Griffin Jax Is Excelling at His Role with Minnesota

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Minnesota Twins pitcher Griffin Jax is happy with a new opportunity in 2022. His 2021 season certainly did not go the way he wanted it. The rookie was forced into the starting rotation when injuries took out several of the team’s starters. The results were not positive. In 14 games, he pitched in 82 innings and gave up 82 hits with an ERA of 6.37. The other alarming statistic was he gave up 23 home runs.

However, Twins Pitching coach Wes Johnson still saw potential in Jax despite what happened in 2021. His fastball hits around the low 90’s on the radar gun. It comes with an excellent drop-in too. His changeup, which is his best pitch, works on both left-and-right-handed hitters, and it produces a lot of ground ball outs.

Griffin Jax

Jax to the Bullpen for 2022

During Spring Training, it was mentioned that his work ethic and dedication to learning and studying how to be an MLB pitcher impressed the whole Twins Coaching staff. They also had an impressive statistic from last season—when going through a lineup for the first time; he held opponents to a .175 batting average.

The Twins decided to make a move to see how he could handle bullpen pitching. They wanted to find out if that change could unlock his potential and keep him on the Twins roster.

A Success so Far

Minnesota Twins’ Griffin Jax is happy with a new opportunity. Since moving to a full-time bullpen position, he has found success. He is 3-0 with a 3.68 ERA and has saved two games. He has picked up his fastball speed hovering around 94 MPH. His groundball outs are up as well. All those swings and misses on his slider have helped him become a weapon out of the Twins’ bullpen. He has become the go-to arm, and he has the support of manager Rocco Baldelli. He has used Jax as a long-and-short reliever, a setup arm, and even closer.

Will be Relied Upon

Minnesota Twins’ Griffin Jax is happy with a new opportunity, and they will need him to continue showing that. On occasion, he will need to be that arm that throws 50 pitches. The next time he pitches, he might be just the eighth inning set up a reliever.

Jax will struggle at times, but the Twins never lost confidence in him when he struggled earlier in the season. You can’t develop a pitcher if you don’t give them the opportunities to work out of their jams and mistakes.

Unique Individual

Minnesota Twins’ Griffin Jax is happy with a new opportunity and is the first-ever Air Force Academy graduate in MLB history. (He is still a captain in the Air Force Reserve.) Five years earlier, the Twins drafted him in the third round out of the Air Force Academy, but he had to fulfill his service obligations during the first several seasons of his career.

Outlook for Griffin Jax 

The Twins have been one of the surprise teams in 2022, and that is due to Baldelli and Johnson managing the pitching staff and making the right calls. If they can continue doing that—and pitchers like Griffin Jax can keep up the positive pitching—this team could see themselves winning the AL Central.

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Players/Managers Mentioned:

Wes Johnson, Rocco Baldelli