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2023 Rotation


cHawk
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The 2022 Twins are currently in 3rd place with a 73-74 and are freefalling, as well as horribly injured. They are 1-4 in their last 5 games and 6-12 in their last 18 games. With each passing day, this team’s playoff chances are decreasing. While I hate to be a naysayer, I think it’s unlikely this team makes the postseason.

Let’s look ahead at 2023 for a moment. The starting rotation is always a question for the Twins. What will the Twins’ rotation look like in 2023?

Well, obviously we will see some of this year’s rotation remain in the rotation next year. There’s no doubt 2021-2022 offseason acquisition Sonny Gray and 2022 July trade deadline acquisition Tyler Mahle will both get spots in the 2023 rotation. Joe Ryan will also in all likelihood get a spot in the 2023 rotation. The remaining two spots, however, are more likely up for grabs.

Kenta Maeda, who missed the 2022 season due to Tommy John surgery, could take one of the remaining two spots. The Twins have other options within the organization that could take up one of the remaining spots.

The Twins could take that route or they could be spenders in free agency this winter.

How do you think the Twins should go about building their 2023 rotation? Do they have the resources within the organization to build a (good) rotation in 2023? If not, who should they add in the offseason?

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I'd put Maeda in two inning relief. Ober clearly deserves a shot, imo. 

I'd be interested in what Miami is trading this off season....

Gray, Mahle, Ryan, Ober are locks, if healthy. 

Winder, Varland, SWR and Balazovich in AAA is a great group of backups. 

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Oops I just posted a version of this in another thread a moment ago. Thanks for this thread @cHawk

Anyway, here goes..

Kenta Maeda is probably not going to pitch to his 2020 numbers in 2023. He is going into his final season, has plenty of wear and tear, and is getting up there in age now. What Mike Sixel said: Maeda might be better off as that long man candidate we often talk about, though he won’t like it (starting pitchers still see themselves as starters going 7 innings). Expect little from Maeda, and be pleasantly surprised, 

Tyler Mahle will also coming off injury and best to not expect too much, One more season of team control.

Sonny Gray, like Maeda and Mahle, is also going into his final season of control. Gray is unhappy because he is of the old school mindset that starting pitchers should pitch 6 or 7 innings. I expect he will ask for a trade and why wouldn’t the front office oblige? They traded Berrios and Rogers ahead of their final seasons. “Get something for him” is a popular refrain here among Twins Daily writers, though not necessarily as popular among the Twins Daily rank and file readership.

Of the group consisting of Maeda, Mahle, and Gray, I expect zero starting pitchers to materialize. If one does,,then that is good. 

The younger guys are more exciting to think about. Between Ober, Winder, and Varland, I expect one maybe even two to be effective and healthy by the time the team breaks spring training. Counting on all three would be wishful thinking. Two of them is possible, but safer to assume one. 

Then you have Joe Ryan. 

So, before we see what happens in the offseason, I will generously expect something like this five man rotation going into 2023:

  • Mahle or Gray (maybe Maeda)
  • Ryan
  • Ober or Winder or Varland (or unexpected young guy)

Again, that is being optimistic about Gray or Mahle that they will 1) be healthy, and 2) actually perform at that level of a #2. 

By the way, Yu Darvish is absolutely pitching his guts out right now. He would be going into his final season in 2023 if the Twins had offered that sixth season before 2018. 

A couple of readers have suggested that the front office places value on pitchers with concerning injury histories, since they come with a cheaper price tag and can in theory be rehabilitated. Its a good observation; it sure looks like to me that’s what’s happening. So the front office will either need to abandon that approach or be better at identifying the right pitchers if this is going to turn into anything. Pitchers with medical concerns do not command the big contracts like Yu Darvish, Jose Berrios, or Zack Wheeler earned. That leaves us with another pairing of one year free agents in the mold of Bundy/Archer or Happ/Shoemaker or Pineda/whoever to fill out the last two spots in 2023.

So no, no ace, no top number one guy, to fill that top spot. But if everything regarding pitching breaks in the Twins favor in 2023, that top of the rotation pitcher won’t be necessary.

That’s the way I see it, anyway.

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I still see no work horses coming into the stable. I see Ryan & Gray as possible locks in '23, I haven't heard anything definite about Mahle shoulder so I hope for the best. I expect Maeda will atleast start in the BP, I have no expectations for Paddack, Ober should have a shot at the #5 spot.

