Numbers Say Twins Pitchers Miss Wes Johnson Already

Photo: Steph Chambers - Getty Images

The Minnesota Twins were very deliberate with their pitching staff during the first half of this 2022 season. The formula has been obvious. Get the starter through the opposing batting lineup two times and hand things over to the bullpen. While Wes Johnson was in charge of pitchers, the philosophy worked remarkably well, given the talent he was dealing with.

Under Johnson this season (79 games), the Twins pitching staff held a 3.71 ERA, and 1.220 WHIP. The team’s W/L record was 43-36 in those games. Wes left the team after their matchup vs Cleveland on June 30. The Twins have played 15 games since his departure and posted a 7-8 record in that stretch. Their cumulative ERA 5.04, WHIP up to 1.366.

And if we’re being honest, the numbers are better than I expected. Because it sure feels like the Minnesota Twins are giving up 6-12 runs per game lately and that every loss they pile up comes in blowout fashion. If you’ve been watching this pitching staff on a night in, night out basis; it’s clear they’ve lost confidence.

Is that lack of confidence a reflection of Wes Johnson’s absence? We have no idea. A longer sample size as the season goes on will help tell a better story. But even if the pitchers continue to struggle, we may never know the linchpin to the staff’s eventual implosion.

Don’t wait to find out

No matter what the reason, for the Minnesota Twins’ current struggles on the mound, there are plenty of options available for them to help their own cause. This is a franchise that has never made a major trade for a starting pitcher at the trade deadline.

If they want to remain in the AL Central lead, which is now down to just TWO games, and win an eventual playoff series, they have no choice but to upgrade their pitching staff. Good coaching cannot make up for a lack of talent. Not over 162 games.

So if the higher ups at Target Field want to soften the hit of Wes Johnson’s exodus, they need to get high end help in both the starting rotation and in the bullpen.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan