Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Twins Post-Bullpen Overworked?

This season we have seen the Twins starting rotation (minus Carl Pavano and Francisco Liriano) go through some issues, specifically since june 1st. Kevin Slowey, Scott Baker, and Nick Blackburn have been an abomination, and the Twins 6 game lead in the central evaporated and now they sit swapping between second and third. And I would like to raise the question, is our bullpen becoming overworked? My belief...Yes, they are. The lack of innings being thrown by the starters have caught up with them. Of the 95 games played by the Minnesota Twins this year, the starters have pitched through at least 6 innings in 62 of those. But since June 1st, the starters have pitched through the 6th just 28 out of 44 times. If you take away Pavano and Liriano since June 1st, starters have gotten 6 innings in just 13 out of 27 times. To compare, since June 1st, the New York Yankees starting 5 have pitched through 6 31 out of 41 times. And if you don't think these numbers are affecting the bullpen i tend to disagree. Since July 1st Matt Guerrier (1.93 ERA to 2.74), Jose Mijares (2.12 to 3.20), Alex Burnett (3.12 to 4.39), and Jon Rauch (2.61 to 3.31) have all seen their ERA's rise, and in the case of Burnett, it lead to his demotion. The only person out in the bullpen who seems to be thriving right now is Jesse Crain who's ERA has fallen down to 3.52 and has become Ron Gardenhire's most trusted reliever. The 'pen hasn't been so bad to where we need to push the panic button, but if the lack of innings being pitched continue, the Twins could find problems from the bullpen on top of the starters being inconsistent. The Twins did just call up Anthony Slama and they have Kyle Waldrop waiting for his shot, but Rochester's bullpen has been worked almost twice as much as the Twins 'pen has. So if anything these guys could be even better and not have their arms fall off. But fatigue could set in with them anytime now as well. Here is another sign that the front office needs to go after some arms that can pitch deeper into games. If not, third place looks great for the Twins.

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