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  • Twins Notes: The Right to Bear Arms

    Something has been bothering me over the last couple of days.Oddly, it has nothing to do with shrinking payroll or lack of top-of-the-rotation starters.

    It has to do with the quantity of pitchers the Twins are bringing to camp. Though the Twins are bringing a franchise-record 34 pitchers to Major League Spring Training, it may be they are not bringing enough.

    In 2010 and 2011, when the bulk of the staff was set, the Twins invited 24 and 26 pitchers to camp, respectively. Last year, coming off their first 90-plus loss season, the Twins invited 33. We could argue about the quality of those 33 - or this year's 34 - but when you have a lot of question marks on the staff, it can't hurt to give as many guys an opportunity as possible.

    Why might they want even more? Well, a few things:

    Glen Perkins, who is written in pen as the 2013 closer, will be pitching for Team USA in the WBC.

    Lester Oliveros got a courtesy invite and will miss the 2013 season after having Tommy John surgery.

    Vance Worley and Scott Diamond are in ink as 40% of the starting rotation. They also are both coming off minor elbow surgery and should be eased into their workload even slower than normal.

    Kyle Gibson and Mike Pelfrey, both who figure to make a significant amount of starts this year, are recovering from Tommy John surgery. While Gibson is 100% coming into spring training, his innings will be limited. Pelfrey will not be ready by Opening Day and will be limited in camp before likely starting the year on the Disabled List.

    Rich Harden has been dealing with injuries for... well, forever. The Twins will need to be cautious with him to avoid having a Zumaya-repeat.

    This week the news came out the Nick Blackburn will be undergoing wrist surgery on Wednesday and be in a cast for six weeks. The likelihood is that he'll start the season on Rochester's Disabled List.

    So, despite the quantity of pitchers invited, the Twins will be opening camp with 26 pitchers full-go, which, historically, is on par for the teams that are coming off a Division Championship with their roster set, not a team that flirted with 100 losses and has more question marks than an interrogation.
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins Notes: The Right to Bear Arms started by Jeremy Nygaard
    Comments 7 Comments
    1. Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
      Oldgoat_MN -
      Thank you for pointing this out. I have been wondering what they were thinking with all the pitchers they are bringing in. Seemed like far too many. This makes some sense of it, though they will still have to shed a hefty number as they certainly expect most of the players you mentioned to join the team eventually.
      Not nearly enough room on the MLB & AAA rosters for all these guys.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      'more question marks than an interrogation.'

      That's funny!
    1. Riverbrian's Avatar
      Riverbrian -
      Although I would have liked to see another pitcher signed with bigger potential.

      I'm hopeful that the pure volume of arms to choose from will(at the very least) provide options to turn to.

      Our Twins will be improved if we can simply avoid handing multiple starts to pitchers who are tossing 6 plus ERA's like we did last year.

      If someone is not performing or injured. Hopefully we have the next guy to turn to.
    1. Top Gun's Avatar
      Top Gun -
      Cubs president Theo Epstein said he expects Scott Baker (elbow) to be ready for Opening Day.

      Baker will be exactly 12 months removed from Tommy John surgery for the start of the season, so there's a chance he won't miss any time if he can avoid setbacks. More likely, the 31-year-old right-hander will begin the season on the disabled list to continue to build up his workload. Baker, who signed a one-year, $5.5 million contract with the Cubs in November, is expected to be up to 75 pitches by the end of spring training.

      Source: Chicago Tribune
    1. Top Gun's Avatar
      Top Gun -
      Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that the Red Sox and Mike Napoli have reached an agreement on a one-year, $5 million contract.

      The Red Sox originally signed Napoli to a three-year, $39 million contract earlier in the offseason, but talks hit a snag after an issue with one of his hips was reportedly found during a pre-signing physical. The injury is not expected to keep him from being ready for Opening Day, so it's surprising that Napoli wasn't able to do better in free agency. He'll now look to re-establish his value on a one-year pact. If healthy, Napoli should remain a decent fantasy option throughout 2013 as Boston's everyday first baseman.
    1. Gaettifan's Avatar
      Gaettifan -
      When you know that five fifths of your rotation will be made up of guys with no shot at 200 innings of sub-4.50 ERA, I don't think the number of people brought in matters. Guys who can lose 15 games and generally be awful can be found anytime you need them. If one gets hurt, you just walk to the nearest Cub Foods and grab a guy from the grocery-bagging team. In an emergency, they can let Drew Butera start, though he may be disqualified on account of having a fastball in the 90s.
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      Unless the league starts letting us have a handicap where two guys throw at once - having this many "bleh" guys is not an advantage. In order to have lots of options, your options have to be worthwhile to begin with.
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