Twins Not Focusing on Pitching Ace
Minnesota Twins president Dave St. Peter acknowledged to Sports Headliners in a telephone interview the starting pitching staff is without an ace, but finding a No. 1 stopper isn’t how he and front office decision makers Derek Falvey and Thad Levine are defining offseason plans.
“We don’t think about it that way,” St. Peter said. “We don’t talk about it as a goal to get a staff ace. We talk about upgrading our pitching. There’s all kinds of ways to do that. …We need to find ways to get better and put ourselves in a position to be better in postseason environments. That’s the focus.
“There’s a limited number of, quote on quote, true staff aces so we’re not going to define our offseason success on whether we’re…able to get one of those guys. We think there are pitchers that are going to be available that are going to make us better, or put us in a better position to compete.”
Because of free agency with present Twins starters, last season’s starting staff figures to look dramatically different in 2020. Jose Berrios is the only certain returnee in the starting rotation and at 25 years old he might be ready to assume the label of staff ace next season.
Berrios won 14 games last season for the second time in four big league years. With his 14-8 record he had a career best 3.68 ERA. St. Peter said Berrios needs to be more consistent but the Twins remain bullish on his future.
The Twins could fix their starting pitching with trades, free agent signings and promotion of personnel from within their system. St. Peter said his franchise wants to compete for world championships and he anticipates a busy offseason for Falvey and Levine dialoguing with other clubs about potential trades.
One rumor already out there is the Twins might move fan favorite Eddie Rosario, the 28-year-old left fielder who had career highs of 32 home runs and 109 RBI last season. Regarding the Rosario rumor St. Peter said, “It’s speculation.”
The Twins and Target Field hosted college football games in 2017 and this year, but for certain there won’t be a game in 2020. St. Peter said there have been discussions about future games but there is no timeline for an announcement. Such a game must come when the football Gophers aren’t in town.
St. Peter said a number of upgrades will be made at the ballpark for next season including an improved Wi-Fi network, renovations to suites, and changes to make the stadium more comfortable for players.
Busy broadcaster: that was Twins radio play-by-play voice Cory Provus doing the Kansas-Kansas State football game for FS-1 on Saturday, and he will be working Big Ten basketball games for BTN this coming season.
Path to the Rose Bowl: If the undefeated Golden Gophers football team can win its last four regular season games, and then play competitively in the Big Ten championship game, Minnesota is all but certain to make its first trip to Pasadena since 1962—assuming Ohio State remains unbeaten and advances to the college football playoffs.
Two-time All-American, Outland Trophy winner and Big Ten MVP Bobby Bell, who played on Minnesota’s last Rose Bowl team, will be the celebrity guest at Friday’s Goal Line Club lunch at Jax Café where Gophers running backs coach Kenni Burns will also speak. “I love the way they play,” Bell told Sports Headliners about the 8-0 Gophers. “I just want to be alive when they go back to the Rose Bowl.” More at Goallineclub.org.
University of Minnesota alum Harvey Mackay wrote about overcoming adversity in his syndicated business column last week, and he referenced Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck. Fleck likes to recruit players who have experienced difficulties in their young lives.
Mackay also quoted former Gophers coach Lou Holtz: “Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I’ll show you someone who has overcome adversity.”
The Timberwolves did more than improve their record to 4-1 last night in a 131-109 win over the Wizards. The victory ended a run of 20 consecutive games between Minnesota and Washington that alternated wins and losses, the longest such streak in the history of the NBA, MLB, NFL and NHL. The Wolves have now won the last two games versus the Wizards dating back to a March 9, 2019 win at Target Center.
Condolences to friends and family of retired St. Paul Pioneer Press sportswriter Jim Wells who died recently. A celebration of life will be held this afternoon (Sunday) at Canterbury Park where Jim is part of the race track’s Hall of Fame.