Minnesota Twins: Were the Twins better off without Craig Kimbrel & Dallas Keuchel?
By Chris Schad
How the Twins have turned out
With both pitchers having different impacts on their new team, where does this leaves the Twins?
In the case of Kimbrel, Minnesota may have dodged a bullet by not offering the long-term deal he was seeking. While the Twins did have a full-blown struggle in the bullpen as the trade deadline approached, things stabilized when Minnesota brought in Romo at the trade deadline and even as they whiffed on their second big acquisition, Sam Dyson.
To make up for the Dyson gaffe, several other relievers have stepped up including Trevor May (who is holding batters to a .113 average since Aug. 1), Zack Littell (1.01 ERA in his past 23 games) and Tyler Duffey (career-low 2.39 ERA in 2019).
With the addition of exciting pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol, the Twins also have a star in the making in closer Taylor Rogers, which has nullified the need to bring in someone like Kimbrel.
When it comes to Keuchel, the Twins may be wishing they were a little more aggressive. Shortly after Keuchel went to the Braves, Minnesota’s starting rotation began to go the way of their bullpen. Odorizzi and Berrios both hit a wall in the month of August, while Gibson (5.44 ERA since June 7) and Perez (5.77 ERA since June 7) have seen their performance decline greatly.
Mix in the 60-game suspension of Pineda and the Twins are looking to piece together their starting rotation for the postseason like a box of random Legos.
The good news is that Twins could still bring in Keuchel, but it won’t be until his impending free-agency next season. With everyone except for Berrios a free agent after 2019, Keuchel could be a solid addition for Minnesota in 2020. However, that will not help the Twins if they come up short in October.