Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Three pieces of pitching news

The Twins on Monday had three pitching related news items. None of them moved the process forward significantly, but in the absence of anything bigger to chew on, we'll chaw on them:

Nick Blackburn in
2012: 4-9, 7.39.

Scott Baker. The Twins formally declined his option Monday, which means he'll be a free agent on Friday. There is open and mutual interest in Baker remaining with the Twins, and I expect it will happen.

Nick Blackburn. The Twins had indicated at season's end that he was having his elbow checked out, and on Monday they announced that he had it scoped. Minor surgery, in the sense that it happened to somebody else and isn't expected to keep him out of spring training.

Nobody's blaming Blackburn's horrid 2012 on his elbow, but it couldn't have helped either. I remain wary of him, and I think that the Twins would be willing to hand him off for either payroll relief or a minor prospect. I also think nobody else will give them either for him.

P.J. Walters, outrighted last week, quickly signed a minor league contract with the Twins with spring training invite.

He rejoins the cast of characters I project to be in the running for the fifth starter spot, with Blackburn, Sam Deduno, Cole De Vries, Liam Hendriks and probably Brian Duensing. My guess is that, as was the case last year, he'll open in Rochester and hope for another opportunity.

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