Rand: Rotating the Twins rotation

  • Updated: January 15, 2013 - 6:39 AM

What happened to the Twins' rotation from 2010 to now?


Former Twins righthander Kevin Slowey

Photo: David Zalubowski, ASSOCIATED PRESS

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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.


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W:Y.Ventura(8-8) L:C.Thielbar(2-1) S:G.Holland (29)
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Chicago WSox - WP: R. Belisario 7 FINAL
Detroit - LP: J. Soria 4
Colorado - LP: P. Hernandez 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Arrieta 3
St. Louis - WP: S. Miller 6 FINAL
San Diego - LP: O. Despaigne 2
Philadelphia - WP: A. Bastardo 10 FINAL
Washington - LP: G. Gonzalez 4
LA Angels 0 Top 13th Inning
Baltimore 0
Seattle - WP: J. Beimel 6 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: B. Shaw 5
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 3 FINAL
Miami - LP: T. Koehler 1
Minnesota - LP: C. Thielbar 3 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 6
Toronto - WP: A. Sanchez 6 FINAL
Houston - LP: C. Qualls 5
Pittsburgh 2 Bottom 5th Inning
Arizona 2
Atlanta 0 Top 4th Inning
Los Angeles 2
NY Giants 8/3/14 7:00 PM
Winnipeg 27 FINAL
Hamilton 26
Toronto 8/1/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia 8/1/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan 8/2/14 6:00 PM
Saskatchewan 8/7/14 7:30 PM
Edmonton 8/8/14 6:00 PM
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Brt Columbia
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Minnesota 75
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Chicago 87
Indiana 28 3rd Qtr
Seattle 31
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