Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Add one pitcher, subtract one pitcher

A bit more than a week ago, in discussing the dominance of Jose Berrios in his first major league start of 2017, I noted in the Monday print column that the Twins had two veteran starters who were pitching quite well (Erivin Santana  and Hector Santiago) and one pitching acceptably (Phil Hughes). Berrios, optimistically, deepens the rotation:

That's the optimistic take, and it assumes not only that Berrios is suddenly a solid major league starter but that none of the Santana-Santiago-Berrios-Hughes combo gets hurt. That's ... unlikely.

Berrios was even better the second time out. But Hughes has since spluttered and gone on the disabled list.

Aldaberto Mejia, who opened the season as the fifth starter but didn't fare well with inconsistent work, returned for the second game of Sunday's doubleheader and got the job done: Seven innings, three runs. Do that every start, you're gonna make a lot of money, kid. He was immediately shipped back out as the Twns gamed their roster, but he figures to be back real soon.

Kyle Gibson started Monday and was SOG -- Same Old Gibson. He managed to both worsen a horrid ERA on the season (from 8.20 to 8.62)  and get the credit for the win. Twelve runs of support can cover a multitude of sins, and Gibson had a multitude to cover. Eighty-six pitches and just 48 for strikes?

Not that he's the sterotypical Twins strike-thrower;

Santana-Santiago-Berrios does not add up to a five-man rotation. I'm not sure at this point that inserting Gibson brings them to four, but that appears to be the short-term intent for lack of a better idea.

We don't know how badly Hughes is injured or even what the injury is. No matter what, he's out of the picture for at least eight more days. Presumably Mejia will get called up again for Saturday's start, although it's possible that they might try to get through with a bullpen game if they don't have to take innings from Adam Wilk and Justin Haley between now and then. If couse, if they do that, the 'pen is vulnerable going into another Gibson start on Sunday.

Bottom line:

  • Gibson may be at a career crossroads
  • Berrios' emergence hasn't really deepened the rotation after all
  • We're gonna see a lot of roster juggling this summer.


  1. What would it take for Tyler Duffey to get a start? He earned the 5th starter job in spring training but was passed up anyway. He has pitched well in relief. What did he do to piss them off?

  2. Maybe nothing. Quality is needed in the pen too!

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