|Scott Diamond struggled in his|
2011 call-up but emerged in 2012
as the Twins best starter. Now
to see if he can sustain that success.
It was never reasonable to expect that all five would come through. It was equally unreasonable to expect all five to fail miserably, but fail they did. The Twins wound up cycling 12 pitchers through the rotation (not counting Baker, who didn't make it out of spring training), each of whom made at least five starts and only one of whom performed well enough to be assured a 2013 slot.
None of the spring training five remain on the 40-man roster; only Blackburn remains in the organization. Of the pitchers on the 40-man roster, the only man to throw 200 innings in a major league season is Mike Pelfrey, and he's coming off Tommy John surgery.
The goal: Establish a bona fide major league rotation.
The first two pieces are Scott Diamond and Vance Worley. Diamond was the one success story in the 2012 rotation tryouts; the lefty came up in May, threw strikes, got ground balls, and compiled a 3.54 ERA in 173 innings. He also had a low strikeout rate, which is not a good sign. Worley, acquired from Philadelphia in the Ben Revere deal, has had two decent partial seasons in the Phillies rotation; last year ended early for elbow surgery. (Diamond also had his elbow scoped this offseason).
Mission: Keep them healthy and sustain their success. Diamond's not likely to get significantly better than he was in 2012, but if he can continue to be this extreme a ground ball pitcher he won't have to be. Worley's durability has yet to be established. They won't be aces, but they can be the third and fourth starters in a championship-caliber rotation.
|Kyle Gibson had|
ups and downs
in 2012 as he
returned late in the
season from his
The rest of the significant action in the rotation rebuilding project figures to come in the farm system -- trade acquisitions Alex Meyer and Trevor May, 2012 draftee J.O. Berrios, whoever the Twins take with the No. 4 pick in June's draft. Diamond and Worley aren't going to head the rotation of a championship club; that will take more powerful arms, and Meyer, May and Berrios have that kind of talent.
The veterans who figure to be in the back of the 2013 rotation at least to start the year (Correia, Pelfrey, Blackburn, Rich Harden) and the survivors of the 2012 rotation shuffle (Cole De Vries, Sam Deduno, Liam Hendriks and others) aren't particularly good bets to emerge as usable pieces moving forward. If one does, that's a bonus.