co-leaders with strikeouts at only 101 strikeouts. Yes the Twins only had two pitchers who got over 100 strikeouts for the season and their closer was third on the team with 77.
That's mind boggling to think about that a team only had two starting pitchers who struck out 100 batters and the pitcher on their staff that is third is their closer. No wonder they finished 30 games under .500. So how do the Twins solve this problem? By going after guys in free agency.
The two pitchers the Twins signed to over $70 million were Phil Hughes and Ricky Nolasco. (Cue up the Price is Right losing horn.) Nolasco is the real prize between the two. Nolasco has thrown over 100 strikeouts the past 6 seasons including 165 last year between the Marlins and Dodgers. He's projected to give them over 100 strikeouts this season.
The deal I can't figure out for the Twins is Hughes. Last season Hughes declined from his 2012 season only whiffing 121 batters with a 4.50 FIP. How exactly does he bolster their pitching rotation? He barely had a better season than Kevin Correia and Mike Pelfrey who each barely gave the Twins nothing.
Hughes gives Twins fans that false hope. Minnesota signing him says to the fans, "see we spend money in the offseason" but there's small print that says "but not for players that are all that great".
The Twins still look like a team that will have pitching problems again for the 2014 season. Yes they improved the very top of their pitching staff with Nolasco but he's not exactly Justin Verlander or even Doug Fister. And the rest of their pitching staff is pretty meh.
The Twins will have Samuel Deduno and the immortal Vance Worley throwing rocks at each other for the fifth starting spot. Not exactly inspiring.
It's hard looking at the "new & improved" pitching staff for the Twins and not seeing another poor season coming from that staff. Nolasco makes them better at top. Hughes gives them depth. That doesn't mean though this will be one of the best pitching staffs in baseball. Then again the Twins aren't exactly ready yet to compete. Not until Buxton and Sano come up until the Twins can compete. For now though this should hold them over until the super prospects come up.