Berrios already boosting Twins rotation with strikeouts

Highly-touted prospect Jose Berrios is racking up strikeouts for the Minnesota Twins.

Jesse Johnson/Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

With just 290 strikeouts on the books in 2016 — good enough for 18th in the league — the Minnesota Twins’ starting rotation is in need of a pitcher who can throw strikeouts.

Fortunately, they already have one, and he’s set to make his fourth start on Monday, the first game of a three-game road series with the Detroit Tigers.

Highly-touted prospect Jose Berrios is finally here, and he’s already living up to his nickname: "La Maquina."

The Machine.

Berrios was a force for the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings before getting the call, throwing 20 strikeouts through just 17 innings of work, while posting a miniscule 1.06 ERA.

Berrios has posted 19 strikeouts through three games and 19 1/3 innings pitched in the majors, the Twins’ highest mark through a pitcher’s first three MLB games since Boof Bonser in 2006.

It’s a list that also includes Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven.

Twins, Most Strikeouts in First 3 MLB Games€“ Since 1961

Pitcher Year Strikeouts
Jose Berrios 2016 19
Boof Bonser 2006 18
Jim Merritt 1965 18
Dave Boswell 1964 18
Pat Mahomes 1992 17
Bert Blyleven 1970 17

Meanwhile, Berrios should be able to count on first baseman Joe Mauer for run support despite the veteran’s recent struggles at the plate.

Mauer is second all-time with 98 hits at Detroit’s Comerica Park, and the league’s most prolific active player when visiting the Tigers.

Most Career Hits by Visiting Player at Comerica Park€“ All-Time

Player Hits
Paul Konerko 133
Joe Mauer 98
Billy Butler 93
Ichiro Suzuki 88
A.J. Pierzynski 84

Mauer has cooled after his hot start to the season, and has just six hits in his last 38 plate appearances, a stretch during which he has batted just .176 with a .263 OBP, but still leads the Twins with 36 hits.

Statistics courtesy of STATS, inc.