Sun. Sep 22nd, 2019

The Three-Header Monster of the A.L. Central

We are only a handful of weeks into the Major League Baseball season, but several pitchers that aren’t big names have been dicing. The top three pitchers for ERA so far are Tyler Glasnow of the Rays, Chris Paddack of the Padres, and Zach Davies of the Brewers. There is currently a three-headed trio on one division-leading team right now that is getting basically no recognition by any major baseball outlet out there. That is the three-headed monster that currently reigns in the Twin Cities, and the pitchers are Jose Berrios, Jake Odorizzi, and Martin Perez.

These three relatively unknown players have been dicing up opponents through the first five weeks and have Minnesota sitting clear of the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central. This article may just seem like a job to hype up these guys, but their numbers so far this season have been great. Over their last four starts a piece, you can’t do any better than what they have been.

Jose Berrios came up through the Twins’ farm system. He has had hype around him from the minute that Minnesota got their hands on him. Berrios made his first start back in 2016, and he would only throw around 60 innings that season. His ERA and WHIP were very high his rookie year, but he has only gotten better with age. Since that first year, he has not had an ERA higher than 3.89 and is currently carrying an ERA of 2.53 and a WHIP of .92. He has a wipeout curveball, but has developed movement on his other pitches as well. He can hover around 95 with his fastball, but the little tail he can get to go along with that 95 makes him a formidable ace.

The second man up is Jake Odorizzi (or as I call him Eggs Over Easy). Odo came from the Tampa Bay organization and is currently in his second season with the Twins. Last season, he was brought in to be a very reliable pitcher, but he ended up being pretty ehhh. That basically was how last season went for Minnesota. This season has been a completely different story. He has found great control of his fastball and he makes his living off of throwing that ball up in the strike zone. Odo doesn’t throw the ball too hard, but he sure gets a hell of a lot of swings and misses on that high cheddar.

Finally, a man that no one thought was going to be as good as he has been, Martin Perez. The Twins acquired him this offseason from the Texas Rangers, and he wasn’t anticipated to turn into what he has. Perez has never had an ERA below 3.62 before this season, but now he has a 2.83. The other impressive number that is popping off of his stat sheet is that he is holding opponents to a .237 batting average. That isn’t the best number, but before this season, his lowest was .267. That’s quite the improvement. Perez is making a living on his cutter and it is confusing the living hell out of batters. It has more run to it than break which is working great so far.

Over their last four starts each (12 games), there hasn’t been a trio in baseball as good as these three. They have combined for 78.1 innings pitched (about 6.5 per game), struck out 68 batters (about 5.5 per game), only walked 14 ( about 1 per game), have allowed 16 runs (about 1 per game), and have a perfect 12-0 record. If they pitch like this all season, the Twins will contend for more than just a division title.

This year seems to be the year of the pitcher that no one knows. The three-headed monster forming in Minnesota has all three pitchers in the top 16 in the MLB for ERA. Minnesota fans, buckle in because this is going to be the best summer/fall in the Twin Cities in a long time.

For more sports chatter, follow @Maiers_Luke on Twitter.