All right, let’s go ahead and put the cart before the horse. One of the questions that has plagued the Twins, even among those who have bought into whatever they are doing, is what would happen in the post season, should they make it. The starting rotation is an abomination that is not exposed against weaker opponents, but would be front and center in games 3 and 4 in a playoff series.
I think most evaluators would agree that the Twins are going to be fine in games 1 and 2, if they throw Ervin Santana and Jose Berrios out there in some order or another. I think, also, that most people would assert that the Twins have a handful of back of the rotation caliber starters, of which many will be or could be available when the playoffs roll around. Kyle Gibson, Adalberto Mejia, Bartolo Colon and Dillon Gee have all proven themselves to be, at times, competent. Would you want any of them to start game 3 of a playoff series?
No, probably not.
But what about this option. Through the first time through the order, Gibson has a 4.88 ERA, vs 5.33 for the season. Mejia is at 2.97 vs 4.47, Colon is at 5.73 vs 6.25 and Gee is at 3.12 vs 4.46. Do you think you can figure out what I am driving at? Use two starters a game, and have them work 3 innings, before being swapped out for the second starter. Guys like Gibson will be able to turn it up if he knows the expectation is only to go a few innings, while Bartolo has obviously been much better than his season results show ever since his arrival in Minnesota.
This requires only 6 players to be used as starters, and assuming every game will see starters work 6 innings, the bullpen will not be overtaxed, even if the team decides to carry one fewer reliever. Getting to the postseason has taken a lot of patience, assuming they get there, and advancing when there is going to take a bit of creativity.