There’s no need to fear – Jose Berrios is here!
As a human being who has been alive on this planet for almost two and a half decades, I can attest to the lack of starting pitching aces that the Minnesota Twins have had in their recent history. Brad Radke was the Opening Day starter for the Twins nine times. Nothing against Radke, he was a solid pitcher, but not so good that he should have ever had that many Opening Day starts.
Since the Radke era, the only truly dominant Twins starter for any period of time was Johan Santana. His two Cy Young Award wins support that. Francisco Liriano also was dominating for a couple stretches, but never for long enough to be truly an ace. Phil Hughes had a nice season but not real ace caliber and Ervin Santana can be put in that category too.
The ace Twins fans have been waiting for might be here now. We’ve heard a lot about Jose Berrios and his ace status at the major league level is coming to life right before our eyes.
Berrios was dominant in the Twins 6-2 win over the Seattle Mariners on Thursday afternoon. In his start, Berrios went eight innings allowing only two runs on five hits while striking out six. It was another really good start for what, so far, has been a really good season for Berrios.
This season, Berrios sports a 6-1 record with a 2.74 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. Berrios has 45 strikeouts in 46 innings over only seven starts. Opposing batters are only hitting .186 off of him in 2017.
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That is all a huge improvement compared to 2016 for Berrios. Just to pick a couple stats, Berrios is only four strikeouts away from matching last season’s total in exactly half the starts. Opponents in 2016 were hitting .310 off of Berrios and he had an 8.02 ERA.
The times have changed. Berrios is now the team’s stopper. When the Twins need a win, they get it with Berrios on the mound. That is becoming more and more important as the Twins pitching starts to crumble around Berrios, especially with Ervin Santana coming back to Earth after his astronomical start to 2017.
While the talk might be about how the Twins are still winning with horrible pitching, which is very true, don’t overlook the fact that if you look through the mess you can see the ace we have all been waiting and hoping for.
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