I understand the support for Diamond, but I'm a big Deduno fan. As I saw it, his problem was just one of control (reminded me of Liriano in that sense), and he's been great this spring. Been hoping he would make the #5 spot all along.
If he spells in the pen while someone else gets a second look, then fine. But if Deduno continues with what he's doing, he'll get that spot eventually. Or, he should.
Just as a toss-in/FWIW...
Obviously this thread is focused on pitching, yet the subject line begs other questions...
The bright spot in ST has clearly been the pitching, and nothing could make me happier.
Except, maybe, for Big D and smart baserunning.
So far, SS seems like a black hole and the unearned runs from that position alone are cringe-worthy. Baserunning is non-existant, not even station-to-station standard.
I feel very optimistic about our pitching, and that is a sea change- Hughes' curve as an out-pitch, for example- but if we can't run the bases and score runs, we're screwed. Poor defense is not Twins baseball, and we've never had a noteworthy running game. Hoping that will turn around, because we will need every single run we can manufacture.
Hopefully things turn around. Lack of power and Lack of speed is not a good combo.
As for Deduno... I'm a big believer. I think he should grab the 5th spot and if he gets it... He will be our top starter.
The a Twins can't be so foolish to base any roster decision on spring training numbers. I hope they don't even look at them. The numbers are worthless in projecting how any player will perform in 2014.
My gut feeling is that Phil Hughes' performance will be a bit better than Deduno's.
I think the Twins will have a 78-82 win season and Deduno, Hughes, and Nolasco will be efficient.
Our offense will be manic... good some days, and atrocious some days as well.
Hopefully the offense can iron out their deficiencies and be better than expected, rather than worse.
They have to rely on what their coaches and scouts see in workouts, practices and games. The talent and ability of their coaches to discern which pitchers they retain and which they designate is critical to their future.
It used to be Ryan's favorite line, then echoed by Gardy: "We'll go as far as our pitching carries us."
And last year, the pitching was very bad, with starters the worst in professional baseball. That's quite a thing: THE WORST in MLB.
This year, the problem is going to be on offense. What were we last year in terms of runs scored, 29th of 30? I think we will have a real problem scoring runs.
The issue is: are we a power team or a speed team? For Gardy, he doesn't like to take outs on the basepaths and so, he doesn't run. But, he has no power. And thus, the problem: stuck between a power paradigm and a speed paradigm, we end up doing neither, and leading the league in not scoring runs.
Doesn't matter how much pitching the Twins have. You need to score runs to win, especially against good pitchers. I don't see it this year. Between a lack of chemistry, a reluctance to run and an inability to hit for power, the Twins are, once again, headed for the basement of the AL.
I wasn't referring to pitchers. This team needs some type of offense. That's what I was typing about.