Who’ll start in 2014?
Here are the top in-house candidates to fill the Twins’ 2014 starting rotation:
Kevin Correia: The “ace” of a bad staff, he ate innings and was consistently effective, if rarely spectacular, all year.
Mike Pelfrey: Free agent says he’d like to return, but his ups-and-downs might make it difficult for Twins to offer two- or three-year deal.
Kyle Gibson: Twins trust his stuff will become less hittable with experience; he’ll get every chance to make team again.
Samuel Deduno: Shoulder should be fine; Twins hoping his plus velocity will be, too. Was team’s best pitcher until injury.
Andrew Albers: It’s difficult for big-league teams to trust a pitcher with a mid-80s fastball, but he’ll be given more chances.
Liam Hendriks: Still only 24, but for all his success in the minors, he’s had more bad outings than good in the majors.
Brian Duensing: Converted to full-time reliever this year, now might return to his starting-rotation roots.
Cole De Vries: Looked like he’d make team in spring, but ill-timed injury might have cost him dearly; he’ll turn 29 before camp.
Vance Worley: Awful AL debut season hasn’t deterred Terry Ryan, who insists Worley can win again.
Pedro Hernandez: Some effective starts give hope, but his overall numbers (6.05 ERA) make him a long shot.
P.J. Walters: He’ll turn 29 before next season, so if he’s invited back, he’ll likely be emergency option.
Scott Diamond: His 2012 effectiveness, mysteriously gone in 2013, should earn him another chance in spring.
Anthony Swarzak: Quietly had a brilliant year in bullpen, but that success, and his past failures in rotation, are hurdles.
Pat Dean: Lefthander was only so-so at Class AA New Britain, but better at Rochester; he’s no strikeout pitcher, though.
D.J. Baxendale: 2012 draftee moving quickly through system, though had setbacks at New Britain; might get a look.
Alex Meyer/Trevor May: They’re ticketed for Class AAA next year, but strong showings in Arizona Fall League might accelerate Twins’ plan.