Shaky rotation???

I look at our pitcher and realize two things.  One, they are not Sandy Koufax.  Two, they aren’t Hideki Irabu.  What I mean by this, they aren’t the greatest pitchers of history, but they aren’t the worst.  We have the best pitcher in the league to date in Johan Santana.  We have a lot of young, deep, exciting talent.  We also have struggling veterans trying one last time to make it special.  As much as the Twins are known for pitching, this is the first time we haven’t had two constants in our rotation since 1993.  We had Brad Radke for so long as the perennial with Bob Tewksbury to Johan Santana along side him.  Last year, Brad Radke passed the torch onto Johan as the leading man and walked off the mound for the last time, leaving the door open for someone to step up as a worthy number two.  We would have liked Francisco Liriano to be that number 2 and eventual number 1a to Santana, however, he was lost to the dreadred Tommy John.  That leaves loads of talent and fighting last hoorays.  We have Carlos Silva who better have caught a case of amnesia to forget the season he had last year.  He went from bad to worse.  With the promise of starting for his native country, he left spring training to sit and watch as a reliever.  The rest of the season was lost after that.  Next, we have Ramon Ortiz, once a fixture and workhorse of the Angels with so much potential.  He was not signed by the Angels and wasted in the National League where he wasn’t happy with hitting anything.  He has come back to the American League with the hope of resurrecting his career.  Ortiz will be counted upon to give the Twins one more year to "season" and ready their blue-chip prospects for next year or later this year.  Last of the veterans, we have Sidney Ponson.  So much has happened to him off and on the field, that this is literally his last chance to make it in baseball.  After showing how good he can be in 2003, he tumbled done to about nothing.  He is left with this chance to make a team that needs someone to eat innings for a bullpen that is the stringest and deepest in baseball.  The youth is best served in three groups.  The todays, the tomorrows, and the yesterdays.  The today prospects are Boof Bonser, Matt Garza, and Glen Perkins.  All are well documented as having ups and downs.  Bonser comes from the AJ trade (haha) and seemed to the after thought of the trade.  Joe Nathan and Liriano were making all of the highlights and buzz around the league while Bonser worked his way up.  He come on in the second half of the season to become reliable.   He wasn’t dominant or noteworthy but he was solid.  Bonser has the stuff and make up to battle through any start.  Garza was the toast of our Minor League system.  Shooting up to almost pitch over 50 innings, the year after he was drafted.  Garza as legit No.1 stuff but still the youth behind it.  He needs a year of refining his talents.  There is no need to rush him to start this year.  He could be good this year but let him figure out his offspeed pitches and location and watch him be great next year.  Perkins is arguably on par if not better stuff wise as Garza but he has more command and better use of his offspeed pitches, being lefthanded only helps his cause.  He has the tools to start now and do quite well, but again letting him settle for a season and learn how to pitch in the minors will only help him dominate later.  The future is Kevin Slowey.  A control freak Radke would be jealous of, he mixes his pitches and locations well for a young pitcher.  He doesn’t have anything that is over powering but he knows how to pitch to be effective.  Letting him pitch one year at the higher levels will let us know if his stuff could be good enough or does it just lack that punch needed.  The yesterdays are Scott Baker and JD Durbin.  Baker being the one passed over and needed a change.  He isn’t mention any more as a quality starter except versus the Yankees.  He as trouble leaving his pitches up in the zone.  He could be a 94 mph Brad Radke because he has great control of the lateral part of the strike zone, but he lets his pitches ride up and hitters crank them.  HE has great stuff and should do well unforunately he lost his chance last year which means he needs to find a home in the bullpen or wait until someone gets hurt or falter that is ahead of him.  JD Durbin . . . what can you say about him.  He has electric stuff that still amazes, but he seems to be passed by.  I don’t understand this one.  If he could prove himself healthy the Twins will keep him on the roster so not to lose him or have to trade him.  He has major league stuff and can pitch when healthy and the right mind set.  I believe he will surprise everyone this spring training and make the club in the bullpen to start and taking over for anyone that gets injured.


One comment

  1. Coral

    Good luck with Ramon Ortiz… Coming from an avid Angels fan… It won’t be easy.

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