Chart: Candidates for the Twins rotation

  • Updated: February 19, 2012 - 12:28 AM
Carl Pavano, RHP: He is 36 but has thrown at least 199 innings in each of the past three seasons, including 222 in 2011. With better defense behind him, could win 13-15 games this season, which would come in handy in a contract year.

Francisco Liriano, LHP: Of the potential free agents in the rotation, might have the most on the line. At 28, he's become the most puzzling pitcher on the roster because he should dominate hitters.

Scott Baker, RHP: On talent alone, should be No. 2 behind Liriano. He has been nagged by elbow problems the past two seasons. His 3.14 ERA last season was the lowest of his career but came in only 1342/3 innings.

Jason Marquis, RHP: Throws a nasty sinking fastball and has been stingy with long balls in recent seasons. Target Field has been pitcher-friendly, but this will be his first year in the American League.

Nick Blackburn, RHP: Another sinkerballer, he's is a solid back-end-of-the-rotation starter. Like Baker, he has battled injuries the past two seasons and needs a healthy 2012. Opponents hit .305 off him last year.

Terry Doyle, RHP: Rule 5 pick in December likely will pitch out of the bullpen if he makes the team but could start if needed. He pitched well in the Arizona Fall League, and the Twins noticed.

Anthony Swarzak, RHP: Was a revelation last year in long relief with some spot starts. He went into the offseason determined to take the next step and could be called upon to start if someone struggles or is injured.

Brian Duensing, LHP: He has pitched well out of the bullpen in the past and will likely land back there this year after struggling as a starting pitcher in 2011. But he could force his way back in the rotation if he gets tougher against righthanded hitters.

LA VELLE E. NEAL III

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