The Twins' pitching woes reached new depths in a coupe of ways Monday night. The first was obvious: Jamey Carroll, an infielder by trade who probably throws about as hard as we do, pitched the 8th inning of a 13-0 blowout loss. It was another game in which a Twins starter (this time Kevin Correia) faltered, and even in the comic relief of Carroll's scoreless inning the ineptitude of the Twins' staff was revealed. With so many short outings during a 27 games in 27 days stretch, things could get even uglier.
Part II of the new depths was the notion that Liam Hendriks is the presumed starter in Friday's second game of a doubleheader.
Hendriks has a 5.12 ERA at Rochester and has a 1-11 record in 22 MLB starts. But he represents the best option.
What forces have conspired to make it so?
*Well, the Twins have already pilfered Sam Deduno, Kyle Gibson and Andrew Albers (who will start tonight for the Twins) as current permanent members of the rotation. They just sent down Scott Diamond, so that's not an option.
*They have already seen Pedro Hernandez make six MLB starts with mediocre (at best) results, and he's never gone more than 5.1 innings in any of them.
*P.J. Walters is much the same as Hernandez.
*Cole De Vries has an elbow injury and was getting absolutely rocked before that was the case, giving up 75 hits in 43 innings at Rochester this year.
*Vance Worley? Remember him? He was performing decently in AAA ball, but he is out with a shoulder problem.
*Nick Blackburn? Whoa, there's a blast from the past. He's making $5.5 million this year -- fourth most of any player on the Twins and more than any other pitcher. But he's battled injuries, including current knee inflammation, and gave up six runs in five innings in his only Rochester start this season.
So if the Twins are determined to dip into Rochester instead of giving Anthony Swarzak or Brian Duensing a spot start, the road leads back to Hendriks -- healthy and with the chance to be marginally effective, which is presumably the right combination for a big league promotion.