Minnesota Twins: How Rich Hill and Homer Bailey help improve the Twins’ rotation

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SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 24: Rich Hill #44 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches during the the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park September 24, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 24: Rich Hill #44 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches during the the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park September 24, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /
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KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – APRIL 08: Starting pitcher Homer Bailey #21 of the Kansas City Royals watches from the dugout in the sixth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Kauffman Stadium on April 08, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – APRIL 08: Starting pitcher Homer Bailey #21 of the Kansas City Royals watches from the dugout in the sixth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Kauffman Stadium on April 08, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

How do Hill & Bailey help the Twins?

All of these numbers are nice, but it’s still tough to tell what this really means when it comes to how this helps the Twins rotation. The Twins are still left without a true ace and with no sign of a trade in sight, it appears that Minnesota will be left with the same “cross your fingers and hope for the best” approach that saw its rotation collapse a year ago.

But believe it or not, the Twins rotation is in a better spot than it was this time last year when you compare this year’s projected version with last year’s version.

                       2019                                                                                                2020
1. Jose Berrios (14-8, 3.68 ERA)                                            1. Jose Berrios
2. Jake Odorizzi (15-7, 3.51 ERA)                                           2. Jake Odorizzi
3. Michael Pineda (11-5, 4.01 ERA)                                      3. Michael Pineda*
4. Kyle Gibson (13-7, 4.84 ERA)                                             4. Homer Bailey (13-9, 4.57 ERA)
5. Martin Perez (10-7, 5.12 ERA)                                          5. Rich Hill (4-1, 2.45 ERA)**
* Serving suspension for first 38 games
** Recovering from elbow surgery, out until at least June

While the Twins still have two holes to fill at the back end of their rotation thanks to suspension and injury, they have many options to do it. The Twins can either go out and trade for a starter to help fill the void and pencil in Hill or Pineda when they are ready to return, or they can use some of their internal options such as Devin Smeltzer (2-2, 3.86 ERA) or Randy Dobnak (2-1, 1.59 ERA) to fill in when needed.

The Twins also have younger options in the lower levels of the system that could rise faster than expected. Brusdar Graterol will likely return to being a starting pitcher after a late-season cameo in the bullpen and fellow prospects Jhoan Duran and Jordan Balazovic will likely begin the season at Double-A Pensacola but aren’t expected to make their major league debut until 2021.

Next. Twins offer Josh Donaldson four-year deal. dark

It’s not the perfect scenario Twins fans dreamed of heading into the winter, but if the Twins are unable to make another move, the rotation is better than it was a year ago and can be improved as needed.

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