I like to see MIA finally pull the trigger on trading Lopez for MN bats or CO finally realize that they need to rebuild & trade Marquez to the Twins. These 2 together with the ones mentioned plus Winder, Varland & SWR and any free agent project will may not still be enough if they continue the same mind set,

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With the Twins sinking like a stone this is a great topic.  Why not let the speculation begin ?  The biggest hurdle to clear when considering ANY Twins speculation is HEALTH, or lack thereof.  I'm just confounded by the inability of anybody to stay healthy on this team, in the majors OR the minors.  

And there can be no 2023 speculation until we know whether Correa is coming back or not.  It's very similar to last year with Buxton.  WITH Buxton, we had a team that merited some excitement.  WITHOUT Buxton, there was a hollow "hope" that the Twins would be competitive.  So the Correa situation needs to be resolved.  We either have a Gold Glove SS hitting in the top 4 in our batting order, or we don't.  And then we proceed from there.

I'm a little more optimistic with what Maeda could provide.  My "hope" is that next year, health is in abundance and we finally get that mix of veterans and young pitchers creating a deeper pitching pool.  The Bullpen should have solid arms in Duran and Lopez.  Theilbar and Jax as well.  I'd like to snag one more solid BP arm (once again, our BP was a major downfall this year) to deepen our talent there.  Then it's time to assess the lineup.  Again HEALTH is key.  Assuming we have Correa, we have the makings of a decent lineup.  Now, if we traded some young hitting for a talented SP like Pablo Lopez, that might hurt the lineup but would tremendously strengthen Starting Pitching and with a horse like Lopez, take some of the strain off the BP. 

It will be interesting to see where Baseball Trade Values lists the value of Twins players and others to see what trades could look like, at least theoretically.   

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6 minutes ago, TopGunn#22 said:

With the Twins sinking like a stone this is a great topic.  Why not let the speculation begin ?  The biggest hurdle to clear when considering ANY Twins speculation is HEALTH, or lack thereof.  I'm just confounded by the inability of anybody to stay healthy on this team, in the majors OR the minors.  

And there can be no 2023 speculation until we know whether Correa is coming back or not.  It's very similar to last year with Buxton.  WITH Buxton, we had a team that merited some excitement.  WITHOUT Buxton, there was a hollow "hope" that the Twins would be competitive.  So the Correa situation needs to be resolved.  We either have a Gold Glove SS hitting in the top 4 in our batting order, or we don't.  And then we proceed from there.

I'm a little more optimistic with what Maeda could provide.  My "hope" is that next year, health is in abundance and we finally get that mix of veterans and young pitchers creating a deeper pitching pool.  The Bullpen should have solid arms in Duran and Lopez.  Theilbar and Jax as well.  I'd like to snag one more solid BP arm (once again, our BP was a major downfall this year) to deepen our talent there.  Then it's time to assess the lineup.  Again HEALTH is key.  Assuming we have Correa, we have the makings of a decent lineup.  Now, if we traded some young hitting for a talented SP like Pablo Lopez, that might hurt the lineup but would tremendously strengthen Starting Pitching and with a horse like Lopez, take some of the strain off the BP. 

It will be interesting to see where Baseball Trade Values lists the value of Twins players and others to see what trades could look like, at least theoretically.   

Talking about BP, I'd like to add that Alcala will be back and could very well add to the backend high leverage short relief.

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37 minutes ago, TopGunn#22 said:

Now, if we traded some young hitting for a talented SP like Pablo Lopez, that might hurt the lineup but would tremendously strengthen Starting Pitching and with a horse like Lopez,

The trade simulator has Lewis and Ober working for Lopez, or Brooks Lee, or Larnach and the Twins would have to add to it.

Can't see the Twins doing either of the first two and I can't see the Marlins doing the third, so they would have to get creative or overpay and after they deadline deals I don't see overpaying. IMO

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You can talk about a 5 man rotation, but really you need 7 or 8 guys to count on through the season.  The guys that have options, despite being ready will most likely spend plenty of time in AAA while the others will start the year in the rotation.  As injuries arise the AAA guys will come up as needed.  What we went through like 10 starters this year minimum?  

I doubt they go out and spend big on any starter, unless there is a 1 or 2 year deal on a top guy available.  I also doubt they trade for a starter, unless they are sending a starter away as well, as they do have plenty of possible depth.  Are any top end guys, not compared to the likes of verlander, but they are more like good mid-rotation guys.  I guess part of question is would you rather have good depth, or more high end?  Personally, I would like more depth that can hopefully get you about 6 good innings, but if you lose the top guy and have no one to fill in then you are in even more trouble. 

