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  • Which Pitcher Will Lose His Job?

    With all the hype and excitement surrounding the Kyle Gibson promotion, the Minnesota Twins, behind closed doors, are likely pondering a more complicated question: who is going to get the axe to make room for Gibson's long-term presence in the rotation? Twins’ General Manager Terry Ryan has stated that once he promoted Gibson—barring some historically awful performances—it would likely be for good, which means that someone is going to have to be removed from the rotation, absent going to a six-man rotation or moving Gibson to the bullpen.


    Photo Courtesy of: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

    Moving Gibson to the bullpen would save some of the innings the team plans on limiting since this is his first full season back from Tommy John surgery. That could mean pitching longer into the season, but Ryan and manager Ron Gardenhire have given no indication they have plans for putting Gibson anywhere but the starting rotation.

    The Twins could opt to go with a six-man rotation—which I have discussed in a previous Twins’ article accessed by clicking here—to limit the wear on Gibson’s arm and keep their current starters in the rotation at least to the trade deadline. Then they then could trade a starter and open a spot that way. However, Kevin Correia is currently the only one in the rotation with any real trade value and trading him isn’t likely until the deadline gets closer and the price for him hopefully goes up.

    ~~~ Article originally published on RantSports.com ~~~

    With Correia the most likely trade candidate—which could happen before the deadline once Mike Pelfrey returns from injury— Pelfrey, P.J. Walters and Scott Diamond are the three most likely candidates for demotion to Triple-A due to Gibson’s promotion. Samuel Deduno seems safe for now and I’m inclined to believe that Diamond also will be kept around, which essentially cuts the choice for the Twins down to Walters or Pelfrey.

    With Pelfrey—who has been pitching better of late, but still hasn’t pitched great—on the disabled list for the next week or more, the Twins can use the time as an audition period to see who ought to be sent down or traded to make room for Gibson, long-term. This could mean either demoting a player or waiting for the right trade possibility to present itself.

    Don’t forget also, the Twins have Trevor May rising through the minors and he could be challenging for a spot in the rotation by season’s end; the rotation might be undergoing even more changes after the Gibson situation is settled. It also wouldn't be out of the realm of the possible to see the Twins promote Vance Worley if he continues to pitch well in Triple-A.

    While the Twins may fall out of contention at some point this season, watching youngsters like Gibson pitch and develop is something to look forward to. Watching how the game of musical pitchers works itself out might also be quite entertaining during the dog days of summer. If I were a betting man, I’d say the rotation will be Gibson, Diamond, Deduno, Worley and Walters by the July 31 trading deadline, with May replacing Walters by September.

    While the Twins may not be actively pursuing a division title come August and September, they will certainly have plenty of pitching intrigue,making them an interesting team to follow as the season trudges on.

    Brian Wille is a Minnesota Twins writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @BeeWill15 or “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

    To view more articles by Brian Wille, click here
    This article was originally published in blog: Which Pitcher Will Lose His Job Due to Kyle Gibson’s Promotion? started by bwille
    Comments 30 Comments
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      I think that Correia will go sooner than later. If not soon enough one of Walters and Diamond will get demoted to AAA. I would like to see the Twins shop Diamond, but this will be too much out of the box thinking for them...
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      What are you going to get in trade for a rule-5 guy who had one year that might have been pitching over his head? Sure, shop him, shop anyone - but don't be surprised when the offers amount to waiver-wire fodder.
    1. wabene's Avatar
      wabene -
      Everybody is so down on Pelfry when he is the one proven starter outside Correia. I think he is over the hump with rehab with next year being even better. Just like Nathan. What I don't understand is hanging with these AAA talent guys like PJ the Aussie.
    1. Thegrin's Avatar
      Thegrin -
      I think Pelfrey will be sent to AAA for extended rehab so the decision time can be delayed. We have no off-days until the All Star break so when Pelfrey is proven ready, we may go to a 6 man rotation until the break. Also, it is possible that they may want to bring back Worley for a possible trade audition, and in that case, I suspect Walters is the most vulnerable starter.
    1. troyhobbs's Avatar
      troyhobbs -
      There are no bad decisions, all these guys are replaceable and if Correia brings in anything decent they should trade him while his stock is high. I would option Walters if Correia isn't traded but anyone will do.
    1. crarko's Avatar
      crarko -
      I may be mistaken, but I think Walters and Deduno may be out of options. If that's the case, I'd predict Walters goes to the bullpen and either Theilbar or Fien goes to Rochester.
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      I don't see why we'd keep Walters up. He's not a MLB caliber player. I'm really low on Scott Diamond and I wouldn't rule him out by any means. Deduno, Correia, and Gibson will probably be the only 3 whose spots have solid footing. Pelfrey should have an advantage over these other guys. It seems likely he'd get a spot when he's healthy. Between Worley, Diamond, Walters, Hernandez, and Albers, it's probably Diamond in the last spot. Although, Worley could fight his way back in if he looks better in AAA.
    1. enge0280's Avatar
      enge0280 -
      Why not move Diamond to long relief and cut/demote one of the bullpen guys? Is that an option? It seems as if Diamond usually holds his own the first time through the order, and usually tops out at being good for maybe 4 innings. Isn't that what you look for in a long reliever?

