Cody Christie Twins Daily Contributor Posted August 10, 2022 Share Posted August 10, 2022 For multiple offseasons, the Twins' front office has needed to add depth to the starting rotation. Looking ahead to 2023, that may no longer be the case. So, does Minnesota have too many starting pitchers? Starting pitching depth is vital for any contending team, and the Twins have used a lot of their depth during the current season. In 2022, twelve different pitchers have made starts for the Twins, including eight pitchers who made five or more. Top of the Rotation: Sonny Gray, Joe Ryan, Tyler Mahle None of these three pitchers were in the Twins system 14 months ago, which speaks to the front office's ability to acquire talent. Minnesota has used Ryan and Gray at the top of the rotation for all of 2022, with each posting an ERA+ of 104 or higher. Mahle's transition from Great American Ball Park to Target Field should help his numbers improve. Gray and Mahle can be under team control next season, while Ryan won't be arbitration eligible until 2025. Barring a significant injury, the Twins will look for these three arms to be at the top of the rotation throughout 2023. Returning from Injury: Kenta Maeda, Josh Winder, Bailey Ober, Chris Paddack, Randy Dobnak Winder and Ober are scheduled to throw bullpen sessions this week with a chance to impact the roster down the stretch. Winder has shown the flexibility to pitch as a starter and reliever, while Ober's appearances have all been as a starter. When healthy, both players have pitched well, so they should be in the mix for a rotation spot next season. More prominent question marks surround the other injured pitchers listed above. Maeda is also expected to be ready in September, but he will likely serve in a relief role if he makes it back in 2022. During the 2020 season, Maeda finished runner-up for the AL Cy Young, but there are no guarantees he will return to that form. Paddack likely won't be ready at the onset of the 2023 campaign since he had Tommy John surgery in May. Still, he was terrific during his brief Twins tenure and is under team control through 2024. Dobnak has been dealing with a finger injury for the last two seasons, so there are no guarantees he will be back to 100%. Down on the Farm: Jordan Balazovic, Blayne Enlow, Cole Sands, Devin Smeltzer, Simeon Woods Richardson, Matt Canterino, Louie Varland Minnesota's 40-man roster will be squeezed this winter when the team has to remove players from the 60-day IL. Balazovic, Enlow, Sands, and Smeltzer are all on the 40-man roster, but the team might have some tough decisions to make with some of the names. Balazovic has struggled at Triple-A this year, but he is still considered one of the team's top pitching prospects. Enlow returned from Tommy John surgery this year and has a 3.73 ERA with 46 strikeouts in 41 Double-A innings. Smeltzer saved the starting rotation during the middle portion of the season, while Sands has been limited to fewer than ten big-league appearances in his rookie campaign. Woods Richardson, Canterino, and Varland are among a group of prospects that will need to be added to the 40-man roster before the Rule 5 Draft. During his second Double-A stint, Woods Richardson is having a breakout season with a sub-3.00 ERA while holding batters to a .583 OPS. Canterino has dealt with various elbow issues over the last two seasons, but he is dominant when he can pitch. Varland recently was promoted to Triple-A after posting a 3.34 ERA and 119 strikeouts in 105 innings at Double-A. All three pitchers should be added to the 40-man roster this winter, which makes them one step closer to the big leagues. The old adage states, "a team can never have too much pitching." It's clear the Twins will have options for the 2023 season, and there is no way to predict how injuries will impact the organization. Another option is to have some of these arms switch to permanent bullpen roles, but that is a decision for this winter. Which pitchers will make the most starts for the 2023 Twins? Will any of the younger pitchers be contributors to the rotation? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article Squirrel 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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