Latest On Rotation Battles

Rotation battles are being decided left and right.  Here's the latest.


26 Responses to Latest On Rotation Battles Leave a Reply

  1. Ivan Nova probably has the fourth starter job, leaving Colon, Garcia, and Sergio Mitre for two spots.

    Shouldn’t that read “Ivan Nova probably has the fourth starter job, leaving Colon, Garcia, and Sergio Mitre for the last spot?”

  2. $1529282 4 years ago

    That there was even a rotation “battle” just illustrates how overhyped Ron Gardenhire is as a manager. Nick Blackburn being guaranteed a rotation spot over Baker and Slowey is laughable. Gardenhire selects his roster based on who he’s friends with rather than who deserves it. Too bad for Slowey that Blackburn’s one of Ron’s bowling buddies.

    • says the white sox fan posing as a twins fan.

      • Deviation 4 years ago

        No… He’s basically right on the money here. I’m actually a fan of Gardenhire sometimes and I rarely complain about him. But the one legitimate beef that any fan can have with him is that he plays favorites. If he likes somebody as a person, they’re going to get playing time, even if they don’t deserve it from a performance standpoint.

        If Smith hadn’t firmly shoved off Nick Punto, you know damn well that he’d be our starter at SS (injuries notwithstanding).

        • MSUcorner 4 years ago

          You have point. But a lot of managing is going with the guy you “like.” It may not mean he hangs out a BBQs on the weekend with the guy, but the manager may like how a guy fits into a spot in the game.

          I feel some blames goes to Rick Anderson too. Both he and gardy need to do a better job managing the staff in game.

        • dwarfcatt 4 years ago

          Don’t you get the feeling Matt Tolbert is going to try to buy some old game-used Punto jerseys and casually wear them around spring training to catch Gardy’s eye?

    • twins33 4 years ago

      What has Slowey done to earn it over Blackburn? I get Baker belonging as he likely should have been chosen a long time ago, but I don’t get Slowey over Blackburn. Yes, Slowey is definitely more talented and has more upside, but the results haven’t been there. Blackburn has performed better.

      Blackburn seems to be a guarantee to go +185 innings most years with an ERA of 4-4.5 (he was at 4 for 2008 and 2009). It’s not hard to see that Blackburn did have a rough year last year, but he also pitched great when he was called back up. And he and Pavano are the only two pitchers we have with the big game mentality. Slowey gives somewhere around 160 and struggles to get out of the fifth inning in the majority of his starts. If you’d ask me who’d I’d rather have…I’d rather have the guy who can pitch more innings with the similar ERA. Blackburn saves the bullpen way more than Slowey does.

      We’ll need all of our starters, so I wouldn’t recommend trading Slowey, but Blackburn has done more over the last few years. Sure, injuries haven’t helped Slowey’s case, but when he’s been healthy he hasn’t done that well either. And if I’m recalling right, the guy gets a ton of run support, which is why his win percentage is so high.

      Like I said, I like both guys and even I know that Slowey is the more talented of the two but it’s about results and Blackburn’s results have been better.

      • Twins GM 4 years ago

        Blackburn? Blackburn! Are you kidding me Gardy? Looks like he is using his 2-19 post season head again. Does this guy know anything about pitching? Hell no team would even claim Blackburn and you name him the #3 stater! Lets hope to GOD they don’t give him a two year 9 million contract like that other buddy of his who is now gone.

        This is 2008 all over again when they kept Liriano down in the minors when he was white hot and kept going with Livan with his 12.8 Hits per 9 innings. This year it will be Gibson just watch and see. Backburn will keep going out giving up 10 hits per start while Gibson is toying with minor leaguers. If the Twins miss the playoffs I’m going to point the finger to this move all the way. Slowey might not give the Twins 7+ innings but he has a 65% winning percentage. When Gibson is ready in May after his super 2 day let him take over for who ever is not doing the best or who ever is injured.

        Here are some stats
        Blackburn 4 seasons 32-36 92 GS, 571 2/3 IP 4.50 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 128 walks, 270 K
        Slowey 4 seasons 39-21 82 GS, 473 1/3 IP 4.41 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 81 Walks, 361 K
        Twins are no longer a small market team where we have to run cheap crappy SP’s out there to eat innings.

        If any team offers a old chewed piece of gum or sunflower seed shell off the dugout floor for Blackburn take it!

        P.S. The Timberwolves have four more postseason wins (10 in 2003) in their last trip than Gardy has in his career for the Twins and he has gone to the postseason six times!

        • twins33 4 years ago

          Do you know why Slowey has a 65% win percentage? It isn’t all him. It’s the run support. I’m not saying the guy is crap, he isn’t, but he doesn’t win games all by himself. He does have good games, but he also has a ton of games where he hits the fifth inning and can no longer go anymore.

          Plus, I don’t know about Slowey, but in 2008 and 2009 I sure remember Blackburn losing a lot of games he should have won. At least four in 2008, two being those 1-0 losses the first game he pitched and game 163. You wouldn’t say Blackburn deserved those losses would you? I’d say he pitched awesome. I can think of at least two in 2009. I thought he did well enough to win the last game he pitched last year too. That’s about seven wins he’s been screwed out of and that’s not even considering any no decisions. Give him just those and his win percentage goes from 47% to 57%. I’m sure the same can be done for Slowey. I couldn’t tell you how much though. Look how quickly that percentage went up if things just would have went the way they should have. I wouldn’t blame Blackburn for those 1-0 losses but you’re using it against him like all his losses were deserved. It was the hitters that lost those games for him, not himself. Again, I’m sure the same can be done for Slowey.

