Last year, the rotation was an utter disaster, with Twins starters ranking 26th in the majors in ERA and WHIP. Short outings taxed an already ill-equipped bullpen and frequently put games out of reach before the offense had much of a say.
It's not hard to see why these pitchers struggled so badly. Beyond injuries that hindered performance, the starting corps posted a lower strikeout rate than any other AL club; allowing that much contact in front of a substandard defense led to a league-worst
Updated 03-28-2012 at 11:40 PM by Nick Nelson
When the Twins signed Jason Marquis to a one-year, $3 million contract back in December, Terry Ryan offered this description: "He's a groundball machine and he throws the ball over the plate."
That characterization was only partially accurate. While the sinker-balling right-hander has induced grounders at an extreme rate, painting him as a consistent strike-thrower never passed the sniff test. As Aaron Gleeman astutely noted when the Twins signed him, Marquis' career walk rate is identical
Yeah, it's only the second week of March. But early in spring training, positive signs have been hard to come by for this offense.
Today at Hammond Stadium, the Twins snapped a string of 27 consecutive scoreless innings, but did so without a run-scoring hit. Their two runs both came on bases-loaded walks. The latter took place with two outs in the ninth inning, drawing the Twins within a run of the Cardinals before Rene Tosoni grounded out to second on the first pitch of the next at-bat