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Which Pitchers On The Twins Roster Deserve A Chance Next Year

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

The Twins obviously need to do something with their starting rotation next year, and maybe need to make a few adjustments to their bullpen too. Here is a look at which pitchers the Twins should have on their big club next year for sure, who should get a look at the big club or be on the radar in the minors, who should be evaluated after they recover from injury, and who the Twins should just let go. Keep in mind this is for the start of 2013, there maybe some pitchers in lower levels of the minors right now who could work their way up toward the middle or end of the 2013 season.

The pitchers would the Twins should have penciled into their 25 man roster for 2013
Jared Burton
Terry Ryan worked his bullpen magic in his first year back, finding multiple pitchers who have been a surprise, but none have been as good as Jared Burton. He has been a great right handed set up man and at times and has closed games out. Luckily he is under team control for at least another year.

Scott Diamond
There have been many plays off of his last name, my favorite being a Diamond in the rough, but regardless of which you like he has been truly impressive this year. He should come into next season with a starting spot locked down, and he should be the only Twin starting pitcher on the current roster who should have a guaranteed spot.

Brian Duensing
The Twins have had him roam back and forth between the starting rotation and the bullpen, and part of the problem is the Twins starters have been bad enough they have needed to move Duensing into the rotation, but to use the Duensing most effectively the Twins should put him in the bullpen and leave him in the bullpen, especially if Perkins is going to become the closer.

Glen Perkins
He has been probably the Twins best bullpen pitcher throughout the year, and has done well when he has been asked to close games out. The Twins should have Perkins named written down in the bullpen for next year, the only question is whether it is as the closer or set-up man.

The pitchers who the Twins would be best parting ways with
Nick Blackburn
If it was as easy as saying goodbye Blackburn would have been gone a long time ago, but with his contract he just keeps looming around. The Twins need to decide even though they will be paying him not to pitch, it is still better than having him pitch. He has struggled mightily and the Twins need to move in a different direction. It is sad because when Blackburn is on he can be very fun to watch. The problem is with Blackburn the explosion could happen at anytime of the game to any part of the order.

Jeff Gray
Although he is 6-1 on the season, he has pitched a lot worse than his record shows. He has been one of the worst pitchers coming out of the Twins bullpen, and it is surprising the Twins have kept him around all of this season. He has never posted a WHIP under 1.5, his K/BB ratio is about 1, and he has a ERA 5.20. The Twins have better and younger options with more potential who could probably put up just as good of numbers.

The pitchers who the Twins need to re-evaluate after they recover from injury
Scott Baker
If this was purely a talent decision the Twins would clearly want to bring Baker back, but since he is on an option and will not be ready by the beginning of the year, the Twins will need to decide to take one of three routes: 1 pick up his option, 2 decline his option and let him walk, 3 work out a settlement for a new deal with incentives and less of a base salary. It will come down to what the Twins think he can produce once he can come back and where they expect the team to be when he is able to come back.

Matt Capps
Matt Capps also has a 2013 option, and if he had been healthy most of the year, the Twins would probably have picked it up. Although he is not a fan favorite, the Twins need to first decide if they do bring him back if he would be the closer or set-up man, and then decide if he is worth the salary of his option. If the Twins think he can stay healthy they should bring him back.

Kyle Gibson
Kyle Gibson was touted as a potential ace and savior by some people before his injury, even though it was a little too much hype, he does have the potential to be a front of the line starter. If he can recover from the Tommy John, which it has looked as if he is doing well in the rehab process, the Twins should have a starter by mid summer, if not by opening day.

Carlos Gutierrez
Although he would not answer the starting pitcher problems, if he could come back from injury and be effective, he maybe a candidate for the bullpen next year. Expect the Twins to at least give him some looks in spring training next year.

Lester Oliveros
The return in the Delmon Young trade is a hard thrower who had looked good until he got hurt. Lester Oliveros is also a reliever, but he should also get some look from the Twins in spring training if he returns to action healthy.

Carl Pavano
Although many people would say he should be in the get rid of category, if the Twins are not going to throw around big money at starting pitchers, they are going to need to piece together a rotation somehow, and before this season Carl Pavano has been reliable. Hopefully the Twins step up to the plate and spend some money on starting pitchers, but if they don't, don't be surprised to see ol' Carl back on the mound.

Anthony Swarzak
He has returned from injury and pitched for the Twins, but the Twins should given him the rest of the season as a tryout to figure out what exactly Swarzak is. He could be the long guy with the occasional spot start, a starting pitchers, or can he move into a set-up role. It doesn't appear the Twins are overly sure in what they have with Swarzak, so they need to figure out the rest of this season so they know where to slate him next year, if anywhere.

PJ Walters
PJ Walters tried to follow Scott Diamond in the path of being a fill-in call up, but doing good enough to stick around, and he looked as if he was going to do just that, until injury also struck him. The injury came at probably the worst time, as the Twins would likely want someone better than Walters to start next season, but they will give him a chance due to the success he did have this year.

The pitchers the Twins should give a look
Alex Burnett
It seems as if Alex Burnett has been around forever, but he is only 25 years old. The problem is he doesn't seem like he has gotten any better in his times in the major leagues, and even though at times he has been used as a set-up man, he is best served in earlier innings or not in the majors.

