The Twins bullpen as a whole might have its problems, but the one guaranteed reliever who doesn't make you sweat is left-hander Taylor Rogers.
Rogers has been Rocco Baldelli's go-to man lately for good reasons. Baldelli has gone so far as to use Rogers for multiple innings at a time to pick up six-out saves.
In 36 games this season, Rogers has faced 177 batters and has allowed just eight runs in 44 innings, to go along with 56 strikeouts and just seven walks while picking up 14 saves.
Among relievers with at least 40 innings pitched, here's where Rogers ranks among American League reliever.
- ERA: 1.61, 3rd
- WHIP: 0.94, 4th
- K%: 31.6, 8th
- BB%: 4.0, 2nd
The numbers don't lie. Rogers is entering elite status among MLB relievers. Here's how he stacks up against league average bullpen arms
- MLB average: 4.48 ERA, .247 OBA, 1.38 WHIP, 23.3 K% and 9.6 BB%
- Taylor Rogers: 1.61 ERA, .211 OBA, 0.94 WHIP, 31.6 K% and 4.0 BB%
He's probably not on the same level as Josh Hader of the Milwaukee Brewers, who's probably the best reliever in the game but Rogers still holds his own.
- Taylor Rogers: 1.61 ERA, .211 OBA, 0.94 WHIP, 31.6 K% and 4.0 BB
- Josh Hader: 2.35 ERA, .128 OBA, 0.72 WHIP, 49K% and 7.7 BB%
If Rogers stays on the same pace he's at, here's how numbers would look by season's end.
- 61 games
- 75.2 innings
- 1.61 ERA
- 0.94 WHIP
- 95 strikeouts
- 12 walks.
The problem is though, if the Twins don't acquire another bullpen arm, Rogers is likely going to be overworked by the time October rolls around.
Which puts extra importance on the Twins going out and finding one if not two arms to make Rogers' life easier.
One name that would make an excellent pair with Rogers is Giants reliever Will Smith. Smith made the All-Star Game this season for the first time in his career and has churned out solid numbers.
- 41 games
- 2.68 ERA
- .194 OBA
- 38.3 K%
- 6.5 BB%
However, like Rogers, Smith is also a lefty and even though he'd be a nice addition to the Twins bullpen, finding a right-hander to balance things out would be a bonus.
Kirby Yates of the San Diego Padres might be the man to target. After struggling with the Rays, Angels and Yankees, Yates has settled in and become a dominant reliever for the Padres.
Over the past two seasons, Yates owns an ERA of 1.71 in 105 innings, with 157 strikeouts and just 26 walks.
If the Twins were able to acquire both Smith and Yates to pair with Rogers, all of the sudden the Twins' bullpen would be a force to be reckoned with.
It would take the pressure off of guys like Trevor May, Blake Parker and Ryne Harper, who then could be used more as specialists to go along with a dominating trio of Rogers, Smith and Yates.
The MLB Trade Deadline is July 31 and although Minnesota's been linked to plenty of starters, acquiring a few relievers might end up being more beneficial.