Minnesota Twins: Critical year for Phil Hughes

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TORONTO, CANADA - AUGUST 4: Phil Hughes
TORONTO, CANADA - AUGUST 4: Phil Hughes /
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The Minnesota Twins have playoff aspirations in 2108 and the starting rotation will be at the forefront. For this team to reach those lofty goals it will be all “arms” on deck and a former ace is at the forefront.

One name to keep a close eye on for Minnesota Twins fans this Spring is Phil Hughes. Health has been an issue for Hughes throughout his career, but right now he’s healthy and ready to go. The Twins need pitching and a heathy Hughes will help fill the void.

Hughes has the potential to be a game changer for the Twins if healthy, and with Ervin Santana on the shelf this staff needs all the help they can get. They acquired Jake Odorizzi over the weekend, and combined with Jose Berrios, Minnesota will have a respectable rotation when Santana is healthy.

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What impact could Hughes have for the Twins?

The Minnesota Twins gained valuable playoff experience in 2017 with Hughes on the disabled list. However, he has plenty of postseason experience appearing in 18 career postseason games and starting five, while playing for the New York Yankees.

The problem for Hughes has been his inability to stay healthy over the last two seasons. He combined to start 57 games during his first two seasons with Minnesota. However, Hughes has managed only 20 starts over the previous two years. The Twins will need a healthy Hughes in order to achieve their goals.

He hasn’t shown much on the mound since 2015, but most of that can be attributed to his health. He has shown during his career that he can be an above average starting pitcher. Santana should only miss a few weeks of the regular season, and having Hughes in the rotation will help set the Twins up for success.

Next: Should the Twins offer an extension to Joe Mauer?

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