The Gemini’s needs for the offseason are pretty clear: starting serve, starting serve, and more. Of course, they have other areas to tackle, but restoring their rotation will be the most important focus this offseason.
For this front office, this is not an unfamiliar position. Last year, the Twins went into the offseason with two rotations. The year before, the only starter they had a contract with early in the offseason was Jose Berrios. They ended up filling that rotation, bringing Jake Odorizzi back into the qualifying offer, changing the trade to Kenta Maeda, and adding veterans to the free agency.
“It’s like déjà vu,” baseball president Derek Falvey said at the end of September. “… It doesn’t make the task easier. Naturally, I would like to be able to put together a team of five or seven guys and tell you that we are good and we do not need to waste time on this in the offseason. We know what we are doing. This is an area where we’re going to spend a lot of time trying to get creative and think about how we can influence her through a free agency or trade. ”
REGULATIONS FOR 2021
The twins entered the 2021 season in a rotation consisting of Maeda, Berrios, Michael Pineda, Jay E. Hupp, and Matt Shoemaker. At some point in the second half of the season, their rotation was completely different.
While Berrios had one of the best seasons of his career, he did so in part for the Toronto Blue Jays after being traded in July. Maeda, coming out of the 2020 season in which he finished second in the Cy Young Award, suffered from elbow discomfort for most of the year and eventually underwent Tommy John surgery. Pineda, the only member of the group to survive the season, demanded three separate sections on the injured list.
Happ, like Berrios, was also sold. The Twins somehow found a buyer at the St. Louis Cardinals for the veteran left-hander who had an average earned income of 6.77 at the time. The shoemaker was even less effective. His journey with the Twins resulted in him being promoted to the bullpen, assigned for an appointment, and briefly worked at Triple-A before his final release.
Shoemaker’s fight paved the way for rookie Bailey Ober, who stepped in and grabbed the spot, which he took full advantage of. Auber, a bright spot in a relatively bleak season, averaged 4.19 over 20 starts and, importantly given his injury history, had no hand problems as the Twins handled his pitches carefully.
Other newcomers also went through extended trials with varying results. Griffin Jax finished the year with a 6.37 ERA, retaining its rotational position beyond the trading deadline. Lefty Charlie Barnes also looked.
Joe Ryan, who was acquired through the exchange of Nelson Cruise with Tampa Bay, did the same, and he showed the Twins what he could like in five starts. In the second game of his career, he played well in the seventh inning against Cleveland.
Randy Dobnack, Lewis Thorpe, and Devin Smelzer, who were looking at the Gemini’s basic depth options earlier in the year, have all spent most of their seasons on the injured list, and the Twins haven’t had a glimpse of some of their best serves. Prospects like Joan Duran or Josh Winder are also due to injuries.
FORECAST FOR 2022
If Berrios were still in the organization and Maeda wasn’t going to miss most, if not all, of next season, it would be a different story for the Twins.
But right now, they’ve entered an offseason in which Aubert and Ryan, who have played 25 major league games in total, appear to have rotation tickets to start the season with the rest to be filled.
How they do it – free agency, bidding, inside – will be the story to watch this offseason.
While the Gemini has plenty of domestic opportunities that started at the major league level, including many of the ones mentioned above, none other than Aubert and Ryan seem to have shown enough to earn a spot in 2022. the closest he wrestled last year and then his season was distracted by finger problems.
Over the past few seasons, the Twins have filled rotation positions, recruiting veteran starters – Happ, Shoemaker, Rich Hill, Homer Bailey, Martin Perez – on annual contracts.
It wouldn’t be surprising if the Gemini brought back Pineda, who has expressed an interest in staying in Minnesota and certainly wouldn’t rob a bank at a free agency, but even if they did, they would still need to reach out to the top. own life. rotation.
Ace Dodgers Max Scherzer, 37, is leading a class of aspiring free-agent pitchers this year. Robbie Ray, who could win the Cy Young American League Award this year, Kevin Gausman and Markus Stroman are also among the other strongest players. Everything, of course, will require huge financial investments.
The Gemini also has enough player position depth – or even promising capital – to withstand exchanges from these ranks to help fill the rotation.
IN THE PIPELINE
The Gemini have stable young arms that they developed into minors, although those in the group that make it to the Majors in 2022 probably won’t start the season there.
Major forward-looking Jordan Balazovic, the No. 3 prospect at Baseball America, spent his season at Double-A, as did Simeon Woods Richardson, just 21, who was acquired for Berrios and is ranked sixth in the team’s rankings.
Winder (No. 4) and Durant (No. 9) are closer than the two, both having spent time at Triple-A last season. Their seasons were cut short by injuries, so the Gemini didn’t get a chance to see them at the major league level. Drew Strootman, the team’s 12th promising BA player who was acquired with Ryan in exchange for Cruise, may also see some point next season after spending 2021 at Triple-A.
The much-publicized right-hand Matt Canterino (No. 7), who was also injured in the 2021 season, has moved on, but the Gemini are looking forward to his future.
This is the first in a series that will look at all Gemini positions, reflections on the 2021 season, and a forecast for the 2022 season and beyond.