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Player Profile: Samuel Deduno

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Entering his 10th professional season, itís safe to say that 2012 was his best year in Samuel Dedunoís career thus far. Not only did Deduno end the year in the Minnesota Twins rotation, but he also had the opportunity to pitch for the Dominican Republic, his home country, in the World Baseball Classic.

Originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Colorado Rockies in 2003, 19 year old Samuel Deduno was on the road to pursuing his dream of playing in the Major Leagues. ď I was 19 years old in the Dominican, I felt very good about getting signed, I knew that if I kept pitching and kept working something good was bound to happen, and it did.Ē

However, itís safe to say after a successful rookie season in the Frontier League, his next three seasons in the Rockies system were very forgettable. Compiling a record of 19-25, an ERA of 5.32 and a strike out to walk ratio of just under 2-to-1, and then an arm injury causing him to miss the entire 2008 season, Samuel Dedunoís career appeared to be in some serious danger.

After rehabbing his right arm in 2008, something clicked for Deduno in 2009, while pitching for the Rockies Double-A affiliate, Tulsa Drillers. With a record of 12-4, an ERA of 2.57 and striking out 131 batters in 138.2 innings, it appeared that things were finally starting to turn around for Samuel Deduno.

"I give the glory to God, he has given me everything. I was feeling pretty positive about everything, myself and my team."

During the 2011 season, the Rockies went ahead and released Samuel Deduno, and after a small stint with the San Diego Padres, Deduno was signed to a minor league contract by the Minnesota Twins at the end of the 2011 season. In nine starts in Rochester last season, he went 1-2 with a 2.14 ERA, his strikeouts were over one per inning and his walk to strikeout ratio was better than two to one.

In 15 starts in Minnesota, Deduno had control issues, and thatís putting it mildly. With a walk to strikeout ratio of one-to-one, an ERA of 4.44, many people questioned if Deduno was going to be back in Minnesota for the 2013 season. In spring training, he was competing for the 5th starter position with the Twins, when he decided to go and represent his country in the World Baseball Classic.

ďThe GM called me and said to expect a call from the Dominican team. I wanted to go and play for my country, and I played pretty good, everything was working, fastball, curveball, change-up.Ē

While some people would question that decision, the numbers donít lie, he was more dominant in those games, than he has been in his career thus far. In 13 innings pitched Deduno struck out 18 batters while walking five, he lead the Domincan Republic to victory in the gold medal game over Puerto Rico, but unfortunately a groin injury would hold him out for the beginning of the year.

Before a game earlier this week Deduno talked a little bit about how he was recovering from the groin injury he suffered after the WBC. ďIím feeling pretty good, just need to keep throwing and pitching.Ē I then asked him about the opportunity to of rejoining the Twins rotation? ďI donít know, I canít control that, when I go to the game I need to work on my game, itís my job. Iím looking to pitch for a long time, I have to pitch good, I have to throw strikes.Ē

Samuel Deduno has started three games so far in 2013 for the Rochester Red Wings, compiling a 0-0 record, with a 2.70 ERA, 17 SO, 10 BB in 16.2IP.

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