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  • Berrios Comes Full Circle


    Ted Schwerzler

    Jose Berrios’ time with the Minnesota Twins has come to an end. After being made the 32nd overall pick in the 2012 Major League Baseball draft, he’ll have been with Minnesota for just shy of 10 years. Maybe this story ends differently had 2021 gone as planned, but the Twins saw Berrios go from prospect to All-Star from within their reach.

    Image courtesy of © Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

    With virtually every top prospect, the intrigue surrounds what they’ll become at the next level. Berrios was a wiry kid from Puerto Rico. He became a workout warrior known for posting videos of flipping tires and pulling cars during winters on the island. There was not a consensus view on what type of pitcher he’d slot in as in the big leagues, but it’s hard to say he’s been anything but a success story for the Twins.

    He finishes his time in Minnesota having pitched 781 ⅓ innings across 136 games. His 4.08 ERA is weighed down by the 8.02 mark he put up during his rookie campaign, but he racked up 779 strikeouts and recorded 55 wins. Berrios pitched for some terrible Twins teams and some outstanding ones. He drew some huge Postseason starts, and his last turn against the Houston Astros in 2020 may have been his best.

    During his Twins tenure Berrios made two All-Star teams and could’ve been in line for another had this season been more competitive. He’s shown Gold Glove-worthy fielding prowess, and he’s revamped that workout routine seen so often in tweets to sustain effectiveness and increase velocity. Jose has always been a humble human being, but he’s grown maturity wise as well handling interviews with increasing confidence. Both on and off the field, Berrios has embodied a consistent and commendable amount of transformation.

    It’s hard to fault a player like Berrios for wanting to see that massive payday. He’ll enter free agency as one of the premier talents available, and pitching is always something that gets paid for. After playing through arbitration to this point, maximizing his value makes a lot of sense and is also an avenue the Twins may be right in avoiding.

    Although Minnesota won’t see the end of Berrios’ team control, it’s hard not to look at the life cycle of this player as a big win for them. He was drafted, developed, performed at or above expectations, and now has become a transferable asset. The hope would be that Derek Falvey executes a move bringing back a pitching-laden haul to help the club compete in 2022 and beyond.

    Maybe Berrios never became the ace that the Twins had hoped for, but he has been their number one starter for virtually the entirety of his time as an established big league veteran. Maybe there’s another step for him to unlock in the years ahead, and this is absolutely a guy that Twins fans can cheer for well beyond his time in the hometown threads.

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    I hope he does well - except against us, of course - as I can't blame Berrios for wanting to "cash in" when he has the chance.

    It's distressing that we can't draw interest from the better free agents. 

    IMO, it isn't "just" a matter of "What's management willing to pay?"  IMO, the "market" - the Twin Cities - has something to do with it, too, because there's more money available "off the field" in New York, Boston, LA, Chicago, etc. than there is "here." 

    IMO, we'd have to pay more than the "big boys" to overcome the "off field opportunities" they have in the "big boys" market . . . and, again IMO, expecting ownership to do THAT just isn't reasonable. 

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    José Berríos is a hard-working, well-prepared pitcher who will be missed in Minnesota.  He's a true gentleman, and I wish him well.  

    As for the pitching outlook for the Twins, we won't compete with Chicago now or in the foreseeable future.  There's a lot of money in the White Sox organization and they will spend it.  The Twins' wallet was emptied on Josh Donaldson.  Oops.

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    3 hours ago, Nancy Murphy said:

    José Berríos is a hard-working, well-prepared pitcher who will be missed in Minnesota.  He's a true gentleman, and I wish him well.  

    As for the pitching outlook for the Twins, we won't compete with Chicago now or in the foreseeable future.  There's a lot of money in the White Sox organization and they will spend it.  The Twins' wallet was emptied on Josh Donaldson.  Oops.

    It'd be good for us to move Donaldson if we can.  We're obviously looking at a "rebuild," which means we need "kids to come up & get good" . . . which isn't likely to happen during the remaining term of his contract.

    See if we can get some more "kids" for him ....

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    Berrios Time. 

     

    The starting pitcher names I most remember are the oldtimers...Perry, Blyleven, Pascual, Kaat. We had shortimers like Grant and Chance.

     

     

    Then we get into Goltz, Radke, Tapani, Viola, Santana and shortimers Erickson and Lirano.

     

    Santana, Perry, Viola had better WHIPS. All the oldtimers had better ERAs. Everyone else started more games in their career for the Twins (except Chance and Grant).

     

    A homegrown talent who got away (hey, Matt Garza was another that left too soon). 

     

    Goodbye, Jose! Will be interesting to see how well you pitch heading into free agency and how the money will flow in your direction. 

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    I've said more than once that when I see Berrios' pitches on the center field camera I don't understand how anyone hits the ball. It doesn't seem like any pitcher gets more movement than he does. Yet he has never had a consistent stretch of dominance. I don't know what the problem is, but it seems to me that it was way too often that he would pitch only just well enough to lose a close game. Some players have great physical ability but simply don't succeed in certain roles. In the same way that LaTroy Hawkins was an excellent set-up reliever but an unsuccessful closer I don't think Berrios can ever be counted on to be a true stopper in any rotation.

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