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  • Twins Daily Minnesota Twins Pitcher of the Month: July 2022

    Sherry Cerny

    The Twins' pitching struggled on the mound in July. The Twins lost 12 of 22 games, closing the lead between the Twins and the rest of the central division. But today we try to find the positives, if any, for Twins pitchers in July. Let's just say... it wasn't pretty... at all! 

    Image courtesy of Theires Rabelo, Twins Daily

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    In an attempt to be transparent, Twins Daily writers did have a discussion and decided that we could not just leave this article empty. So, while it was a bad month for Twins pitchers, we are going to find the best of that group. 

    Honorable Mention #3: Joe Ryan
    Ryan struck out 27 over 26 2/3 innings in July, the most on the club for the month. Even after missing time due to Covid and the loss of Wes Johnson, Ryan appeared to be composed, and his ERA was in a downward trending motion (well, until that start in San Diego). Overall, Ryan contributed to three wins for the team, recording one win and one loss for his decisions.  He continues to break franchise records and his pitches are some of the nastiest I've seen from the Twins pitching staff.

    Ryan, is dominant on the mound and in his first 20 starts he had 3.18 ERA over 108 innings with a 103/28 K/BB ration and opponents hit just .198 off of him.  Ryan's only downfall came in an uncharacteristic game against San Diego last weekend. The rookie struggled with his slider and change-up (which he has been working on), leaving meatballs for the hitters. He gave up five home runs and ten total runs in 4 2/3 innings and his ERA jumped to 3.89. 

    Honorable Mention #2: Dylan Bundy
    Deciding between Dylan Bundy and Sonny Gray was not easy, but overall, Bundy was able to produce lower numbers and a better decision outcome for the team. Bundy came out of the month with two wins and no losses. He also had a lower WHIP (1.40) even if his ERA was grossly high at 6.05. Over his 19 1/3 innings, he managed to record 18 strikeouts. In three of the games Bundy started, the Twins won, and Bundy recorded two wins and one loss. There is no real downfall for Bundy, except he leaves balls hanging in the zone, giving other teams a chance to capitalize on hits and runs. 

    Honorable Mention #1: Emilio Pagan
    I realize this name draws a lot of angst and controversy, but numbers don’t lie. Pagan, in 9 1/3 innings, struck out 18 batters and only allowed four runs and two walks. He registered a 1.07 WHIP and saw more innings than any of the other relievers. Pagan can be a good pitcher. He handled the strike zone well in July. He has the most strikeouts of the relievers and recorded two wins, one loss, and two holds out of ten games, four of which he finished. As much as people say Pagan loses games, technically, he only had one blown save, during which he contributed three earned runs. While his mound appearances can be frustrating, Pagan somehow still leads the Twins in saves (9).

    Twins Pitcher of the Month: Jharel Cotton
    I have been waiting for this moment since seeing Cotton in spring training. Cotton pitched 12 innings over eight games and had 12 strikeouts. He only allowed three runs in July. 

    On July 14th against Chicago and July 27th against Milwaukee, Cotton came into some hideous situations with massive deficits on the board. Cotton has been working mostly when the games are already out of hand, but he occasionally gets an opportunity when the game is still in limbo.  

    Of the eight July games, he only gave up three runs, none of which were a factor for a win or loss for the Twins. Cotton himself has yet to garner a decision with the Twins. 

    Cotton has one of the nastiest sliders and change-ups in the league, when he is on. At times, he can look really good, miss some bats and get quick outs. When he's struggled with control is when he has given up runs (like any pitcher, of course). Overall, Cotton's ERA continued to trend down in July, and his control was improved. 

    With all the struggles the Twins pitching saw in July, I know that this month's Pitcher of the Month article may ruffle feathers, but that's okay. The numbers tell the truth and the eyes tell the story. Where would you have put these pitchers? (if you can't say "on waivers.") Would you have included any of them? Do you think there is hope for the pitching in the next month after the trade deadline?


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    I guess I don't love the relievers being thrown in with the starters.  They really are not comparable IMO.

    I will say for all his warts I do kind of like Bundy.  What I like the most is the way he attacks hitters.  He just seems to go right at guys and I like that.  When he has a bad game though it generally is a really bad game.  I can't say I love his stuff but he gets the job done more often than not despite a horrible ERA.

    I too like Cotton but until this month far too often he just can't seem to find the zone.  If he can stay more consistent he could be an answer so hopefully he stays in a good groove through the end of the season.

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    It is a sad state of affairs when Bundy is one of the top pitchers for us! And Pagan? Just shows how bad the pitching has gotten. You can't expect to win often when you give a much flawed staff to a manager that doesn't seem to know how to handle even a good staff! I thought a few years ago we brought in Falvey to build a decent staff. 

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