The Minnesota Twins are just 22 days away from spring training. As we celebrate the end of the blustery temps and the return of the game we love, let’s look at team history surrounding that number.
The Minnesota Twins are preparing for a 2018 season with expectations after making the playoffs in 2017 as a Wild Card. We will have bring out numbers from team history that represent the number of days until spring training from now until pitchers and catchers report on February 13th.
Some pitchers put up incredible ERA numbers, some pitchers put up incredible strikeout numbers, and some pitchers simply put up consistent numbers year-after-year to create their value over time. One of the best examples of that model is Twins Hall of Fame starter Brad Radke, who wore #22.
Radke’s Twins career
The Minnesota Twins drafted Radke out of Florida high school in the5th round of the 1991 draft. Many would be surprised to find out that Radke had nearly a strikeout per inning in his first pro experience in 1991, striking out 46 with the GCL Twins in 49 2/3 innings in 1991.
He spent all of 1992 at low-A Kenosha before pitching through both high-A and AA in 1993. Radke struggled at the AA level in 1993, but he returned and was tremendous is 1994 at the same level.
The Twins brought up Radke from day 1 of 1995, and the rookie pitched to a 5.32 ERA over 181 innings. He would never again have an ERA over 5.
It would also be the last time he’d throw less than 200 innings for six seasons. He posted just a 4.13 ERA and 118 ERA+ during that time, but he did average 34 starts and 226 innings per season over those years in tough years for the organization to find any consistency, in the rotation, bullpen, or lineup.
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Radke got his most national recognition in 1997 due to getting 20 wins on a 94-loss team. He had a 3.87 ERA and 239 2/3 innings with 174 strikeouts on the season. The innings and strikeouts were career highs for Radke, but he would beat the ERA twice over his career.
In 2002, Radke first faced his major issue with his shoulder, missing part of the season, though he still made 21 starts that season, tossing 118 1/3 innings. He returned in 2003 and started another 200-inning season streak.
While Radke pitched to a 148-139 record over his career, he averaged 221 innings per season and pitched to a 113 ERA+ over his career. Radke was also a quality pitcher in the playoffs for the Twins, throwing 35 innings over 6 postseason starts, with a 3.60 ERA and 1.29 WHIP.
Radke decorates the Twins pitching career leaderboard:
- 1st in Opening Day starts
- 2nd in games started, bWAR
- 3rd in wins, innings pitched, strikeouts
- 4th in lowest walk rate
Radke was elected to the Twins Hall of Fame in 2009.
For 22 days to spring training, we’ll remember one of the most consistent, underrated pitchers in the team’s history, Brad Radke.
Come soon, spring!!