Bold = Player new to Minnesota in 1977
SP Dave Goltz 20-11 3.36 ERA 120 ERA+ 1.24 WHIP 3.42 FIP 1.8 PW 22 WS 5.2 WARP3
Goltz 20 wins earned him attention for a “breakout” season but the truth is that the peripheral statistics indicate that the improvement was probably not as dramatic as the record made it seem. His 1977 ERA was identical to his 1976 number, and the league-relative ERA+ was up only 15 points. Though 1977 is considered to be Goltz’ best season, an argument could be made that his 1978 was even better.
SP Paul Thermodsgard 11-15 4.62 ERA 87 ERA+ 1.38 WHIP 4.30 FIP -1.6 PW 9 WS 1.0 WARP3
Thermodsgard, a San Francisco native, was signed as a teenager by the Cincinnati Reds in 1971. The Twins picked him up as a free agent and he made his major league debut in 1977. After he played as a regular in his first season, he only saw a handful of games in subsequent years and played his final major league game in 1979.
SP Geoff Zahn 12-14 4.68 ERA 86 ERA+ 1.53 WHIP 4.24 FIP -1.8 PW 8 WS 0.2 WARP3
Zahn had spent a few injury-plagued seasons in the National League before signing with the Twins prior to the 1977 season. He had by far the best season of his career so far, using his hard slider to become a serviceable starter for a team that was not particularly deep in starting pitching.
SP Pete Redfern 6-9 5.18 ERA 78 ERA+ 1.67 WHIP 4.43 FIP -1.8 PW 3 WS -0.9 WARP3
Redfern had a disappointing sophomore season, due in large part to injury. After losing most of 1978 for the same reason, he will return to have his best season in 1979.
RP Tom Johnson 16-7 3.13 ERA 129 ERA+ 1.36 WHIP 3.59 FIP 2.4 PW 16 WS 4.4 WARP3
Johnson had been with the Twins for several years but had yet to appear in more than 18 games in a single season. A major bullpen overhaul due in large part to the departure of Bill Campbell gave Johnson a chance, and he seemed to grab it and run. He quickly became the team’s bullpen ace and put together one of the best seasons among relief pitchers in 1977. Pitching 146+ innings, however, (more than his career total in three seasons) took its toll and Johnson had just one more ineffective season before he was out of baseball.
RP Ron Schueler 8-7 4.41 ERA 91 ERA+ 1.43 WHIP 4.63 FIP -0.7 PW 7 WS 1.1 WARP3
By the time Schueler signed with the Twins just days before the 1977 season, he was a veteran long reliever and spot starter. His career began with Atlanta in 1972 where he started primarily as a starting pitcher. He was traded to Philadelphia following the 1973 season and eventually moved into the bullpen full time with just a few spot starts here and there. That is how the Twins used him in 1977. He left via free agency following the season, to be signed by the Chicago White Sox where he ended his playing career in 1979 and began his coaching career. He was among the front office members during the Oakland A’s run in the late 1980’s and was part of the St. Louis Cardinals’ front office for the 2006 World Series season.
RP Tom Burgmeier 6-4 5.09 ERA 79 ERA+ 1.50 WHIP 5.10 FIP -1.0 PW 4 WS 0.4 WARP3
Burgmeier’s final season with the Twins was also his worst. He became a free agent at the end of the year and signed with the Boston Red Sox prior to the 1978 season. Burgmeier regained his form in Boston and pitched into his 40’s before retiring as a member of the Oakland A’s in 1984.
RP Dave Johnson 2-5 4.58 ERA 88 ERA+ 1.50 WHIP 4.24 FIP -0.5 PW 2 WS 0.0 WARP3
Johnson’s baseball career was set aside in the middle of the 1975 season when he broke his wrist in a motorcycle accident. After missing the entire 1976 season, the Twins signed him and he made 30 appearances in relief in 1977.