Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Contemplating Cole De Vries

On Wednesday night in Rochester, New York, Cole De Vries will take the mound for the Red Wings in what could be his final rehab start before being taken off the disable list. The right-handed hurler has been dealing with a strain on the outer part of his forearm and he has yet to appear in a game for the Twins this season.

De Vries is an interesting player in the Twins system. Last season, he was finally rewarded for his time and dedication to the organization by becoming a 27-year old rookie. He posted a 5-5 record with a 4.11 ERA in 16 starts. It wasn't terrible and the team kept him on the 40-man roster for the 2013 season.

When De Vries went down with an injury in spring training, there were plenty of fans that thought the dreaded Tommy John surgery would be headed his way. Lucky for him and the Twins, his elbow was fine and he just had a strained right forearm. The rest and rehab with this injury are much easier than working back from Tommy John.

In his first rehab start, De Vries threw four innings for the Fort Myers Miracle. He gave up one earned run on six hits with six strikeouts and no walks. Opponents hit .353 off of him in that game but a player's first return to game action can mean that he was testing out the feel of his pitches.

He made the jump up to New Britain for his next start and he had quite the interesting start. Over five innings, he gave up five runs but only two of those runs were earned. He had five strikeouts and two walks but there were also two home runs hit off of him. It would have been interesting to see what his line would have looked like without the errors behind him.

Triple-A is the next stop for De Vries and he could signal to the Twins that he is ready to rejoin their rotation. The question still remains about where he will fit into the club's plans.

Pedro Hernandez has put together a 2-0 record as the Twins number five starter but his other numbers are a little tough to swallow. He has a 5.79 ERA over five starts with a 1.571 WHIP. His 15 strikeouts compared to is nine walks are also not so impressive. He has give up 35 hits in 28.0 innings and the team keeps putting him out there every fifth day.

Vance Worley and Mike Pelfrey each have an ERA north of 6.00 so one might think De Vries could be taking one of their spots. The Twins were planning on getting a lot out of Worley and Pelfrey this year so the club will probably continue to stick with them. If things continue to go south for these two men, the club could make a different move in the future.

When De Vries was given his chance last season, there were fans that were clamoring to see him start a game for the Twins. At 28-years old, he isn't exactly a rising star in the Twins organization. He has found ways to be effective at every level in the minors and now the Twins can use him at the back end of their rotation.

De Vries is never going to win any big pitching awards but the former stand-out at the University of Minnesota gets to continue his career in his home state. His friends and family can come to watch him play at Target Field on a weekly basis and he might be an important part to a Twins team that has turned a few heads this season.

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