Download attachment: blackburn.jpg Something has been bothering me over the last couple of days.Oddly, it has nothing to do with shrinking payroll or lack of top-of-the-rotation starters.
It has to do with the quantity of pitchers the Twins are bringing to camp. Though the Twins are bringing a franchise-record 34 pitchers to Major League Spring Training, it may be they are not bringing enough.
In 2010 and 2011, when the bulk of the staff was set, the Twins invited 24 and 26 pitchers to camp, respectively. Last year, coming off their first 90-plus loss season, the Twins invited 33. We could argue about the quality of those 33 - or this year's 34 - but when you have a lot of question marks on the staff, it can't hurt to give as many guys an opportunity as possible.
Why might they want even more? Well, a few things:
Glen Perkins, who is written in pen as the 2013 closer, will be pitching for Team USA in the WBC.
Lester Oliveros got a courtesy invite and will miss the 2013 season after having Tommy John surgery.
Vance Worley and Scott Diamond are in ink as 40% of the starting rotation. They also are both coming off minor elbow surgery and should be eased into their workload even slower than normal.
Kyle Gibson and Mike Pelfrey, both who figure to make a significant amount of starts this year, are recovering from Tommy John surgery. While Gibson is 100% coming into spring training, his innings will be limited. Pelfrey will not be ready by Opening Day and will be limited in camp before likely starting the year on the Disabled List.
Rich Harden has been dealing with injuries for... well, forever. The Twins will need to be cautious with him to avoid having a Zumaya-repeat.
This week the news came out the Nick Blackburn will be undergoing wrist surgery on Wednesday and be in a cast for six weeks. The likelihood is that he'll start the season on Rochester's Disabled List.
So, despite the quantity of pitchers invited, the Twins will be opening camp with 26 pitchers full-go, which, historically, is on par for the teams that are coming off a Division Championship with their roster set, not a team that flirted with 100 losses and has more question marks than an interrogation.
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