Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Another surgery for Nick Blackburn

Nick Blackburn has
gone 21-31, 5.56 since
the 2009 season.
Nick Blackburn -- he of the $5.5 million 2013 contract and the 7.39 2012 ERA -- is to have surgery today on his right wrist. He'll then wear a cast for six weeks, which means it should come off about the time the exhibition games begin.

This makes two surgeries on his pitching arm this offseason and, I believe, four since he got his ridiculous multi-year contract after the 2009 season. Ridiculous not because $14 million over four seasons is crippling in the context of the Twins payroll structure during that period, but because anybody who understands anything about the predictive role of strikeout rates could see the ineffectiveness and the injuries coming.

The Twins seem resistant to this lesson, and so have committed another $14 million or so to Kevin Correia and Mike Pelfrey -- two more low-strikeout veteran righthanders -- over the next two seasons. Just stack the money in a big pile and burn it.

Anyway, this new setback for Blackburn suggests that he's unlikely to regain his rotation spot to open the season. He should always have been a very long shot to do so, but the Twins would doubtless like to get something for their money, and he has had a history of compiling impressive ERAs in the Grapefruit League. He might have pried open a place for himself.

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