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Strikeout machine Joe Ryan to make MLB debut for Twins

Joe Ryan is expected to take the mound Wednesday night against the Cubs.
Joe Ryan

Twins fans will get a glimpse at a starting pitcher who could be a fixture in the rotation for years to come when Joe Ryan makes his major league debut Wednesday. 

Ryan, 25, is expected to be added to the 40-man roster and will make his debut Wednesday when the Twins face the Chicago Cubs, according to KSTP-TV's Darren Wolfson

Ryan was the key player traded back to the Twins in the July deal that saw slugger Nelson Cruz sent to the Tampa Bay Rays. Ryan then pitched for Team USA in the Olympics, where he helped lead the Americans to the silver medal. 

He's since made two starts for Triple-A St. Paul and has been dominant, striking out 17 batters in 9 innings while allowing just 2 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks. In 12 games with Tampa Bay's Triple-A affiliate, Ryan struck out 75 batters in 57 innings and had a 3.62 ERA and a dynamite 0.79 WHIP. 

Ryan's ability to strike out batters isn't short-lived. He led the minors in strikeout rate in 2019 (183 strikeouts in 123.2 innings), and who knows what 2020 could've been had the pandemic not wiped out the entire minor league season. 

Ryan is Minnesota's No. 6-ranked prospect, with three other starting pitchers rated just ahead of him: Jhoan Duran, Simeon Woods Richardson and Jordan Balazovich. There's a decent chance all of them are featured in the starting rotation within the next year or two. 

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