Saturday, April 13, 2013

Innings, innings

Lefty Pedro Hernandez
gave up a grand slam
to the first batter he
faced Friday, then
threw more than
four shutout innings.
The best that can be said for the Twins about Friday's frigidity was that nobody got hurt.

Which may not be true, come to think of it; Pedro Hernandez left after more than four innings of relief work with a strained calf. He was described post-game as "day-to-day;" in recent seasons that has frequently meant he'll be idle but on the active roster for a week, then go to the disabled list for a month.

That seldom helps the ball club, and the way the starters have been going, the Twins can't afford an idle hand on deck. Earlier this week I remarked about the length of Josh Roenicke's relief outing on Saturday (three innings); since then Anthony Swarzak has had a four-inning relief job and Hernandez his 4.1-inning job.

That's a lot of long relief work. The starters just aren't carrying their share of the load. Vance Worley's one-plus inning Friday means he's averaging four innings a start. Mike Pelfrey is averaging 3.6 innings. Liam Hendriks is averaging just under five innings. Kevin Correia is the only starter  ding his job in the first two turns through the rotation; as a group through 10 games, the Twins are under five innings a start.

Scott Diamond returns to the rotation tonight from his surgical rehab, presumably replacing either Hendriks or Hernandez. The bullpen could really use a lengthy start from him.

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