Inbox: How will Twins finish filling out rotation?
Inbox: How will Twins finish filling out rotation?
By Rhett Bollinger
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins' No. 1 objective this offseason was to add starting pitching, and general manager Terry Ryan has kept busy adding rotation help.
After acquiring Vance Worley in the trade that sent Ben Revere to Philadelphia, the Twins signed Kevin Correia to a two-year deal worth $10 million and reportedly agreed to a one-year, $4.5 million deal with Mike Pelfrey.
So the rotation, which originally only included left-hander Scott Diamond, appears nearly set with four spots locked up. But the Twins aren't done this offseason, as Ryan knows he still has holes to fill, considering the club lost 96 games last season.
So stay tuned for more offseason coverage, and in the meantime here's this week's Twins Inbox:
With the additions of Correia and Pelfrey, how do you expect the rotation to look next season? Will the Twins add another free-agent starter?
-- Matt S., Minnetonka, Minn.
Given his success last season, Diamond figures to be the club's top starter entering the season and is likely to be followed by Worley, Pelfrey and Correia, who are all making the jump from the National League to the American League.
Worley has been a solid big leaguer with a career 3.50 ERA, and his struggles at the end of last season can be linked to the fact he had a bone chip removed from his right elbow in September. But he's expected to be fully healthy entering the season and should be a fixture in the club's rotation for years to come.
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Pelfrey, who has yet to officially sign with the Twins, is more of a question mark because he's coming off Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on May 1. But he's had some success in the Majors and will reportedly be ready in time for the season.
Correia, meanwhile, is viewed as a No. 4 starter by Twins brass and has had some solid seasons despite his lack of strikeouts. But it will be interesting to see how he adapts to the AL, and he hasn't exactly been a workhorse either, considering he hasn't thrown more than 175 innings since '09.
The Twins could decide to stay in-house for the No. 5 spot in the rotation, with options such as Kyle Gibson, Cole De Vries, Liam Hendriks or Sam Deduno. Gibson is the most likely choice if they decide to go with an in-house option, but like Pelfrey, he's coming off Tommy John surgery and will be monitored closely.
So, given the risks associated with the starters on their current roster, the Twins are expected to continue exploring the free-agent market.
Given the rotation issues, why don't the Twins bring up some of their young pitchers, such as Gibson, Alex Meyer, Trevor May or B.J. Hermsen, and let them get their feet wet in the bigs so the Twins can see what they have?
-- Andrew W., Brainerd, Minn.
The Twins might do just that with Gibson, but he's at least had experience at Triple-A and was considered close to Major League ready before undergoing Tommy John surgery before the end of the '11 season.
May, who came to Minnesota in the Revere trade, and Hermsen are both considered prospects, and both have yet to pitch above Double-A. Meyer, who has the biggest upside of the group and was acquired in the Denard Span trade, has yet to even reach Double-A.
So while it's not out of the question that any of those three pitchers pitch well and earn a callup in September, they all currently need seasoning in the Minors. And that's why the club has been adding starting pitching help for the '13 season, but looking for short-term deals.
Whatever happened to Carl Pavano, and is he in the Twins plans? Could he help this rotation?
-- Mike T., Hudson, Wis.
Pavano is still currently a free agent and doesn't appear to be a fit with the Twins. He pitched only 63 innings last season before ultimately being shut down with what was later diagnosed as a bone bruise on his right humerus bone.
He's still reportedly garnering interest from teams looking for pitching help, including the Marlins. If healthy, he could be a capable back-of-the-rotation starter, as he was a workhorse for the Twins until last season.
With top prospect Oswaldo Arcia's great season last year, is it possible that he could be the right fielder for the Twins to replace Revere? Or is it pretty much Chris Parmelee's job?
-- Tanner P., Minnetonka, Minn.
Parmelee enters as the heavy favorite in right field, as the club believes he can develop into a middle-of-the-order hitter if given enough at-bats. He didn't get enough consistent at-bats with the Twins last season, but proved he can dominate at the Triple-A level.
But Arcia is also a top prospect and will be given the chance to compete for the spot in right field, just like Aaron Hicks and Joe Benson will get the chance to compete for the center field job along with Darin Mastroianni. But unless Arcia blows away Parmelee in Spring Training, he's likely to start the year at Triple-A Rochester.