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A Recap of Minnesota Twins Starters This Season

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Originally posted on The Terrific (Minnesota) Twins blog, http://terrificmntwins.blogspot.com/

The Twins have used eleven starting pitchers this year. The starting pitching has been the downfall for this team. Here is a look at how the Twins got each of their starters, why they are starting, and why they are no longer starting if they are not anymore.

Nick Blackburn(17 games started)
Nick Blackburn was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in 2001 and signed with the team in 2002. He worked his way through the system, even being named the Twins number one prospect in 2007 by Baseball America. After being a succesful back of the rotation starter for a couple years the Twins signed him to a four year contract entering the 2010 season. Since then Nick Blackburn has spent time in the rotation, bullpen, and Triple A. This year has been just as unsuccessful as the previous two, with Blackburn being sent down to Triple A at one point. If the Twins had a good or healthy rotation, he may have never made it back. Since he has returned he has looked slightly better, but with his stuff he is always suspect to a big inning. His contract maybe the only thing keeping him around.

Scott Diamond(17)
Scott Diamond has been one of the few bright spots in the Minnesota Twins rotation this year. He was drafted in the 2010 Rule 5 draft by the Twins, and later a trade being made so the Twins could keep him, but send him down to Triple A. He did not show a lot of promise in his starts in 2011, but when he got his chance in 2012 he came back throwing more strikes and being much more effective. He has already reached ten wins in just 17 starts with an ERA of 2.91.

Francisco Liriano(17)
Francisco Liriano was acquired by the Twins in the famous AJ Pierzynski deal. His time with the Twins can be summed up by calling it frustrating. This year was no different. Being in a contract year there was some high hopes Liriano would be good this year, but those high hopes turned into a high ERA, and eventually a demotion to the bullpen. Once he was returned to the rotation, in true Liriano form, he impressed. He did well enough the Twins were able to trade him, although the return may not have been much at all. It appeared as if the Twins were just ready to turn the chapter.
Carl Pavano(11)
Carl Pavano's year has been both frustrating and confusing. After the Twins traded for him during the 2010 season, he signed a 2 year deal to come back for 2011 and 2012. He started out this season not being overly effective, and it eventually came out he was trying to pitch through a shoulder issue. Finally the Twins decided to sit him down on June 4th. He had no surgery just rehab, but has still yet to make it back due to multiple setbacks.
Cole De Vries(11)
Cole De Vries is a Minnesota native, and signed with the Twins as a undrafted free agent in 2006. When watching Cole De Vries pitch it makes you wonder how he gets anyone out, but somehow through eleven starts he has been able to keep his ERA under 4(3.81) and has a WHIP of 1.12. He has also led the Twins in K/9. It will be interesting to see if Cole De Vries can keep it up, as many people are skeptical of his success so far.
Liam Hendriks(8)

Liam Hendriks signed with the Minnesota Twins as an undrafted free agent in 2007, and has done very well working his way up through the Minor Leagues, even earning the honor of Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2011. Liam Hendriks has had trouble translating Minor League success into Major League success though. He has allowed too many base runners, and complied a 0-5 record in only eight starts.

Brian Duensing(7)
Brian Duensing was drafted by the Twins in 2005. In his career he has started and pitched in relief. This year he started as a relief pitcher, but was transitioned into a start when the rest of the starters were either hurt or ineffective.He has been more effective as a relief pitcher, since he often does not throw more than his fastball and slider. When he does mix up his pitches he is effective as a starter.

Jason Marquis(7)
Jason Marquis was a big off-season signing for the Twins at 3 million for one year. To say his time with the Minnesota Twins was a train wreck might be understating how bad it actually was. He finished with a 8.47 ERA and a WHIP close to 2 before the Twins finally released him.

PJ Walters(7)

PJ Walters was signed as a Minor League free agent before the 2012 season. He started the season in the minors for the Twins, but like so many other starters got his chance due to injury or ineffectiveness. He pitched in seven games before the injury bug also bit him, and has yet to return to the Majors yet. His numbers in his seven starts were mediocre, with a 1.53 WHIP and 5.40 ERA.

Samuel Deduno(6)
Samuel Deduno was also signed as a Minor League free agent before the 2012 season. Samuel Deduno's pitching style appears to be to just throw the ball with no clue where it is going and live with the results. In his six starts with the Twins the approach has been successful in terms of winning, with a record of 3-0. In terms of other numbers, he has been successful but not quite as much, with a 3.27 and 1.58 WHIP.

Anthony Swarzak(4)
Anthony Swarzak was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in 2004. His time with the big club the last two years has been as a swing man. This year he had been better as a reliever, as his starts had not gone overly well. He is out with an injury now. He can be good for a spot start, but is probably better left in the bullpen.

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