Monday, December 16, 2013

Twins Rotation Starting To Look Crowded

Over the weekend, word came out that the Twins would sign Mike Pelfrey to a two-year $11 million deal. This is the third free agent starter the Twins have added this season as the team already agreed to terms with Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes. With Kevin Corriea under contract for another year, Minnesota's starting rotation is filling up rather quickly but there are still some questions to about the final rotation spot.

The Twins had one of the worst starting rotations in all of baseball last year. In order to remedy the problem, the team has done their best to be aggressive on the open market. There was even word over the weekend that the Twins were still aggressively chasing veteran starter Bronson Arroyo. If the Twins were successful in signing Arroyo, this would leave a packed rotation for the start of spring training.

Minnesota has a handful of players under team control for next season and they have to be wondering what happened. Scott Diamond, Sam Deduno, Kyle Gibson, and Vance Worley were all part of the rotation at different points last season and it's looking more like a few of these players won't be with the organization when the team leaves Fort Myers.

Scott Diamond, LHP
After a rookie campaign where Diamond was the best starter for the Twins, his sophomore season was met with a slump. He walked more batters in fewer innings and struggled to keep the ball in the park. He looked better in his time at Rochester but he is out of minor league options. This could mean the Twins would have to try and sneak him through waivers and there is a chance another club would be interested in his services.

Sam Deduno, RHP
Deduno surprised a lot of people in his first year with the Twins as he tended to give up walks and hits but he found a way to get out of some jams. His second season with the Twins was even better as he lowered his ERA by half a run per game and his WHIP dropped from 1.54 to 1.35 over close to 30 more innings. Like Diamond, Deduno is out of options but it seems like Deduno would have the inside track for the fifth starter spot.

Kyle Gibson, RHP
There were high hopes for Gibson entering the 2012 season. The former first round pick had looked good in last year's Arizona Fall League and the club was hoping he could make an impact during his rookie season. Gibson struggled throughout his rookie campaign. He still has options remaining so it's looking like a lock for him to start the year in Rochester. His performance there will dictate when the Twins bring him back to the big leagues.

Alex Meyer, RHP
Considered by many to be the top rated pitching prospect in the Twins organization, Meyer will be knocking on the door to the majors next season. He pitched all of last season at Double-A and he culminated his year with a strong showing in the AFL. There is no need to rush him at this point but it could be hard to find a rotation spot for him unless a rash of injuries hit the guys in front of him. He has options left so the Twins will send him to Rochester for the start of the year.

Vance Worley, RHP
Last season's Opening Day starter struggled throughout his first season in a Twins uniform. His WHIP was almost 2.00 and his 7.21 ERA was tough to swallow. When Minnesota traded Ben Revere, Worley was supposed to add some depth to a struggling pitching staff. A year later and it is looking more like Worley might not be part of the organization. He's out of options and the Twins will likely put some of the names on this list ahead of him for the fifth starter spot.

Put yourself in Terry Ryan and Ron Gardenhire's shoes. Who gets the fifth starter spot? Is the player currently on the roster? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.


JimCrikket said...

I think Gibson and Meyer are opening in the minor leagues.

If you want to avoid having 5 RHPs in your rotation, you give Diamond every opportunity to be your 5th guy. If a lack of a lefty doesn't bother you, Deduno's probably got the most upside of the pitchers out of options. On the other hand, he might be the only one of the three guys out of options with any trade value at all right now, so if TR is inclined to make a trade (and I think he has to be), Deduno might be the most likely SP to be delt.

Anonymous said...

Nolasco, Hughes, Pelfrey & Correia are givens barring a Correia trade. I think someone, probably Deduno, starts the season on the DL. Since Gibson has options he will start in AAA until someone implodes or goes on the DL. So really the 5th spot comes down to Diamond and Worley fighting it out in ST. My bet is that Diamond will win that job since he is lefthanded. Worley goes to the pen in long relief to begin the season. But if they sign Arroyo both are in jeopardy of a ML job and will be passed through waivers.