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Zumaya is not the problem

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I just read the news about Joel Zumaya. I suppose none of us should be surprised Zumaya could be injured. Some will use this as an opportunity to say that the twins should have signed more help for the bullpen. While that may be true, I think it ignores the bigger picture. The Twins need to improve their teaching staff as a whole and two thirds of the innings of a pitching staff come from starters.

Now I've heard it said that the Twins have five number four starters. I think this is a little bit too simple of an assessment. Baker, Liriano, and Pavano are all good pitchers. Of course there are flaws in each one. But any team in the nation would be happy to sign them to their rotation were the Twins to cut them today.

The two others in the rotation, Blackburn and (presumably) Marquis, are a different story. The aren't expected to be good pitchers, and they don't show the potential to get much better.

If the Twins were serious about contending this year, they should have signed or traded for a legitimate middle-of-the-rotation starter to take 180-220 innings, all of which are by definition winnable or losable games, since they are after all starting a tied game.

That is a much bigger concern than replacing the 60 or so innings that Zumaya could have taken.

If the Twins don't pitch much better than last year, they can't win the division. And if they can't win the division, why not blow it up and rebuild for 2013?
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  1. Thrylos's Avatar
    "If the Twins were serious about contending this year, they should have signed or traded for a legitimate middle-of-the-rotation starter to take 180-220 innings, all of which are by definition winnable or losable games, since they are after all starting a tied game."

    Would you be happy, if they signed a guy who could pitch 216 innings, with an ERA around 4 and win 15 games?

    If so, those were Jason Marquis' numbers in Colorado (of all places) in 2009...
  2. Seth Stohs's Avatar
    I agree with Thrylos... the starting pitcher being described is Jason Marquis.
  3. PSzalapski's Avatar
    I really hope Marquis can duplicate his numbers from 2009, but 2011, 2010, 2008, 2007, and 2006 speak that he probably can't. Seth, you really think a 4.70 ERA with a bad K:BB ratio and a fair amount of home runs given up is the pitcher I'm describing?
  4. Seth Stohs's Avatar
    In 2011, he was 9-5 with a 3.95 ERA with the Rockies before going to the D-Backs, having a couple bad games and then getting his leg broken. 4.70 isn't ideals, but how much worse is that that where Pavano was last year? If he can eat 200+ innings with a 4.70 ERA on this team, that isn't bad for a 5th starter.
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