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  • SP Depth Chart - 8/22

    The status and outlook of the rotation is bound to be the biggest storyline for the Twins down the stretch and into the offseason. Clearly, there is no unit on this roster in a greater state of flux.

    Scott Diamond Sits Atop The Pitching Depth ChartAs a new feature here on Twins Daily, we thought we'd start taking periodic glances at the starting pitching depth chart to provide a big-picture look at what the club currently has and what's in the pipeline. We'll post updates every few weeks, adjusting for performance swings, injuries and roster additions/subtractions.

    The top five guys are the ones currently in the Twins' rotation. After that, it gets a little subjective, but this is the pecking order as we see it. Feel free to voice your own opinion on these rankings, and on how far the team is from fielding a respectable rotation in 2013.

    1. Scott Diamond. The surprise of the year continues to excel. He's turned in five straight quality starts and posted a 2.95 ERA overall in 128 innings. How long can he sustain his success with one of the league's lowest strikeout rates?

    2. Sam Deduno. His "effectively wild" approach has held up thus far, as he's managed a 4-1 record and 3.33 ERA despite tallying more walks than strikeouts. Hard to expect that to continue, but right now he's got a pretty airtight case as the team's second-best starter.

    3. Brian Duensing. His extreme vulnerability against right-handed hitters makes him a far better option in the bullpen, but Duensing is a solid pitcher and he has quietly turned in a 3.77 ERA in four starts since rejoining the rotation at the end of July.

    4. Cole De Vries. A recent "sad but true" tweet from Patrick Reusse: "Every time Cole De Vries retires a big-league hitter I'm surprised." In spite of his lackluster stuff, the righty has decent peripherals and continues to squeak by. He turned in a solid outing against the punchless A's last night.

    5. Liam Hendriks. The rookie returns to the rotation on Wednesday night after Nick Blackburn's surprising DFA earlier this week. Hendriks hardly could have been worse during a couple earlier stints with the Twins, but has been nearly untouchable in Triple-A with 76 hits allowed in 106 innings. It will be interesting to see how he performs in this low-pressure late-season audition; he could rise fast on this list.

    ---

    6. Anthony Swarzak. He's clearly better suited for his current relief role, but I have to believe Swarzak would be the first guy Ron Gardenhire would call upon if he needed another starter at this moment.

    7. Esmerling Vasquez. Like Deduno, Vasquez is an erratic right-hander in his late 20s who limits hits but hands out tons of walks. He probably deserves a chance but it's not clear the Twins are willing to deal with two such pitchers in the their rotation at once.

    8. Nick Blackburn. The club's decision to remove him not only from the 25-man roster but the 40-man roster is a sign that they've soured on him badly. Still, he's under contract for $5 million next year so if he shows signs of life in Triple-A he'll probably get another chance.

    9. Kyle Gibson. Recovering from Tommy John surgery, the former first-round pick has looked very sharp in 11 rehab outings between rookie ball and Single-A. He'll need to carry that to the upper levels before he's viewed as a legitimate option for the big-league rotation, but so far all signs are positive.

    10. Pedro Hernandez. Acquired in the Francisco Liriano trade, Hernandez is a classic Twins pitch-to-contact type and thus far he's allowed 23 hits in 15 innings for Rochester since coming over. He might get a glance in September just because, but he's got much to prove before entering the mix for next year. Plus, he left last night's game in Triple-A with an injury.
    This article was originally published in blog: SP Depth Chart - 8/22 started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 75 Comments
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      These rankings seem fair to me, but maybe you might consider BJ Hermsen as a possible #11.

      After looking at this, I would expect the Twins to lose 90+ games next year unless they can get some better starters. The only player on the list who seems semi-solid is Diamond, and it seems to me that there is a high probability every other player listed could be a disaster in 2013.
    1. Nick Nelson's Avatar
      Nick Nelson -
      Hermsen is on the fringe, but I think the Twins are going to move fairly slow with him. Doubt we'll see him up before midway through 2013 at the earliest.

      I think this list makes it clear that the Twins need a lot of help toward the top. At least 2-3 of the guys currently in the top five should be sitting on the outside as depth and insurance.
    1. old nurse's Avatar
      old nurse -
      Would it be worth the Twins looking to the independent leagues for some starting pitting. Scott Kasmir hasn't quite found himself yet, but a Jason Lane might be a worthwile look in spring.
    1. weinshie's Avatar
      weinshie -
      Reasonable list, but shouldn't the title be "SP Shallow Chart"? Sorry, couldn't help myself!
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      This list shows how bad the Twins starting pitching is. TR has a lot of work to do this offseason. Do not think any of the AAA or AA types will help at this time.
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      Walters is almost done rehabbing, correct? He probably figures in the list as well.
    1. IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
      IdahoPilgrim -
      Quote Originally Posted by old nurse View Post
      Would it be worth the Twins looking to the independent leagues for some starting pitting. Scott Kasmir hasn't quite found himself yet, but a Jason Lane might be a worthwile look in spring.
      I hear there's some guy named Clemens who might be worth a look.
    1. twinswon1991's Avatar
      twinswon1991 -
      Looks like 100 losses to me. A monkey could draft and develop better than that.
    1. Visnovsky's Avatar
      Visnovsky -
      What a pathetic group of pitchers to make a major league rotation. If I were the GM, I would want to punch a wall every time I saw Bill Smith walking around the office.
    1. Riverbrian's Avatar
      Riverbrian -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinswon1991 View Post
      Looks like 100 losses to me. A monkey could draft and develop better than that.
      A monkey???

      I admit it's possible that a Monkey could draft better... But Develop better??? A Monkey??? Now you are being silly!!!

