Examining the Minnesota Twins upcoming rotation conundrum

jgeigerii
ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 11: Manager Paul Molitor #4 of the Minnesota Twins looks on as starting pitcher Lance Lynn #31 is checked by medical staff during the third inning of the game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on May 11, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 11: Manager Paul Molitor #4 of the Minnesota Twins looks on as starting pitcher Lance Lynn #31 is checked by medical staff during the third inning of the game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on May 11, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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Stephen Gonsalves

The future of the Minnesota Twins rotation is extremely bright. Fernando Romero is currently at the head of the line, but Stephen Gonsalves isn’t far behind. Ranked third in the Twins Minor League system, Gonsalves has excelled throughout his Minor League career.

The 23-year-old left-handed prospect is currently pitching for the Twins Triple-A affiliate the Rochester Red Wings. He doesn’t have the same “raw stuff” that Romero possesses, however, his future is just as bright. Gonsalves has four starts and 21 1/3 innings pitched since arriving in Triple-A during this season. He has a 1.77 ERA and a 3.00 K/BB ratio to go along with a very good 0.984 WHIP.

Gonsalves has the best chance to see time in the Majors of any pitching prospect in the Twins system. We’ve seen what Romero can do in MLB and soon Gonsalves will be joining him.

Zack Littell

Zack Littell is ranked 15th in the Twins Minor League system, per MLB Pipeline, and has a bright future ahead of him. The 22-year-old right-handed starter is enjoying his second stint in the Twins system and is knocking on the door of MLB.

He throws a low-90’s fastball with two above-average secondary pitches and has had consistent success in the Minors. Littell split time between the Twins and the New York Yankees system last season and finished with an impressive 19-1 cumulative record.

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Littell has 23 innings pitched across four appearances, three starts, for Triple-A Rochester during this season. With a 3.00 K/BB ratio and a 1.00 WHIP to go along with a 2.05 ERA, Littell looks ready for the next level.

Unfortunately for him, the Minnesota Twins have very solid depth in the rotation so he may have to wait until next season to get his chance. However, the Twins bullpen is currently a mess. Because of this, there’s always the possibility that Littell can come in and have an impact in that regard.

However, this isn’t the season that Littell makes his true impact in MLB. There are too many pitchers ahead of him in the pecking order so Littell will need to bide his time. In the meantime, Twins fans should feel pretty confident about the future of this team’s pitching staff.

Aaron Slegers

Aaron Slegers made his MLB debut during the 2017 season and it did not go well. He appeared in four games, three starts, and compiled a 6.46 ERA in 15 1/3 innings pitched for the Twins.

However, Slegers has turned the corner to start the 2018 season while pitching with Rochester. He has 50 1/3 innings pitched with a 1.98 ERA and a career-best 4.83 K/BB ratio across eight starts.

Minnesota has weaknesses within the pitching staff and Slegers has the ability to stabilize the situation. However, the Twins currently have a lot of quality arms in front of him in the system. For this reason, if Slegers has an impact during the 2018 season, it will most likely come from out of the bullpen.

Minnesota has plenty of arms capable of getting outs in the Major Leagues with a limited number of starts to go around. This is a great problem for any team in MLB to have, and it will be interesting to see how this all plays out through the course of this season.

Next: Five players the Twins should consider acquirimg

Let us know who you think should be in the Minnesota Twins rotation in the comments section. Also, you can always reach out via Facebook or Twitter. Reach out to me on my personal Twitter account @JohnGeigerII. You can also drop us a line @PuckettsPond and let us know what you think the Twins should do.

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