Minnesota Twins: Which players are free agents this offseason?
By Chris Schad
2019 stats: 11-5, 4.01 ERA, 140 K, 28 BB, 1.15 WHIP in 146 IP
Two years ago, the Twins made a gamble on Michael Pineda and through the first couple of months their gamble appeared to finally pay off. After a rough month of April where he was piggy-backing with Martin Perez to get both pitchers innings, Pineda began to take off at the top of the Twins rotation.
Although he needed a couple of stints on the injured list to manage his workload, the big right-hander was stellar for the Twins. This was especially true from May on as Pineda went 9-3 with a 3.46 ERA in his last 20 starts of the 2019 season.
This kind of performance led many to speculate that Pineda could be the Game 1 starter for the Twins in a potential postseason series, but that didn’t work out that way. As Pineda was attempting to slim down, he took a diuretic that contained a banned substance and was suspended for 60 games, which effectively ended his year a month early.
The suspension complicates things as the Twins would have probably been aggressive in bringing him back for 2020 if he continued pitching the way he had. At this point, the Twins have to evaluate trust issues with Pineda and see if bringing him back to a rotation that has four pitchers slated for free agency is worth another risk.