pitching is something the Twins certainly should not be gambling with and if he’s doing well, I say keep him.

Perhaps, we are getting a bit ahead of ourselves as it is also possible Berrios could be sent back to Triple-A. It is still too early to tell whether any of these performances will continue but the excitement for Berrios is real and he’ll bring to the Twins the best strikeout pitcher they’ve had since the days of Johan Santana.

Next: Santana, Gibson to the DL

Regardless, this is the future and a staff featuring a rejuvenated Nolasco, a healthy and effective Hughes, a full (sort of) season of Satana, Berrios and Duffey is a staff that should be appealing to the team and fans alike.