Examining the Minnesota Twins upcoming rotation conundrum
The Minnesota Twins will have some difficult decisions to make toward the end of the month and into the Summer. With two pitchers preparing to rejoin the team soon, somebody will be left out of the rotation.
Ervin Santana and Trevor May are both nearing a return to the Minnesota Twins. May has been stretching himself out during his Minor League rehab stint and Santana should rejoin the rotation sometime in June.
Excluding Fernando Romero, the Twins currently have three starting pitchers consistently getting the job done. Lance Lynn has struggled, which we’ll examine more in-depth later, and needs to show signs of life soon for Minnesota.
The question most Twins fans have is this, who will actually be in the rotation when everybody gets healthy? As you will realize while you read this article, the answer to that question is going to prove to be very complicated. However, Puckett’s Pond is here to at least give it the old puncher’s try and provide some semblance of clarity.
One lock for the rotation
Without question, Kyle Gibson‘s place in the rotation is secure. Gibby has been one of the most consistent starting pitchers and has earned his spot moving forward. The numbers won’t blow you away with Gibson but his output has been consistent since day one.
For the season, Gibson has a 3.96 ERA through his first nine starts. Gibby has managed a career-high 9.9 K/9 to start this season and has 55 strikeouts through 50 innings pitched. Gibby has allowed only four home runs while compiling a 1-2 record to this point of the season.
However, his home/road splits do raise some concern for the Minnesota Twins. Gibson is 1-1 with a 2.61 ERA in 31 innings pitched away from Target Field with a solid 10.7 K/9. However, within the friendly confines of his home ballpark, Gibby has been brutal. He is 0-1 with a ghastly 6.16 ERA and his K/9 drops down to 8.5. Gibson has also surrendered three of his four home runs while starting in Minneapolis.
However, the number that points to this being a minor bump in the road for Gibby is his batting average on balls in play. He has a .185 batting average on balls in play (BAbip) during road starts while his BAbip at home is .393. That number will surely come down as Gibson makes more starts at home. Hitters won’t remain this lucky against him all season and Gibson has shown that he’s an above-average starting pitcher in MLB.
Gibson will surely be in the rotation as this season keeps moving along. However, there are four other spots available, and these are the only two other pitchers who have earned their place in the rotation.