Minnesota returns home on Monday for their first series at Target Field. The team will play nine consecutive games in front of the hometown crowd before heading back out on the road to face some other American League foes. During the home stand, Minnesota will face Oakland, Kansas City, and Toronto. Oakland is coming off of two consecutive division titles so it's a tough way to start the team's home games.
I've almost wrapped up my series about the 25 men I feel will spend the most time on the team's 25 man roster. There have been 20 profiles before Mr. Sam Deduno and there will be only a couple more to come following today's post. Let's see what Deduno did a season ago and try to predict his performance for 2014.
In his second season for Minnesota, Deduno improved upon his numbers from the first campaign. His ERA dropped from 4.44 to 3.83 and his WHIP lowered from 1.54 to 1.35. One of the biggest concerns for him has been his control after walking 53 batters over 79.0 inning in 2012. He did much better in 2013 by limiting opponents to 41 walks in 29 more innings pitched. The Twins needed some stability in the rotation in the second half of the year and Deduno became a spark plug for the team. He pitches with energy on the mound but some times that energy can lead to some poor results. He hit nine batters, balked twice, and threw eight wild pitches. All of his appearances with the Twins have been as a starter and there were questions about what role he would serve moving into 2014.
Forecasting 2014: 4.15 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 49 SO, 38 BB (77.0 IP)
Deduno went into spring training with a shot to win a spot in the starting rotation but he was fine with whatever role the club wanted him to serve. There were multiple players fighting for the final rotation spot and Deduno had been used as a relief pitcher in other organizations. By the end of spring training, Kyle Gibson had pitched well enough to earn the final rotation spot and this meant Deduno would be throwing out of the bullpen. His first outing was a little rough as he balked and threw two wild pitches to allow the winning run to score against Chicago. It's tough to think of Deduno finding success in the bullpen. When he was starting, he could hide some of his walks and wild pitches because he was going to be out there for multiple innings. As a relief pitcher, a team doesn't want a man to come in and give up multiple base runners. His evolution will be interesting to watch this season and maybe the Twins will try and get him back into a starting role by the end of the year. For now, there might be some "Wild Thing" moments for Mr. Deduno.
25-Man Roster Safety: Loosely Locked-In