      Who is better for that role, Swarzak or Diamond? Or is there someone else they could demote in that regard?
    1. silverslugger's Avatar
      silverslugger -
      Quote Originally Posted by crarko View Post
      I may be mistaken, but I think Walters and Deduno may be out of options. If that's the case, I'd predict Walters goes to the bullpen and either Theilbar or Fien goes to Rochester.
      Fien is arguably our third best relief pitcher in both makeup and stuff. He is consistently in the game in the 7th or 8th inning in high leverage situations getting the job done. Simply put, he's not going anywhere anytime soon. Theilbar hasn't given up a run in his first 14.2 innings pitched. In all honesty, he's looking better than Brian Duensing at this point but isn't trusted yet by Gardy in those high-leverage situations. I'd be very surprised if he's going anywhere either.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Every pitcher but Gibson should go. But we all know that won't happen.....
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by wabene View Post
      Everybody is so down on Pelfry when he is the one proven starter outside Correia. I think he is over the hump with rehab with next year being even better. Just like Nathan. What I don't understand is hanging with these AAA talent guys like PJ the Aussie.
      You do realize that Pelfrey has been one of, if not the, worst starters in all of baseball this season, right?

      People are "hanging with" unproven guys because, let's face it, they can't be much worse than Mike and have the possibility of being a whole lot better.
    1. jun's Avatar
      jun -
      I believe Albers would be promoted to the major league rotation soon.
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      Tougher question: Which pitcher will KEEP his job?
    1. jun's Avatar
      jun -
      Quote Originally Posted by enge0280 View Post
      Why not move Diamond to long relief and cut/demote one of the bullpen guys? Is that an option? It seems as if Diamond usually holds his own the first time through the order, and usually tops out at being good for maybe 4 innings. Isn't that what you look for in a long reliever?

      Who is better for that role, Swarzak or Diamond? Or is there someone else they could demote in that regard?
      Swarzak is a good long reliever, I would take him over Diamond.
      I would not move anyone in the bullpen since they have all been relatively solid this season. (Duensing has been a bit shaky recently, maybe Diamond could take his spot since they are both lefty? I doubt Gardenhire would let that happen.)
    1. jun's Avatar
      jun -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      Every pitcher but Gibson should go. But we all know that won't happen.....
      Deduno deserves a spot in the rotation. Albers deserves to be promoted.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn View Post
      What are you going to get in trade for a rule-5 guy who had one year that might have been pitching over his head? Sure, shop him, shop anyone - but don't be surprised when the offers amount to waiver-wire fodder.
      I bet Billy Bullock would be available.
    1. Badsmerf's Avatar
      Badsmerf -
      Quote Originally Posted by jun View Post
      Deduno deserves a spot in the rotation.
      For now. I don't expect you will have the same opinion in a month.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Pelfrey may get a rehab start in AAA. It's allowed by CBA, but he only be down there for so long (I think 5 days, but I could be wrong). At that point he has to get the call and someone will need to be optioned. If Pelfrey has options, it could be him, but I suspect he's going to get every opportunity to be showcased prior to the deadline. I suspect KC gets traded, but I doubt it happens within the next week. Like others said, I don't think Deduno should be sent down (yet), and if he has no options, then you are stuck with him... So it's Diamond or Walters. I personally would just DFA Walters, but I could see using an option on Diamond in order to buy more time for him. Once either Pelfrey or KC gets traded, then Diamond comes back.
    1. mnfireman's Avatar
      mnfireman -
      I think Ryan, Gardy and Andy should make it clear that nobody's job is safe - theirs, the starting pitchers, the relief pitchers and the position players - and that everyone should play accordingly or risk being replaced. I suppose Mauer and Perkins are the exceptions, but everybody else is fair game. I understand that everybody slumps, but when do you finally realize that, hey, this guy's not that good! Play like you're fighting for your job, your season, your career or risk being replaced. This team has no room for complacency.
    1. Badsmerf's Avatar
      Badsmerf -
      Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
      Like others said, I don't think Deduno should be sent down (yet), and if he has no options, then you are stuck with him...
      What would make teams want to take him now when they didn't last year?
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