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4 hours ago, Doctor Gast said:

Talking about BP, I'd like to add that Alcala will be back and could very well add to the backend high leverage short relief.

Also talking about BP, I'd like to add that Thielbar will be 1-year older.  Not trying to be pessimistic but rather a realist.

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16 hours ago, FlyingFinn said:

Gray, Mahle, Ryan, Maeda, Winder and Ober to start the year in a 6 man rotation is what I think the Twins will plan. Injuries will change that. Paddock will be ready at some point and Varland and SWR should be ready sometime next year. 

This is exactly what the F.O. will preach because we have no worries.  We will need a 6 man rotation with all of this talent.  In the meantime, the masses will be saying, sign a frontline starter.  Then we will get into the season, there will be ineffectiveness and injuries, and we will be whining that nothing was done.  I think that is about how the last four off-season's have gone.

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3 hours ago, TwinsDr2021 said:

The trade simulator has Lewis and Ober working for Lopez, or Brooks Lee, or Larnach and the Twins would have to add to it.

Can't see the Twins doing either of the first two and I can't see the Marlins doing the third, so they would have to get creative or overpay and after they deadline deals I don't see overpaying. IMO

If Correa is back, I do Lewis and Ober for Lopez with no hesitation. Heck, even if Correa isn’t back I likely do that deal. Take advantage of Lewis’ stock rising again. Ober hasn’t surpassed 100 innings in any professional season and I don’t know why we’d expect that to change. 

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1 hour ago, FlyingFinn said:

I do think any 5 of those first 6 (Gray, Mahle, Maeda, Winder, Ryan, Ober) would be a much better start to the season than having Happ and Shoemaker or Bundy and Archer at the #4 and #5.

We have a rotation full of 3 and 4 starters.  Maeda is a solid number 2 who pitches like a 1 somedays.  We need frontline starting pitching.  But, who doesn't?

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2 hours ago, baul0010 said:

This is exactly what the F.O. will preach because we have no worries.  We will need a 6 man rotation with all of this talent.  In the meantime, the masses will be saying, sign a frontline starter.  Then we will get into the season, there will be ineffectiveness and injuries, and we will be whining that nothing was done.  I think that is about how the last four off-season's have gone.

Pony up for one of the few best starters available. Pay whatever it takes. Bassitt level at least. Sign a stop gap SS until Lewis is back in June or so, and fingers crossed his legs still work and he doesn't go down with a third ACL injury. This is the Twins after all, and no matter what you're going to have to go into every season relying on a little luck. Whatever is left should be used on relievers. I think at this point the front office should identify every reliever they really like.... and then sign someone who isn't on that list. 

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25 minutes ago, I wish the twins were good said:

I think at this point the front office should identify every reliever they really like.... and then sign someone who isn't on that list. 

I did that last summer. Here was my list: Rogers, Duran, Alcala.

Yes I was already counting on Duran’s move to the big league bullpen, before it was cool. I was wrong about Thielbar. Thielbar did pretty well this year, generally speaking. 

So what is your group for next year? As little as I like him, I would include Jorge Lopez, along with about 4-5 others, including a dedicated 2-3 inning guy. Maybe that’s Maeda? But that leave 4 or 5 open slots for them to find or develop another back end guy to go with Duran.

I actually think their bullpen might be half way respectable in 2023. Not yet totally respectable, mind you, but half way. :) They have to do the work, and not just assume someone will emerge. 

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2 hours ago, baul0010 said:

We have a rotation full of 3 and 4 starters.  Maeda is a solid number 2 who pitches like a 1 somedays.  We need frontline starting pitching.  But, who doesn't?

Maeda had 11 starts in 2000 that would qualify, other than that has never shown he is anywhere near a number 2 starter. He has pitched 6 seasons (135 career starts) in the majors and has a career WAR of 7.4. And since his rookie season has innings of 134.33, 125.33, 153.66, 66.66, 106.33.

People seem to forget his 21 season, where he was a 5 inning pitchers with an ERA of 4.66.

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At this point, assuming Correa opts out, (I think he would be foolish to give up two years at $35M for a $200M contract that he could probably still get in two years regardless) the pitching staff, even minus Bundy and Archer is the strength of this team. They will NOT in all likelihood be signing or trading for a #1 or 2. Just not going to happen. The lineup, injuries and strategy are the things that most urgently need attention. 

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39 minutes ago, Reptevia said:

At this point, assuming Correa opts out, (I think he would be foolish to give up two years at $35M for a $200M contract that he could probably still get in two years regardless)

Correa has watched his teammates get injured all year. He's taking the $200 million guaranteed over the hope that he doesn't get injured and end up with $70 million total.

