bullpen time was
always supposed to
Seven of those QS -- almost half -- have come from starters who opened the season in Triple A: four from P.J. Walters, three from Scott Diamond. Another four have come from Carl Pavano, whose 10 starts are more than Walters and Diamond have combined (a total of eight coming into Diamond's start today). That's 11 of the 15; the other four are spread among six others who've started games for the Twins already.
The Twins have the dismal record they have today largely because their starting rotation has been incompetent (starters ERA 6.60; OPS allowed .915).
And now two of the biggest offenders are returning to the rotation. Oh joy.
The returns of Francisco Liriano -- who is to start Wednesday -- and Nick Blackburn -- who is to make the first of two rehab starts Tuesday, then return to the Twins rotation next week -- were inevitable. Each is getting paid in excess of $5 million; each is supposed to be a rotation foundation piece. And each sports an ERA floating close to a run per inning (Liriano 8.47, Blackburn 8.37).
|Nick Blackburn has|
had one quality start
in seven tries, and
it just made the
It's about the money. The Twins will eat the remainder of Marquis' $3 million; they're not eager to do the same with Liriano's $5.5 million, and even less eager, one assumes, to pay off the $8 million or so left on Blackburn's multi-year deal.
And, to be sure, good options aren't readily available. Anthony Swarzak has been no improvement over either as a starter; Cole DeVries, who figures to drop out of the rotation when Blackburn returns, is marginal at best; Liam Hendriks, the best prospect of the healthy starters in the Twins system, will probably benefit more from time in Triple A than from getting kicked around in the majors.
So it's back to Liriano and Blackburn. They're getting paid to pitch. Time for them to do it.