Minnesota Twins: 5 bold predictions for the Twins this offseason
By Chris Schad
The Twins will lose three starters from last year’s rotation
While Gibson will be brought back, the same can’t be said for the other three impending free-agent pitchers. Jake Odorizzi, Michael Pineda and Martin Perez will all hit the market after the World Series concludes and with the Twins wanting to make an upgrade in their rotation, it’s unlikely they’ll keep ramming their head against the wall hoping things will magically get better.
For Perez’s departure, the writing seemed to be on the wall as he went into a tailspin after his sterling start to the season. After going 7-1 with a 2.95 ERA in his first 11 appearances (eight starts), Perez came back down to earth with a 3-6 record and 6.29 ERA in his final 21 starts. That finish left him off the ALDS roster and it seems like he’ll be looking for work somewhere else.
That leaves Pineda and Odorizzi, who were two of the Twins’ most effective pitchers last season. While Odorizzi appeared to be one of pitching coach Wes Johnson’s finest examples of work in the early part of the season (9-2, 1.92 ERA in first 13 starts), he regressed to the pitcher he was before Johnson’s arrival in the second half going 6-5 with a 4.77 ERA in his final 17 starts.
Odds are Odorizzi is going to get paid for his first-half performance, but Minnesota could probably spend that money elsewhere for a better upgrade.
Pineda’s situation is a little more in flux. The right-hander’s best work came after May (9-3, 3.46 ERA) and appeared to be a key part in the Twins’ postseason rotation until he was slapped with a 60-game suspension for violating MLB’s performance-enhancing drugs policy. At this point, trust could be an issue with Pineda, which might lead the Twins to go elsewhere considering he’ll miss the first month of next season due to the suspension.
With all three pitchers having warts, the Twins rotation is due for a serious overhaul, which should lead to some activity in free agency.