Sunday, February 17, 2013

Twins Starters Unsettled

As the Twins spring training gets started the rotation has become more unsettled. Its not clear that either Scott Diamond or Mike Pelfrey will be ready to pitch opening day. Anthony Swarzak, another starting candidate, is out with broken ribs. He might be able to pitch out of the bullpen to start the season, but he is not going to get stretched out as a potential starter. So here is the way the rotation shapes up.

Vance Worley

Worley came over the the trade for Ben Revere. The response to that trade reminds me of when the Twins traded Frank Viola. In the minds of fans and sports writers, the crown jewel of that trade was the much-touted pitching prospect David West.   Rick Aguilera and Kevin Tapani were clearly afterthoughts. A lot was made of Trevor May as the top prospect in the Revere trade. But Vance Worley looks like a young number two quality starter who will be part of the Twins rotation for years to come. He's the same age as Tapani was when he arrived with the Twins and he already has a couple major league season's under his belt.

Kevin Correa

Correa was signed to a two year contract in the off-season. He is not going to ever be a staff ace, but profiles as a steady veteran presence on the staff. He is a mid-rotation starter at best, about the equivalent of Scott Diamond last year. Perhaps most importantly, he has stayed relatively healthy and started 26 or more games the last 4 years with innings pitched between 145 and 198.

Because of health concerns, those are the only spots really set in the opening day rotation. The best of the rest,  Diamond, Pelfrey, Harden and Gibson, are all question marks to be ready to start the season. The pitchers who are healthy are mostly the folks that filled out the rotation last year, DeVries, Deduno Hendricks, Walters and Vasquez. You can see why the Twins are open to giving their newest signing, Rafael Perez, a shot at becoming a starter.

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