Minnesota Twins: Breaking Down the 2022 AL Central Rivals-Chicago

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Chicago White Sox left fielder Eloy Jimenez and center fielder Luis Robert run in from the outfield in during a spring training game against the Los Angeles Angels. (Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports)
Chicago White Sox left fielder Eloy Jimenez and center fielder Luis Robert run in from the outfield in during a spring training game against the Los Angeles Angels. (Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Minnesota Twins
Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Liam Hendriks pitches against the Houston Astros. (Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports) /

Minnesota Twins: AL Central Rival Projected Rotation and Bullpen

Rotation

  1. Lucas Giolito
  2. Dylan Cease
  3. Michael Kopech
  4. Dallas Keuchel
  5. Vince Velasquez

Bullpen

  • Liam Hendriks
  • Kendall Graveman
  • Aaron Bummer
  • Joe Kelly
  • Ryan Burr
  • Jose Ruiz
  • Bennett Sousa
  • Reynaldo Lopez
  • Matt Foster
  • Kyle Crick

When this team gets healthy Lance Lynn slots in as the second starter in the rotation, this team has what is probably the best pitching staff in the division. Lucas Giolito is a sure-fire ace, Lance Lynn would be an ace in most rotations, Dylan Cease is poised for a big year and taking the next step last year.

Michael Kopech has always had frontline potential, even though he’s very unproven. He’ll need to show his stuff right away with Lynn out. Dallas Keuchel is better than he showed last year, and Johnny Cueto or Vince Velasquez are solid back of the rotation guys while everyone heals up.

The bullpen is somehow stronger than last year, despite losing two very good relievers. Liam Hendriks is one of the best closers in baseball, and Graveman, Bummer, Kelly (once healthy), and Burr are a strong group in front of him. With that being said, losing Garrett Crochet for the year hurts. Here’s Parise’s thoughts on the team’s arms:

"The teams biggest strength is its pitching when healthy. That was proven in 2021 and a lot of these guys will be another year better. The only pitching hole is the “long reliever” that was going to be Garrett Crochet. They will eat his innings by committee now that Michael Kopech is in the rotation."

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