In a season that will test a team’s depth in every way possible, injuries are throwing another obstacle at the Minnesota Twins‘ starting rotation. Luckily, pitchers around the organization are stepping up and filling the holes. (editor’s note: “that’s what she said”)
INJURIES PLAGUE THE ROTATION
Jake Odorizzi is going to the IL with what Rocco Baldelli describes as upper back soreness.— Do-Hyoung Park (@dohyoungpark) July 23, 2020
Homer Bailey was solid in his Twins debut, and definitely earned the win. But his season is on hold after being diagnosed with right bicep tendonitis. He threw five innings, giving up just four hits and two runs but landed on the 10-day injured list on Sunday.
The #MNTwins just placed Homer Bailey on the 10-day IL with right biceps tendinitis. Sean Poppen recalled.— Do-Hyoung Park (@dohyoungpark) August 2, 2020
Recall that today was Bailey’s original start date but he was originally pushed back a day before this IL announcement.
Rich Hill is the most recent starting come up injured. After a stellar Twins debut where he tossed five shutout innings, the 40-year-old found his way on the IL. His first start of the season was already pushed back to give him a bit more time to recover from that offseason surgery. And now, his next start is delayed due to left shoulder fatigue.
Rich Hill is going to the 10-day IL with shoulder fatigue. No corresponding move announced.— Do-Hyoung Park (@dohyoungpark) August 4, 2020
All three of these injuries would seem to put a damper on this season and be costly for just about every team. However, the Twins have shown that their pitching staff is deep and talented.
All was looking good for the Twins in this condensed season. They had a deep starting rotation that consisted of Berrios, Odorizzi, Hill, Maeda and Bailey with Pineda returning mid-season. However, the rotation hasn’t looked anything like they’d thought.
Randy Dobnak jumped into the rotation and has blown past expectations. After seeing him make a playoff start in the Bronx last season, he has pitched his way to a 1.00 ERA in two starts this season. He has helped fill the void left by Odo.
Maeda has been the lone consistent piece of the rotation so far. Berrios has struggled in his first two starts of the season. Maeda is 2-0 for the Twins with an ERA of just 1.64. Berrios is sitting at 1-1 with a 4.80 ERA.
TWINS BULLPEN SAVING THE DAY
Luckily enough, the Twins bullpen has been dominant early in this condensed season. With the rotation so uncertain, the bullpen is stepping up to pick up the slack.
Guys like Romo, Rogers and Duffey are proven relievers Twins’ fans knew they could trust coming into this season. The thing about this bullpen is it goes a lot deeper than that.
Cody Stashak has taken a huge step in his game and is quickly becoming a top reliever in this bullpen. Manager Rocco Baldelli has put trust into Stashak and Stashak shows he deserves it.
Newly acquired reliever Tyler Clippard has stepped in and been huge for the Twins. He even pitched as an opener against his former team and threw two shutout innings. Matt Wisler is a name to keep your eye on too. He has impressed many in 5 and two-thirds shutout innings he’s pitched so far.
The Twins seem like they have been able to cope with these injuries so far. Odorizzi will return soon and hopefully we see the same dominance he displayed last season. Once this rotation is back and healthy and Pineda returns from suspension, the Twins will be even more dangerous.
AJ Condon | Minnesota Sports Fan