The Minnesota Twins starting pitching is in trouble—big trouble. Before the final game against the Red Sox on Wednesday, they had the highest ERA in all of baseball at 6.73. After Liam Hendriks gave up seven earned runs in four innings, it's now at 7.09.
They also lead the majors with 11 losses and have the fewest wins of any starting rotation with only two.
The Twins opened the season short a couple of arms when Scott Baker opened the season on the DL and Jason Marquis needed to tend to a family emergency.
After losing Baker for the season to Tommy John surgery to repair his pitching elbow, every other starting pitcher slated to open the season, with the exception of Carl Pavano, has missed or will miss a scheduled start.
As expected, Pavano has been the workhorse, leading the team with 26.2 innings pitched over four starts.
For Nick Blackburn, it was shoulder stiffness that caused him to miss his previous start before the Red Sox series. He is currently 0-2 with a 7.53 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP in three starts and 14.1 innings pitched.
Francisco Liriano has been so erratic that the Twins plan to skip his next start. He leads the Twins pitching staff with an 11.02 ERA and a 2.33 WHIP, going 0-3 in four starts.
Hendriks, who made the Opening Day roster, missed a couple of starts after getting food poisoning the opening weekend in Baltimore.
That leaves Anthony Swarzak, who opened the season as the long reliever. He has made three starts so far this season and could see more action in the Twins rotation. Things are so bad for the Twins starters that his 5.94 ERA is second on the staff behind Pavano's 4.73 ERA.
The only saving grace to this season so far is the Kansas City Royals.
The Royals are currently last in the AL Central, just a half-game behind the Twins, with only four wins so far this season. That means the Twins will be battling to stay out of last place when the Royals close out the current home stand.
General manager Terry Ryan, manager Ron Gardenhire and pitching coach Rick Anderson need to do something to turn things around, and quickly.
While it's still early, it's plain to see that the starting pitching is just not getting it done, and it might be time to really shake things up and see what the Twins have in their minor league system that might be able to jump-start a dying season.
The worst thing that could happen is they bring up some young pitchers who get roughed up as they figure out how to pitch at the major league level.
It's already happening for the veterans Liriano, Blackburn and Marquis, so there's not much to lose.
Here are five pitchers the Twins need to consider as part of the future, and the future might be sooner than planned.