When Mike Pelfrey was activated from the disabled list earlier this month, P.J. Walters was the odd-man out of the Twins rotation. He was outrighted to Rochester on July 8th
and made his first start on July 12th
Once Walters was designated for assignment, it was assumed he’d be joining a rotation that consisted of Vance Worley, Liam Hendriks, Pedro Hernandez, and Cole De Vries, all of whom have major league experience. That doesn’t include Andrew Albers and Logan Darnell, both southpaws by way of the Kentucky Wildcats. Having seven capable pitchers at this level, especially with the question marks in the big league rotation - even if all turn out to be AAAA pitchers - seemed luxurious.
And then the wheels started to fall off.
Cole De Vries experience discomfort
in his right (throwing) elbow and was placed on the DL with a strained elbow on July 6.
Pedro Hernandez was scratched from his scheduled start on July 14 and placed on the DL with a left (throwing) forearm strain.
Even without De Vries, who has battled injuries all year, and Hernandez, who was probably destined for the bullpen anyway, Rochester still had a formidable rotation.
But then – as things typically happen in threes – Vance Worley went down
with right (throwing) shoulder impingement. By the time Worley rehabs and is ready to pitch again, there is a chance the minor-league season will be over.
Former Twin sinkerballer Nick Blackburn, who is recovering from wrist surgery
, is set to re-join the Red Wings rotation tomorrow to fill out the starting five. He could be a valuable addition to this staff as he tries to work his way back to the Twin Cities. But since his first game action on June 28 he’s made only five minor-league appearances between the GCL Twins and New Britain.
And if that’s not enough “flux” for you, P.J. Walters will be leaving the team
after his start on Thursday to be his wife for the birth of their daughter.
Despite all the shakeup (or hiccups), the Red Wings have still managed to recover from a horrid (2-11) start to be tied for the lead in the Wild Card race. Just imagine how much better this team could be if they could get healthy and play to their potential, though in that case, Worley, De Vries and potentially Blackburn could be finding themselves flying west.