The Merry-Go-Round Rotation
by, 04-30-2012 at 03:32 PM (800 Views)
Francisco Liriano needs to miss two starts to clear his head, Carl Pavano needs a couple extra days rest to fix his velocity. Between those two pitchers and the others in the rotation that have had injuries and needed extra time off, the Twins' rotation has started coming apart at the seams...and it is only April 30th! With the front office not looking (or even pretending they are looking) to bring in some new faces, I am not entirely sure how the rotation expects to survive the season. A few different theories have come to mind...
1. The rotation continues to rely heavily on the bullpen to save their hides. This is the current line of thinking in the clubhouse it seems. Thank goodness the bullpen has been solid in most of their appearances however, it can't last forever. The bullpen broke down last year after the starting pitchers floundered amidst injuries and putrid pitching. The 2011 Twins bullpen did what they could but their arms could only hold up the starters for so long. The 2012 bullpen has been doing their job but the weight that is placed on them by short starts and poor starts will be the straw that breaks the camel's back again this year.
2. The front office finally brings in some help. And by that I mean quality help. This, of course, is the most unlikely scenario and is definitely wishful thinking. The Twins rotation as it currently sits is not going to win many games. With an ERA of 7.43 and having surrendered 120 runs already this season, the Twins may need to look outside of their organization. I know, scary proposition for them. Pulling pitchers up from the farm system isn't going to get the Twins back into contention. The 2012 campaign is already looking dismal as the Twins are on pace to lose 98 games after falling to 6-15 after the series with the Kansas City Royals over the weekend. The front office is going to have to dig into their pockets if they want fans to keep buying tickets. No one wants to see a team that bleeds runs before our team even comes up to bat.
3. When all else fails, fake an injury. Barring no help from a trade and if the pitchers continue to struggle even after their new rest schedule, don't be surprised if it suddenly comes out that our pitchers are injured. Those announcements seem to come at just the right time from the Twins organization. Here is an idea, stand up and say "Yeah, I'm having a bad year. I still want to go out there and pitch. I want to help my team win." If you aren't hurt, why are you asking or accepting more time off from the rotation. This just baffles me. I have no doubt that come season's end, there will be a handful of announcements about how our starters were hurt so that is why they pitched poorly. Take a cue from Matt Capps' 2011 season. Yes, he didn't pitch very well however he kept going out there and taking the ball for the injured pitchers and pitch through some arm problems of his own. Hats off to him, I wish the rest of the pitching staff would see that and follow suit instead of turning tail.
While this post is relatively negative and critical of the Twins pitching situation, I do not see many positive things coming from our starters. I am sure Twins fans are thoroughly aware of this next fact but I still want to throw it out there: Do not count on the Twins front office to make any marked improvements over the pitchers we have or even with how the situation is being handled. Their mantra has always been to do just enough to keep the fans buying tickets. Here is a radical idea: send the organization a message that just because they got their new stadium, doesn't mean they stop caring about the team we put out there. If you feel strongly enough about it, don't go watch the team that puts less-than-passionate pitchers on the mound and then covers for them when they perform poorly. That's all for this soapbox.