TwinsCentric: Twins don't need more pitching
- Blog Post by: Nick Nelson
- March 4, 2014 - 10:13 PM
Over the past few days, two pitchers that the Twins have been connected to at various points ended up signing with different teams.
Darren Wolfson reported over the weekend that the Twins were interested in Joe Saunders, but the veteran left-hander agreed to terms Tuesday with the Rangers. And Johan Santana, who has of course been linked throughout the offseason to his former club, chose to sign a minor-league deal with big bonuses in Baltimore.
A few fans may have been miffed to miss out on these hurlers -- if only for past achievements and nostalgia -- but the truth is that both would have been buried by the sudden depth in Minnesota's starting corps.
Now, to be clear, I'm not saying that's necessarily great depth. There are a lot of question marks and none of them have been cleared up by a few Grapefruit League games.
But Santana and Saunders aren't exactly great options at this point either. And maybe it's that good old springtime optimism shining through, but I feel pretty decent about what the Twins have going on in the rotation right now.
Even if you consider regression to be inevitable for Kevin Correia, who sadly led last year's staff, there are some nice upward trends to be found here.
Ricky Nolasco has been average for most of his career, but is coming off one of his best years, and average ain't so bad all things considered.
Mike Pelfrey pitched pretty well in the second half of 2013 and is only getting sharper as he moves further away from Tommy John surgery.
I love getting the chance to see what a 27-year-old Phil Hughes can do outside of New York.
Samuel Deduno was electric last year and is by all accounts fully recovered from September's shoulder surgery.
And here's another guy that I'm really starting to warm up on: Vance Worley.
No one expected things to go the way they did last season for Worley -- least of all the Twins, who tabbed him as their Opening Day starter. But even looking beyond the change of scenery, he had a lot going against him. He was coming off elbow surgery, he was probably a bit heavier than he wanted to be, and for some or perhaps most of the season he was bogged down by shoulder problems.
His 2013 campaign was unbelievably bad, but Worley had a strong track record beforehand. He's still only 26, he's in much better shape, and John had very positive things to say about his first spring start.
We're all just hoping Worley can emerge as a decent fifth starter here in camp, but he's got a chance to be more than that. He has been more than that.
Looking past the veterans up front, you've got some intriguing arms ready to join the mix. Alex Meyer, Kyle Gibson, Trevor May, Sean Gilmartin and Brooks Raley are all better talents than the Twins had available to them when the high-level depth broke down last year.
Would adding Santana or Saunders to that group have really changed much? If anything, it might have taken away opportunities from younger guys who probably deserve them in a season where "figure out what you've got" is likely to be the chief objective (hopefully with more conclusive results than the last couple years).
It's true that you can never have too much pitching. But the Twins have quite a bit at this point, and I'm excited to see how it all shakes out.
Yes, excited. I'm not even down in Florida yet and already spring's getting the best of me.
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