What happened to the Twins' rotation from 2010 to now?
The 2010 Twins won 94 games and the AL Central. They also had six different pitchers who won at least 10 games. Fast-forward to 2013: When once it seemed possible a majority of them would be rotation mainstays, there is a chance none of them will make any starts for the Twins this year. What happened? A combination of injuries, regression and natural attrition. Consider:
• Nick Blackburn: From 2008 to '10, Blackburn averaged 11 victories and a 4.45 ERA. Since then? Blackburn, who still is only 30 years old, is a combined 11-19 with a 5.65 ERA. He has allowed 42 homers in 247 innings and is walking about one batter more per nine innings (2.9) than he did the previous three years. He had surgery for a bone chip in October; news came out Monday that he had another surgery last week, this time on his forearm, which means he will miss the start of spring training -- thus making it harder for him to regain his form and earn a spot in the rotation.
• Carl Pavano: He was the workhorse of the 2010 staff, throwing 221 innings and winning 17 games with a 3.75 ERA. Since then? He went 11-18 combined over the past two years, making only 11 starts during an injury-plagued 2012 season. Pavano, 37, remains unsigned for 2013.
• Francisco Liriano: It looked as if he had turned the corner in 2010, striking out 201 batters, winning 14 games and posting a 3.62 ERA. Since then? Liriano, 29, has battled control and inconsistency issues. He is 15-22 with a 5.23 ERA in the past two years, including time spent with the White Sox after being traded midseason in 2012. He is negotiating a two-year deal with the Pirates, though that has been on hold since an injury to his right (non-throwing) arm was discovered.
• Kevin Slowey: Remember him? He went 13-6 for the 2010 Twins, his third consecutive season with double-digit victories. He wasn't dominant, but he looked like a capable back-of-the-rotation starter when healthy. Since then, though: Slowey, 28, grumbled about his bullpen role to begin 2011 before going 0-8 that season (all decisions as a starter) and didn't pitch in the majors in 2012.
• Scott Baker: He won 12 games in 2010 and was off to a great start in 2011 (8-6, 3.14 ERA) before being derailed by arm problems. He ended up missing the entire 2012 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Baker, 31, signed with the Cubs in the offseason.
• Brian Duensing: The lefty went 10-3 for the Twins in 2010, splitting time as a starter and reliever. As a starter, he was quite effective: 7-2 with a 3.05 ERA. Since then, however, Duensing, 29, is a combined 13-26 with a 5.19 ERA, again splitting time in both roles. His career numbers -- 4.57 ERA as a starter, 3.38 ERA as a reliever -- suggest he might be best off in the bullpen for the 2013 Twins.
|Tampa Bay - LP: J. Odorizzi||2||FINAL|
|Boston - WP: J. Lester||6|
|William & Mary||74||FINAL|
|North Dakota St||83|
|South Dakota St||60||FINAL|
|South Dakota St||58|
|San Jose St||75||FINAL|
|(5) West Virginia||71||FINAL|
|San Diego State||63|