Minnesota Twins pitchers aren’t missing any bats

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 15: Ervin Santana (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - JULY 15: Ervin Santana (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Further proof of the Minnesota Twins pitching woes is shown in the lack of opponents’ swings and misses.

Minnesota Twins fans have rehashed over and over again how, to put it nicely, mediocre the team’s pitching staff is. The lackluster pitching has been evident for much of the season. Like a lot of things in baseball, it doesn’t get much better when you start diving into the deep end of the statistical pool.

A theory that is going around in baseball, one that I personally agree with, is that you are better off as a pitcher if your opponent does not make contact with the ball. No contact at all. The best result of a pitch is a swing and a miss because that means an automatic strike and there’s an incredibly small chance that anyone scores on a swing and miss. If a batter hits a pop fly or grounder, that has a better chance to score somebody even if it is an out.

Makes sense to me.

So to boil something simple that is made complicated back to the simplest of explanations: pitchers want a hitter to swing and miss. That is the best result possible.

The problem is that the Minnesota Twins do not cause a lot of swing and misses. In fact, the once contending Twins have caused the least amount of swings and misses in the entire major leagues according to a graph tweeted out from Daren Willman. Willman is the Director of Baseball Research & Development for the MLB.

The 2017 Twins going into the month of August have only forced opponents to swing and miss about 1,600 times. The Houston Astros lead the majors with around 2,200 swings and misses. That’s a drastic difference and it’s a stat that good teams dominate in.

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The top six teams in the majors in swing and misses for their opponents are the Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians and Arizona Diamondbacks. There’s a really good chance that all of those teams makes the playoffs in a couple months.

The Twins only have four pitchers that have made opponents swing and miss over 130 times: Ervin Santana, Jose Berrios, Kyle Gibson and Adalberto Mejia. While the Astros have eight different pitchers over the 130 swing and miss mark. Cleveland has seven pitchers over that mark. The Detroit Tigers have five going for them.

Minnesota is getting close to being contenders, but they’ll need more pitchers who can miss bats to fully get to a World Series caliber level.

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