Saturday, December 15, 2012

Kyle Gibson and the 2013 rotation

Kyle Gibson is an
important piece
of the future --
or so the Twins
I've had almost a week now to get used to the notion of Kevin Correia as a key component of the Twins rotation.

It's not sitting any better now than it did on Monday night, frankly. Terry Ryan has been known to chafe at the image of the Twins organization ignoring statistical analysis, but this is exactly the kind of thing that feeds that image. If the Twins really do have serious number-crunchers on the baseball side, they are, at least on this signing, either (a) incompetent or (b) ignored.

Still, it's done. Which sets the Twins up with this rotation:

  1. Scott Diamond
  2. Vance Worley
  3. Kevin Correia
  4. (Vacant)
  5. Kyle Gibson

One can flip Diamond and Worley if one wishes; I'm giving Diamond the nod on squatter's rights. Neither really belongs at the head of a major league rotation, but they're the two best the Twins have.

I put Gibson five because he's the guy who's going to have his slot skipped if possible. Ryan has already indicated that Gibson will be limited to 120-140 innings in 2013, majors and minors.

Phil Mackey of ESPN1500 keeps saying that the Twins should avoid the Stephen Strasburg dilemma, in which the Nationals ran out of innings for their best starter and rehab project in September and didn't have him available for the playoffs. Nonsense.

It would be silly for the Twins to save Gibson's innings for October, or even September; the Twins aren't particularly likely to be in the playoffs, or even in the hunt.  Gibson needs to use the innings to continue his rehab from Tommy John surgery. It would be malpractice for them to end the season with Gibson at 100 innings so that he's available for the playoffs.

If he runs out of innings in August, fine. Even if everything goes right for the Twins and they do turn out to be a serious contender and Gibson runs out of innings in August, so be it. Whether or not it's rebuilding year for the Twins, it is definitely a rehabbing year for Gibson.


  1. Nats didn't think they were contenders in 2012 either. Projected to be an 85-87 win team. Spring full of injuries, after 14-4 start, Nats stumbled, went 15-13 in May, etc. Stras wins got us to the playoffs, otherwise we might MIGHT have had a WC spot. Tough choice, good luck.

  2. Gibson is not Strasburg and he is unlikely to start the season in the big leagues. After a good start, his performance in Arizona ended with a series of games where he got lit up pretty badly.

    I also think its unlikely they will think they are protecting Gibson by having him miss starts. To the contrary, they will want him on a regular schedule. That probably means starting in the minor leagues.

    He may win a rotation spot out of spring training if they are willing to skip one of the other starters. But De Vries, Deduno et al are more likely for the 5th spot if they are going to skip it.