The Minnesota Twins signed starting pitcher Kevin Correia to a two-year, $10 million contract this past offseason. Many in Minnesota believed that $5 million per season is quite a lot for a pitcher who has gone through his fair share of struggles the past couple of seasons. However, Correia is proving the doubters wrong with his fast start this year.
The right-hander is 3-1 with a 2.23 earned run average 15 strikeouts and 1.5 wins above replacement in five starts this year. There is no question this is one of the best 36 1/3 innings he has tossed to begin a season in his 10 years in Major League Baseball.
“We’re kind of watching it happen right in front of our eyes,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said, according to TwinCities.com. “He’s just in command of the strike zone, and we’re watching it unfold. The expectations were this guy has got a proven history of big-league pitching. His record was somewhere near .500. He knows how to pitch. That’s exactly what we got.”
Correia has a 63-66 record with a 4.47 ERA in 295 career games (164 starts). He has struggled on the mound for years, and it got to the point where the Pittsburgh Pirates moved him to the bullpen last season. The fact that he has been able to bounce back and pitch at a high level after signing a decent contract is remarkable.
“It’s all about staying healthy and getting the work in,” Correia said, according to TwinCities.com. “I’ve played enough years to know what I need to do to be prepared for the season. I felt better and more confident after each start in the spring. I knew what I was doing before the season started.”
Obviously, whatever he did to prepare for the 2013 season is working. Even though it has only been five starts, it is definitely encouraging to see Correia pitch well after so many frustrating appearances.