The Minnesota Twins have lost a lot. As playoff hopes disappear they have the opportunity for young players like Aaron Slegers to gain MLB experience.
The Minnesota Twins have officially hit the point in a disappointing 2018 season where the season can be declared as lost. After losing six straight to two quality playoff teams and eight out of nine on their road trip the Twins are staring right in the face of another 90-loss season. That gives the Twins a low-risk scenario to begin giving some of their young players some major league experience to see what they may have in each of them.
In one of their recent losses, the Twins gave starting pitcher Zack Littell a chance in relief. In that outing Monday, Littell gave up the winning run in the 11th inning after walking Brad Miller which allowed Manny Pina to score. Even though that latest outing didn’t go well there is still plenty of room for Littell to develop and come back to be a fixture in the Twins pitching staff.
Thursday the Twins will turn to another one of their young pitchers, Aaron Slegers, to start against the Baltimore Orioles. The 25-year-old Slegers is likely best known for his height as he stands at 6’10” but eventually the hope is that he will become better known for his pitching.
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Slegers has averaged just about six innings a start and holds a 3.55 ERA at Rochester. That is right on par with how he performed last season at the same level. One major change is that he is missing fewer bats this season as his K/9 has dropped from 7.2 to 5.9. His one outing with the Twins was an improvement over his 2017 taste of the majors.
Slegers came in to relieve Fernando Romero after he had given up eight runs over 1.2 innings. Over 5.1 innings of relief, Slegers went on to allow two runs and six hits. For a 25-year-old pitcher who the Twins are trying to groom into a big league level talent those are some positive signs after Slegers had posted a 6.46 ERA in four games in 2017.
From a big picture standpoint, it is encouraging to see the Twins front office begin to turn to their young and unproven players. The only positive aspect of a losing season is it gives the opportunity to run out these young players and see what they have without fear of what might happen in the standings. Slegers is the latest in what hopefully continues to be a movement in that direction now that the Twins have played themselves out of playoff contention.