Examining the current rotation
The Twins’ pitching staff this season received an average score of C+ from Puckett’s Pond earlier in the offseason, and they mostly deserved it. Outside of All-Star performances from Jose Berrios and Jake Odorizzi, the team didn’t even earn that grade. Four out of the five Starters (Berrios, Odorizzi, Kyle Gibson, and Martin Perez) were extremely good in the first half, but those same four starters were very disappointing in the back half of the season. Berrios will be back, but the question is who else will be?
The Twins will likely attempt to bring back at least two or three of their starters from last year, but Martin Perez not coming back is the only sure thing. Perez’s inability to stop throwing his struggling cutter sunk his season after a hot start. Michael Pineda likely won’t be back as well despite a good second half, as his PED suspension may have upset management. He was very good towards the end, which makes this a tougher call.
Odorizzi presents the easiest decision for the Twins to make. He was easily the best pitcher for the team throughout the year, and was an All-Star for the first time in his career. The Twins liked him enough to trade for him, so his positive showing makes even more reason for the team to go get him back in the offseason. If his pricetag is within reason, the Twins will likely re-sign him.
The toughest call for the team will be Gibson. Gibson has been a member of the Twins for seven seasons now and the team loves him. Year after year, Gibson offers up decent pitching with his best season coming in 2018 when Gibson had a 3.62 ERA and 179 strikeouts.
This year was different in that Gibson had several injuries that really sapped his strength. Even though he did OK analytically, his numbers and performance didn’t look good. I like Gibson, and the Twins do as well, and it’s more than likely that they offer him the league minimum or a minor-league deal with a roster invite to give him one more chance to make it in the rotation.