We’re six games into this MLB season — 1/27th of the way through the year — and already everything feels all-too-familiar for a Twins team that will make its home debut Monday afternoon. They will do so in front of a crowd that should be excited to have baseball back but one that is also growing increasingly impatient or apathetic, depending on who you talk to.
It only took a week into the regular season for the starting pitching, thought to be a strength of this team, to appear in disarray again. Ervin Santana’s suspension 10 days ago was a huge blow, but even if Erv was in the rotation right now we’re not sure how much of a difference it would make.
Maybe, instead of being dead last in MLB in starters’ ERA (6.61), just like they were last year (5.06), the Twins would be 27th or so?
Regardless, when Trevor May takes the hill today, he will represent the second starting pitcher this season ushered into the rotation as a replacement from the original plan. First, Mike Pelfrey took Santana’s spot to start the year (and couldn’t hold a 4-0 lead Saturday). Now, May fills in for last year’s big free agent splash, Ricky Nolasco, who is on the disabled list already.
Trotting out new arms is almost as familiar as having starters fail, and the two go hand in hand. Last season, 12 different starters made at least three starts. In 2013, 10 different pitchers made at least eight starts.
Credit the Twins for trying to solve that problem by acquiring Santana. Phil Hughes, Kyle Gibson, Nolasco, Santana and Tommy Milone at least had the potential to give the Twins a chance to win on most nights.
But after years of failure, effort only gets you so far. Results are what really matters, and just one week into the season, they have been far too similar to the patterns of failed years past.