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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RHP Tyler Kinley

Up to this point, there has been little question or decision making needed for most of these predictions. That starts to change here. Early on in spring training, I didn’t think that Rule-5 draft selection, Tyler Kinley, would make the Opening Day roster. After some spring training outings, my opinion has changed and it has forced me to make him the seventh member of the Twins bullpen to open 2018.

The Twins selected Kinley this past December from the Miami Marlins in a somewhat controversial decision among Twins fans. It wasn’t necessarily because of Kinley but because of who the Twins lost out of their own organization in that draft in the form of Nick Burdi and Luke Bard. The more and more we are able to see Kinley it begins to make more and more sense.

Over the winter, Kinley participated in the Dominican Winter League where he put together a very impressive showing. He pitched 19 innings and only gave up one earned run for a 0.47 ERA. Kinley hasn’t been quite as flawless in spring training throwing 5.0 innings with a 3.60 ERA and a 10.8 K/9. What is grabbing attention is Kinley’s velocity. It is hard not to drool over a fastball that is sitting 96-99 mph and a slider that hits 90 mph.

The only way it seems this front office leaves Fort Myers with Kinley off of the Opening Day roster is if they complete a trade to keep him. Considering the group they already have in the bullpen, it seems very plausible that they will try to roster this Rule-5 draft pick.