Saturday Preview: Starting Pitchers

Jamie Squire

The Twins' workhorse of 2013 faces a former top prospect looking to make a comeback.

Kevin Correia (3-1, 2.23 ERA)

Among the surprises of this 2013 season, beyond the team record, at least, is pitcher Kevin Correia. He has failed to pitch fewer than 7 innings in all of his starts this year, and a good reason for that is his walk rate. For his career, he had been around average with 3.15 BB/9, and last year's 2.42 rate was definitely solid, but he's cut that in half to an elite 1.24 BB/9 thus far this year. Mix in some luck on home runs (0.50 HR/9, about half the major league average) and he's been able to succeed even though he's not striking many hitters out (3.72 K/9). We can expect him to use his high-80s cutter and 2-seam fastball to induce a bunch of weak contact and hope that the Twins hitters are positioned just right once more.

Scott Kazmir (0-1, 8.64 ERA)

Kazmir was once the ace of the then Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and the very season he started exhibiting signs of decline, he was shipped off to the Los Angeles Angels. He continued to fall apart as his low-90s velocity continued to drop, eventually being out of the major leagues for virtually two years. He joined the Indians this spring and showed enough promise to win the 5th starter job out of spring training, but then was quickly put on the disabled list before making a single start. He's back and has made 2 starts now, and while he struggled in his first game back, his second wasn't too bad as he threw 5 innings and allowed only 2 runs. His velocity has returned and we can look for him to rack up some strikeouts, but if the Twins are patient, he'll walk plenty of batters as well.

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