      A monkey couldn't lead by example cuz of Monkey Physiology and you also have a vocal communication problem because of the high screeching sounds that most species make.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinswon1991 View Post
      Looks like 100 losses to me. A monkey could draft and develop better than that.
      Your schtick is tired. You repeat the same point over and over and over again. We get it. You don't like the front office.

      Stop repeating the same "argument" (for lack of a better term) to the point of nausea. You're bringing absolutely nothing to the forum with these posts. We're instituting new rules on chronic negativity and you will put yourself at risk of a temporary ban if you keep it up.
    1. twinswon1991's Avatar
      twinswon1991 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by twinswon1991 View Post
      Looks like 100 losses to me. A monkey could draft and develop better than that.
      Your schtick is tired. You repeat the same point over and over and over again. We get it. You don't like the front office.

      Stop repeating the same "argument" (for lack of a better term) to the point of nausea. You're bringing absolutely nothing to the forum with these posts. We're instituting new rules on chronic negativity and you will put yourself at risk of a temporary ban if you keep it up.

      Go ahead and ban me tough guy. Are you that insecure that if someone disagrees with you on a subject your only reaction is to boot them?

      It is hard to believe there would be any negativity after 2 straight 99+ loss seasons with no end in site.

      Why dont you just admit that you are trying to kiss up to the Twins by trying to positively spin every disaster in hopes of getting a job with them or some insider info?

      If you boot me I'll just go back to the only fair and balanced (non ass kissing) Twins site on the web: aarongleeman.com.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Let's hope they acquire two legit options in the off-season. I do think there are three MLB level starters on that list....
    1. Fire Dan Gladden's Avatar
      Fire Dan Gladden -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinswon1991 View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by twinswon1991 View Post
      Looks like 100 losses to me. A monkey could draft and develop better than that.
      Your schtick is tired. You repeat the same point over and over and over again. We get it. You don't like the front office.

      Stop repeating the same "argument" (for lack of a better term) to the point of nausea. You're bringing absolutely nothing to the forum with these posts. We're instituting new rules on chronic negativity and you will put yourself at risk of a temporary ban if you keep it up.

      Go ahead and ban me tough guy. Are you that insecure that if someone disagrees with you on a subject your only reaction is to boot them?

      It is hard to believe there would be any negativity after 2 straight 99+ loss seasons with no end in site.

      Why dont you just admit that you are trying to kiss up to the Twins by trying to positively spin every disaster in hopes of getting a job with them or some insider info?

      If you boot me I'll just go back to the only fair and balanced (non ass kissing) Twins site on the web: aarongleeman.com.
      Brock,

      I agree that twinswon1991 does absolutely nothing but stir the pot. His comments are almost always inflammatory and provide little insight other than he does not like the current management system and anybody who works for the Twins. I personally do not think he brings anything constructive to this website. hat being said, I don't think he deserves a ban at this time.

      Posters like him always make me laugh. He rips and rips on the team, yet calls himself a fan. Nothing in the way of how to get better, other than to fire everybody. No comments on realistic ways to improve the team, no constructive comments on why the team is struggling, no constructive comments on some of the positive things (which there are some), just fire everybody. I'll bet he listens to the Common Man and Barrero every day, and devours everything Mackey and Reusse say. Everybody knows he brings nothing to the table, let him squeak his peace then move on to the next topic. Posters like him show that this is a public site. As long as he refrains from personally attacking anybody, he isnt worth the time to monitor.

      Worry more about the personal attacks and the spam then about posters whose only intention is to anger you. BTW, I am huge fan of Gleeman. When he ultimately moves up in the world and gives up his site, it will be missed.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Gibson should be higher then 9.
    1. Winston Smith's Avatar
      Winston Smith -
      Quote Originally Posted by weinshie View Post
      Reasonable list, but shouldn't the title be "SP Shallow Chart"? Sorry, couldn't help myself!

      The only way "depth" should be used here is for how far under water this group is. This is a sad bunch for a supposed major league team.
    1. Mr. Ed's Avatar
      Mr. Ed -
      Dice K 1-hit the Twins AAA affiliate over 8 innings. MN could make him their big off-season acquisition
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Ed View Post
      Dice K 1-hit the Twins AAA affiliate over 8 innings. MN could make him their big off-season acquisition
      Their track record on Asian players has been stellar to this point. I say they go for it.
    1. JB_Iowa's Avatar
      JB_Iowa -
      I appreciate the effort to lay out the list, Nick. It doesn't do anything for my lack of optimism about this team but it does provide a nice summary of information.

      I want to add one response about Bill Smith, though. He was definitely not my favorite person -- and I made a number of posts on the Strib site last year calling for him to be fired -- but blaming all of this on Bill Smith (per one of the posts above) is ludicrous. Other than Smith, the SAME people are involved in the decision-making now. Same scouting director, same Assistant GM, same director of player personnel, same minor league coordinator -- and your current GM was a "Special Assistant" to Smith (primarily dealing with scouting matters as I understand it). The Twins front office has always worked cooperatively -- Smith may have been the final say but he relied on information from everyone else. I have no doubt that Terry Ryan excercises a greater degree of personal judgment and has significantly more "baseball savvy" to back up his decisions -- but the underpinnings of the Twins decision-making system all remain the same.
    1. cr9617's Avatar
      cr9617 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by twinswon1991 View Post
      Looks like 100 losses to me. A monkey could draft and develop better than that.
      Your schtick is tired. You repeat the same point over and over and over again. We get it. You don't like the front office.

      Stop repeating the same "argument" (for lack of a better term) to the point of nausea. You're bringing absolutely nothing to the forum with these posts. We're instituting new rules on chronic negativity and you will put yourself at risk of a temporary ban if you keep it up.
      Get over yourself Brock.

      The team stinks as a result of an organization that can seem to tie their own shoe laces. What is there to be positive about?
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