Minnesota Twins: Can the Twins fix Chris Archer?

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PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 20: Chris Archer #24 of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers a pitch in the first inning during the game against the Washington Nationals at PNC Park on August 20, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 20: Chris Archer #24 of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers a pitch in the first inning during the game against the Washington Nationals at PNC Park on August 20, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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MIAMI, FL – JUNE 14: Chris Archer #24 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the dugout during the game between the Miami Marlins and the Pittsburgh Pirates at Marlins Park on June 14, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL – JUNE 14: Chris Archer #24 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the dugout during the game between the Miami Marlins and the Pittsburgh Pirates at Marlins Park on June 14, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

How can the Twins fix Archer?

The obvious answer here is that the Twins will tell Archer to stop using the sinker and that’s a great idea considering the success he saw in his other pitches. His other two most frequent pitches had much better results as his four-seam fastball (39.9% usage rate) held hitters to a .243 average and .458 slugging percentage and his slider (35.5% usage) was even better with a .233 opponent average and .379 slugging percentage.

While it’s a different situation from starter to reliever, the Twins did the same thing by telling Tyler Duffey to play to his strengths last season. After floundering throughout the first four seasons of his big league career, pitching coach Wes Johnson implored him to use his four-seam fastball (up to 51.4% usage rate in 2019 from 36.7% in 2018) and slider (37.4% in 2019, 7% in 2018) more and it resulted in a career year and a 2.50 ERA.

A similar rebound could happen for Archer in Minnesota. While his overall stats in Pittsburgh have been brutal, his stuff is still good enough to miss bats as evidenced by a 10.8 K/9 rate and a 30.1% chase rate.

Those numbers are good enough to fit a team philosophy more in line with the rest of Major League Baseball by opting to rack up strikeouts rather than pitching to contact.

* Duffey’s usage stats according to Baseball Savant

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