By La Velle
One way to help a bullpen improve is to keep it off the mound. One month into the season, Twins starters have tried to do their part.
The Twins have had starters pitch at least seven innings eight times in 22 games as opposed to 10 through 27 March/April games last season.
Twins starters have pitched at least eight innings four times (three by Glen Perkins) this year, which didn’t happen in all of April last season. The Twins’ first eight-inning outing last year came on May 7 when Livan Hernandez tossed a complete game at the White Sox. Last year, Kevin Slowey didn’t get past the fourth inning in his one April start and Francisco Liriano threw a total of 10.1 innings in three starts.
Twins starters have thrown 134.2 of 193.1 innings this year (69.7 percent). Last March/April, they threw 146.2 of 228.2 innings (64.1 percent).
True, Liriano and Scott Baker haven’t won a game yet. But, overall, the rotation has protected the bullpen.