Jesse Hahn to Start Series Opener vs. Twins
By Sinan Habeeb
Jesse Hahn has been absolute delight to watch in his rookie season, going 7-2 with a 2.01 ERA in nine total starts this year. He will take toe the rubber in the first inter-league series for the Padres since the friars took on the Kansas City Royals in early May, when the Padres take on the Minnesota Twins at Target Field at 5:10 PDT.
Hahn’s last start came against the St. Louis Cardinals, who were absolutely baffled by the excellent movement on his fastball and his curveball. The rookie pitcher allowed only one earned run in seven innings while backed by an offensive explosion where Padres scored 12 runs to give him the win.
The Twins have a respectable offense, which ranks 10th overall in the majors with 467 runs. The twins are led by All-Stars Brian Dozier and Kurt Suzuki but are missing the dangerous Joe Mauer in the heart of their line up. They will send former New York Yankee Phil Hughes to mound, who has struggled recently with a 5.63 ERA in his last three starts.
Hahn is the closest thing the Padres have to a Rookie of the Year candidate, and could potentially put his name in the running should he win a few more games and keeps his exceptionally low ERA. However, one has to wonder how many starts the 25 year-old has left, as the Padres initially had a 110 innings count on the right hander, and so far he is up to 94 innings, 53.1 of those coming in the majors. Hahn did express his wish to have the limit increased but the decision will ultimately be left up to the Padres’ brass. This wouldn’t be the first time the Padres have taken the cautious route with their young pitchers, as both Mat Latos and Andrew Cashner saw their innings decrease or were completely shut down while coming up with the Padres.
Hahn might not be pitching for much longer in 2014, but all the factors are there for him to put up another stellar performance Tuesday night in Minnesota.