Saturday, December 22, 2012

More Twins pitching developments

Rich Harden has a career record of 59-38, 3.78, most
it coming with the Oakland Athletics.
Friday had a number of developments on the pitching front for the Twins, but little of the activity seems likely to mean much, Let's look:

Diamond has elbow surgery: The team announced Scott Diamond had a bone chip removed from his left elbow on Tuesday.

The view here is that minor surgery is a procedure that happens to someone else, but this is a rather low-risk operation, and Diamond is expected to be ready for spring training in roughly two months. He won't, however, pitch for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic, which probably disappoints him.

The Twins sign Rich Harden: It's a minor league deal with spring training invite, so the Twins aren't staking a whole lot on him. Which is good, because his history is that he's not going to pitch a whole lot.

Harden has only qualified for the ERA title once (2004) and last pitched effectively in 2009. He didn't pitch at all in 2012. How much, if anything, he has left at age 31 is to be seen.

He goes into the non-roster invitee pile with much of last September's rotation, but my guess is that, unlike the other three I listed Friday, Harden either will make the major-league team or be released. If he can pitch, there's no point in wasting his innings in Rochester.

Francisco Liriano to join Pirates: And so much for the notion that the Twins might bring back the enigmatic southpaw.

While there will always be some residual affection for "Franchise," this is probably for the best. The Twins never found a way to connect his stuff to the strike zone. Neither could Don Cooper, the esteemed ptiching coach for the White Sox.

If he finds himself in Pittsburgh, good for him and good for the Pirates. It seems time to stop imagining that it was going to happen in Minnesota.

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