Can Jose Berrios take another step forward?
Since the trade deadline, Jose Berrios has been a shell of the pitcher he can be. Although his final start before the deadline saw him hurl seven shutout innings (and 11 strikeouts) against the Miami Marlins, those results haven’t been duplicated as Berrios has 2-3 with a 6.64 ERA since the calendar turned to August.
While those numbers are brutal, Berrios has started to show signs of improvement in his last couple of starts. Although he was victimized by a pair of Mookie Betts home runs in a loss to the Boston Red Sox, the right-hander has started to show signs of his former self including his last start against the Washington Nationals.
In that Sept. 10 outing, Berrios looked confident on the mound and attacked the strike zone throwing 63 of 94 pitches (67%) for strikes and limited the Nationals to just two hits over seven shutout innings. While the strikeout total of four wasn’t spectacular, it’s starts like this is what the Twins need to be successful down the stretch.
With Berrios getting the start on Monday, it’s a chance to build off his recent outings. The White Sox are a great place to start as Berrios has gone 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA against Chicago this season including an Aug. 29 start where he allowed three runs over six innings while striking out eight. If he can come close to duplicating that effort, he could be on the right track to leading this pitching staff.