It was fashionable before the 2013 season to rip the Twins for signing starting pitcher Kevin Correia. He wasn’t quite a journeyman, having pitched for three teams since making his debut in 2003, but he was a classic low-upside, pitch-to-contact guy. There was nothing special about any of his previous seasons. For two years and a relatively modest $10 million total, the Twins were banking on getting a rotation filler: a guy who would take the ball every fifth day and grind his way through six innings.
How you view that kind of pitcher likely shaped how you felt about the signing. A rotation with five Kevin Correias is not going to be very good. A rotation where Kevin Correia is arguably your best starter — as was the case in 2013 — is almost certainly not going to be very good.
But we’ve seen Correia make 48 starts now for the Twins spanning one-and-a-half seasons. We would describe him as this: credible, and as-advertised. Wednesday was the perfect example of what he brings to the table: Correia teetered on the brink of a huge inning in the second but managed to give up just two runs to the Royals in the frame. Those turned out to be the only two runs allowed in a solid six innings, and the fact that he lost his 10th game of the year was through very little fault of his own.
His ERA for the season is below 5 now, and it’s more like 3.50 over his last nine starts after a rough opening stretch. He hasn’t been the Twins’ best starter this season; Phil Hughes and Kyle Gibson have been much better, while the Twins should hold out hope that Ricky Nolasco’s end-of-year numbers are better than Correia’s numbers.
In a perfect rotation, there is no Correia. But as imperfect as the Twins pitching has been in recent years, they could have done a lot worse than signing a guy who has been very much as-advertised.