After an incredible start to the season, things have taken a bit of a step back for the Minnesota Twins. Perhaps its a simple regression to the mean, but the hot start has experienced turbulence and there have been more than a few rough patches -- specifically for pitching.
Minnesota's starting rotation is among the very best in all of baseball, but things start to get a little shaky beyond that. The Twins bullpen started the year strong, but also started the season against the Kansas City Royals. That's hardly a litmus test worth reading into, and since then the results have shown there's still work to be done.
The injury bug has also bitten the Twins more than a few times this season, and the starting rotation is not immune. Both Kenta Maeda and Tyler Mahle were placed on the injured list and the Twins are being forced to get creative in replacing them.
As nerve-wracking a situation as it is, it also presents an opportunity to stress test some of the team's better pitching prospects in the Bigs.
Both Louie Varland and Bailey Ober got the call to actually replace Mahle and Maeda in the rotation, but the buck shouldn't stop with them.
If either of them struggles, the Twins have a few different options in the minors they can lean on to both fill the gap and also see what they have in some top prospects.