The Twins had a very thin pitching staff in 1975, a fact that was exposed by several injuries. While the top of the rotation was fairly strong, there wasn’t much to be found below Blyleven and Goltz. The team’s best asset, Bill Campbell, was hurt when, in a pinch, it became necessary for him to make some starts for the Twins. Campbell’s absence in the bullpen meant that an already weak group would be even weaker.
Frank Quilici was quoted as saying “a manager is only as good as his bullpen.” In this case, the manager was fired.
Bold = Player new to Minnesota in 1975
SP Bert Blyleven 15-10 3.00 ERA 1.10 WHIP 2.97 FIP 2.3 PW 21 WS 9.0 WARP3
Blyleven missed most of June due to shoulder problems, but remained the team’s best pitcher when he was starting. The Dutchman finished 20 of his 35 starts, including 11 innings in an extremely dominant performance on August 27. With all of Blyleven’s success, baseball “experts” continued to say he hadn’t yet reached his peak and wondering if he ever would, usually citing his career W-L record (95-85 after the 1975 season) as the reason. Opposing teams seemed to know, however, and Catfish Hunter called Blyleven the best pitcher in the league on several occasions.
SP Jim Hughes 16-14 3.82 ERA 1.47 WHIP 4.10 FIP 0.2 PW 14 WS 5.7 WARP3
Hughes’ career highlight up to this point was pitching a perfect game in the Carolina League during the 1972 season. The rookie was impressive for the Twins in 1975, but did not come close to the same success in any of his two subsequent major league seasons.
SP Dave Goltz 14-14 3.67 ERA 1.26 WHIP 3.45 FIP 0.6 PW 15 WS 5.9 WARP3
Goltz went somewhat unnoticed in Bert Blyleven’s shadow, but quietly began to create some buzz with a second consecutive solid season. It was said that Goltz was a favorite among other teams seeking a trade with the Twins, and many within the organization were as high on the Minnesota native as they were on Blyleven.
SP Ray Corbin 7-6 5.29 ERA 1.54 WHIP 4.71 FIP -1.5 PW 2 WS 0.6 WARP3
Ray Corbin struggled through the season until it was ended early by an elbow injury. He ended up having surgery on his elbow and never saw another inning in the majors.
SP/RP Vic Albury 6-7 4.53 ERA 1.57 WHIP 5.29 FIP -1.1 PW 4 WS 1.4 WARP3
Albury worked his way into the starting role and had team management hoping that they had finally found a lefty starter to fill the void left by Jim Kaat a few years earlier. As it turned out, that would not be the case. Albury, like many Twins, struggled with injuires that cut his 1975 season short.
RP Bill Campbell 4-6 3.79 ERA 1.36 WHIP 3.91 FIP 0.1 PW 7 WS 3.0 WARP3
Campbell was called on to make spot starts on occasion in 1975, a move that really stretched the Twins’ bullpen. With Campbell often unavailable out of the bullpen due to his starting duties, the Twins struggled in close games. Campbell also struggled in comparison to his 1974 performance. The Twins must have noticed the change because Campbell was not used as a starter after the 1975 season.
RP Tom Burgmeier 5-8 3.09 ERA 1.31 WHIP 3.65 FIP 1.0 PW 7 WS 3.5 WARP3
With Campbell often not an option out of the bullpen, Burgmeier shouldered most of the load as “ace” of the Twins’ bullpen. The results were mixed. Overall he had a very good season statistically, but fans and management saw Burgmeier lose too many games in the late innings.
RP Bill Butler 5-4 5.95 ERA 1.65 WHIP 4.42 FIP -1.8 PW 0 WS -0.1 WARP3
After Burgmeier and Campbell, Butler was the third option for the Twins -a clear indication of the weakness of their bullpen. Butler did not play in the majors in 1976, only returning for six appearances in 1977 before his career was over.