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  • Rock the Vote: Twins Top Pitchers of All-Time

    We loved Joe, but is he one of the Twins top 10 best?
    On Tuesday, many of us voted. Maybe your candidate won. Maybe not. But here at Twins Daily, we also voted for the Top 10 Twins Hitters of All-Time. Generally speaking, the top three players were the same on most ballots. It was also interesting to see how people chose to vote 6-10.

    Today, I will present a group of twelve of the best pitchers in the Twins 52 year history. You can see how long each spent with heir Twins, how many innings they pitched and how well they performed. Each is pretty good, but the choice is yours.

    Put your ballot in the comments section, ranking them 1-10. In a couple of days, we’ll be sure to tally the votes and see how these pitchers rank.

    With that, here are a couple of charts looking at the top Twins pitchers statistically. These lists are alphabetical so as not to provide any bias.



    Player Yrs w/Twins W-L (S) ERA ERA+ WHIP
    Rick Aguilera 1989-1999 40-47 (254) 3.50 130 1.18
    Bert Blyleven 1970-76, 1985-88 149-138 3.28 119 1.19
    Dave Goltz 1972-1979 96-79 3.48 112 1.31
    Mudcat Grant 1964-1967 50-35 3.35 107 1.21
    Jim Kaat 1961-1973 190-159 3.34 110 1.23
    Joe Nathan 2004-2011 24-13 (260) 2.16 204 0.96
    Camilo Pascual 1961-1966 88-57 3.31 113 1.22
    Jim Perry 1963-1973 128-90 3.15 113 1.20
    Brad Radke 1995-2006 148-139 4.22 113 1.26
    Johan Santana 2000-2007 93-44 3.22 141 1.09
    Kevin Tapani 1989-1995 75-63 4.06 108 1.27
    Frank Viola 1982-1989 112-93 3.86 111 1.30


    As you can see, I did include two closers in the analysis. They certainly stand out compared to other relievers. So, how will you vote for them relative to the starters. It’s also fun to see the Adjusted ERA (ERA+) from the various eras. Johan Santana’s 3.22 ERA during the first eight seasons of this millennium shows an ERA+ of 141 while Jim Perry’s 3.15 ERA through the ‘60s and early ‘70s is ‘just’ a 113 ERA+.


    Player WAR Innings Walks:Strikeouts K/9
    Rick Aguilera 14.6 694 179:586 7.6
    Bert Blyleven 46.3 2,566 674:2,035 7.1
    Dave Goltz 22.5 1,638 493:887 4.9
    Mudcat Grant 5.0 780 163:377 4.3
    Jim Kaat 27.2 3,014 729:1,851 5.5
    Joe Nathan 17.8 463 134:561 10.9
    Camilo Pascual 16.9 1,284 431:994 7.0
    Jim Perry 24.2 1,883 541:1,025 4.9
    Brad Radke 42.6 2,451 445:1,467 5.4
    Johan Santana 34.0 1,308 364:1,381 9.5
    Kevin Tapani 17.8 1,171 255:724 5.6
    Frank Viola 25.0 1,772 521:1,214 6.2


    So how important are the number of innings pitched to you in your rankings? In other words, how does Santana’s or Nathan’s dominance over less innings compare to the longevity of pitchers like Kaat and Blyleven? How important is the strikeout statistic to you? In other words, Santana and Nathan are clearly the most dominant pitchers on this list, but the numbers that guys like Perry and Goltz put up while barely striking out a batter every other inning are also incredible. It also speaks to the era they pitched in, when hitters took pride in not striking out.

    So, what does your Top 10 list look like? I’ll post mine in the Comments section, but be sure to have your voice heard!
    This article was originally published in blog: Rock the Vote: Twins Top Pitchers of All-Time started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 25 Comments
    1. Brandon's Avatar
      Brandon -
      Santana at the top followed by Blyleven, Viola, then Jack Morris (even though he pitched one season his last game puts him on the list alone). so far those guys were aces, Nathan was the ace closer then you move on to the number 2 types in your rotation starting with Kaat who is a borderline ace maybe even an ace i don't know for sure, then Radke, Perry and Tapani, then Aguilera.

      I have to admit I am not as familiar with the 60's pitchers as much as the 80's and beyond.
    1. Darin Bratsch's Avatar
      Darin Bratsch -
      1. Johan Santana
      2. Bert Blyleven
      3. Frank Viola
      4. Camilio Pascual
      5. Jim Kaat
      6. Mudcat Grant
      7. Joe Nathan
      8. Jim Perry
      9. Rick Aguilera
      10. Jack Morris

      sorry, Bob Tewksbury & Bobby Castillo
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Sorry, I just can't include a guy who was the 3rd best pitcher on that 1991 team. Yup, he had the great Game 7... no question about that.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Alright, here's mine...

      1.) Johan Santana, 2.) Jim Kaat, 3.) Bert Blyleven, 4.) Joe Nathan, 5.) Jim Perry, 6.) Brad Radke, 7.) Frank Viola, 8.) Camilo Pascual, 9.) Dave Goltz, 10.) Rick Aguilera.
    1. Curt's Avatar
      Curt -
      1. Santana - duh
      2. Viola - ah, Sweet Music...
      3. Blyleven - every start was a possible no-hitter
      4. Radke - tough era, bad team, great pitcher
      5. Reardon - the anti-RD
      6. Kaat - when the pitcher really was the best athlete on the team
      7. Nathan - automatic
      8. Perry - no Gaylord but still...
      9. Aguilera - boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back. Classic.
      10. Morris - YEAH, IT WAS THAT IMPORTANT.
    1. Winston Smith's Avatar
      Winston Smith -
      Walter Johnson!

