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Monday (Cole De Vries, Sam Deduno and the other shoe) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Professional baseball, Twins fans Updated: August 6, 2012 - 9:02 AM

Usually when a Minnesota team has a new player -- rookie, veteran, it doesn't matter -- fans are filled with optimism or at least hopeful curiosity about what the newcomer can do. Every little thing done right is an endearment and, during the honeymoon phase of the fan-player relationship, sins are forgiven until they become a pattern (kind of like how Clete Thomas temporarily won a place in our hearts with that early home run as a Twin, before we figured out that he strikes out four times every three at bats (no, that's not a misprint).

We offer, then, the curious cases of Cole De Vries and Sam Deduno, two pitchers who have been nothing short of (at least) temporary revelations for a Twins pitching staff dying for good outings. De Vries has five quality starts in his last seven trips to the hill. Deduno is 3-for-3 in that department in his last three starts, and has allowed just two hits apiece in his last two starts.

What's curious is that we find Twins fans either genuinely befuddled or terrified by what both of them are doing (and we are guilty among them). Every time Deduno pitches, folks on Twitter wonder how he keeps putting up zeroes. Every time De Vries is out there, we are all waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Admittedly, neither one has the kind of track record of a top prospect. Deduno is a career minor leaguer, a 29-year-old basically getting his first real chance in the big leagues for a desperate team. His walk rate is atrocious. His live arm seems to confuse opponents and his own team just the same. De Vries was signed out of college as an undrafted free agent. Two years ago splitting between Class AA and AAA, he was 1-8 with an ERA near 6. He has never allowed fewer hits than innings pitched in any overall minor league season, but he is doing so with the Twins. Deduno looks out of place on the pitch-to-contact Twins. DeVries, with those glasses he has on in his team picture, might look out of place to some on a big league ballfield.

So we're not saying Twins fans are wrong to be cautious or befuddled. We are saying we are still befuddled by their befuddlement, based on how Minnesota sports fans have generally treated the arrival of good tidings from new players as a gift that must be given 10th and 11th chances until the dream is dead. (And De Vries, of Eden Prairie, is ONE OF US for the love of all things holy!) These two might not exactly look the part, but somehow they are getting outs. That is a precious thing this year that needs to be savored for as long as it lasts.

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