With Glen Perkins on the disabled list and Jose Berrios beginning the season in Triple-A Rochester, the Twins will go into Monday's season opener with a pitching staff that looks a lot like last year's.
That's not necessarily a bad thing if Ervin Santana is good again and the likes of Kyle Gibson, Phil Hughes and Hector Santiago pitch consistently to their potential.
Remember, Gibson posted a 3.84 ERA in 2015 and then blew up with a 5.07 ERA in 2016. Hughes was seventh in Cy Young voting in 2014 before injuries derailed his 2015 and 2016 seasons. Santiago was an All-Star with the Angels in 2015 but he struggled badly in 2016.
The fifth starter has come down to left-hander Adalberto Mejia or right-hander Tyler Duffey, with the choice likely coming today, according to the Star Tribune. Rhett Bollinger says it appears Duffey has won the job, meaning Mejia is likely to start the season at Triple-A Rochester.
Starting rotation (2016 ERAs with Twins)
- RHP Ervin Santana, 3.38 ERA
- LHP Hector Santiago, 5.58 ERA
- RHP Kyle Gibson, 5.07 ERA
- RHP Phil Hughes, 5.95 ERA
- LHP Adalberto Mejia, or RHP Tyler Duffey, 6.43 ERA
The bullpen is set after Alex Wimmers and Nick Tepesch were optioned to Minor League Camp Wednesday morning. The closer has not been announced, but the most likely late-inning relievers are Pressly, Belisle and Kintzler. Kintzler led the Twins with 17 saves last season.
- LHP Craig Breslow
- LHP Taylor Rogers
- RHP Michael Tonkin
- RHP Justin Haley
- RHP Ryan Pressly
- RHP Matt Belisle
- RHP Brandon Kintzler