Twins starter Pineda showing off exceptional command

Despite missing part of the 2017 season and all of 2018 while recovering from Tommy John surgery and a knee injury, Minnesota Twins starter Michael Pineda‘s command has been a strength this season.

Pineda has the second-lowest walk percentage in the American League this season at 4.5%, which trails only Tampa Bay Rays starter Ryan Yarbrough (3%).

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Pineda allowed just one walk in his last outing, an 8-3 win over the Detroit Tigers, and has now allowed one or fewer in 20 starts this season.

Only four starters have more such games this season.

He’s set to take on the Cleveland Indians on Friday, when the Twins return to Target Field for a four-game series.

Pineda hasn’t faced the Indians since his first start of the season, but he should feel pretty good about the matchup. He helped the Twins to a 9-3 win in that one, striking out five while allowing just one hit and one walk through four innings.

The Indians’ pitching staff has had the Twins’ number in recent years. Cleveland pitchers have a combined 3.22 ERA against Minnesota over the past three seasons.

However, the Twins offense features some new faces this season.

Newcomer Nelson Cruz is up to 35 home runs again this season after hitting a solo shot in the Twins’ 6-5 win over the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday.

It’s his sixth season of 35-plus home runs, which trails only Los Angeles Angels veteran Albert Pujols (10) amongst active players.

Statistics via Sportradar