Deduno returns to Twins from WBC title with confidence

The righthander starred for his country in the World Baseball Classic and now wants to carry that over into a spot with the Twins.


Dominican Republic pitcher Samuel Deduno reacts after striking out United States' Adam Jones.

Photo: Wilfredo Lee, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

– Samuel Deduno acted like he was a new guy.

Deduno worked the Twins clubhouse Thursday morning upon his return from the World Baseball Classic, greeting his teammates as they dressed in their stalls.

Deduno came up from behind to tap Joe Mauer on the shoulder, and Mauer jumped out of his chair, hugged him and asked him about his experience.

In his stall hung his No. 21 national team jersey. The Dominican Republic went 8-0 while winning the WBC title. Deduno started three of those games, earning victories in two of them. But he returned to the Twins on Thursday knowing that he still has work to do to earn a spot in the team’s rotation.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire listened in to an interview session for a few moments before chiming in with: “I know Sammy can call the president [of the Dominican Republic] and get rooms at a golf course [there] at any time. I’ve got nothing to worry about now.”

Deduno was all smiles as he talked about the WBC.

“That was pretty good,” he said. “Pitching for my country, that was awesome.”

Deduno, who went 6-5 with a 4.44 ERA in 15 starts with the Twins after getting called up last July, now turns his attention to major league camp. It certainly didn’t hurt his case that he went 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA in his three starts during the WBC.

“I think that says an awful lot about what he can bring to the table,” Gardenhire said. “He’s facing some really, really good hitters. That says a lot about his ability to get people out when he’s throwing the ball over the plate.”

Deduno’s moving fastball danced around bats at the WBC — he struck out 17 batters in 13 innings — and he used his changeup effectively. He worked with catcher Carlos Santana the same way he has worked with Twins catchers, having him set up down the middle of the plate instead of sitting on the corners and letting the baseball do its thing.

“It’s going to help a lot,” the 29-year-old Deduno said of his WBC experience and what it means to winning a spot in the Twins rotation. “I was competing, and it’s going to help.”

His next start could come as soon as Sunday vs. the Rays.

Righthanders Cole De Vries, P.J. Walters and Liam Hendriks also are candidates for the final spot in the rotation. Righthanders Mike Pelfrey, Vance Worley and Kevin Correia will take up three of the rotation spots. The fourth eventually will go to Scott Diamond, who is on the comeback trail after having a bone chip removed. Diamond won’t be ready until April 12, however, so the Twins will tap one of the four contestants to make a start April 7.

The Twins never stood in Deduno’s way when the Dominican Republic called the team in mid-February and promised that he would be used as a starter. Deduno’s strong tournament got the attention of Twins officials, and he can be Target Field-bound if he carries his WBC success into his next two Twins outings.

“We’re looking to get innings and wins,” General Manager Terry Ryan said. “As we’ve said before, when he throws it over, he does not get hit.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Team Irvin 32 4th Qtr 0:53
Team Carter 28
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 106 FINAL
New Orleans 109
Indiana 106 FINAL
Orlando 99
LA Clippers 120 FINAL
Phoenix 100
Minnesota 100 FINAL
Atlanta 112
Detroit 110 FINAL
Toronto 114
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
San Antonio 101
Boston 111 FINAL
Golden State 114
Washington 117 FINAL
Denver 115
Houston 87 4th Qtr 9:02
LA Lakers 67
Team Toews 17 FINAL
Team Foligno 12
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 81 FINAL
NC State 78
Belmont 63 FINAL
Tennessee St 55
Creighton 50 FINAL
Villanova 71
Northwestern 67 FINAL
Maryland 68
Washington 56 FINAL
Utah 77
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 72 FINAL
(11) Stanford 71 FINAL
USC 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question