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A Realistic Fix to the 2014 Twins

Pi(c)tcher These Rotation Options Soon

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Is it actually possible that for the first time since Santana was a second year player in the bullpen pounding at the door to be let in to the rotation, that the Twins may soon have too much depth in the rotation?

Cough or snicker for a moment if you must and then consider the following:

Nolasco is still a relatively young veteran SP signed for production, innings and consistency for 3 more years after this. He's coming off a couple solid seasons and his very best season. And after a rough start to this year, he's looking very much like the player we thought we were signing.

The even younger and more talented Hughes is looking like a borderline stud. He's pitching like, or better, than hoped, and might be really finding himself with the Twins, and away from NY and Yankee stadium. (Is it too soon for an ironic, sarcastic "Anderson sucks" reference?)

In his first full, completely healthy and one assumes unlimited season, Gibson is looking very much like the player we've been waiting for and wish we had had last season.

Late bloomer Deduno, he of the best SP numbers on the staff last season before injury, is back in the rotation where he seems to belong, and off to a good start. Again, I worry about total IP limitations on him, but he just might be the best 170 IP, 28 starts #5 starter in baseball.

Correia is gone at the end of this season, if not before. Unless he pulls some real magic out of his cap, Pelfrey may be following him out of town. Even if he does rebound somewhat, he might be gone for a bag of balls or nothing else as the Twins can not only afford to eat his contract next season, but there may simply be better options available as early as the second half of this season.

As the numbers stand as of today, AAA Rochester is brimming with a trio of arms that should be ready soon.

May: 3.35 ERA, 43 IP, 30 H, 17 BB, 47 SO, 1.09 Whip in 8 starts
Meyer: 3.79 ERA 40.1 IP, 31 H, 21 BB, 49 SO, 1.29 Whip in 8 starts
Darnell: 2.32 ERA, 31 IP, 26 H, 11BB, 33 SO, 1.19 Whip in 6 starts

Two top, hard throwing prospects with big frames, IP and SO potential each having great success in their first seasons of AAA. Yes, they are young and have things to learn and work on and probably need more consistency. But numbers and reports don't always lie. And these two represent the best two top pitching prospects the Twins have had since probably Garza. And while each could most certainly be ready for serious competition in 2015 SP, I would argue that each may just be ready by the second half of the season. Yes the Twins want to win, and we want them to do so. But it's a very real possibility that either, or both, of these young men will give us the best chance to do so soon. After all, we are in rebuilding mode aren't we? And there is no question that talent and potential of May and Meyer blow away Correia and Pelfrey.

But don't fall asleep on Darnell. The former top 10 pick doesn't throw as hard as May or Meyer, but reports have him consistently in the low 90's, left handed, never a bad thing, and according to recent reports from Darnell himself here at TD in an interview, gaining further comfort and confidence this season with his curve and change. His milb numbers don't look awesome at first glance, but the Twins did push him hard his second season, pitching at 3 different levels. His 3rd season was spent entirely at AA with mixed results, however, it was his first full season at the level, and only the second season of 3 where he was allowed to stay at a level. He has held a 3.41 ERA through his first 4+ seasons and a 2.55-1 SO to BB ratio.

Still only 25, already with a cup of coffee with the Twins this season, interrupting his AAA season, working what may or may not be his first full season at Rochester, he's having the best season of his young career.

Correia gone end of year if not sooner, Pelfrey's Twins career hanging by a thread with the ability to cut him loose.....are we looking at Nolasco, Hughes, Gibson, Deduno, May, Meyer and Darnell by next season? Or the second half of this season?
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  1. halfchest's Avatar
    Good article, makes a person feel warm inside to know we have some talent waiting and looking ready for the big leagues. Glad that when one of our pitchers goes down, and they will at some point we don't have to rely on AAAA filler to replace them like last year.

    Don't sleep on Gilmartin either, He's been looking good at AA, part of what I'm looking forward to in a May/Meyer/Darnell callup is the chance for Gilmartin to move up to AAA.
  2. tarheeltwinsfan's Avatar
    Doc, Thanks for taking the time to research and write this article. I am a hope filled Twinkie.
  3. Brandon's Avatar
    Seven starters is good depth. with Gilmartin and by 2015 Barrios can enter the equation too. We'll have the pitching depth = to the depth we had that allowed us to trade Garza and Slowey in the same year soon.
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