Cole De Vries
When he first came up it did not seem as if Cole De Vries had much of a chance of sticking around for very long, but he has been the Twins best starting pitcher besides Scott Diamond. The question is with how bad the Twins starting pitching has been, does the second best starter on the staff even deserve to be a Major League pitcher.

Samuel Deduno
How Samuel Deduno has been effective is anyone's guess, but he has been. The high number of walks issued, and the fact he is rather old for how much experience he has points to a decline coming soon. If the Twins could figure out how to get him to throw some more strikes with his stuff, they may have found a gem, but it is unlikely and Deduno will probably not last very long.

Casey Fien
Thrown into the bullpen because of injuries and relievers getting stretched out into starters, Casey Fien has gotten a chance with the Twins this year. He will probably never be very good in the Majors, but he could hold his own as a early innings pitcher. The problem is the Twins already have quite a few of these.

Deolis Guerra
Deolis Guerra has always had an okay WHIP and about two strikeouts to walks in the minor leagues, but he has always seemed to have a high ERA in comparison. He will probably get a look from the Minnesota Twins, but don't expect much out of him.

Liam Hendriks
Liam Hendriks is rather interesting in terms of how extreme the differences his numbers in the Minor Leagues compared to how how he has done in the Major Leagues are. The Twins will probably call him up at some point this year, and he should get a chance and maybe even a spot in the rotation. If he can start to pitch in the big leagues like he has in the minors, the Twins starters are already in a better position than they were this year.

Jeff Manship
He is another pitcher who the Twins have had go up and down many times the last couple of years and has just never seemed to find his spot on the big club. He has done okay with the Twins, but he also had many chances to stick around and has not really taken advantage of any.

Luis Perdomo
He got six innings for the Twins this year, and did not do much to impress. He will never be great, and in the ideal world, the Twins would probably never have him pitch again, but he is good enough to be a fringe Major Leaguer so don't be surprised if the Twins lose more pitchers to injury that you see Perdomo back again.

Tyler Robertson
When Tyler Robertson stand on the mound he looks a lot more intimidating than when his stats are shown. He is a perfect example of a pitcher making the Major Leagues because they throw with their left hand. He could work his way to a decent Lefty Specialist.

Anthony Slama
One of the biggest mysteries surrounding the Twins is Anthony Slama. He has been very good in the Minor Leagues, and even at times he has been dominant. Despite his dominance the Twins have never really given Slama a chance in the Major Leagues.

Kyle Waldrop
A true sinker baller, Kyle Waldrop looks like he is on the verge of getting a Major League chance, and possibly even could turn into a setup role. He could strikeout a few more batters if he was going to be a dominant pitcher, but he looks as if he is ready to get the job done.

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  1. greengoblinrulz's Avatar
    Barring trades....(assuming like everyone that Capps is released).
    I see the pen bein Burton/Swarzak/Burnett/Perkins/Duensing/Robertson taking up 6 of the 7 bullpen slots to start the yr (Robertson may be on bubble).
    Im not a Burnett fan as I favor more Ks in the pen & think he's been doin it with mirrors (better than not doin it).
    Gray & Perdomo (will be DFAd IMO (Waldrop on severe bubble of it, esp if not recalled in Sept) and Manshop & Walters are out of options & could/should be released to protect younger players.
    Doesnt bode well for guys who will be back like Casey Fien, Oliveras or Guitierrez who will end up in ROC.
    The wildcard is Blackburn. Will they keep him solely due to salary. If not, he will join Sam Deduno/Cole DeVries to possibly contend for a 5th starter spot....Sam is out of options & Cole will be back in AAA (if kept on 40 man)
    Diamond is the only 'sure' thing.
    I think they will resign Scot Baker to a better deal, as hinted in last wks Mpls Tribune.
    Kyle Gibson will start in ROC to monitor innings but I think barring a complete collapse in spring training, Liam Hendrix will also be in the rotation.
    So will MN acquire 1 or 2 starters in the offseason. If its 2, that takes care of the 5th starter possibilities (Maybe Deduno/DeVires is 7th pen/long relief guy).
    I created a small firestorm last wk by predicting that MN will stun everyone & resign Carl Pavano. I absolutely wouldnt, but it is the Twins way to say he's as good as any veteran out there--if healthy--and get him more cheaply than a normal FA.
  2. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
    Most of those pitchers the Twins should give a look will be sent elsewhere in the system or cut.
  3. glunn's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by greengoblinrulz
    I created a small firestorm last wk by predicting that MN will stun everyone & resign Carl Pavano. I absolutely wouldnt, but it is the Twins way to say he's as good as any veteran out there--if healthy--and get him more cheaply than a normal FA.
    That is depressing.
  4. Heinie Manush's Avatar
    Baker? Sign him, doesn't matter for how much in 2013 (we've got $ and should still be rebuilding) if we can get a team friendly option for 2014. If he's a dud, signing him doesn't hurt our prospects for 2014. If he comes through, we've got a veteran #2 or #3 at a reasonable price.

    Duensing to the bullpen. We need a better arm to compete and he's been quite valuable out of the pen.

    Hendricks, Deduno, Gibson and Diamond along with Baker should get a look for the rotation. Forget the others.
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