Those who held firm in the belief that Jose Berrios was the pitcher we saw in the minors and not the pitcher we saw in the majors in 2016 were handsomely rewarded last season. Berrios struggled so mightily in his big-league debut (8.02 ERA, 5.4 BB/9) it put into question his minor-league success, high pedigree (No. 32 overall pick in 2012) and prominent placement on prospect rankings from 2014 to 2016. He put those concerns to rest once called up to the majors in May by vastly reducing his walks (3.0 BB/9) while maintaining a solid strikeout rate (8.6 K/9) thanks largely to a 94 mph sinker with excellent late movement. He also heavily utilizes his four-seam fastball and hard 82 mph curveball, while occasionally mixing in a changeup, which is clearly his worst pitch. He'll need to improve his performance on the road (5.17 ERA and 12 homers allowed in 15 away starts), but otherwise looks set to take the mantle as Minnesota's ace at age 23.
Berrios gave up one run over four innings with a strikeout in Friday's spring outing. He's given up one run over 7.1 innings this spring with four strikeouts and one walk. Berrios has looked sharp this spring as he appears poised to take a leap in performance this year. After struggling in the majors in 2016, Berrios improved last season by vastly reducing his walks (3.0 BB/9) while maintaining a solid strikeout rate (8.6 K/9) thanks largely to a 94 mph sinker with excellent late movement. He'll need to improve his performance on the road (5.17 ERA and 12 homers allowed in 15 away starts), but otherwise looks set to take the mantle as Minnesota's ace at age 23.
Berrios will work in relief Friday in order to be available for Tuesday's wild-card game, Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports. Berrios was tentatively scheduled to start Saturday's game, but that likely would have made him unavailable Tuesday, so manager Paul Molitor decided to switch things up so that he will have all of his best pitchers available Tuesday if needed. With Berrios not starting Saturday, Aaron Slegers will get the nod instead.
Berrios (13-8) allowed two runs on five hits and two walks over five innings in Sunday's win over the Tigers. He struck out six and was credited with the win. Berrios was sharp through the first four innings but ran into trouble in the fifth. The 23-year-old allowed four singles and a wild pitch in the frame, leading to a pair of Detroit runs. With his pitch count at 87 (59 for strikes), manager Paul Molitor opted to pull his starting pitcher from the game prior to the sixth inning. Berrios has just one quality start in his past five outings and will carry a 3.93 ERA into his upcoming rematch with the Tigers on Saturday.
Berrios (12-8) allowed three runs on five hits and four walks across 3.1 innings while taking the loss Tuesday against the Yankees. He struck out four. Berrios held his own through the first three frames, but he ran his pitch count up while allowing two runs on two hits and a walk before his removal with one out in the fourth. He threw just eight first-pitch strikes to 19 batters and struggled to work from behind in the count. Berrios was coming off a pair of solid outings, with Tuesday representing the first time he didn't complete five innings in a start since early August. He will look to get back on track Sunday against the Tigers.
Berrios gave up one run over 5.2 innings with five strikeouts and four walks, but got a no-decision in Thursday's win over Toronto. Berrios continued his strong home splits with a 2.45 ERA in 66 innings. He was set for the win before closer Matt Belisle gave up a tying home run in the ninth inning. The Twins eventually won in 10 innings.