          You’d be okay with Slowey going five innings allowing five runs as long as the run support was above that and he’d get the W. I want the team to get the W, but you can’t seriously consider that to be a good outing and a W that is deserved by Slowey. And that was just a hypothetical situation. You’re pointing at wins like a team doesn’t have to score runs to win. You’re pointing at it like that win percentage is all him. There’s a reason why the CY Young voters are getting their heads on straight now and voting for a pitcher based on other things besides W’s.

          Look, I like Slowey. I believe he’s talented. I believe he’s better than he’s shown. And I KNOW that he’s better than Blackburn, the problem is, the results haven’t shown he’s better than Blackburn. Their ERA’s are similar. Blackburn has pitched over 150 more innings in the last three years. Blackburn is much more pitch to contact than any one else on the team. Blackburn doesn’t strike people out. Those are two things against Blackburn, but Slowey has problems too (getting rocked the further the game goes on, not being able to pitch deep into games). They both have flaws. FIP and xFIP I’m sure say that Slowey is better and more talented. I can’t disagree, but it’s the results. Results, results, results. FIP and xFIP show what should have been, not what is.

          If you’re asking me to choose between this (average 2008-2010):
          190 IP’s 4.45 ERA (Blackburn)
          or
          155 IP’s and a 4.35 ERA (Slowey)

          I’ll take the guy who puts up the similar ERA but can actually pitch past the fifth or sixth inning. Blackburn was only behind Pavano in terms of pitching deep into games. And you know that Pavano is the only guy who gets the veteran treatment (as in letting him pitch out of more jams, being more lenient with the 100 pitch count..etc.). So you know Blackburn (+50% of his starts were +7 innings) had to have had a lot of solid games to be only behind Pavano (66% of his innings were +7 innings) in terms of pitching deep into games and giving the team a chance to win. While Slowey did the worst out of all the starters at pitching deep. I think he was at about 20 something percent (+7 IP).

          If we’re going to base it on potential and their ceilings then choose Slowey. He’s easily the right and easy choice for that. But looking at those IP and ERA numbers I posted, I’d rather have the guy who gets the same results but for more innings. I’d rather have the guy that doesn’t destroy our bullpen in most of his starts. You may think Blackburn is crap, but he’s done more good for this team than Slowey has.

  3. JA 4 years ago

    Morneauvp, you are just plain wrong. It’s about stuff. Slowey is a fine pitcher. But the organization prefers the ground ball rate of Blackburn. It’s about different looks.
    Pavano
    Liriano
    Blackburn
    Duensing
    Baker
    Each with a different look. Due to injuries and performance, expect Slowey to get plenty of opportunities.

    • JA – You are SO right! Blackburn was one of the top three pitchers in ground ball rate last season. And, of course, Slowey will get more than just a few starts and I would also expect Perkins to get an occasional start. Dwarfcatt – Funny Comment! But I think Tolbert has probably got a 25-man roster spot locked. It’s Luke Hughes who should be sporting a Nick Punto jersey – in spite of the five homers and .286 BA he’s still a distant candidate to make the team right out of ST.

  4. BlueSkyLA 4 years ago

    With Garland and Padilla likely to start the season on the DL, a rotation battle is also shaping up for LA. The leading candidates appear to be Rubby de la Rosa and Tim Redding.

    • Im sure Redding will win, seriously cant see them using de la Rosa and having to send him down at some point.

      • BlueSkyLA 4 years ago

        I can see it going either way. Redding will apparently accept a minor league assignment, and they might want to audition de la Rosa on a short call-up. The real question is why MLBTR doesn’t think this is a question equal to the other “rotation battles.” An LAD story is again skipped. What IS up with that?

        • Well its not really a “battle” because when Garland comes back that war is over.

          • BlueSkyLA 4 years ago

            Sure, on some currently unknown date. A lot of these rotation battles are the results of incumbents going down with injuries.

  5. Thanks for the good work you did Silva, but we need the kids to step it up now. I want to see Cashner dominate.

  6. Devern Hansack 4 years ago

    I saw the words “rotation battles” and immediately thought of the new feature in Pokemon Black and White. I’m a geek.

  7. I think it’s Heilman’s job to lose. There’s also the advantage that he can go to the bullpen when Duke is ready to come back.

    • I never would think I’d hear the day where Aaron Heilman would have a job that’s his to lose. He usually takes care of losing them anyway.

  8. corey23 4 years ago

    Don’t forget Oakland… Looks like it’s between McCarthy, Cramer, and Ross, with McCarthy leading the way.

  9. COLON HAS LOOKED THE BEST COMPARED TO MITRE AND GARCIA FOR THE FIFTH SPOT IN THE ROTATION…… GIVE IT TO COLON WITH GARCIA IN THE WINGS. DROP MITRE ASAP!

  10. YankeePhan1234 4 years ago

    I did read somewhere that Colon was willing to pitch in long relief, if thats true, then I would use Garcia/Nova in the rotation and Colon in long relief.

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