Chris Paddack is Pretty Much Begging the Twins for a Break

Chris Paddack
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins have continued to push back towards the top of the AL Central, but they’ve struggled to keep pace with the Cleveland Guardians. While the front office may have had intentions of adding a top starting pitcher this offseason, those desires were largely thwarted when ownership decided against spending any money, choosing to actually cut $30 million in payroll, instead.

In the offseason and this spring, Twins coaches, executives and talking heads continually pointed to how good Chris Paddack looked, almost hyping him up as a front-line type starter. Reality since then, however, has revealed that choosing Paddack as the fourth member of a starting rotation may have been a mistake.

Chris Paddack needs the Minnesota Twins to give him a break

Paddack has a 5.29 ERA (73 ERA+) on 78.1 innings pitched this season. His WHIP is an absurd 1.430 and he’s allowing nearly 11 hits per nine innings. And it’s getting worse as we go along. His ERA has ballooned to 7.43, in his last 23 innings (5 starts). Prior to that stretch, his ERA was a much more respectable 4.39.

The former Miami Marlins eighth round pick (out of high school in 2015) was traded to the Twins at the start of the 2022 season. He pitched 22 innings upon arrival, before landing on the IL and scheduling Tommy John surgery that caused him to miss virtually the entire 2022 and 2023 seasons.

Expecting Chris Paddack to carry a normal workload this year was probably far-fetched. And now, according to The Athletic’s Aaron Gleeman, it sounds like the Twins plan to shuffle the pitching rotation against Arizona, in order to skip his start.

Paddack is listed as the probable starting pitcher for Thursday’s game at the Arizona Diamondbacks. But the Twins are seriously mulling giving him a breather.

Aaron Gleeman – The Athletic

If you think Chris Paddack is going to fight the Twins to stay in the rotation, as he battles though this rough stretch, think again. The quote he gave recently has the 28-year-old starter pretty much begging for a break to try and cure what he and the Twins describe as “dead arm”.

“The ball felt like a dumbbell. We’ve got to stay on top of that. I’ve had a rough four weeks. As I entered June, the body felt just a little heavy. You can prepare all offseason, all spring training, but a man that hasn’t been able to throw this many innings in three years now due to injury, you can’t do enough to prepare for this.”

Chris Paddack on how his arm has been feeling (quote via The Athletic)

Related: How Much Would Local Kid Max Meyer Cost Twins at Trade Deadline? Too Much.

It’s not surprising that a pitcher would need a reset after spending a year on the shelf. Paddack has struggled over his last five starts, and the Twins experienced this same set of circumstances last season with Kenta Maeda.

How do the Minnesota Twins replace Chris Paddack?

Gleeman makes it clear that coaching staff is about to give Chris exactly what he is asking for, noting “the time likely is now” for a break. The big question is where the Twins depth comes from, given they were unable to create much going into the season. Aaron has help for us there, too, listing four possibilities to replace Paddack in the rotation, for however long that may be

Louie Varland was obliterated for 12 runs (11 earned) on Sunday with the Saints, and won’t be part of the equation. Caleb Boushley threw on Saturday for the Saints, and while he has a 40-man spot, the recent usage likely takes him out.

Minnesota currently has an open spot on the 40-man roster after designating Jay Jackson for assignment. That could be given to either Randy Dobnak or David Festa, and either line up well to pitch Tuesday for the Twins.

Festa is a top-100 prospect and has the ability to be a significant difference maker for the Twins at some point. Dobnak has pitched in big games, and while his path back has been marred with uncertainty, he’s just two starts removed from an incredible 10 strikeout performance.

Paddack would be an easy move to the 15-day injured list, and that would give either arm a couple of turns in the rotation. Minnesota has options, but the most important among the decisions to make seems to be getting Paddack a breather.

Related: Bleacher Report REALLY Loves the Minnesota Twins Farm System

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