Brian Bass, Ricky Barrett, Nick Blackburn, Zach Day, Brian Duensing, Philip Humber, Randy Keisler, Kevin Mulvey, Glen Perkins
Well, there they are: The other options. This is presuming, for some reason that either Francisco Liriano or Kevin Slowey--or both!--don’t make the starting rotation. We’ll just assume the lack of options with Scott Baker and Boof Bonser will keep them there--at least to start the year--and that Livian Hernandez’s contract will keep him as well. So, if either Slowey or Liriano is deemed unready for the rotation, this is the list of guys who are in line for it. We’ve talked about Perkins and Humber before, but why not do it again? It’s fun!
Here’s my minor league analysis of their minor league stats:Brian Bass, 26.
Bass seems like the poster boy for a career minor league player. I’m not saying he couldn’t make it in the majors. However, his numbers in the minors are just good enough to keep playing, but just poor enough to not be spectacular. Last year, his numbers improved, but that could be more from moving from a hitting league to the International League’s more pitching-friendly league. If he’s going to make the big leagues, it would probably be as a long reliever. Beth Magic 8-Ball Pitching Rotation Possibility: Outlook not so good. ERA: 4.32/1.33 WHIP, 2.11 K/BB, 180 games/843.0 innings, 149 startsRicky Barrett, 27.
Barrett’s numbers are better than the previously mentioned, but he’s a year older, and his numbers declined in ’07 versus ’06. His walks rate is fairly high for the Twins organization, as well (approximately five walks per nine innings). As he only started one game last year, I think we can safely count him out as far as the Twins starting rotation is concerned. A good spring training could land him a long-reliever role, but I think the bullpen in Minnesota is already about filled to the max. Beth Magic 8-Ball Pitching Rotation Possibility: My reply is no. ERA: 3.38/1.40 WHIP, 1.92 K/BB, 149 games/344.0 innings, 37 startsNick Blackburn, 26
Blackburn’s claim to fame is going the entire month of June in AAA without an earned run. His total number of walks per nine innings is fairly good, and in the past two years, his strike-outs have been improving, which has improved his entire line. He had a good start his first call-up in Minnesota, but in September had a couple of bad outings. With a very good spring, he has a shot at the rotation, and a shot for long-relief, if needed. Beth Magic 8-Ball Pitching Rotation Possibility: Signs point to yes. ERA: 3.68/1.21 WHIP, 2.82 K/BB, 138 games/702.0 innings, 111 startsZach Day, 29.
Well, if he made the starting rotation, he’d be the second-oldest. His major league career numbers are almost right in line with Bonser and Baker, both of whom are three years younger, and both of whom pitched in the slightly less pitcher-friendly American League (Day has only pitched in the NL). Oh, except he walks a lot more batters than Baker and doesn’t strike-out nearly as many as Bonser, so his major league K/BB is much worse than either of those two, in 26 more games. Beth Magic 8-Ball Pitching Rotation Possibility: Don't count on it. ERA: 3.66/1.35 WHIP, 2.43 K/BB, 150 games/805.0 innings, 141 startsBrian Duensing, 25.
He seems to have decent control--he’s not quite an insane control pitcher that doesn’t walk anyone, but he’s not the super-dominating pitcher that strikes out everyone. List him as a control pitcher, though. He has no major league experience so I don’t expect the rotation, but I’d expect to see him in Minnesota at some point. I’m hoping September, simply because that means the pitching is uninjured and doing well. Beth Magic 8-Ball Pitching Rotation Possibility: Reply hazy, try again. ERA: 3.17/1.25 WHIP, 3.19 K/BB, 68 games/377.7 innings, 64 startsPhilip Humber, 25.
The kid’s got a good sense of humor--and Santana’s old locker in Spring Training. His strike-out rate is good--not completely dominating, but definitely above average, and his walk rate is decent. While he keeps the number of hits down, he’s definitely a fan of the home run, giving them up at a 1.09 per nine innings rate. However, in spite of that, he does have a decent chance to make the rotation if others don’t. He’s only got one year of options left, so it would behoove the Twins to bring him up at some point in ’08--they’ll have to bring him up in ’09. Beth Magic 8-Ball Pitching Rotation Possibility: Cannot predict now. ERA: 4.11/1.20 WHIP, 3.17 K/BB, 54 games/289.7 innings, 54 startsRandy Keisler, 32.
Strike-out ratio: good. Walk ratio: good for the other team. At his age, he’s got a shot of a starting rotation, although it’s not likely in Minnesota. The veteran presence was taken care of with the signing of Livian Hernandez, and Keisler, pending a miracle in spring training, won’t pull ahead of the younger kids, with whom the Twins have a vested interest in. Beth Magic 8-Ball Pitching Rotation Possibility: Very doubtful. ERA: 3.89/1.39 WHIP, 2.11 K/BB, 186 games/1000.0 innings, 160 startsKevin Mulvey, 22.
Mulvey doesn’t just dislike home runs, he hates them with a passion. His home run per nine innings rate is 0.26 (those state adverse, this means if he pitched four complete games in a row, he’d give up one home run). It’s only been above 0.50 once--in AA when he went straight from rookie league to AA, and then it was at 0.68. Now, to be cautious, Slowey’s minor league HR/9 was 0.43 and his major league is 2.16 (limited stats; I’d say the minor league average of Twins pitchers is 0.75). I’d say he needs a bit more time in AAA, but he’d could easily take a spot. Beth Magic 8-Ball Pitching Rotation Possibility: Outlook good. ERA: 3.02/1.19 WHIP, 2.58 K/BB, 31 games/173.0 innings, 31 startsGlen Perkins, 25.
This one has me hesitant. He had arm injuries last year, but is preparing for a shot at the rotation again this year. He’s got a legitimate shot. His minor league numbers fit the definition of a dominating pitcher--he walks quite a few, but strikes up a lot that makes up for it. I can see him in the bullpen, however, as an extra lefty. The Twins are decidedly short on left-handed pitchers. However, the Twins might like a lefty in the rotation, if Liriano isn’t ready yet. Beth Magic 8-Ball Pitching Rotation Possibility: Reply hazy, try again. ERA: 3.55/1.25 WHIP, 2.85 K/BB, 68 games/335.3 innings, 67 starts
In short, I’d give Blackburn, Humber, Mulvey, and Perkins the best shot of making the starting rotation. Blackburn could go into long relief, and Perkins could go into bullpen as either a lefty or a long-relief, or some hybrid (that is, not the LOOGY--left-handed, one-out guy). Mulvey would not be hurt by more time in the minors, and Humber is a coin-toss.
In general, I don’t see any of these guys in the starting rotation, but I’ve been surprised before.The Timberwolves are back over.200 for their win percentage, at 11-41, winning the first game after the all-star break! In lacrosse, the Swarm were defeated for the first time last weekend so they have a 6-1 record; the Philadelphia Wings are 4-0 as the lone undefeated team. In hockey, Marian Gaborik is still awesome.
Labels: G-g-g-girl, I'm probably never going to use that tag again so here's another longer tage I'll never use again, Minnesota Twins