The Minnesota Twins bullpen is one of the deepest in the league and it’s time for fans to start noticing. It may be what carries them deep into the playoffs.
Back in 2011, the Atlanta Braves were notorious for their “three-headed monster” trio composing of Eric O’Flaherty, Jonny Venters, and Craig Kimbrel. The Minnesota Twins bullpen may not be as notorious as that trio, but they may have a “four-headed monster” in their current bullpen.
The Twins lineup is one of the best in the league. When you have power hitters like Miguel Sano, Eddie Rosario, Nelson Cruz, and Mitch Garver it is easy to overlook the bullpen. However, I do believe the bullpen deserves more recognition as one of the best in the league – and for good reason.
In the 28.2 innings that Tyler Duffey, Tyler Cippard, Matt Wisler, and Sergio Romo have pitched, they have only given up 5 earned runs. Maybe even more impressive is their sheer dominance over hitters in that time span. In those 28.2 innings, those four relievers have only walked 8 batters while striking out 34, good for a nearly 4:1 strikeout to walk ratio.
Looking at some of the other members of the Minnesota Twins Bullpen
The funny part about those four pitchers is that I don’t believe that they are even Minnesota’s best relievers. Taylor Rogers was banged up in a couple games, which inflated his ERA to above 5 in the small sample size. However, his 11.37 K/9 and his 0 walks in his 6.1 innings of pitching should be a positive sign that the closer will be just fine going forward.
I also really like what I’ve seen from Jorge Alcala in his small sample size. Alcala, who is only 25 years old, has pitched less than 10 innings in the majors but boasts nice upside potential. He has a fastball that tops out around 97-98 mph and I like his slider as well. If he can keep the walks down, he will continue to be a solid 6th and 7th inning guy.
One of the few relievers I am worried about is Trevor May. May has been solid thus far, and even has a save under his belt, but he has changed up his pitch mix quite a bit. It’s 7 innings into the season, but he is using his fastball less (55.4% compared to his career 60.7% mark) and his slider a lot more (31.5% compared to his 10% career mark). His numbers are down from 2020, and it may be a result of that.
Hats Off to the Bullpen
Minnesota Twins fans have to feel good about the bullpen moving forward. It’s great seeing the hitting move along as expected, but having that solid bullpen (especially in a shortened season where every game matters) is all the more important.
The starting pitching has been wobbly to start the season, and that may be due to a couple of injuries to the starters has also hurt early on. However. all eyes will be on the Twins hitters, but fans should also be confident that if they can get ahead late in games that the lead is in good hands.