Minnesota Twins Opening Day Projection: The Starting Rotation
By Nate Palmer
Anyone else still a little in shock about how this trade went down? Just me? We all know that Odorizzi isn’t an “ace” or even a “savior” of this staff. He is going to go a long way to strengthening the rotation overall. And for the price of Jermaine Palacios, it still feels like a dream.
Last season was a certain down year for Odorizzi. He logged 143.1 innings with a 4.14 ERA and a worse 5.43 FIP. He did still maintain an 8.0 K/9. By his own admission, Odorizzi spent a lot of last season battling a back injury. He has proven in previous seasons to be able to pitch in a way that his ERA can sit in the mid-3’s. That was a form that Odorizzi seemed to regain in September and October as he went 3-1 in 5 games. His K/9 jumped over 10 and he held a 1.03 ERA in those starts.
Odorizzi is saying that he feels healthy as spring training begins. His performance will become key early on with Santana out. What had to attract the Twins to a trade for Odorizzi is he has always flirted with taking that jump to being a dominant starter. Something exemplified in that five-game stretch to end 2017.
Twins fans may not be rooting for the former Tampa Bay Ray pitcher they had hoped for. There is still a good chance that Odorizzi will be able to be part of a formidable trio of starters as he slides in next to Santana and Berrios. If mid-season all three pitchers hit a groove like they can, that will be a scary group for opposing lineups.