January 6, 2020

What do pitchers Homer Bailey and Rich Hill bring to the Twins? Well…

Like most of Twins Territory, I’m feeling underwhelmed after the Twins added starting pitchers Homer Bailey and Rich Hill.

Bailey, in particular, doesn’t move the needle very much, and is already being compared to former Twins pitcher Martin Perez. Perez showed up last season with some lackluster numbers as well, but after working with innovative Twins pitching coach, Wes Johnson, the team coaxed 10 wins out of him and he set a career high in strikeouts. I guess the same might be done with Bailey, although remember that Bailey was 1-14 with a 6.09 ERA in 2018 with the Cincinnati Reds.

More promising is stadium provocateur Rich Hill, previously with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is 65-42 with a 3.82 ERA for his career and has struck out more than 1,000 batters in 937-plus innings over his 15-year career. At the same time, that’s not a lot of innings for that many years in major league baseball. He’s also coming off elbow surgery, so is not expected to be ready until June, and he turns 40 in March.

Here’s how this will work: The Twins will start the season with a rotation of Jake Odorizzi, Jose Berrios and Bailey, as long as he survives spring training, with stop-gap support from Randy Dobnak, Lewis Thorpe and Devin Smeltzer. Later, Michael Pineda will return to the rotation after he completes his suspension for using a banned, but not a performance enhancing substance, and then Hill is expected to join the team giving them perhaps a mid-season spark.

Can the Twins win the division with this rotation? Yes, they still can. Can they beat the New York Yankees in the postseason with this rotation? Nope.

Some reaction to the Bailey and Hill signings:

Extra innings…

-The Twins have apparently made a significant offer for free agent slugging third baseman, Josh Donaldson, but now Donaldson reportedly wants $110 million over the life of the contract, which is thought to be four years. And now the Twins aren’t as optimistic about landing him.


Hi, I’m Rolf Boone, Twins fan.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.