The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports Columns

April 28, 2013

Thoma column: Is Correia for real? Still a doubter

MANKATO — Another start for Kevin Correia, and another good one.

Sunday’s line for the veteran right-hander: eight innings, six hits, no runs, one walk, two strikeouts. And this against a high-quality lineup.

His ERA for the season is now a tiny 2.23, and he’s given the Twins at least seven innings in each of his five starts.

Not bad for anyone, much less a guy whose signing was lampooned by statheads (such as me).

Does that mean the criticism was misplaced? I’ll accept the risk of being accused of negative thinking and say no.

It may be worth noting that last April, Correia (then with Pittsburgh) had a 2.42 ERA in April. At the end of the season it was 4.21. His April ERA in 2011 was 2.90. At the end of the season it was 4.71.

Good Aprils are not foreign to Correia. Good seasons ... those are.

Know who was the last Twins starter to go seven innings or more in each of his first four starts of the season? Ramon Ortiz in 2007. He made it through that April 3-1, 2.57, with 35 innings in five starts (his fifth start was “just” six innings); by the end of May his ERA was 5.65 and he was out of the rotation.

So a good April, in and of itself, shouldn’t change a well-honed evaluation of a player.

Correia has been the kind of pitcher he has been in recent years, perhaps even more so: A low walk rate (an impressive 1.3 walks per nine innings entering his start Sunday, about one walk less than in the past two years) and a low strikeout rate (4.1 K/9, slightly lower than during his time in Pittsburgh).

The combination has resulted in a sharply improved strikeout-to-walk ratio. Correia has hovered just under 2 K/BB for several years; entering Sunday, he was at 3.25 K/BB.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports Columns
  • Thoma column: Twins are scoring lot of runs; can this continue? The Minnesota Twins entered Sunday's play with the American League's second-highest number of runs scored. And, they haven't had the advantage of hitting off their own pitching staff. OK, it's dreadfully early in the season, far too early to draw co

    April 14, 2014

  • Courrier: Masters is first sign that winter has been conquered Don't know if anybody noticed but it's been a tough winter, with brutal cold and piles of snow that are now just disappearing. If not for an exciting season of local basketball and hockey, it would have an unbearable four months. Minnesota State had

    April 10, 2014

  • Thoma column: We all know the Ryan Braun saga: Winner of the National League MVP award, flunked a drug test, convinced the arbitrator to toss his suspension on the basis that his sample was mishandled, was snagged anyway in the Biogenesis investigation, suspended

    April 7, 2014

  • Focus will be on Mavericks' QBs this spring The Minnesota State football team began its spring practice period this week, 14 workouts in 27 days, trying to see who has been working hard to maintain a starting position and which backups might be ready to get more playing time in the fall. The b

    April 4, 2014

  • Thoma column: For the remade Twins, 2014 looks like more losing The start of the baseball season is supposed to be about fresh beginnings, wide open promises and the hope that springs eternal in the human breast. I'm here to quash that kind of optimism among the followers of the Minnesota Twins. (I strive to be a

    April 1, 2014

  • Shot clock isn't answer for high-school basketball A few weeks back, the state's basketball fans were all riled up that during a state-tournament game, the Hopkins boys spent much of the four overtimes holding the basketball, preferring not to shoot until the final seconds of each extra period in the

    March 28, 2014

  • Thoma column: Projected lineup is Mauer, Arcia and a bunch of outs The Minnesota Twins begin play in earnest in less than a week -- weather permitting -- and wow, do they have lineup issues. They scored 614 runs last season, 13th in the 15-team American League and almost 100 under the league average (702). Justin Mo

    March 26, 2014

  • Thoma column: Perkins extension may not be such a relief over time In the abstract, long-term contracts for relief pitchers are bad bets for teams. Nobody seems to be too concerned about that rule of thumb when it comes to Glen Perkins' new deal with the Twins. The contract, worth more than $21 million in guaranteed

    March 17, 2014

  • Courrier: No. 1 seed has brought no guarantees for MSU Since the Minnesota State men's basketball team started this nearly annual tradition of playing in the NCAA II tournament, the home team has almost been unbeatable in the regional. The Mavericks have played in nine of the last 10 national tournaments

    March 14, 2014

  • Thoma column: The many purposes of spring training

    March 9, 2014

Free Press news updates
Seasonal Content
Featured Ads
AP Video
Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Poll