The Minnesota Twins finished the 2012 season 66-96, a mere three-game improvement from the previous year when the team narrowly avoided 100 losses. A major concern has been starting pitching—or lack thereof—which remains the case heading into 2013.
Scott Baker was supposed to help stabilize a struggling rotation last year, but was placed on the 15-day disabled list on March 31 and was eventually shut down for the entire season when it was reported he required elbow surgery to repair a damaged flexor pronator tendon.
Uncertainty at starting pitching continued throughout the year, with the Twins trotting out 12 different starters over the course of the season. Here's a look at the players that took the mound in 2012, ordered by total number of games started:
|Cole De Vries||16||5-5||4.11||1.21|
|Brian Duensing ||11||4-12||5.12||1.40|
|Carl Pavano ||11||2-5||6.00||1.40|
Of these 12 players, only five are on the team's current 40-man roster, with both Duensing and Swarzak listed in the bullpen (via official site).
Nick Blackburn is currently recovering from wrist surgery and will miss the start of the season. He was originally considered a candidate for the fifth starter in the rotation.
Samuel Deduno signed a minor league contract with the team, as did P.J. Walters and Esmerling Vasquez. Of these players, Deduno is the most likely to be called up as a starter. He pitched well in 2012, although he'll need to work on control—he walked 53 batters in 79 innings pitched.
Through trades and other personnel decisions by Terry Ryan, the mix of starting pitchers for the Twins will have some unfamiliar faces. The following is a preview of the projected starting rotation.