(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

 

The Minnesota Twins have been able to overcome a subpar bullpen so far, and lead the AL Central division by one game over the Cleveland Guardians.

Jhoan Duran has been one of the best and most reliable relievers in baseball, with a 2.06 ERA in 35 innings.

He has an incredible 34.3 percent strikeout rate, and it’s easy to see why: he can hit triple-digits with his fastball, and it has some excellent movement, too.

However, behind him, things haven’t been as smooth in the Twins’ relief corps.

“#MNTwins bullpen’s Win Probability Added by month if Jhoan Duran’s totals are removed: April: -0.19 (#27 in MLB). May: +0.66 (#10 in MLB). June: -2.52 (#29 in MLB). Overall: -2.04 (#25 in MLB). It’s been a problem all season. Duran has just been amazing enough to mask it at times,” Twins reporter Aaron Gleeman tweeted, highlighting a big issue for Minnesota.

 

The Twins Need To Do Something

The Twins are fresh off suffering two consecutive walk-off losses, against the Guardians, no less.

On both occasions, Duran wasn’t on the receiving end of the home run.

The Twins can’t just duplicate him and have two or three of him: they need to find more depth in their bullpen, but they haven’t been able to do that yet.

It’s not as easy as it sounds.

The Twins’ bullpen is in the middle of the pack in ERA, with a 3.89 mark that ranks them 16th, if you want a more traditional metric to measure its effectiveness.

Win Probability Added, or WPA, is just about perfect, though.

Griffin Jax has been good, but Caleb Thielbar has been much worse than expected, as has Emilio Pagan.

Tyler Duffey has also been mediocre so far.

In other words, they will need to improve in order to retain their roster spot because the Twins, a contender, will look for replacements if the situation doesn’t change.

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