Saturday, November 30, 2013

The rotation as it stands now

Ricky Nolasco's 2012 card.
With Ricky Nolasco still awaiting his physical before he is officially in the fold, here's how I see the Twins rotation shaping up:

1) Nolasco. While he's nobody's idea of a Cy Young contender, he clearly has the best track record on this roster. A third- or fourth guy in a good rotation, such as the Dodgers last year.

2) A pitcher to be named later. The Twins will add at least one more veteran starter this offseason. Count on it.

3) Kevin Correia. He was better in 2013 than I expected, but even that level wouldn't keep him in the rotation of a playoff caliber club.

4) Kyle Gibson. It's time to see what he's got. If he doesn't come out of spring training in the big league rotation, something's wrong. Ideally, by the end of the season he will have climbed higher on this list.

5) Somebody from the grab bag of 2013 returnees. My personal favorite is Scott Diamond, but the front runner is probably Sam Deduno. Other possibilities would include Andrew Albers. Vance Worley and Liam Hendriks.

The rotation that opens isn't likely to be the rotation for 162 games, of course. If 2014 goes the way the Twins hope, Alex Meyer and/or Trevor May will push their way in at some point. I don't see either doing that to start the season.

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