Minnesota Twins: A bounce back opportunity against the Reds

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 25: Manager Paul Molitor
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 25: Manager Paul Molitor /

With seven straight losses, the Minnesota Twins NEED to get things going in a positive direction.

The Minnesota Twins bullpen has been hemorrhaging runs over the last week. I’m sure I’m not the first person to say this, however, I’m glad that series with the New York Yankees is over. After dropping three straight games to lowly Tampa Bay Rays over the weekend, the Twins followed it up with a pitiful four-game series against the Yankees.

However, the Twins welcome the Cincinnati Reds to Target Field for a three-game set beginning on Friday, and that is a very good thing. Cincinnati will help a lot of teams break out slumps this season and Minnesota needs to capitalize over the weekend.

Probable Starters:

April 27th: Luis Castillo (1-3, 6.51 ERA) vs Phil Hughes (0-0, 5.40 ERA)

April 28th: Sal Romano (1-2, 4.78 ERA) vs Jake Odorizzi (1-2, 4.50 ERA)

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April 29th: Tyler Mahle (1-1, 4.50 ERA) vs José Berríos (2-2, 2.84 ERA)

First and foremost, the Twins have to make sure they can keep Billy Hamilton off of the bases. He has struggled so far during this season and the Twins cannot let him find “it” now. If Hamilton is able to reach bases consistently, he will wreak havoc on the bases and create scoring opportunities for one of the National League’s best hitters

Joey Votto will be a thorn in the pitching staff’s…you know what…all weekend. The quicker we acknowledge that the quicker we can move on. It’s more about how he works the pitcher EVERY at-bat than it is about his stats. He will work this pitching staff over early and often and do his damage regardless.

On the bright side…

Although there may still be hope for Hughes, he needs to step up on Friday night and earn his place in the rotation. However, the matchups on Saturday and Sunday look more favorable.

Odorizzi is another pitcher who needs step up during his start on Saturday. The Twins squandered a six-inning gem from Kyle Gibson last night, and the bullpen is the main issue. However, Odorizzi has been bad to start the 2018 season and has already surrendered six home runs in only 26 innings pitched. It is time for him to deliver for Minnesota, and inspire some confidence.

Berríos takes the hill and Sunday and that’s always a great thing for Twins fans. The 22-year-old phenom has taken Major League Baseball by storm and the Twins fans are lucky to witness his emergence. Berríos has blossomed into a legit stud pitcher, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for the Minnesota Twins.

Next: What should the Twins do with Phil Hughes?

This is the series for the Twins to get back in the win column of few times. They dominate the pitching matchups against the Reds and this should be a confidence boost for the entire team.