Several Minnesota hitters find themselves on pace for career highs, and the culmination of some good offense early on has the team on pace to hit the most homeruns as a club in quite some time.
The projections carry over to the pitchers side where some starters are having career years and where the suddenly sharp bullpen is putting up some solid numbers.
** Francisco Liriano is on pace for a record of just 8-16. He has recently begun to turn things around, so the obvious hope is that the loss total doesn’t reach that point. Liriano is projected to strike out 160 hitters in a total of 178 innings pitched.
** Scott Baker missed some time due to injury, and got off to a slow start which has altered his projections. He hopes to continue his recent string of strong outings, but is currently on pace for a 12-12 record with a total of 148 strikeouts in a career high 184 innings pitched.
** Nick Blackburn is on pace for a solid 3.10 ERA, but due to low run support midway through the season is projected for only a 12-8 record. The second-year pro is however on pace to pitch 4 complete games in an astounding 214 innings.
** Glen Perkins missed nearly a month, but with the exception of a few starts has been solid. The lefty is on pace to go 8-8 with a 4.38 ERA in only 148 innings of work.
** Kevin Slowey is on pace for an amazing 20-6 record in 180 innings of work. Due to two consecutive poor outings, Slowey is on pace for a 4.86 ERA. A few other numbers that stick out are his projections for strikeouts and walks. Slowey is on pace to sit down 150 hitters and walk just 30.
** Anthony Swarzak has only pitched in a few games, but has been recalled and is on pace to go 4-4 with a 3.90 ERA in a total of 54 innings. Time in the bullpen however could alter his projections.
** Joe Nathan is on pace for 42 saves and a solid 1.39 ERA. Considered on of the league’s best, Nathan is also on pace to strike out 82 hitters in only 64 innings of work.
** Matt Guerrier is on pace to rebound from a poor ’08 season with a 2.65 ERA. Guerrier is also projected to to appear in nearly half of the team’s games with 80 appearances. In one of the major stats for relievers, holds, Guerrier is on pace to finish near the top with 32.
** Jose Mijares, a year after posting a sub-1.00 ERA, is on pace for a very solid 2.16 ERA in 58 appearances. The lefty is also on pace to pitch a total of 50 innings and collect 22 holds.
** R.A. Dickey is on pace to post a 2.96 ERA in a total of 50 appearances and 96 innings. The long reliever is also projected to strike out 66 hitters.
No longer with the organization, Luis Ayala was excluded from the list. Phillip Humber, Jesse Crain, and Sean Henn were not included due to their demotions. Meanwhile major leaguers Brian Duensing and Bobby Keppel did not have sufficient stats for accurate projections.