MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minnesota Twins have always known Jose Berrios has the stuff to be a top pitcher in the big leagues.
But Berrios struggled for the Twins last year in three separate stints at the major league level. He had trouble with his command, walked hitters and finished his first season with an 8.02 ERA. He was walking more than five batters per nine innings. Suddenly, there was doubt that the future star might be a bust.
That’s what makes the past two weeks for Berrios with the Twins equally as exciting as they are impressive. Berrios was promoted to the big leagues after Phil Hughes went on the disabled list with an injury, and Berrios has dominated in three starts. He’s 3-0 with a 1.66 earned run average.
In 21 2/3 innings, Berrios has allowed just eight hits and four runs, all earned. Three of those came Wednesday on three solo homers as the Twins held onto beat the Orioles 4-3. Berrios went 6 1/3 innings in Wednesday’s win. In his other two starts, he pitched into the eighth inning.
Most importantly, he’s dominating major league hitters and attacking the strike zone. Berrios buckled Caleb Joseph on Wednesday with this curve ball. It was one of seven strikeouts. It’s a pitch that when he can throw it for a strike or near the plate, it’s unhittable.
Jose Berrios just fanned Caleb Joseph with this absurd breaking ball pic.twitter.com/L1XGrmjygf
— Pitcher List (@ThePitcherList) May 24, 2017
So far in three starts, Berrios has 22 strikeouts and just four walks. They’ll need him to be consistent if they want to be a playoff contender this year after the Twins lost 103 games last year. The Twins are 25-18 on the season to lead the AL Central, and they’re the best road team in baseball at 14-5.