Did the Twins do enough to address their starting rotation?
We’ve been alluding to this throughout the article and now it’s finally here where we talk about the Twins pitching staff. On paper, this looks like a group that improved over the 2019 iteration of the rotation, which was filled by a low-risk flier who had an ERA of 6.22 in 2018 and another pitcher who was battling E-coli and other stomach ailments.
Both Martin Perez and Kyle Gibson are gone and while the Twins didn’t replace them with a free-agent signee, they did fill those holes with Homer Bailey and Rich Hill, who both put up better numbers than their counterparts in 2019.
With the retention of Michael Pineda and Jake Odorizzi, the Twins have five players penciled into their rotation, but Pineda (suspension) and Hill (elbow) won’t be available until later in the season, leaving two spots open.
While training camp battles are more of a football thing, we could see an interesting one play out during spring training. Devin Smeltzer, Lewis Thorpe and Randy Dobnak all had their highs and lows last season and will look to fill those two spots until Pineda and Hill are available. But that begs the question if this trio will be up to the task.
Even with spring training around the corner, there’s still six weeks for the Twins to make a rotation move between now and opening day. While a deal would be jarring in the clubhouse, the Twins are not strangers to such a deal as they acquired Odorizzi in March of 2018.
In a perfect world, the Twins would be able to figure out their staff in short order, but if they run into trouble, they might want to get on the phone and try to make an eleventh-hour deal.