New Twins Pitcher Joe Ryan Leads USA to Victory Over Israel in Dominating Fashion

Photo: @USABaseball – Twitter

The Minnesota Twins have made one major trade (so far) leading up to the deadline, which hits at 3PM CDT today. About a week ago, they dealt the heart and soul of their lineup, Nelson Cruz, to the Tampa Bay Rays for two AAA pitchers, Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman who were both highly regarded within that organization.

Strotman was assigned to St. Paul, where he’s scheduled to make his Saints debut tonight, at home, vs Indianapolis. Ryan, on the other hand, dawned a Team USA uniform this morning at 5 AM CDT and took the mound as the Olympic team’s #1 starter in their 2020/21 debut matchup vs Israel.

If you were able to wake up and actually find the USA vs Israel stream out of Tokyo, since it wasn’t on TV or the much advertised “Peacock” app, Joe Ryan made it worth your time. His only big mistake came to former Twin, Danny Valencia, who took a high fastball deep without any runners on in the 4th inning. Joe got his redemption in the 6th, when he closed his outing on a Danny V strikeout.

Joe Ryan Stan Club

Admittedly, I had some troubles finding where to watch this game, which was only streamed on the NBC Sports App, so I caught on late. But the 2+ innings I did get my eyes on were impressive. Joe works with really good pace and has full control over all of his pitches. He doesn’t hit the top of the velocity charts but his fastball has an up and in rise vs righties that seems to catch guys off guard. And when they start looking for that fastball, like Valencia was, Ryan’s slider becomes impossible to hit.

He could’ve kept going but there wasn’t really a point in doing that. The 6th inning was Joe Ryan’s last. He left the game with a 4-1 lead, when Team USA’s bullpen took over. Both the bats and stellar pitching continued from there and, when the dust settled, it was an 8-1 blowout victory for the Red, White and Blue to kick off the Olympic tournament.

This dude is already a very polished pitcher and it was a lot of fun to watch him work today. Hopefully we get to see Joe a couple more times in Japan before he comes back to the USA and (maybe) slips on a Twins uniform..

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan