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Nick Nelson
01-15-2013, 11:23 PM
You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.com/content.php?r=1307-The-Fifth-Starter

Alex
01-15-2013, 11:50 PM
I'd like to see Gibson start in AAA, much for the same reason I'd have liked to have seen Dozier, Parmalee last year (and Hicks this year, too, though I know we disagree on that one) start and have success in AAA before moving up. With the way this team is shaping up, there's no reason not to make sure these guys are ready.

Frankly, to see how the Twins were going to mold their pitching staff was one of the most exciting things about this offseason, but when we make one exciting, interesting addition (Worley) and our #3 starter is one of the worst pitchers in baseball, who starts behind him among those I listed below is relatively moot, not to mention depressing. I have hope for Hendriks, but he's struggled, but I don't see how they deny him a spot in this rotation.

I'd pick one of the guys that pitched last year like Deduno or Devries, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's Duensing or Swarzak as a short term hold out.

How exciting is that? That sound I hear the summer breeze gently brushing 20,000 empty seats.....

Shane Wahl
01-16-2013, 12:06 AM
Good article and I think you are right about those four. And I agree with those four (given the obvious Correia disclaimer). Pelfrey won't be ready. And I believe that since Kyle Gibson is going to be on an innings limit, there is no reason to not keep him at AAA on a stronger innings limit there. I would rather have him from June through September than shut in down in August (just in case some miracle happens and Miguel Cabrera gets injured for the year (or Prince or Justin) and the Twins are not terrible eventually in the season later on). That would leave, for April, Rich Harden, Sam Deduno, and Cole DeVries left to honestly vie for the 5th spot in the rotation. That is not great, but it isn't nearly as bad as the April 2012 situation ended up being.

Top Gun
01-16-2013, 12:12 AM
Devries, It's too bad the Twins won't sign a couple more pitchers, because I don't even see one of the starting five making it a full season.

Brandon
01-16-2013, 12:31 AM
DeVries was pretty consistant last year. He just can't pitch deep into games very often. I would like to see him get 4-6 starts to see if he can continue to improve and make a go of it for a few seasons.

I have no interest in seeing Duensing or Swarzak start, Dedunno is also deserving of a few starts too, unless the Twins decide to add another starting pitcher .

Gibson needs to start in the minors. At least thats how i feel at this moment. I am ok with him starting in the majors as he will be limited and could be shut down by August.

fairweather
01-16-2013, 01:31 AM
I think Gibson starts the season in the BP. I think that's the best way for Kyle to get his feet wet slowly while truly limiting his innings for the first 6 weeks of the season. I think they want him working with Andy and Bobby from day 1. My money is on Duensing starting the season in the rotation and going to the BP when Gibson enters the rotation. Remember the Twins told Duensing and Swarzak to prepare as if they were going to be starters in the coming season. The Twins bounce Duensing from the rotation to the BP or vice a versa every season why would this year be any different?

beckmt
01-16-2013, 05:39 AM
Harden if he's healthy. He has #1 or #2 stuff. Would like to see Correia take Swarzak's spot, and have Gibson and Pelfrey in the rotation.
Expect it to be Hendricks, but this may be his last chance as more talent is coming up the chain fairly rapidly.

Oldgoat_MN
01-16-2013, 07:19 AM
I find it very difficult to believe that Harden will be ready.
Deduno is a wild card, but his numbers for Sept/Oct were pretty good. I'd like to see what he can do in the starting rotation.
I really like Duensing, but he has too much trouble with RH batters.

Drtwins
01-16-2013, 08:42 AM
I agree with the starting predictions for the most part, baring any injuries Diamond, Worley, Correia, and Hendriks should start the season in the rotation. The fifth spot will go to someone that wasn't mentioned in the article Rich Harden. However, If he hasn't completely recovered from rotator cuff surgery or has any setbacks I hope Deduno can follow-up on his strong finish last season and win the final spot.

By the time Pelfrey is ready to take a spot in the rotation (May/June) either Harden will be injured or Correia will have pitched so poorly they will move him to the bullpen. Gibson will be ready to start on the big league club around the all-star break taking the spot of whoever has been the least effective by the mid-summer classic.

Post all-star game rotation: Diamond, Worley, Pelfrey, Gibson, Hendriks (Deduno would be the replacement if any of these pitchers are injured)

Jim Crikket
01-16-2013, 08:54 AM
Yeah, I'm a little surprised Harden wouldn't even be mentioned as a possibility. Is he likely to claim that spot? Probably not, but I really don't think there is anyone you'd say is "likely" at this point. If I had to bet money, I'd probably go with DeVries or Deduno, but I'd want some odds, regardless of who I picked. There is no clear favorite.

On Blackburn, everyone seems to write that this surgery rules him out, but does it? Wasn't it arthroscopic surgery on his wrist or forearm? Laid up 6 weeks leads him to last week of February. I have no idea, but is it really impossible that he would be recovered five weeks after that? Again, he isn't "likely" to be in the opening rotation and certainly less likely than some others, but are we being too quick to rule it out?

EDIT: I also just want to say that with all the piling on people (including myself at times) have done on Correia, I'm starting to seriously root for the guy to do well and shut us all up.

SweetOne69
01-16-2013, 08:58 AM
I think Gibson starts the season in the BP. I think that's the best way for Kyle to get his feet wet slowly while truly limiting his innings for the first 6 weeks of the season. I think they want him working with Andy and Bobby from day 1. My money is on Duensing starting the season in the rotation and going to the BP when Gibson enters the rotation. Remember the Twins told Duensing and Swarzak to prepare as if they were going to be starters in the coming season. The Twins bounce Duensing from the rotation to the BP or vice a versa every season why would this year be any different?

I think that this is the worst thing that you can do to Gibson. But putting him in the BP he loses arm strength and it messes with his routine as he has no idea if/when he is going to pitch.

With all reports of him being on a 140-150 innings limit, by letting him pitch in AAA you can better control his innings limit without killing your bullpen. You let him pitch 4-5 innings/start for 2 months (10 starts), then when you bring him up in June he can still have 100 innings remaining and can go 5-6 innings out of the gate. That way he can stay in his routine of pitching every 5th game.

nicksaviking
01-16-2013, 09:17 AM
EDIT: I also just want to say that with all the piling on people (including myself at times) have done on Correia, I'm starting to seriously root for the guy to do well and shut us all up.

I hear you, I pile on as much as anyone and I can recognize we aren't giving him a fair chance. I think it's safe to say that any vitriol directed at Correia is misguided as we are actually just disappointed in the poor decision by the front office and not the man himself.

Still if he proves us wrong and succeeds, Terry Ryan won't learn from this and it may encourage him to make similar signings in the future.

jmlease1
01-16-2013, 09:29 AM
I like the idea of Gibson as the 5th starter and here's why: it's a way for him to pitch through September without over-stressing his arm and keeping him to a reasonable innings count. As the 5th starter he'll get skipped occasionally, giving him some breaks throughout the year, but it'll give him a chance to prove that he can make it through a long season and prepared him to move up and be a #2 starter in 2014.

Harden is the other possibility: being the 5th guy might be the best way to keep his ragged arm healthy too.

SweetOne69
01-16-2013, 09:59 AM
I like the idea of Gibson as the 5th starter and here's why: it's a way for him to pitch through September without over-stressing his arm and keeping him to a reasonable innings count. As the 5th starter he'll get skipped occasionally, giving him some breaks throughout the year, but it'll give him a chance to prove that he can make it through a long season and prepared him to move up and be a #2 starter in 2014.

Harden is the other possibility: being the 5th guy might be the best way to keep his ragged arm healthy too.

Gardy rarely skips pitchers. The fifth starter would start every 5th game just like the #1 starter.

Steve Penz
01-16-2013, 10:01 AM
I would hope for Deduno. His historical stats tell his story correctly so we know what we are getting but at least the upside is there. If he somehow could gain a bit more control then he could be effective. With Devries you dont have that. Neither are a long term solution but if i have to choose then I am going with the higher upside.

CDog
01-16-2013, 10:02 AM
With all reports of him being on a 140-150 innings limit, .

I've been wondering about this a lot and haven't seen any reports at all. There was a gap in my coverage, though, so maybe I missed it. Where has this been covered?

Steve Lein
01-16-2013, 10:03 AM
I'm a little concerned Rich Harden's name didn't even show up in your article... I'd rather have him in the rotation over anyone else not named Diamond/Worley until it's proven he can not do it (which I hope doesn't happen).

CDog
01-16-2013, 10:05 AM
On Blackburn, everyone seems to write that this surgery rules him out, but does it? Wasn't it arthroscopic surgery on his wrist or forearm? Laid up 6 weeks leads him to last week of February. I have no idea, but is it really impossible that he would be recovered five weeks after that? Again, he isn't "likely" to be in the opening rotation and certainly less likely than some others, but are we being too quick to rule it out?

Wouldn't it likely take a while after being in a cast just to get up strength and put him a fair amount behind? I've actually never been in a cast (knock on wood), so I'm guessing from some anecdotal experience but mostly ignorance here.

Jim Crikket
01-16-2013, 10:32 AM
I hear you, I pile on as much as anyone and I can recognize we aren't giving him a fair chance. I think it's safe to say that any vitriol directed at Correia is misguided as we are actually just disappointed in the poor decision by the front office and not the man himself.

Still if he proves us wrong and succeeds, Terry Ryan won't learn from this and it may encourage him to make similar signings in the future.

Or... if he proves us wrong and succeeds, maybe we'll have to admit Terry Ryan is better at judging baseball talent than we are.

Nah... that'll never happen. :)

Jim Crikket
01-16-2013, 10:38 AM
Wouldn't it likely take a while after being in a cast just to get up strength and put him a fair amount behind? I've actually never been in a cast (knock on wood), so I'm guessing from some anecdotal experience but mostly ignorance here.

It would certainly put Blackburn behind, but I'm just questioning whether it puts him so far behind that he couldn't possibly regain strength and command in five weeks time. If this happened during the season, I guess I envision a pitcher spending 2-3 weeks after cast removal rehabbing and then getting 2-3 starts in the minors on rehab assignment. But, like you, I'm just guessing, too. I don't have a clue what his injury even was and how long it should be expected to take to recover fully.

ashburyjohn
01-16-2013, 11:05 AM
I'm a little concerned Rich Harden's name didn't even show up in your article

I fear that the only thing the Rich Harden of 2013 has in common with the Rich Harden of 2004 is, well, the name itself. The track record is that if he's in the rotation, he'll be in and out of it. I am very optimistic that the braintrust can figure out a useful role for him and get productive innings without disrupting anyone else. I just don't see it as being in the rotation, except maybe later on in the year.

mike wants wins
01-16-2013, 11:22 AM
Gibson for 4 innings a start in Minnesota....why not? They will be carrying a ton of pitchers anyway. He will throw just as hard in AAA ball. If you plan for it, you can get Duensing in that game at the right time. And you see what Gibson has. No chance it happens, it is not how MLB teams run today, and I do not see the Twins as innovators....but that is what I would do. It should 100% not be Duensing....he should be in the pen, where he is effective.

CDog
01-16-2013, 11:26 AM
It would certainly put Blackburn behind, but I'm just questioning whether it puts him so far behind that he couldn't possibly regain strength and command in five weeks time. If this happened during the season, I guess I envision a pitcher spending 2-3 weeks after cast removal rehabbing and then getting 2-3 starts in the minors on rehab assignment. But, like you, I'm just guessing, too. I don't have a clue what his injury even was and how long it should be expected to take to recover fully.

I guess I'm thinking (guessing?) that since he wouldn't have any of the typical spring training arm-strength-building and command-refining and all that stuff, that after building up that "just out of a cast" strength that he'd THEN have to basically start spring training. As opposed to if it happened in the season, he would already have had some of that building done. Meh...yeah, still just guessing.

Nick Nelson
01-16-2013, 11:35 AM
I didn't include Harden's name on the list because I consider him an extreme longshot to start the year in the rotation. The guy didn't throw a single inning last year. He's going to open in the minors or, at best, in the bullpen.

cmathewson
01-16-2013, 11:40 AM
Both Gibson and Pelfrey will be limited to 120 innings or so. Why waste Gibson's innings at AAA? Why not start him as the fifth starter while Pelfrey works his way back in the bullpen (perhaps on the DL to start the year and just throwing bullpens with Cuellar)? Then swap them when Gibson hits 100 innings? Even if they sign Saunders, I'd rather have that duo than Hendriks.

As to Harden, he is healthier now than he has been in three years. The underlying problem that eventually led to surgery happened in 2007. He pitched with it, and pitched pretty well with it, until 2010. He's a year removed from surgery. I'm sure he'll need to establish himself in AAA. But he could be a dark horse later in the year. His name at least should have been mentioned.

Nick Nelson
01-16-2013, 11:47 AM
Both Gibson and Pelfrey will be limited to 120 innings or so.

Where have you heard this about Pelfrey? It seems unlikely to me, since he has incentives in his contract and while I haven't seen the specifics I doubt they start below 120 innings. He's going to want to pitch as much as he can and since it's a one-year deal, the Twins don't have much reason not to let him.


As to Harden, he is healthier now than he has been in three years. The underlying problem that eventually led to surgery happened in 2007. He pitched with it, and pitched pretty well with it, until 2010. He's a year removed from surgery. I'm sure he'll need to establish himself in AAA. But he could be a dark horse later in the year. His name at least should have been mentioned.

I guess I probably wasn't clear enough about this, but the topic I was trying to tackle was who is going to be the fifth starter at the beginning of the year. If I was talking about guys who might step in at some point, I certainly would have included Harden and probably a few others.

LewFordLives
01-16-2013, 11:50 AM
DeVries! When the Twins were desperate for starting pitching last year DeVries was the only one who stepped up and kept the Twins in games on a consistent basis. Not Hendriks, not Deduno, not Walters, and definitely not Blackburn. He's earned consideration for that last spot.

Rosterman
01-16-2013, 12:05 PM
It will come down to Pelfrey, Haren and Hendriks. Possibly Pelfrey will start the season on the dl and Haren in the minors (they would have to find a 40-man spot for him). Gibson will start in long-relief in the minors and become a starter if/when Haren moves to the big leagues. Deduno is a long, long shot...not being on the 40-man.

The Twins have very limited 40-man movement. They have a Rule 5. They have Wood or Roeinke taking spaces who need to stay or be removed. They can drop DeVries and probably not have him claimed by anyone. Swarzak is out of options.

Butera could always be sent away to free a roster spot, but think the Twins want Hermann to spend more time at AAA.

And everything is blown apart if the Twins sign Saunders.

Almost more curious to see who is in the rotation at Rochester, assuming Pelfrey and Haren would start there, Blackburn on a delay, Walters, Deduno, DeVries, maybe May and Meyer, Vasquez and Martis in the mix, maybe Hermsen. Too many bodies there. Maybe the Twins needed to Rule 5 a catching prospect or back-up infielder, of even another, heaven forbid, outfielder!

mike wants wins
01-16-2013, 12:08 PM
Why waste Gibson in AAA? If he is one of the five best starters, isn't it better to have all his innings in the majors?

twinsnorth49
01-16-2013, 12:35 PM
I think Devries will start the season and eventually give way to Pelfrey. Gibson will likely surface in June and move Correia or Pelfrey the pen. I would love for it to be Harden but no way is he ready, if he is by June we could be lloking at, Diamond, Worley, Harden, Gibson and Hendriks, hmmmmmm.

ltwedt
01-16-2013, 02:18 PM
I believe that the 2013 edition of the Twins is compilation of players that TR is hoping will all have career years. I can not believe that he could expect Willingham will have a season like last year, and that Plouffe will have a year like his July and early August, but that's the way it appears.

On the pitching side, I really think that there are pitchers that will excel at Rochester, yet fail at the major league level - read here - De Vries, Hendricks, Blackie, et al. The hope that Diamond (most probably a legit 3 or 4 in any other mlb rotation), Worley (a stretch #2 or 3), and Correia can anchor this staff is scary! Like beyond hope scary!

I am still holding out hope that we make a trade - but who and from where?

jimbo92107
01-16-2013, 02:29 PM
I'll call it for Deduno and DeVries to start the season as 5th and 6th starters, with Gibson starting in AAA, then moving to the rotation sometime mid season. Gibson could push Deduno and DeVries into the pen for relief and spot starts, of which there will be many.

Blackburn is now on the outside, looking in. I liked him, but his career is winding down fast. Outside shots for Alex Meyer or Esmerling Vasquez sometime during the season. This rotation is full of guys that have had arm trouble in the past, and half of them will go down if Twins luck holds true.

3up3down
01-16-2013, 03:01 PM
i agree with Lew, devries pitched the most consistent & he is right he has earned a chance to compete for a spot & there is no doubt he will compete with others like deduno, walters,hendricks, etc..but out of all those the better pitcher was walters, when he 1st came up he was very impressive & then he was injured, if healthy he will be in the mix, and i dont think a 40 man spot matters at all , TR made it clear he doesnt mind clearing a spot...and when the ones that dont make the team go to rochester there is no #6,7 or 8 , the only thing that matters then is who is pitching the best & most consistent & possibly whos day it lines up with..and harden will never see rochester, he either makes the team or if not ready stays in extended getting healthy & goes up, if a spot doesnt open up he opts out, no way he pitches in rochester..

DelawareTwinsFan
01-16-2013, 03:17 PM
I think Correia is looking more and more like money out the window. I hope I'm wrong but my inkling is that he will be another Marquis. I expect he is DFA's by June. I expect Hendriks to get a spot, Pelfrey should get spot starts but is probably best suited in the bullpen. As much as I'd like to see Gibson get a shot, without AAA experience, and excess other arms with starting potential, he should refine his skills at Rochester. It also concerns me that he still admits to not really feeling "right" though he's throwing the heck out of the ball, he is still figuring out what he has with regards to ball movement and bite on his breaking pitches. Perfect reason to pitch AAA. Deduno and DeVries need to develop another pitch to really be ready up here. Deduno needs to figure out where his two seamer ends up, controlling the fastball is critical to his success. He's got so much movement, he might benefit from working on a cutter, something a bit easier to control. DeVries has a good curve but it's far from knee buckling so another pitch should help him. Maybe improve the changeup. Harden will be closely watched in spring training. Wonder how hard he's throwing. I realize Diamond had a great 2012 but his stuff isn't particularly nasty, just consistent. I suspect he's only locked up a spot because no one else seems to be able to eat innings. Sure hope they sign Joe Saunders. Need some stability in the rotation and he's certainly the kind of guy to do it.

DAM DC Twins Fans
01-16-2013, 03:21 PM
I fear that the only thing the Rich Harden of 2013 has in common with the Rich Harden of 2004 is, well, the name itself. The track record is that if he's in the rotation, he'll be in and out of it. I am very optimistic that the braintrust can figure out a useful role for him and get productive innings without disrupting anyone else. I just don't see it as being in the rotation, except maybe later on in the year.

I agree--stick a fork in Harden--he is done. Maybe he occupies 5th spot till Pelfrey/Gibson is totally recovered--but maybe not.

My rotation--Diamond, Worley, Corriea, Hendricks (last shot) then Pelfrey/Gibson, skip 5th starter for a while (when needed use Deduno) insert Pelfrey/Gibson May. If Gibson is going to be on an innings limit--pitch him weekly--shuffle the rest and when needed give Deduno a start.

ThePuck
01-16-2013, 03:24 PM
Even if Gardy was inclined to skip a starter, it's unlikely to happen at the beginning of the season when it's early and colder. Our pitchers have even lower pitch counts than normal during the first month, not gonna skip a starter.

Nick Nelson
01-16-2013, 06:03 PM
Even if Gardy was inclined to skip a starter, it's unlikely to happen at the beginning of the season when it's early and colder. Our pitchers have even lower pitch counts than normal during the first month, not gonna skip a starter.

Because of the way off days are arranged in the early weeks of the season, a team can usually roll with four starters and keep them on regular rest for the first couple turns through the rotation. Pretty sure this happened just last year, when Marquis was away.

ThePuck
01-16-2013, 07:54 PM
Because of the way off days are arranged in the early weeks of the season, a team can usually roll with four starters and keep them on regular rest for the first couple turns through the rotation. Pretty sure this happened just last year, when Marquis was away.

Are you saying that, as a rule, most teams do that?

There's 4 days off in April this year. 26 games played. 8 days straight, 6 games straight, 5 games straight, and 6 games straight.

Only two days off in May. 29 games in May, including streaks of 13 and 15 games straight.

6 days off the first two months.

And he said skip a starter for awhile, wasn't specific to a couple rounds.

cmathewson
01-17-2013, 08:44 AM
Where have you heard this about Pelfrey? It seems unlikely to me, since he has incentives in his contract and while I haven't seen the specifics I doubt they start below 120 innings. He's going to want to pitch as much as he can and since it's a one-year deal, the Twins don't have much reason not to let him.

I suppose Pelfrey won't be treated with kid gloves. This is most likely his audition for other teams. It's a long shot he pitches for the Twins next year, so why not throw him out there until he gets a dead arm? That said, 120 innings is a common benchmark for guys to start getting dead arm a year after Tommy John.

So let's start Gibson as the long man in the bullpen (instead of Swarzak). Give him about 50 innings in that role. When Pelfrey wears out, move Gibson to the rotation and move Pelfrey back to the bullpen (or trade him for a prospect). That'll give Gibson 15 starts or so and 120 innings overall.

cmathewson
01-17-2013, 11:03 AM
It will come down to Pelfrey, Haren and Hendriks. Possibly Pelfrey will start the season on the dl and Haren in the minors (they would have to find a 40-man spot for him). Gibson will start in long-relief in the minors and become a starter if/when Haren moves to the big leagues. Deduno is a long, long shot...not being on the 40-man.

The Twins have very limited 40-man movement. They have a Rule 5. They have Wood or Roeinke taking spaces who need to stay or be removed. They can drop DeVries and probably not have him claimed by anyone. Swarzak is out of options.

Butera could always be sent away to free a roster spot, but think the Twins want Hermann to spend more time at AAA.

And everything is blown apart if the Twins sign Saunders.

Almost more curious to see who is in the rotation at Rochester, assuming Pelfrey and Haren would start there, Blackburn on a delay, Walters, Deduno, DeVries, maybe May and Meyer, Vasquez and Martis in the mix, maybe Hermsen. Too many bodies there. Maybe the Twins needed to Rule 5 a catching prospect or back-up infielder, of even another, heaven forbid, outfielder!

I doubt Swarzak survives, and he'll get claimed. That's one spot. I hope they don't need three catchers out of the chute. So they could drop Butters, and he won't get claimed. Haren will start the year in AAA. I doubt they sign Saunders, though I hope they can. If they do, DeVries would need to get DFAed.

Nick Nelson
01-17-2013, 11:26 AM
Are you saying that, as a rule, most teams do that?

No, I said that quite often teams have the option of doing it.


So let's start Gibson as the long man in the bullpen (instead of Swarzak). Give him about 50 innings in that role. When Pelfrey wears out, move Gibson to the rotation and move Pelfrey back to the bullpen (or trade him for a prospect). That'll give Gibson 15 starts or so and 120 innings overall.

I could get behind that. Problem is that Pelfrey seems somewhat unlikely to be ready to step in at the start of the season, unless his rehab goes extremely well.

Gaettifan
01-17-2013, 03:02 PM
Has there ever been a rotation where no starter ever made it to the 8th inning? Maybe this team does have a chance to make history.

greengoblinrulz
01-17-2013, 08:14 PM
Liam Hendriks goes in spring training as the 5th starter & its his job to win or lose.

cmathewson
01-18-2013, 11:06 AM
I could get behind that. Problem is that Pelfrey seems somewhat unlikely to be ready to step in at the start of the season, unless his rehab goes extremely well.

Ryan said he expects Pelfrey to be fully ready for Spring Training and to start the year with the team. Perhapsthat's over-optimistic. But I trust he has some medical reason for saying that. Pelfrey did have to pass an extensive physical before the contract was official.

SweetOne69
01-18-2013, 01:40 PM
Pelfrey is a veteran and is basically in the same boat as Baker. Pelfrey's TJ surgery was only 2 weeks after Baker's. So if the Twins expected Baker to be ready by opening day there is no reason Pelfrey won't be. Also since Pelfrey is a 5+ year veteran he won't have the innings restrictions as the rookie Gibson.