We still don't know entirely what to make of Sam Deduno. Maybe we never will. He produces some of the most bizarre pitching lines we have ever seen, including last night when he hit three batters but allowed only one run in seven-plus innings. And somehow a Deduno-pitched game finished in 2 hours, 32 minutes, the second-fastest Twins game all season.
But this much we do know: In 2012, the Twins' rotation was better with Deduno in it than it was without him, and the same can be said for 2013. That's faint praise for a rotation that has been truly awful both seasons, but it's praise nonetheless.
The main reason Deduno works here: plain and simple, he has the ability to miss bats. In his good string last year when he had eight quality starts in 10 outings, he never allowed more hits than innings pitched. In four of the eight starts, he allowed either two or three hits.
He is a change of pace from all the other pitchers trying to locate fastballs and induce ground balls. He is still very much a mystery in terms of just how he survives all his in-game wildness, but at some point we just have to let go and not question it. He gets outs, and he can get deep into games. On this team, with these options, that's all that matters.