The Only Trade The Twins Need to Consider Before the Deadline
Image courtesy of © Benny Sieu-USA TODAY SportsOn the surface, the Twins don’t have any missing pieces to address. Jake Odorizzi, Homer Bailey, Rich Hill, and Josh Donaldson simultaneously hitting the IL was a small blip on the radar due to the Twins’ roster depth. The bullpen has effectively stepped in for the 3 starters, and there are a slew of prospects who can fill in the infield. However, one lingering bullpen issue still hangs in flux.
There’s no argument that Taylor Rogers is one of the best closers in baseball. However, his effectiveness strongly depends on his days of rest, and he has proven this over and over again. In 2019, when Rogers pitched on no days of rest, his ERA ballooned to 7.20. His only losses last season were when he pitched on back to back nights. This was again showcased this week during the Milwaukee series when Rogers blew the save after pitching on consecutive nights. On just one day of rest, Rogers’ ERA deflated to 4.66. However, by 2 days of rest, his ERA was down to 1.10. Last season, he did not walk a single player in 16.1 innings, struck out 20, and only gave up 1 home run while on 2 days of rest. This dominant pattern continued for him with more days of rest. While it’s not feasible for Rogers to be only used on 2 or more days of rest, having another closer option can help mitigate the need to utilize Rogers when consecutive save situations present itself. This other closer option manifests itself in the form of Boston’s closer, Brandon Workman.
Now the million dollar question: will Boston sell at the deadline? They are off to a cold start, much of which is attributed to the Red Sox’s abysmal pitching. Their rotation currently holds a 5.24 ERA (25th in the league) and 1.56 WHIP (30th), compared to 4.70 ERA and 1.379 WHIP in 2019, when the team finished 3rd in the AL East. The Yankees and Rays show no signs of stopping, the baby Blue Jays are exceeding expectations, and Baltimore is off to the hottest start in years. With no Mookies Betts, no bets are off for Boston’s playoff potential.
Brandon Workman has been one of the only consistent pieces in their pitching staff for the past two seasons. With his pending free agency, he will become the hottest commodity on the market if Boston decides to sell. According to ESPN’s David Schoenfield, Workman is 10-1 over the past two years, with a 1.88 overall ERA and 34 hits and 1 home run allowed over 76⅔ innings. In high leverage playoff games, having another consistent bullpen piece can be key, especially if there are two or three save situations in a row.
Utilizing Workman and a well-rested Rogers will turn the Twins’ bullpen from good to unstoppable. Although Sergio Romo has been used in the ninth inning in the past, all hands on deck will be required in the playoffs. Since Romo and Rogers are both frequently used together, Romo would be unavailable to close a game if a second save situation occurs. Having one more experienced bullpen piece can be crucial during a make-or-break game in the playoffs. Workman is the perfect candidate to lessen the pressure for Rogers to pitch on consecutive nights. Plus, his postseason experience and experience against the Twins’ kryptonite, the Yankees, makes him an invaluable asset.
No one has ever criticized a team for having too much depth.
Is there another player that you’re hoping the Twins land before the trade deadline? Comment below!
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