Breaking down the Minnesota Twins’ AL Central Rivals: Detroit Tigers
By Otto Johnson
Minnesota Twins Rotation vs. Detroit Tigers Rotation
While the Twins’ rotation greatly improved over the offseason with Kenta Maeda and Homer Bailey serving as upgrades over Kyle Gibson and Martin Perez, the Tigers’ rotation got a little better with Ivan Nova offering a little more stability. This isn’t a very close competition, but let’s get into it anyway.
- Jose Berrios: 14-8, 3.68 ERA, 195 K, All-Star
- Jake Odorizzi: 15-7, 3.51 ERA, 178 K, All-Star
- Kenta Maeda: 10-8, 4.04 ERA, 169 K
- Randy Dobnak: 2-1, 1.59 ERA, 23 K
- Homer Bailey: 13-9, 4.57 ERA, 149 K
- Michael Pineda: 11-5, 4.01 ERA, 140 K (39 Games Remaining on his Suspension)
- Matthew Boyd: 9-12, 4.56 ERA, 238 K
- Jordan Zimmerman: 1-13, 6.91 ERA, 82 K
- Spencer Turnbull: 3-17, 4.61 ERA, 146 K
- Ivan Nova: 11-12, 4.72 ERA, 114 K
- Daniel Norris: 3-13, 4.49 ERA, 125 K
The Twins never got the rest of Spring Training to decide their rotation, but in this competition it doesn’t really matter. Homer Bailey, the Twin’s fifth starter, pitched better than all but one of the Tigers starters, with Matthew Boyd as the only exception. Minnesota finally has a rotation that goes five starters deep.
The Tigers defense and offense are both bad, but that doesn’t give an excuse for the stats that the Tigers rolled out last year. Boyd is a very good pitcher (238 strikeouts is excellent), and although Turnbull and Norris are youngish and former second-round picks, neither has shown much.
The only way that the Tigers outperform the Twins is if Boyd improves and limits homers (likely), Turnbull and Norris live up to their draft pedigree (unlikely), Ivan Nova pitches like he’s in Pittsburgh (very unlikely), and Jordan Zimmerman lives up to his $110 million dollar contract and pitches like it’s 2014 to avoid his contract being the biggest bust ever (nope). Yikes.
Cheer up Tiger fans, Casey Mize and Matt Manning should be here soon. Advantage: Twins
Minnesota Twins Bullpen vs. Detroit Tigers Bullpen
If you were looking for the Tigers to finally gain an advantage, keep looking. As we’ve talked about before, Minnesota has built a deep bullpen and farm system of relievers that it knows how to use. Detroit has not. Let’s get going.
- Trevor May: 64.1 IP, 2.94 ERA, 79 K, 3 SV
- Tyler Duffey: 57.1 IP, 2.50 ERA, 82 K
- Sergio Romo: 60.1 IP, 3.43 ERA, 60 K, 20 SV
- Tyler Clippard: 62 IP, 2.90 ERA, 64 K
- Cody Stashak: 25 IP, 3.24 ERA, 25 K
- Zack Littell: 37.0 IP, 2.68 ERA, 32 K
- Closer-Taylor Rogers: 69 IP, 2.61 ERA, 90 K, 30 SV
- Buck Farmer: 67.2 IP, 3.72 ERA, 73 K
- Gregory Soto: 57.2 IP, 5.77 ERA, 45 K
- Jose Cisnero: 35.1 IP, 4.33 ERA, 40 K
- David McKay: 19.1 IP, 5.59 ERA, 29 K
- Bryan Garcia: 6.2 IP, 12.15 ERA, 7 K
- Hector Santiago: 33.2 IP, 6.68 ERA, 40 K
- Closer-Joe Jimenez: 59.2 IP, 4.37 ERA, 82 K, 9 SV
The Minnesota Twins bullpen is deep and has six players that could help get the ball to the closer without a lot of damage. The Detroit Tigers have one. Buck Farmer is a solid pitcher, but similar to Matthew Boyd, he doesn’t have a lot of help.
Soto, McKay, Garcia, and Jimenez are all under twenty-six, while Farmer (28) and Jose Cisnero (30) aren’t exactly old. This is a young bullpen that could improve, but it isn’t a lockdown group that will help carry this team. Yet again, the Twins take this one. Advantage: Twins.