If one thing has ever been clear about the Minnesota Twins after 2012, it's that they need pitching. This winter objective No. 1 for Terry Ryan and his crew looks to be finding some good, reliable pitching. It just happens that Brandon McCarthy fits that description.
In 2012 McCarthy was one of the catalysts on the playoff-bound Oakland A’s team. His effort has brought him into the light and it’s a light the Twins should look into.
Just look what the Twins were putting out there on the mound for the last portion of 2012: Scott Diamond, Sam Deduno, Cole De Vries, Brain Duensing and Liam Hendricks. Only Scott Diamond has a spot solidified for 2013; he was the Twins' No. 1 starter and is more likely a 3-5 guy in your rotation.
McCarthy doesn’t exactly fill that No. 1 hole, but he is a couple steps up from the Dedunos and De Vries of the world. If for no other reason, it’d be a good move for the Twins to have an MLB-ready starter.
Some stats get too much hype, but I believe that ERA gives us a good view at what is going on out there. McCarthy had a really good ERA last year of 3.24. The lowest ERA among the Twins' final starters was Scott Diamond’s 3.54.
If you compare McCarthy’s ERA to the leaders of the American League, he is right up there. The league leader was Tampa Bay’s David Price with an ERA of 2.56. McCarthy would have finished seventh in the AL if not for his injury. Just for more perspective, Yankees hurler CC Sabathia finished 10th with a 3.38 ERA.
The Twins have had some very good control pitchers come through town, and Brandon McCarthy could add his name to the list.
McCarthy only walks 1.9 per nine innings, which would have put him around third place in the AL with that stat (which was led by the Twins’ own Scott Diamond with 1.6 walks per nine).
Throw in the fact that he gets 5.9 strikeouts per nine and he adds up to be a very nice pitcher. 5.9 per nine isn’t an amazing stat by any means, but it shows he has some stuff that isn’t going to get hit around the ballpark all the time.
I probably make too much out of age, but it’s better to sign good players when they are younger. The Twins are the team that had a 40-year-old Ruben Sierra in 2006. The Twins tend to sign older players, but McCarthy would be a change toward a little youth.
McCarthy is 29, not young but not old, either. He should have a good string of years left in his arm. He’s only appeared in 153 games in his career. He’s old enough to lead what might end up being a very young staff, but not so old he’ll be done in two years.
Minnesotans love a good story and that probably explains why Minnesota has the most theatres per capita; we Minnesotans love us some drama.
Just look at the Minnesota Vikings and the Brett Favre saga and the Randy Moss era and you’ll start to understand. We like sitting back with our popcorn and watching it all unfold.
On September 5, McCarthy got nailed in the head with a line drive which resulted in him needing brain surgery. It was very serious, but he is fine and was back in the dugout watching his Oakland A’s in the postseason.
His comeback story would be eaten up by the native Minnesotans. You don’t think so? We are kind of obsessed with that Adrian Peterson guy who just had major knee surgery less than a year ago and is back being the best running back in the NFL.
We love a good story. Don’t cha know!
Athletes and Twitter or any social media isn’t always a great combination. Go ask around in Dinkytown, they’ll know what I’m talking about. Anyway, if the athlete is smart and doesn’t think his coach is manipulative, their Twitter feed can be very entertaining, which the case is for Brandon McCarthy.
Here's a couple of his tweets:
So wait, do the GOPers who are moving to Canada now just swap houses with the dems that moved there when Bush was re-elected?
Using the transitive property and Spurrier logic, Texas A&M would be a pretty good NFL team right?
He’s a pretty funny dude. Give him a follow: @BMcCarthy32
Since you’re already going to Twitter: @CollinKottke