Minnesota Twins: How Did the Pitching Get So Bad?

5 of 5

Mar 23, 2015; Clearwater, FL, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher

Mike Pelfrey

(37) throws a pitch before the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Bright House Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Fizzling Free Agents

My buddy Mike was one of the biggest Twins fans I knew but has hardly watched the past couple of years. His biggest gripe is the team’s propensity for giving a few million dollars to mediocre National League pitchers then watching them pitch poorly in Minnesota. Mike Pelfrey, Kevin Correia and Jason Marquis are the best examples of this perplexing phenomenon. The transition to the AL from the NL is always difficult since the line-ups swap out pitchers who generally cannot hit for designated hitters. The fact that some of the guys the Twins brought over could not even thrive in the National League makes the moves even worse.

Finally, the Twins started spending big money on pitching last off-season. The problem is, they are 1-for-3 on the big bets so far. Ricky Nolasco was terrible last year but is young enough where it is at least possible that he could bounce back. Ervin Santana just got popped for steroids and will be suspended for 80 games before throwing a single regular season pitch for the Twins. The only one who worked so far was Phil Hughes, who was great in 2014. The books are not closed on any of those guys but it is a concerning start.

In other words it has not been one cause for the Twins going from one of the best pitching staffs in baseball to the worst, it has been many. If the team is ever going to climb out of the basement it is absolutely imperative that the starting rotation gets fixed.

Next: 2015 Twins Preview