The road trip the Minnesota Twins completed in Cleveland on Sunday is raising all kinds of red flags about the team's pitching rotation.
After giving up 9, 17 and 8 runs during their three-game series in Cleveland, the Twins could be looking for some help if they want to remain in the discussion about the post-season.
According to the Pioneer Press' Mike Berardino, the team's top pitching prospect, right-hander Jose Berrios, is foremost among those potential options.
Berrios, 21, is pitching for the Twins' triple-A farm team in Rochester and was outstanding on Saturday night against Charlotte. He tossed seven shutout innings while striking out nine, improving to 3-1 over his past five starts with a 1.59 ERA. Berrios has also been able to strike opposing hitters out,. He has 31 strikeouts in his past 34 innings.
His success at both the double-A and triple-A levels is starting to turn heads both inside and outside the Twins organization.
"He's on a pretty good roll, huh?" Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony told the Pioneer Press Sunday. "He's throwing all three pitches for strikes. He's not walking anybody. He's striking guys out. He's had good damage control. When he does get in some situations, he's been able to get out of them."
How close is Berrios to heading to the Twins? Well, close enough that ESPN has put him on top of their Fantasy Baseball prospects list.
Berrios' first two starts at Triple-A were rough, but the 25th overall prospect in MLB got it together and has lowered his Triple-A ERA to 3.02.
"It feels pretty good," Berrios told MiLB.com after his start on Saturday night. "My mind is strong, I'm comfortable, it's good. It's a different league but [the] same baseball. I worked on my pitches and my spots. I work with them and I do my work before every start. I'm so close to my dream of the Majors. I have to be humble and keep working every day to make my dream of playing in the Majors."
The Twins have an open spot in the rotation on Aug. 15 and a spot on the 40-man roster. Tommy Milone, isn't eligible to come off the disabled list until Aug. 16, and the Twins already optioned Tyler Duffey back to Rochester.