Let's face it. The original 2012 starting rotation was the worst in recent Minnesota Twins history. Twins starting pitching was 4-17 (.190 win. pct.), 6.75 ERA, lasting only three innings per outing in the first month of baseball.
Since then, Twins pitchers starters have gone 26-37 (.410 win. pct.), 5.16 ERA, lasting 5.2 innings per outing.
The Twins have managed to improve their starting pitching winning percentage by .220 and lowered their ERA by 1.59 runs without signing any notable starting pitchers. This was accomplished through cutting ties with ineffective pitching and calling up prospects.
Minnesota's current situation: Two of Minnesota's original starting pitchers have been shipped elsewhere, one has shut down due to injury and one has been sent down to Triple-A, forcing a host of prospects and relievers to fill in.
How will impact next year's starting rotation?
This article examines logical, realistic and most likely selections for Minnesota's 2013 starting rotation.
Clearly a prime candidate for next year's starting rotation, Scott Diamond has been the only Twins starting pitcher who has had consistent success this season.
Since his May call-up, Diamond has posted an impressive 10-5 record, 2.95 ERA, around seven innings per outing, and a .274 BAA through 128 IP. The 26-year-old is on pace for a 14-7 record this season and most likely will be the only Twins pitcher to reach double-digit wins in 2012.
Diamond's numbers indicate that he could be the Twins ace in 2013, unless they sign someone.
The virtually unheard of Sam Deduno has suddenly turned into somewhat of a starting pitching phenom in Minnesota's damaged starting rotation.
Since his first start on July 7, Deduno has pitched a 4-1 record, 3.33 ERA and .228 BAA through eight starts and 46 IP. Though his SO to BB ratio is a little suspect for a Twins starter. However, on a team that prides itself on pitch control and throwing strikes, perhaps a pitcher who walks some batters might be helpful.
Deduno is an obvious choice to be in the rotation next year.
Despite less than impressive numbers in 2012, Brian Duensing has a good case to be in the starting rotation in 2013.
As a starting pitcher, Duensing has posted a 1-6 record, 6.32 ERA, .339 BAA through 38.1 IP. Again—not impressive at all, but perhaps this isn't entirely his fault.
On the flip side:
The Twins score around three runs when Duensing starts a game while they have scored about six runs when Scott Diamond (10-5 record, 2.95 ERA) or Sam Deduno (4-1 record, 3.33 ERA) pitch, and five runs when Cole De Vries (2-5 record, 4.89 ERA) pitches. Perhaps if the Twins scored six runs when Duensing pitched, his record would be a little less vexing.
Duensing has had off years and managed to get back in the starting rotation before. Consider: Duensing is cheap and will be going to arbitration next season.
Cole De Vries is another Twins starter with less than impressive numbers this year, but he has a good shot at being in the starting rotation next season.
One fact that might land him a spot in the starting rotation next year is simply because he is from Minnesota. Born and raised in the Twin Cities, De Vries pitched for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers and was drafted by the Twins in 2006.
Like fellow Golden Gopher Glen Perkins, who also spent some time in the minors, the Twins will definitely give De Vries a serious look. Especially now that he's made 13 major league starts this season and has been with the Twins since July.
Cheap. Minnesotan. Why not?
It is tough to say who exactly will be the fifth person in the Twins starting rotation. However, we can eliminate a few possibilities:
- Carl Pavano: Probably will not be resigned after 2012 season.
- Scott Baker: Most likely not be resign after 2012 season.
- Nick Blackburn: Recently sent down to Triple-A in Rochester after a terrible 2012 campaign.
Here are a few pitchers who might make the starting rotation:
- Liam Hendriks: 23 years-old, recalled from Triple-A on Aug. 22. He went 9-3, with 2.20 ERA at Rochester this season.
- Player to be named later: The Twins definitely need an ace, why not sign one?
- PJ Walters: Currently on rehab in Triple-A. He pitched a 2-2 record, 5.40 ERA, 36.2 IP, 7 starts, four quality starts in Minnesota for 2012.