Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The status of the rotation

Safe to say Stephen Gonsalves' debut didn't go so well. He got just six outs and had difficulty with his location.

I hadn't seen him pitch before and was struck by the conclusion of his delivery, which seems almost nonchalant. He certainly doesn't look like a max-effort pitcher, which is a positive.

Anyway. one poor start does not define him as a pitcher. I expect to see him again and again. His track record in the minors is good, certainly better than that of Kohl Stewart.

So .. Ervin Santana and Aldaberto Mejia are on the DL, and I'm no longer expecting either to return this season. Aaron Slegers is also on the DL, and he apparently expects to return, although I'm not sure what his timeline might be. He's been out a while, and  he's unikely to be ready to throw 100 pitches when he returns.

Right now, the rotation has Jose Berrios, Kyle Gibson and Jake Odorizzi plus the rookie callups, Stewart and Gonsalves. Behind them, presumably, are Fernando Romero and Zack Littell, currently at Triple A Rochester. And a pair of stealth candidates to be called up are Lewis Thorpe and Chase De Jong, who are already on the 40-man roster but have spent most of 2018 at Double A (De Jong in the Seattle organization; he came as part of the Zach Duke trade.)

Romero has already pitched more innings this season than in 2017, and I suspect the Twins would prefer to limit his total workload to 150-160 innings. Indeed, innings limitations might be the common thread as the Twins contemplate their September rotation.

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