Monday, February 23, 2015

Twins 5th Starter Battle by ZiPS

La Velle E. Neal wrote in today's Star Tribune about the Twins 5th starter battle. Phil Hughes and Ervin Santana are going to lead the rotation and La Velle calls Kyle Gibson and Ricky Nolasco locks behind those two. There's an argument that Gibson and Nolasco don't deserve spots, but we can tackle that another day. As it's laid out in La Velle's scenario, this leaves one spot open to competition between Trevor May, Alex Meyer, Tommy Milone, Mike Pelfrey and Tim Stauffer.

Here's a look at how the five candidates stack up by FanGraphs ZiPS projections -

Note that Stauffer's projection is mostly based on bullpen work and looks slightly better as a result.

I think this tells us more about who will end the season in the rotation than who will be there in April. It's likely that Stauffer, Milone and Pelfrey are allowed to wear out their welcome before May and certainly Meyer are asked to take the hill at Target Field.

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