Minnesota Twins: Projecting the Twins’ potential postseason rotation
By Chris Schad
In the bullpen: Martin Perez
During the course of the regular season, major league teams use a five-man rotation to get through. In a playoff series, each game has extreme importance, meaning that each team must find a way to get their best pitchers on the mound as much as possible. This means that someone on the back end of the rotation will be the odd man out.
If the postseason started today, that would be Martin Perez. The left-hander started the season as one of Johnson’s best reclamation projects starting the season with a 5-0 record with a 7-1 record and 2.95 ERA in his first 11 appearances (eight starts). Since Perez’s loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on May 30, the script has been flipped with Perez owning a 2-4 record and 5.67 ERA in 15 starts.
One of the key factors in his decline has been his reliance on his cutter, which has been thrown at a 31.7% clip. According to FanGraphs, that’s Perez’s second most used pitch. While he used it to perfection in the early portion of the season, FanGraph’s Dan Szymborski noted that a drop in velocity and movement has rendered the pitch useless.
The good news is that Perez has been better in his past three starts, allowing four earned runs in his past 17 innings, but the cratering of his game may leave him suited for the bullpen, where the Twins currently have just one left-hander in Taylor Rogers.