The Minnesota Twins this year are in position to change MLB!!
For a team that has claimed a desire to contend in 2022 it has very little in the way of pitching, and has shown little to no interest in the FA agent crop of pitchers. SO how can a team with current starters slotted in as Dylan Bundy, Joe Ryan, and Bailey Ober?
Dylan Bundy has only thrown over 162 innings twice in his career and that was 2017-2018. and coming off seasons of 65 (Covid) and 90 innings. He cannot be counted on to take on a bunch of innings.
Joe Ryan has never thrown over 123 innings... ZERO in 2020 (covid) and just 92 between AAA & MLB last year. even a 50% increase is still less than 150 innings.
Bailey Ober never threw more than 80 innigns in any season prior to last year when he set a highwater mark of 92 innigns between minors and MLB. again another 50% increase get to only 150 innings.
So the three pitchers we have on our team assuming 32 starts per year will pitch les than 5 innings on average.
Our minor league pitching that is near MLB ready or MLB ready are...
Jordan Balazovic... 23... coming off career high 97 innings
Jhoan Duran... 24... coming off injury 100IP in 2018 & 115 IP 2019 but 0 2020 and just 16 in 2021.
Simeon Woods Richardson... 21... innings max of 106 in 2019 with 0 in 2020 and 53 in 2021
Josh Winder... 25... a respectable 125 IP in 2019 but again 0 in 2020 and 72 in 2021
Matt Canterino... 24... never more than 25 in his 3 seasons including 23 in 2021
Drew Strotman... 25... finally cracked 100 after never throwing more than 50 IP with 112 in 2021.
SO... you see most of our prospects are at the age where they should be contributing to a MLB (usualyl 23, 24) this includes. Balazovic, Duran, Winder, Canterino, Strotman.
This all begs the question... How do we get these guys to the big leagues before they are "too old" But yet not ONE indiviudally seems fully ready by if nothign else at least pitch/innings count to be a starting pitcher full time?
Sure, we can move a couple to the bullpen. BUT on a team like the Twins, who love analytics, and seemingly never let their pitchers face a batter a third time, you will see the Twins go with 1, MAYBE 2 traditional starters (once we resign Pineda) and the rest will be piggy backed pitching "teams"
Twins will have 8 starters. with the #3, #4, #5 starters all pitching in the "buddy system" with each one going a max of 4 innings. The theory being that if each starter can go 4 innings, then that leaves just 1 inning for the back of the bullpen to take care of, so as a result you do not need a ton of relievers. You just have your top 3 power arms in the bullpen.
So you have a pitching 13 man pitching staff of 8 starters, 3 back end relievers and 2 "wild cards" or specialists.
This is a move I HATE!!! but this WILL happen in 2022, and the sad thing as I want the Twins to succeed, then I have to want this to succeed, and if it does then in the copy cat league we have, more teams will do it and we will lose more and more of "traditional" ball.