FORT MYERS, Fla. -- With the repeated struggles of the Minnesota Twins' starting pitchers last year, the team's bullpen resorted to gallows humor.
Better laugh about it then gripe and grouse, right?
"It became a running joke that we started stretching in the third inning," relief pitcher Casey Fien said.
As Fien spoke, starting pitcher Vance Worley smiled while seemingly wincing at the same time.
It's hard to argue with the truth.
The Twins' starters threw the fewest innings in the majors (871).
The Twins' relievers threw the most in the majors (579 1/3).
"When you see we're last in starting pitching, you wouldn't need to look at many other stats," acting Twins general manager Rob Antony said. "When you're down 3-0 and 4-0 early in a game, that's demoralizing and tough to come back from.
"We felt we needed to improve our starting pitching and run out some good starters so we're not taxing our bullpen. And they did a good job. We feel if we improve our starting pitching, it'll help o...