|Ken Blaze- USA Today Sports|
Going into any season it can be tough to predict who is set-up to play poorly and maybe it is an exercise in futility. When the end of the season comes around, feel free to shout me out on Twitter and tell me how wrong I was in relation to this year's "Twins Bust Candidates."
Tyler Duffey, RHP
Duffey pitched well for the while the Twins were still in the postseason hunt. He finished the year boasting a 5-1 record with a very respectable 3.10 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. Call it the "Scott Diamond Effect" but it seems unlikely for him to keep up this pace into the 2016 campaign. He was never considered one the organization's top pitching prospects as he averaged 7.4 SO/9 and a 3.73 ERA over four minor league seasons.
Can the Twins get by with Duffey as a back of the rotation starter? Sure, he can fit into this role. Baseball Reference projects him to compile a 3.64 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP in just under 90 innings of work. Both of these totals would be better than his minor league track record and he hasn't exactly been light's out this spring as he works on his change-up. With top pitching prospect Jose Berrios in the wings, it seems likely that Duffey could find himself out of a starting spot at some point this season.
Glen Perkins, LHP
Perkins has made the All-Star Game in each of the last three seasons and he's even been asked to close out the game for the AL each of the last two years. However, the end of last season was a little rough for the Twins closer as he tried to play through injury and posted some poor numbers along the way. World Series legend Jack Morris even hinted that Perkins might not exactly be in shape in a Twin Cities radio interview last year.
While Perkins has been able to accumulate over 30 saves in each of the last three seasons, his other numbers have been on the decline. His first three years in the bullpen he posted a 2.45 ERA with a 1.06 WHIP and 10.2 SO/9. The last two years those numbers have declined to a 3.49 ERA, a 1.19 WHIP, and 9.1 SO/9. Perkins turned 33 at the beginning of March and the organization has a young core of bullpen arms working their way towards Target Field. If the recent trend continues, the team might have to look at other options.
Kurt Suzuki, C
Suzuki has been on the decline for most of the last year and a half so to say he will be a bust at this point in his career might not be too big of a stretch. After hitting .309/.365/.396 in his first 65 games with the Twins, he would go on to hit .259/.323/.339 in the second half of 2014. Last season was even worse as he finished the year hitting .240/.296/.314 while taking a beating behind the plate. He had the lowest caught stealing percentage (15%) of any AL catcher with at least 600 innings behind the dish.
The Twins had to add some depth to the catching ranks and they were able to do that this offseason. Minnesota has been clear that Suzuki is their starter and he should be to reward him for his work with the pitching staff over the last couple years. However, John Ryan Murphy will likely start to play more frequently as the season progresses. This could help Suzuki's performance if he isn't out there for over 130 games but it's hard to know how much he has left in the tank. His days as a starting catcher could be coming to an end
Who do you think is set-up to bust this season? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.