Is the Twins' bullpen resurgence for real?

It's been the best unit in the league since. Aug. 15.
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After going through a little bit of adversity at the beginning of August, the Twins have won 13 of their last 17 games heading into a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox on Sept. 3.

A big reason for their turnaround has to do with the resurgence in their bullpen, which previously had been the team's Achilles heel. Dating back to Aug. 15, the Twins' bullpen has been the best unit in the American League.

  1. Twins, 2.37 ERA
  2. Rangers. 3.15 ERA
  3. Astros, 3.76 ERA
  4. Red Sox, 3.76 ERA
  5. Mariners, 3.92 ERA

Over that period, the bullpen has logged 57 innings, faced 233 batters and has allowed just 15 earned runs, with 60 strikeouts to nine walks and a 1.18 WHIP. Meanwhile, league average relievers have produced 4.58 ERA and a WHIP of 1.39 during that stretch.

Numerous Twins relievers have produced impressive results over this span.

  • Trevor May: 25 batters faced, 0.00 ERA, 11 strikeouts, zero walks.
  • Taylor Rogers, 18 batters faced, 0.00 ERA, eight strikeouts, zero walks
  • Tyler Duffey: 22 batters faced, 0.00 ERA, 10 strikeouts, one walk
  • Randy Dobnak: 20 batters faced, 0.00 ERA, three strikeouts, zero walks
  • Cody Stashak: 29 batters faced, 2.45 ERA, four strikeouts, zero walks
  • Sergio Romo: 28 batters faced, 2.84 ERA, nine strikeouts, two walks
  • Sam Dyson: 32 batters faced, 3.52 ERA, four strikeouts, zero walks

Now over that span, the only decent team the Twins faced was the Texas Rangers and since then, it's been a bevy of games against the Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox, two teams who are substantially under .500.

But I'd also argue that because those teams are so putrid, you should be be putting up impressive numbers. It would be more alarming if they were blowing games to teams who are clearly bottom feeders.

The Twins face a tough stretch coming up with 12 games against Boston, Cleveland and Washington, all of whom are well over .500 and potential serious playoff contenders.

So if we go back to the last time the Twins played some tougher competition, which was Aug. 5-14 when they faced Atlanta, Cleveland and Milwaukee, here's how the Twins' bullpen performed.

  • 32 innings
  • 5.34 ERA
  • 31 strikeouts
  • Eight walks
  • 1.44 WHIP

It might be worth noting that Kohl Stewart and Ryne Harper were responsible for eight (out of 22) of those earned runs but it doesn't look like those two pitchers will be on the postseason roster.

However, Taylor Rogers and Sergio Romo, who are the two best options for the Twins, each had alarming lines against those teams.

  • Rogers: 11 batters faced, four hits, four earned runs, three strikeouts, one walk, one home run allowed 
  • Romo: 14 batters faced, three hits, three earned runs, three strikeouts, two home runs allowed

Taking a look at those two samples, it's safe to assume the Twins' bullpen probably won't be as dominant as it has been over the last 17 games, but it probably wont be as bad as it was during the first part of August either.

Instead, if they can find a happy medium, with the starting rotation being at the very least a competent staff, the Twins should be able to find success down the stretch and in the postseason. 

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