The 2012 Minnesota Twins starting rotation was 29th
our of 30 MLB teams in ERA. They identified this as their number one issue and responded with a major trade, several free agent signings, and a top prospect’s promotion. The result? The 2013 Minnesota Twins starting rotation ranked 30th
Not all the moves were fruitless. The Twins biggest free agent acqusition of the offseason – signing starting pitcher Kevin Correia to a two-year deal
– looked solid through the first year of the deal. He led the team in innings and compiled a league average 4.18 ERA. The most pleasant surprise of the year was when Andrew Albers, who had been rescued from the Can-Am independent league
, provided some midseason excitement and ended the year with a 4.05 ERA. And Sam Deduno, when he was healthy, rode his eclectic pitches to an ERA under 4.
But those positive developments were buried under an avalanche of disappointments. Vance Worley, who had been acquired in a trade with the Phillies and was the Opening Day starter, was brutal for 10 starts and didn’t look much better in AAA. Scott Diamond, the only member of the 2012 rotation who thrived, started the year hurt and bounced between AAA and the majors. Free agent signing Mike Pelfrey, rushing a return from Tommy John surgery, was brutal in April, and merely below average the rest of the year. And top pitching prospect Kyle Gibson made 10 late starts without generating much momentum. Those four were supposed to be the 80% of the rotation behind (and in front of) Correia this year.
But you don’t finish dead last without a lot of additional support. Pedro Hernandez, who the Twins acquired for Francisco Liriano, had the 5th
most starts on this team. He also had a 6.83 ERA. Liam Hendriks started eight games: 6.85 ERA. PJ Walters at least was under a 6 ERA in his eight starts. Cole de Vries was mostly hurt, still started two games late, and had a 10.43 ERA. Finally, lottery ticket Rich Harden never threw a pitch at any level.
For the third year in a row, the story of the Twins season was the story of a starting rotation that failed. This offseason, the front office has been more aggressive financially in addressing this ongoing issue. That’s an appropriate response. Twins Territory hopes there is an appropriate result and that we’re not writing this story again next year.