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5 hours ago, I wish the twins were good said:

******BREAKING NEWS********

 

correa ain't coming back.

That is  your opinion in an opinion forum, at the LOL.

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I would be surprised if the Twins went out and signed another starter.  I wouldn't be surprised if the Twins picked up Bundy's option.  I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't either.  He could be resigned on a 1 year 8 million or so contract as well.  I can see the Twins going with a 6 man rotation next season and allowing some starters to go 6 innings in a start.  

If Rodon opts out of his contract I do hope the Twins make a run for him.  

It does seem like this offseason will be more quiet then usual as there doesn't seem to be as many needs as in the years past.  

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First and foremost, not to derail the topic, we have to know the Correa situation. No matter how much he and his family like being here, love Minnesota, love the Twins, even want to be here, he's going to opt out for a longer and richer deal. Now, there was a ZERO chance he'd be with the Twins before he actually ended up with the Twins. Wow! Someone is going to give him a 5-7yr deal worth $200-250M. Could he get more? Yes. I'm just looking at the minimum. Could he love being a Twin so much he'd sign for multiple years and $30M with maybe a higher annual the first few years? Sure. But I'm still seeing a 10% chance to MAYBE a 20% chance max! But this is an important situation because it absolutely influences 2023 plans. The Twins have some money to spend. But SOME money and adding another $30+M is very different!

It does change the dynamic of this topic. But I'm of the initial opinion he won't be back. So that changes and adds to the premise here.

Will the Twins add to the rotation? Sorry to disagree with some, but the system is not "gutted", but ammunition for the future,  OR, a potential trade has taken a blow. So a trade for someone of high quality might be a real stretch that would hurt is questionable. Example: a trade with Miami. Out of the question? No. Hurt? Absolutely. It would mean the FO better be right about the international signings and have a 2023 draft that is similar to the 2021 draft to re-stock.

There was a really smart comment made by someone in a different, recent thread, (forget who), that just "adding" a SP probably wouldn't move the needle unless it was a difference maker. Accurate but not depressing. 

IMO, the rotation...and the pen which is a slightly different discussion...is actually set up pretty well for 2023 assuming health.

Gray is a very good pitcher. Unhappy with the Twins because he wasn't allowed to throw longer? His response when allowed to was: "I need to do better". 

Maeda is a quality SP who may never throw as well as he did in 2020. But he's been pretty damn good his whole career and should be ready to be at least solid, if not good, post surgery and an entire ramp up to get ready. I've seen comments on his 2021, but he had an OUTSTANDING  ST and then his arm gave out just as the season began. So throw that out the window, IMO.

Until we hear otherwise, I'm going to assume Mahle's issue is a tired arm that happens. He's had at least 1 MRI, if not 2, that shows no structural damage. He was fine after rest with the Reds, and looked good initially with the Twins. So until something is suddenly uncovered, I'm going to assume that rest and a normal ramp up will have him ready for 2023.

Ryan has had one of the best rookie seasons, possibly ever, at least in recent history, for the Twins. Somewhere along the line, possibly due to his covid illness, he lost sharpness on his secondary pitches. He gets that sharpness back, combined with experience, he's a really nice young arm.

There is a really, really nice base to work with here. And then you add the promising young arms of Ober and Winder and Varland and the quality year of SWR and a HOPEFUL rebound of Balazovic and things really look promising.

But you need 8 SP in any season even if you have good health. And at some point, small injuries and illness, and double headers, etc, you need 10.

The Twins need to add at least one arm to the rotation for depth and insurance. We can argue all day about the "pipeline" and how much it's contributed thus far and how much it might do in 2023. But you cant win without pitching. What's the worst that can happen if you add another quality SP? You suddenly have great depth and some good arms are middle relievers? 

I like who I see coming back, and some young arms, and some potential depth. 

The ONE GUY who makes so much sense to RAISE the rotation is Rodon. He's been tied strongly to the Twins twice. But he's also got an arm that could implode one day. Is he worth the risk? IDK, but I'd LOVE to see him in our rotation. And if Correa is gone, there is more than enough $ to take a chance.

Extremely long story short, we need another good arm to "protect" and deepen the rotation. Can we afford another trade? Do we trust what we have on hand enough for a mid rotation arm? Or do we "go for it" with $ spent for someone who is a risk but high reward type?

My guess? No trade. A decent, solid SP FA or we grab the risky Rodon. 50-50 on Rodon

 

 

 

 

 

 

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