      Talk about a year, 1913: 36-7, 1.14 era with 29 complete games. 346 innings, a .78 whip and a 259 era+.
    1. Curt's Avatar
      Curt -
      Quote Originally Posted by Winston Smith View Post
      Walter Johnson!

      Talk about a year, 1913: 36-7, 1.14 era with 29 complete games. 346 innings, a .78 whip and a 259 era+.
      I see what you did there. Step to the front of the line, please.
    1. DAM DC Twins Fans's Avatar
      DAM DC Twins Fans -
      Top 3: Kaat, Bert andRadke

      Next 3: Johan, Sweet Music and Mudcat,

      The rest: Pscual, Goltz Tapani and Perry
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      1. Johan Santana 2. Jim Kaat 3. Bert Blyleven 4. Brad Radke 5. Joe Nathan 6. Jim Perry 7. Frank Viola 8. Rick Aguilera 9. Camilo Pascual 10. Dave Goltz
    1. Fatt Crapps's Avatar
      Fatt Crapps -
      Quote Originally Posted by DAM DC Twins Fans View Post
      Top 3: Kaat, Bert andRadke

      Next 3: Johan, Sweet Music and Mudcat,

      The rest: Pscual, Goltz Tapani and Perry
      Radke was better than Johan and Viola? Ok man..
    1. nokomismod's Avatar
      nokomismod -
      1. Johan 2. Jim Kaat 3. Viola 4. Bad Brad.

      Maybe because Bad Brad was here through thick and thin, and was the guy willing to stick with a really bad team when he could have left.
    1. jjswol's Avatar
      jjswol -
      1. Bert Blyleven
      2. Jim Kaat
      3. Jim Perry
      4. Frank Viola
      5. Johan Santana

      This is a list I put together last year at http://twinstrivia.com/2011/10/28/my...starting-five/
    1. jwestbrock's Avatar
      jwestbrock -
      Santana
      Blyleven
      Kaat
      Nathan
      Radke
      Aguilera
      Perry
      Viola
      Pascual
      Goltz
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      This can be tricky...
      Twins' top pitchers of all time (career numbers not only Twins' numbers; which will automatically have to include names like Steve Carlton)
      Twins' top pitchers of all time (Twins' only numbers)
      Twins' franchise top pitchers of all time (including the Senator years)
    1. zchrz's Avatar
      zchrz -
      If based purely on performance that 1/2 a year of pre TJ Liriano is at least top 3 if not the best. Obviously that story went horribly wrong but damn was he nasty when he first came up.
    1. h2oface's Avatar
      h2oface -
      1. Johan Santana
      2. Jim Kaat (tie)
      2. Bert Blyleven (tie)
      4. Frank Viola
      5. Joe Nathan

      6. Camilo Pascual
      7. Jim Perry
      8. Brad Radke
      9. Jim "Mudcat" Grant
      10. Jack Morris - for the greatest twins' pitching performance... game 7 was the game.

      i gotta stick with just the minnesota twins as the minnesota twins, and what they did as a member of the twins. no penalty for number of years on the twins.
    1. Steve J's Avatar
      Steve J -
      Quote Originally Posted by DAM DC Twins Fans View Post
      Top 3: Kaat, Bert andRadke

      Next 3: Johan, Sweet Music and Mudcat,

      The rest: Pscual, Goltz Tapani and Perry
      Is that you Dick Bremer?
    1. Steve J's Avatar
      Steve J -
      Quote Originally Posted by Curt View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Winston Smith View Post
      Walter Johnson!

      Talk about a year, 1913: 36-7, 1.14 era with 29 complete games. 346 innings, a .78 whip and a 259 era+.
      I see what you did there. Step to the front of the line, please.
      Yeah. I don't buy into the malarky of disowning history just because it wasn't local as seems to be the rage of conventional wisdom. The Twins/Senators are a historic franchise, not some lousy invention of the 60s
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Quote Originally Posted by Steve J View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Curt View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Winston Smith View Post
      Walter Johnson!

      Talk about a year, 1913: 36-7, 1.14 era with 29 complete games. 346 innings, a .78 whip and a 259 era+.
      I see what you did there. Step to the front of the line, please.
      Yeah. I don't buy into the malarky of disowning history just because it wasn't local as seems to be the rage of conventional wisdom. The Twins/Senators are a historic franchise, not some lousy invention of the 60s

      Right, they are the same franchise. But the list specifically says "Twins Top Pitchers of All-Time." I love baseball history though, so it was refreshing to see the "Big Train's" stat line for '13, even though it wasn't pitched in a Twins' uniform. Imagine if some wacko put up numbers like that in 2013...he would be MVP/Cy Young and people would swear he's on PED's
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Santana was widely known as the best pitcher "in the game" during his successful years in Minnesota. None of these other guys were ever considered the Ace of Aces in the major leagues. There is no way a list of Twins' all-time-greatest-pitchers doesn't start with Santana rated #1 overall.
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