Minnesota Twins: 2022 Quarter-Season Grades for the Twins Rotation

Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Joe Ryan delivers a pitch against the Houston Astros. (Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports)
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Joe Ryan delivers a pitch against the Houston Astros. (Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Minnesota Twins are now officially a little over a quarter through the season, with the team playing it’s 43rd game of the season yesterday. The team is 27-16, 5.5 games above the Chicago White Sox in the American League Central, and just three games behind the New York Yankees for the best record in the American League (and all of baseball).

With that in mind, it’s time once again to stop and grade the individual players on how they’ve performed over the course of the season so far and take a look at how they earned that grade. We started off with the hitters yesterday and continue with the rotation today.

We grade the Minnesota Twins rotation on their 2022 performances.

In order to qualify for a grade, a pitcher needs to have made at least three starts (Josh Winder has three starts but seven appearances, so we included him here), so for the purposes of this, Devin Smeltzer just misses the cut (Smeltzer will make his third tomorrow). With that in mind, there’s still seven pitchers to cover, so let’s get after it.

Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins Sonny Gray delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Oakland Athletics. (Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports) /

Minnesota Twins Rotation Grades

Joe Ryan

Following up an impressive five start debut in 2022, Joe Ryan has been fantastic for the Twins to start the year. Through his first eight starts, here’s Ryan’s line:

  • 8 GS, 43.1 IP, 5-2 W-L, 2.28 ERA (3.26 FIP), 42-14 K-BB, 0.992 WHIP

That’s ace level production, and he’s currently on pace to win 19 games. Sure, he’s walking more batters than he should, and he’s not getting as many strikeouts as he did last year, but he’s been the Twins’ best starter through the first quarter of the year. That Nelson Cruz trade looks better and better. Grade: A.

Sonny Gray

Sonny Gray has essentially completely flipped his season around after returning from his injury, dominating batters and dropping his ERA from 5.68 (7.07 FIP) after two starts to the current numbers: 2.60 (3.09 FIP).

His K/9 rate (11.3) is the best of the rotation by far, and the Twins have won each of his last four starts. If he can stay healthy, the Twins have their best 1-2 starter duo since 2006 Johan Santana/Francisco Liriano. Grade: A.

Bailey Ober

Similar to Sonny Gray, Bailey Ober has had an injury take away from part of his season, but he’s been almost as good as Ryan and Gray have been this season. Sure, he doesn’t rack up strikeouts, but that’s not his style.

He limits walks, and doesn’t give up a lot of fly balls, and gets a lot of grounders and double plays to minimize any hits he gives up. He’s currently sporting a 2.55 ERA (3.29 FIP) and a 20-6 K-BB ratio, and the Twins have won all but one of his starts. There’s been no reason for any of these first three starters to get a grade below A. Grade: A.

Chris Paddack

It’s hard for me to grade Chris Paddack, given that his 2022 and at least part of 2023 are now done, but Paddack was in the middle of a terrific stretch of pitching. Sure, his ERA of 4.03 was a little high, but his other numbers suggest he was doing well.

His 0.8 BB/9 rate and 1.74 FIP rates were the best in the rotation and two of the best on the team, and his 8.1 K/9 rate was steadily going up before his injury. It’s a really a shame we won’t see him pitch again for a while. Grade: B.

Josh Winder

One of the Twins’ top prospects coming into the year, Josh Winder has been solid in his first taste of big league action. His future is still as a starter, but he’s been a swingman so far this year, and he’s performed well in that role, posting a solid 3.68 ERA (4.35 FIP).

He doesn’t strike out a lot of batters, but he doesn’t walk a lot of batters or give up too many hits. Outside of a great start against the Tampa Bay Rays and and another against the Oakland Athletics, he’s been mostly just okay. For the Twins though, that’s all they need from him. Grade: B.

Chris Archer

Chris Archer is the perfect example of how ERA isn’t a reliable stat. He’s currently posting a 3.86 ERA, but all of his underlying stats (as well as the eye test) tells you Archer hasn’t been good in 2022. His FIP is an ugly 5.53, his WHIP is 1.385, and he’s walking batters at a career worst rate of 4.7 BB/9.

He hasn’t been able to improve his command, and Rocco has had to pull him early in every game this season, because he gets way to high in the pitch count and struggle. It’s only a matter of time before his luck runs out. In the meantime, he gets a grade that reflects how he’s actually pitching. Grade: C-.

Dylan Bundy

This is a tougher one to grade. On one hand Dylan Bundy has been clean and efficient in four of his starts, allowing just one run and posting a 15-3 K-BB ratio over 18.1 innings pitched. Unfortunately for him, he’s been awful in his other two starts.

Over 9.2 innings in those other two starts, he’s given up 15 earned runs, 18 hits, five walks, and thrown 158 pitches. It’s weighed down a couple of stat categories (5.14 ERA, 1.321 WHIP, 9.6 H/9), but most of his numbers are still solid (3.95 FIP, 8.0 K/9, 2.3 BB/9). He’s been so good in those other starts though, so he’ll get a passing grade. Grade: C+.

dark. Next. Minnesota Twins: 2022 Quarter-Season Grades for the Twins Hitters