Friday, June 8, 2012

Back to the Twins ...

Cole DeVires was 1-1, 4.30 in three
starts with his hometown Twins
It's been a week since I last posted something that wasn't about the draft or Johan Santana's no-hitter. Let's catch up on some developments ...

Parmelee back, DeVries down: On Monday Cole DeVries "earned" his first major league win (five innings, five runs, four earned). On Thursday he was sent back to Rochester, with Chris Parmelee recalled.

This is in no small part a function of the schedule; the Twins won't need a fifth starter until June 16, what with days off on Thursday and Monday. 

The Twins still have eight bullpen arms on hand, which is more than they should need, but ... two of the three starts against Kansas City (the two wins) were only five innings. 

Parmelee has been raking in Rochester of late. It will be interesting to see how, or if, he gets used. His playing time was rather slim for a while before his demotion. At the start of the year, he took PT away from Ben Revere; will that happen again?

As for DeVries: He remains on the 40-man roster, but I doubt he'll return to the fifth starter role when the need arises. The Twins won two of his three starts, but that had less to do with how well he pitched than how much the lineup hit.

Blackburn replaces Pavano in the rotation: FSN was praising Nick Blackburn for his "gritty" start Wednesday. I was irritated then, and then again when watching the rebroadcast Thursday noon.

He faced 22 hitters and threw a first-pitch strike to eight of them. He threw 92 pitches, just 51 of them strikes. If the Royals had a lineup capable of taking walks and working the count, he'd have gotten hammered. 

But the Twins are stuck with him. Unlike the injured Carl Pavano and Scott Baker, and the suddenly resurgent Francisco Liriano, Blackburn is under contract for 2013, and I can't imagine anybody taking him off the Twins' hands.

Liriano has second strong start: Francisco Liriano had the best start of the Kansas City series, and he lost 1-0. I said after he beat Oakland that shutting down the A's didn't establish that he's back; I'll remain skeptical after the Kansas City game. The Royals are a good lineup for him to face: a lot of left-handed hitters, very limited strike-zone judgment.

The magic of the "m": The Twins have been wearing the old "m" cap since Memorial Day, and the relic of the World Series teams may not be returned to mothballs for some time.

Superstition is commonplace in baseball, but I'm more inclined to credit the Twins' 7-2 record with the cap to a soft schedule than to the lucky lids.

1 comment:

  1. I was at DeVries' first two starts. Taking your lead, I was going to buy the ad space on the local boy's Baseball Reference page. However, BR wanted $55 and I had nothing to sell. I see the price is down to $45 now.