Saturday, July 21, 2012

Minnesota Twins Need Starting Pitching

The Twins are at the half way point of their season, and it obvious they are heading to another losing season. Sadly, the Twins continued downfall comes even though most of the players they added to roster to improve the team have played well.

Josh Willingham has been the power hitter the Twins had hope for. Ryan Doumit has provided the backup at catcher and part-time DH the Twins needed. Jared Burton has been excellent out of the bullpen. Jamey Carroll has been solid as short and 2nd.

Young players Scott Diamond (starting pitcher) Ben Revere (outfield), and Trevor Plouffe (3rd base) have emerged giving the Twins some hope for the future. While franchise player Joe Mauer has returned to All-Star form though the Mauer haters out there won’t satisfied till Mauer hit .400 with 30 HRs. 

Yet, despite the many things that have gone right for the Twins, they are still on the bottom the American League. Why? The answer Twins starting pitching has been awful. Carl Pavano, Francisco Liriano, Scott Baker, Nick Blackburn, and Jason Marquis were going to be the starting rotation. Instead Baker and Pavano have been injured. Blackburn was so bad he was demoted, while Marquis was even worse and was released.

Liam Hendriks, P. J. Walters, Cole De Vries, and Sam Deduno were called up from the minors, and were mostly ineffective. Brian Duensing and Anthony Swarzak were brought out the bullpen to be starters and were also ineffective. Only Scott Diamond has pitched well as a starter though Liriano has been pitching well of late. Teams can’t win with that kind of starting pitching.

For all of the struggles of Justin Morneau (not hitting like he use to), Brian Dozier (the young shortstop has struggled in the field and at the plate), and Danny Valencia (played so bad he was demoted and replaced at 3rd by Plouffe who has taken over the job for the foreseeable future), the Twins cannot get anywhere with starting pitching they have been getting.

One-time super prospect Kyle Gibson is returning from Tommy John surgery, and may be able to help next year, so to may the solid prospect Hendriks, who has pitched well since his recent demotion. Still Diamond, Gibson, and Hendriks are only three of a needed five. Not to mention replacements when injuries occur.

The Twins prospects like Miguel Sano, Eddie Rosario, Oswaldo Arcia, Travis Harrison, Aaron Hicks, Byron Buxton, and Dereck Rodriguez are all position players. That means that the Twins are going to have dig up some pitching either via trade (hard to do) or free agency (very expensive to do). In other words, the Twins are in trouble and help may not be very close.