Twins pick-off artist’s

It is obviously important for pitchers to keep base runners as close to the base as possible to prevent them from getting a good jump and stealing a base. What Twins pitchers were the best at this seemingly lost art? Jon Lester (Cubs) doesn’t even throw the ball to first any more for fear of throwing the ball away. As you might guess most of the pitchers on this list are lefties but a few right-handed pitchers are sprinkled in.

Most pick-offs in a single season by Twins pitchers

Results
Rk Player PO Year G W L W-L% SV IP SO ERA SB CS
1 Jerry Koosman 14 1979 37 20 13 .606 0 263.2 157 3.38 7 16
2 Mark Guthrie 11 1990 24 7 9 .438 0 144.2 101 3.79 17 12
3 Roger Erickson 10 1978 37 14 13 .519 0 265.2 121 3.96 5 15
4 Allan Anderson 8 1990 31 7 18 .280 0 188.2 82 4.53 10 11
5 Jerry Koosman 7 1980 38 16 13 .552 2 243.1 149 4.03 7 10
6 Mark Guthrie 6 1989 13 2 4 .333 0 57.1 38 4.55 5 6
7 Frank Viola 6 1988 35 24 7 .774 0 255.1 193 2.64 7 8
8 Dave Goltz 6 1977 39 20 11 .645 0 303.0 186 3.36 18 16
9 Vic Albury 6 1974 32 8 9 .471 0 164.0 85 4.12 12 13
10 Eddie Bane 6 1973 23 0 5 .000 2 60.1 42 4.92 3 8
11 Jim Merritt 6 1968 38 12 16 .429 1 238.1 181 3.25 8 2

 

Most career pick-offs as a Twins pitcher

Frank Viola

Results
Rk Player PO From To G W L W-L% SV IP SO ERA SB CS
1 Frank Viola 27 1982 1989 260 112 93 .546 0 1772.2 1214 3.86 70 69
2 Jerry Koosman 24 1979 1981 94 39 35 .527 7 601.1 361 3.77 15 33
3 Mark Guthrie 20 1989 1995 240 29 27 .518 8 489.2 388 4.19 50 30
4 Francisco Liriano 17 2005 2012 156 50 52 .490 1 783.1 788 4.33 67 23
5 Roger Erickson 17 1978 1982 114 31 47 .397 0 712.0 321 4.10 23 32
6 Allan Anderson 15 1986 1991 148 49 54 .476 0 818.2 339 4.11 54 38
7 Dave Goltz 15 1972 1979 247 96 79 .549 3 1638.0 887 3.48 111 76
8 Johan Santana 14 2000 2007 251 93 44 .679 1 1308.2 1381 3.22 28 29
9 Geoff Zahn 14 1977 1980 133 53 53 .500 0 852.0 348 3.90 30 42
10 Jim Kaat 14 1961 1973 468 189 152 .554 5 2959.1 1824 3.28 115 47
11 Bert Blyleven 11 1970 1988 348 149 138 .519 0 2566.2 2035 3.28 221 111
12 Vic Albury 11 1973 1976 101 18 17 .514 1 372.2 193 4.11 24 27
13 Jim Merritt 11 1965 1968 122 37 41 .474 6 686.2 527 3.03 14 13
14 Jim Perry 10 1963 1972 376 128 90 .587 5 1883.1 1025 3.15 43 66
15 Kyle Gibson 9 2013 2017 110 36 43 .456 0 632.2 428 4.78 33 11

Note that current Twin pitcher Kyle Gibson made the career list.

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