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Looking Forward -- Who Should Start a Twins Wild Card Game?

Posted by Brandon Warne , 06 September 2017 · 1,048 views

minnesota twins ervin santana jose berrios bartolo colon
Please click through to Zone Coverage here to read this article in its entirety.

A Minnesota Twins win coupled with a Los Angeles Angels loss on Wednesday flipped the script in the Wild Card chase yet again. The Twins halted a skid of losing three straight games and four of their last five, and jumped back ahead of the Angels by a half-game for the final Wild Card spot behind the New York Yankees.

That half-game difference will go away on Thursday, as the Twins head to Kansas City to take on the Royals, while the Angels are idle before opening a weekend set in Seattle on Friday night with old friend Ricky Nolasco on the hill.

One would be hard-pressed to find a reputable outlet which gives the Twins much more than a 40 percent chance to make the playoffs -- which frankly is fine considering the number of teams in the hunt within just a few games -- but why not start to dream a little bit about who could take the ball in a one-game Wild Card playoff, whether it's at Target Field, at Yankee Stadium or wherever else might be in play?

One thing we can be reasonably confident about is that the race will come down to the wire, all but making lining up the rotation for that start an impossibility. Certainly, things may happen between now and then, including injuries, rainouts or the manipulation of the rotation via the return of Adalberto Mejia, or the use of one of the two remaining in-season off days -- next Monday and two weeks from that day -- to shuffle some things around.

Theoretically, it might make some sense to shuffle the rotation to maximize the number of starts Ervin Santana or Jose Berrios make down the stretch, but at the same time it might not be worth wearing them out at the expense of Kyle Gibson and Bartolo Colon -- both of whom are pitching fairly well.

Assuming the Twins stay on regular rest all the way through the rest of the season, Berrios is slated to start the final game of the season, with Santana starting on Sept. 30. With the simple manipulation of one or both of the remaining off days, either one could theoretically be lined up to make the start in a potential Wild Card game.