Minnesota Twins Opening Day Projection: The Starting Rotation
By Nate Palmer
As we think back to discussing Berrios, it seems we learned something about the Twins front office in their dealing with him in 2017. For pitchers who are identified as key prospects, this front office doesn’t want to mess around with sending them up and down several times. If they call a top prospect up, something has likely signalled that that prospect is ready for the majors.
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That opens the door for another young starter, 24-year-old Adalberto Mejia. It often has seemed like Mejia may have the stuff to be a good starting pitcher in the majors. He has failed to put it all together in a way that keeps him at the major league level. In 2017, Mejia went 4-7 with the Twins with a 4.50 ERA over 98 innings. Like Hughes, nothing that makes anyone too excited but potentially enough there to be a solid fifth starter.
Now, this spot may not even be filled come opening day. The way the Twins schedule opens up they might be able to proceed with a four-man rotation instead of five. It seems there could be a scenario where Mejia is still brought as part of the bullpen group and him and Hughes essentially become 4a and 4b starters. The Twins could assemble the two of them to make one pitcher.
Next: Minnesota Twins Projection: The Bench
When looking at the season from a big picture perspective, this fifth rotation spot really looks like it will be someone else’s by midseason. To start 2018, Hughes and Mejia would likely be keeping the seat warm for one of the young top pitching prospects in Stephen Gonsalves, Fernando Romero, or even Aaron Slegers or Zack Littell.