Examining the Minnesota Twins upcoming rotation conundrum
The hype machine was in overdrive following the debut of Twins rookie Fernando Romero. He pitched 16 scoreless innings with 20 strikeouts and nine walks to begin his MLB career. Overall, Romero has provided a boost to the Minnesota Twins rotation. However, the question remains, has Romero done enough to stay in the Majors after everybody gets healthy?
Minnesota has two pitchers currently working their way back on Minor League rehab assignment. One of those players, Ervin Santana, is all but guaranteed a place in the rotation upon his return. Unfortunately, on the field performance will probably have little bearing on deciding Romero’s immediate future in the Twin Cities.
That being said, Romero has done more than enough to warrant more opportunities in MLB. He has had only one “blow up” start, allowing four runs (three earned) against Milwaukee recently and has a 1.66 ERA through his first four MLB starts.
However, we have already covered the three virtual locks for the rotation, leaving only two open slots. As I’ve previously stated, one of those spots will be earmarked for Santana. Although I hate to admit this, it will be difficult for Minnesota to not have the next pitcher on our list in the rotation. Unfortunately, that likely leaves Romero headed back to Triple-A.
Lance Lynn has been abysmal on the mound for the Minnesota Twins far this season. His 2018 season got off to a rocky start as he sat at home waiting for a contract while teams were reporting for Spring Training.
Lynn didn’t sign with the Twins until early March and it appears that missing most of Spring Training has had an immense negative effect on his performance. Lynn pitched 23 1/3 innings with 26 strikeouts and an 8.37 ERA through his first five starts. The real problem for Lynn during that span was his inability to command the baseball.
Lynn walked a mind-blowing 23 batters while coughing up five home runs during that span. The right-hander looked nothing like the pitcher he was during previous seasons for the St. Louis Cardinals. That’s about as bad as a starting pitcher can be through the first month of the season.
He didn’t fare too much better as the calendar flipped to May. He pitched 13 2/3 innings, including a season-low three during his May 16th start, through his first three starts this month. Lynn cut his walks down to only six while striking out 15 but still looked like a wasted investment for the Twins.
However, Lynn showed signs of life during his last start and it couldn’t have happened at a better time. He pitched a season-high 6 2/3 scoreless innings while striking out four and walking only one batter. For the season, Lynn is 2-4 with a 6.34 ERA and a measly 1.5 K/BB ratio in 44 innings pitched.
Lynn will have to show manager Paul Molitor that he belongs in the rotation as we move into the Summer. Minnesota has two starters rejoining the rotation soon and Lynn’s job should be in jeopardy. Let’s take a look at those two pitchers coming off of the DL soon.