Minnesota Twins Opening Day Prediction: The 2018 Bullpen

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 28: Manager Paul Molitor
OAKLAND, CA - JULY 28: Manager Paul Molitor /
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Minnesota Twins
DETROIT, MI – JULY 20: Ryan Pressly /

RHP Ryan Pressly

Ryan Pressly may flat out have some of the best stuff in the Twins bullpen. His fastball settles in right around 96 mph and he has a curveball that has good movement and has been marvelled at because of its spin rate. Here we sit in 2018 and Pressly hasn’t quite been able to put everything together to become a successful reliever. Now out of options, this may be his last shot at it with the Twins.

The start of 2017 was a rough season for Pressly. He wound up pitching so poorly that he was sent down to Rochester for a time. In his return and for the second half of the season it did seem that Pressly had figured something out and was able to be productive for the Twins. Pressly pitched in 34.1 innings, had a 2.62 ERA, and an 8.1 K/9.

Those are results, especially at this spot in the bullpen that the Twins would love to see out of Pressly. What is also encouraging about Pressly outside of his strong second half, is even though his season ERA was 4.70. Pressly did have a 3.81 xFIP in 2017. Something that usually points to some possibility that his performance may have actually been a little better than the outcomes it produced. Pressly also had his career best 12.2% swinging strike rate in 2017.

What may be good for Pressly is that the Twins are not relying on him in 2018 to be in a high-leverage role in the 2018 bullpen. If all things break right, to have a pitcher of Pressly’s caliber sitting as your teams sixth best reliever is a pretty great place to be. The flip side is that Pressly could continue to struggle and he is in a different uniform by July.