The Minnesota Twins made it a priority to reinforce the pitching staff for the 2023 season.
However, they didn’t bring many people into the fold.
Instead, they made two big gambles: one in trading reigning batting champion Luis Arraez to bring in Pablo Lopez, and the other one in giving Kenta Maeda enough time and resources to complete his Tommy John rehab and come back stronger than ever this year.
Both are paying off, and together with the depth and quality they managed to put together last year, the Twins now have an elite pitching staff.
This is evidenced in traditional stats like ERA, with their excellent 2.50 team mark.
However, strikeouts are often more useful stats to predict future success, and the Twins have been the strikeout kings in the early going.
“Twins pitchers have a strikeout rate of 31% this season, best in MLB; League Avg: 23%,” Inside Edge tweeted.
Twins pitchers have a strikeout rate of 31% this season, best in MLB; League Avg: 23%.#MNTwins pic.twitter.com/hikoqmpLh9
— Inside Edge (@IE_MLB) April 13, 2023
That number means that the Twins strike out 31 percent of the hitters they face.
All Minnesota starters (Lopez, Tyler Mahle, Sonny Gray, Maeda and Joe Ryan) have more strikeouts than innings pitched.
Most of the relievers do, as well, led by Jhoan Duran and Caleb Thielbar.
One of the best stats to predict future success is strikeout-to-walk ratio.
The Twins punch out 4.39 hitters for every walk they give away.
That not only leads the league, but it’s the only number above four in the American League.
The Twins’ lineup might be very good when everybody is healthy, but their true strength is their pitching.NEXT: Byron Buxton Comments On Latest Injury Scare