Minnesota Twins: This May Be The Pitching Staff We’ve Been Waiting For
The Twins pitching staff was sub par in 2016. With a hot start in 2017, it seems as if it may be a strong point. Is it the staff they have been waiting for?
Twins fans have been here before. The season starts out promising. The bats are hot, the rotation is working and then all of the sudden, the bottom drops out. It sure feels that way since after such a fast 4-0 start the Twins now find themselves at 7-8 after being swept by the division favorite, and World Series runner-up Cleveland Indians.
As easy as it is to be discouraged by the seeming fall from grace, as fans we shouldn’t panic. There are offensive issues, sure. But the bright spot for the 2017 Twins has been, without a doubt, the pitching rotation.
Reasons for optimism
Ervin Santana wowed not only Twins fans but baseball fans everywhere with his one hit, complete game shut out against the White Sox almost a week ago. After that performance he is perfect on the season at 3-0 with 0.64 ERA, a number Twins fans can definitely live with. Unfortunately, due to Wednesday’s rain out against the Indians, we aren’t slated to see Santana again until April 25th against the Rangers.
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On the other side of the rotation, Brandon Kintzler seems to be the answer the Twins have been looking for in the closer role. He’s managed to hold opponents to only 3 hits and no runs through 6 innings pitched for an impressive 0.00 ERA on the season. With Glen Perkins still rehabbing from last year’s shoulder surgery it looks like Paul Moliter is going to have some big decisions to make in the future as long as Kintzler can stay healthy.
Of course, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Phil Hughes and Kyle Gibson have ERAs of 5.40 and 6.91 respectively and have given up 18 hits apiece on the season so far. Obviously, those numbers are a concern if this rotation is going to be something that the Twins can rely on as the season drags on.
The need to stay healthy and keep momentum
And, as always, the wild card is going to be health. There are already three pitchers on the 60-day disabled list including Trevor May who is out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. The Twins have to be hoping the rest of the rotation can stay healthy going forward.
Next: No Reason To Panic About Buxton
The 2016 season felt like a nightmare for Twins fans. 2017 was starting out with such promise but here we are again, last in the division with a record below .500. Offensively, things need to turn around. But so far in this young season, the rotation has been exactly what the team and the fans have been waiting and hoping for. Let’s hope Moliter and the staff can keep it going.