The Minnesota Twins will look for ways to improve over the offseason, often by adding new players. The Twins may improve with the players they already have.
The Minnesota Twins are in the middle of the rumor mill for several of the big names in free agency and trades this offseason. As the Winter Meetings are approaching, those rumors will hopefully begin to turn into action. If moves are made, those moves will help solidify the Twins as competitors in 2018, but the team will likely improve regardless of any moves made this offseason.
There are several players already on the Twins roster that we should begin to see or continue to see prove themselves as valuable pieces to a winning roster. So whether it is a return from injury or continued growth and maturity as a baseball player, here are several ways the Twins will improve by doing nothing.
As the 2017 season was approaching, the Twins figured that Trevor May would be a major part of their pitching staff. That was until the dreaded diagnosis that May would require Tommy John surgery. While May’s exact role on the 2017 Twins was uncertain at the time of his injury, he no doubt was a key piece in the team’s plans and was now unavailable.
May appears to have recovered and has been rehabbing and again could figure into the Twins plans in 2018. May’s pitching role has been a little unstable as he has bounced between starter and reliever but he has performed well in both roles. His 5.14 career ERA may look a bit ugly at first glance but there are other several encouraging numbers.
In 2016 when May was used primarily as a reliever, his ERA finished at 5.27. His FIP and xFIP tell a much different story as they were 3.80 and 3.47 respectively. May also finished with a 12.66 SO/9 and a 13.2% swinging strike rate. As a starter, some of those strikeout numbers decrease but over May’s career, he has held a FIP and xFIP lower than his ERA.
Due to May’s injury history with his back as well as arm, it may be best to move him back into the starting rotation. That way always able to warm up properly and will never feel rushed in order to get into an inning that has quickly gone south. In either role, he becomes one of the best pitchers for the Twins if he is able to regain his pre-Tommy John form. As a starter, he likely settles in right behind Ervin Santana and Jose Berrios and a reliever he currently would challenge for the best relief arm the Twins have.