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Twins Rotation Starting To Look Crowded

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Over the weekend, word came out that the Twins would sign Mike Pelfrey to a two-year $11 million deal. This is the third free agent starter the Twins have added this season as the team already agreed to terms with Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes. With Kevin Corriea under contract for another year, Minnesota's starting rotation is filling up rather quickly but there are still some questions to about the final rotation spot.

The Twins had one of the worst starting rotations in all of baseball last year. In order to remedy the problem, the team has done their best to be aggressive on the open market. There was even word over the weekend that the Twins were still aggressively chasing veteran starter Bronson Arroyo. If the Twins were successful in signing Arroyo, this would leave a packed rotation for the start of spring training.

Minnesota has a handful of players under team control for next season and they have to be wondering what happened. Scott Diamond, Sam Deduno, Kyle Gibson, and Vance Worley were all part of the rotation at different points last season and it's looking more like a few of these players won't be with the organization when the team leaves Fort Myers.

Scott Diamond, LHP
After a rookie campaign where Diamond was the best starter for the Twins, his sophomore season was met with a slump. He walked more batters in fewer innings and struggled to keep the ball in the park. He looked better in his time at Rochester but he is out of minor league options. This could mean the Twins would have to try and sneak him through waivers and there is a chance another club would be interested in his services.

Sam Deduno, RHP
Deduno surprised a lot of people in his first year with the Twins as he tended to give up walks and hits but he found a way to get out of some jams. His second season with the Twins was even better as he lowered his ERA by half a run per game and his WHIP dropped from 1.54 to 1.35 over close to 30 more innings. Like Diamond, Deduno is out of options but it seems like Deduno would have the inside track for the fifth starter spot.

Kyle Gibson, RHP
There were high hopes for Gibson entering the 2012 season. The former first round pick had looked good in last year's Arizona Fall League and the club was hoping he could make an impact during his rookie season. Gibson struggled throughout his rookie campaign. He still has options remaining so it's looking like a lock for him to start the year in Rochester. His performance there will dictate when the Twins bring him back to the big leagues.

Alex Meyer, RHP
Considered by many to be the top rated pitching prospect in the Twins organization, Meyer will be knocking on the door to the majors next season. He pitched all of last season at Double-A and he culminated his year with a strong showing in the AFL. There is no need to rush him at this point but it could be hard to find a rotation spot for him unless a rash of injuries hit the guys in front of him. He has options left so the Twins will send him to Rochester for the start of the year.

Vance Worley, RHP
Last season's Opening Day starter struggled throughout his first season in a Twins uniform. His WHIP was almost 2.00 and his 7.21 ERA was tough to swallow. When Minnesota traded Ben Revere, Worley was supposed to add some depth to a struggling pitching staff. A year later and it is looking more like Worley might not be part of the organization. He's out of options and the Twins will likely put some of the names on this list ahead of him for the fifth starter spot.

Put yourself in Terry Ryan and Ron Gardenhire's shoes. Who gets the fifth starter spot? Is the player currently on the roster? Leave a COMMENT and start


  1. 071063's Avatar
    To me, it comes doewn to Deduno or Worley. Diamond could make the squad as a reliever or the Twins will try to pass him through waivers. If he is claimed, then he is gone. Gibson and Meyer can use some more seasoning in the minors.

    Deduno has pitched well enough to earn a short at the 5th spot but will he be ready to pitch when spring starts. Also, how soon will he be well enough to start in the minors. I suspect the Twins might use the injury as an opportunity to start him in the minors on a "rehad" assignment.

    I think people are writing Worley off way too soon. He was a solid pitcher for Philadelphia before coming to the Twins. He was horrible last year. Let's see how he does in spring training this year. I wouldn't be surprised if the Twins name him their 5th starter and give him a few starts to prove he deserves it. If he pitches well, they will find a spot for him. If not, then they can move try to pass him through waivers and see if someone claims him.
  2. iminnesota55's Avatar
    I agree it comes down to Deduno or Worley with Diamond as a reliever, but why not keep both? I think a six-man rotation makes a lot of sense. Nick Nelson wrote about it way back in January, but I think the same logic can still apply with some success in the present situation.
  3. ND-Fan's Avatar
    I think it's Come down to Worley himself if he makes the team and if not they will try to trade him or try to pass him through waivers. I think they are going to keep Diamond he has possibilities of still being a starter and if not in bull pen and reason he left hander. He has more value than Worley as a left hander that is capable of pitching at major league level. I think Worley has been hurt or injury he had before he came to Twins was more serious than said and he wasn't pitcher he had been with Phillies. Reason the Phillies were willing to give him addition in the Trade for Reevre . I also have serious concerns that deduno may have more of injury than they have said and may need surgery. It feels a lot like what we went through with Baker and Blackburn injuries until surgery was required to fix the problem. Gibson and Myer I bet are at Triple A when spring training breaks and they will be called up when one of starters have health problems and they will determine if they are ready then to pitch at big league level. If they are one of pitchers that are up will be traded to make room for them and maybe somebody becomes bull pen pitcher. I think the Twins are no big rush to promote pitchers until there ready and that why they have signed all these pitchers.
  4. Hosken Bombo Disco's Avatar
    First of all, what is your thinking? Who would you like to see win it?

    Of the five you list,

    a. Diamond
    b. Deduno
    c. Gibson
    d. Meyer
    e. Worley

    I am going to guess Worley. I would also like to see Swarzak get a chance and/or see Albers recapture some of that early magic. But Swarzak seems to be in Gardy's doghouse and Albers honestly probably doesn't have it. Thus they are off the list.

    As for Diamond, the stat geek guys on TD will tell you his peripherals are horrible, Deduno is still hurt I hear, and maybe too wild to have another good season anyway, Gibson unless he pitches lights out in spring he will be optioned, Meyer is for 2015, which leaves Worley.
  5. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
    I think it has to be Gibson. Worley and Deduno get first call at injury or if Gibson flops.
  6. Anorthagen's Avatar
    If it were me I would wait to see how well Meyer and Gibson are doing in the minor leagues, around June or so then, if both are ready to be promoted, trade Correa and bring up Gibson and Meyer. Win win situation
  7. rikker49's Avatar
    Deduno to the DL, Diamond waived, Worley 5th starter. Gibson and Meyer to AAA with Albers and May. Johnson waived, Dean and Darnell battle for 5th starter in AAA. Someone ALWAYS gets hurt so the waives might not be necessary.
    Updated 12-16-2013 at 10:24 PM by rikker49
  8. jorgenswest's Avatar
    It is essential long term that the Twins develop starting pitching with several years under team control. They can't do that with short term mediocre starters in the rotation.

    Meyer needs to be in the rotation early if not opening day. He needs to adjust to the majors with a reasonably fresh arm. The a Twins don't need a repeat of those high pitch count games that Gibson had in AAA.

    Gibson needs to be in the rotation opening day.

    Correia seems like he would be a good fit in the pen. He holds on runners. He maintains his performance with runners on base. He has a long record of health. He can be called on to start for a dtd pitcher without needing to call up someone from AAA. Pelfrey is the opposite. A poor fit in the pen. His performance drops with runners on base.

    If Worley, Deduno or Diamond get the opportunity to displace Pelfrey and find success, it will get a good sign for the long term.
  9. Otwins's Avatar
    I keep reading the comments that Diamond and Worley are out of options like we might lose them. I would think they could put them in the bullpen and send Pressley and Thielbar to the minors. Swarzek could pitch the 1-2 innings that these guys pitched and Diamond and Worley could be long relief and match-up guys.
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