Twins pitching should be improved

The Twins had very few issues offensively in 2017, but their pitching numbers indicate plenty of room for improvement.

Hitting vs. pitching

A quick look at three statistical categories comparing American League teams that show the Twins were just fine as hitters in 2017, but a bit lacking on the mound.

OPS

OPS is on base percentage plus slugging percentage.

.16

.32

.48

.64

.80

LAA

CLE

NYY

MIN

OAK

TEX

Minnesota

.768

SEA

DET

BAL

TB

BOS

KAN

CHW

TOR

HOU

K/9

The Twins were penultimate in the AL in strikeouts per nine innings pitched.

2

4

6

8

10

CLE

HOU

NYY

BOS

TOR

TB

LAA

SEA

BAL

DET

Minnesota

7.31

KAN

OAK

CHW

MIN

TEX

ERA

The Twins ranked in the middle of the league in earned run average.

1

2

3

4

5

DET

BAL

CHW

OAK

TEX

KAN

MIN

SEA

TOR

Minnesota

4.59

LAA

HOU

TB

NYY

BOS

CLE

Twins have more stability on pitching staff

In total, 755 pitchers were used last year in the MLB. The Twins needed a team-record 36 pitchers last season. Injuries were partly to blame, but ineffectiveness of relievers had the shuttle from Class AAA Rochester in constant use. Key offseason acquisitions should cut that number in half in 2018.

New starters

ERA change: - 2.45

K/9 change: + 1.74

The Twins signed free agent Lance Lynn and traded for Tampa Bay’s Jake Odorizzi to solidify the starting rotation. All-Star Ervin Santana will be out until May because of finger surgery, but the Twins shouldn’t need to sign a 44-year-old, as they did last season with Bartolo Colon.

Gone from 2017 roster

Bartolo
Colón

6.48
ERA

3.28
K/9

Hector
Santiago

5.63
ERA

6.53
K/9

Added to 2018 roster

Lance
Lynn

3.43
ERA

7.39
K/9

Jake
Odorizzi

4.14
ERA

7.97
K/9

All stats are from 2017

New relievers

ERA change: - 0.49

K/9 change: + 3.57

Of the 36 pitchers used last season, nine were used in only two or one games. Some youngsters, like Trevor Hildenberger, proved themselves as major leaguers. This year, the addition of free agents Addison Reed, Fernando Rodney and Zach Duke should give manager Paul Molitor a group that has defined roles.

Gone from 2017 roster

Matt
Belisle

4.03
ERA

8.06
K/9

Buddy
Boshers

4.89
ERA

7.20
K/9

Craig
Breslow

5.09
ERA

5.23
K/9

Brandon
Kintzler

3.03
ERA

4.92
K/9

Added to 2018 roster

Addison
Reed

2.84
ERA

9.00
K/9

Zach
Duke

3.93
ERA

5.89
K/9

Fernando
Rodney

4.23
ERA

10.57
K/9

Tyler
Kinley*

3.54
ERA

3.55
K/9

All stats are from 2017
Source: baseball-reference.com
*Stats were taken during Minor League tenure.
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