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by Matt Sisk

Turn to the NBA

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Pop quiz! What do you do when you've run out of fuel, in a tour-bus, in rural Siberia, with your in-laws?? This is the metaphor for how I see the current situation with the Twins starting pitching rotation. Our characters are all familiar: the fuel = Pohlads' payroll; the bus = shiny new Target Field; Siberia = Minnesota; the in-laws = our gallery of failed starting pitchers. So...what DO you do?

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In this case we defer to the NBA. No, we're not trading in our love of baseball to go "sell out" and become faithful followers of the Timberwolves' Love, Kirilenko, Pekovic, and Rubio (although its getting more tempting with Rubio getting healthier) NO! We need to focus on baseball, and in the Twins' case, NBA = Next Best Action.

With the Cubs over-paying for Baker and Feldman, the flame of the Twins' hope at signing a guy with any proven, successful experience gets dimmer and dimmer (like the sun on a cold, Siberian evening). Without any news on the trade front, we'll have to hunker down for a long night (off-season). We should all be assuming things will heat up in the Winter GM Meetings, but what if other GM's are unwilling to part with their pitching? What exactly is the next, best step that the Twins could possibly take?

Desperate situations like this one should be viewed as opportunity for certain men. Men with fortitude, and determination to survive. Sure the Pohlads are sitting on a huge oil field, but its crude stuff and won't help us survive the night, or the next day for that matter.

We need to make a big fire. Then, we need to throw some of these guys in it. Surely some of them will burn and pass away, but others could be refined by the flames and provide warmth (production) to a frigid fan populace.

In order with NBA, we must determine which men to risk first with a toss into the inferno. Who are the (my) top candidates to play the role of heroes in the unforseen wilderness of the AL Central?

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1. Kyle Gibson - what a prospect he was after being drafted in 2009!? As a minor league rookie, he flew right up to AAA as a 22-year-old. Now that is a fast-track, even for a college guy. Yes, he had TJ surgery on old trusty. But, he looked like good fuel for our fire during his six fall-league starts. And with his former "top-propsect" status, we will all be looking for Kyle to fight off the frost-bite of this, so far, bitter off-season. I say we build our bon fire around Gibson, and see what colors he produces.

2. Liam Hendriks - Oh dear. What do we have in Hendriks? When he signed as a 17-year-old outta the Outback, the organization took the standard approach and slowly developed him into a guy that dominated AAA as a 23-year-old. Thats great! But we have real issues here, and we need to find out right now if Liam can provide some warmth to our extremities. Minor League numbers are fun, but they don't keep you warm in Siberia. Even with his MLB struggles, I vote to see if he burns in the Twins' 2013 rotation.

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3. Samuel Deduno - As a 20-year-old minor league rookie, the Colorado Rockies had good reason to believe in what Deduno could become. Sammy made the Pioneer League All-Star team with 118 K's in 76.1 innings (13.9 per 9). Since then, not so much. He walked too many guys in A, A+, AA, and AAA. So, the Rockies let him sign with San Diego where he walked a bunch of guys again. Now, the Domincan Deduno does not seem like the type to help us survive in the upper Mid-west (Siberia). But, he does have a career 3.43 ERA in AAA, despite all those free passes. Last year, he showed us all in Minnesota how he is able to have success while walking everyone (and their in-laws). He's got really great "stuff" (the walks even make him more flammable), which is perfect for the fire we're building.

4. Esmerling Vasquez - I know what you're thinking: "This guy stinks!" Wrong! Well maybe he does smell a little bit. But this guy did great in AAA last year (and had terrrible control in Minnesota). He had an opposite season with Arizona's organization in 2011, as he walked too many in AAA while pitching just fine with the D-Backs. Hey, its getting colder by the minute here and there isn't much else for us to burn. Time to throw him in and see where it gets us. Hopefully, Esmerling prolongs the heat that keeps us hoping to be far away from our current sufferings.

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Is there anyone you'd like to throw into the fire? What is the Twins' NBA in your opinion?

Updated 02-12-2013 at 02:41 AM by mnfanforlife



  1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
    Remember, this was posted in November....before any of the trades or FA signings of 2013. How can this still be relevant? Did we get anyone better than these four that is MLB ready?
  2. ashburyjohn's Avatar
    Worley should be better than Esmerling. But that's it.
  3. mnfanforlife's Avatar
    Oh man...we need more stuff to burn
  4. mnfanforlife's Avatar
    Wow, this is STILL relevant. Would much rather see these four guys than Vance Worley, Kevin Correia, and ? Pelfrey.
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