If the Minnesota Twins want to take out an ad in the local newspaper it should read as follows, “Wanted: Any Healthy and Able Arms to Pitch in the Majors as a Starting Pitcher.” The injury problems that Twins have faced over the past few seasons is teetering on the line of absolute ridiculous. How can a team continue to suffer injury after injury to their starting rotation and expect to compete? Although an even better question should be, why does a team continue to employ injury prone pitchers or why haven’t the Twins protected themselves from an injury barrage by assembling quality depth at a position of concern? The key word to focus on there is quality. The Twins have certainly added many arms to compete during spring training, but many of them are either injured as well or are utterly embarrassing.
All of this frustration and panic stems from Cole DeVries leaving his start on Friday after three hitless innings due to a sore right forearm. DeVries was scheduled to make his first start of the season on April 6 as the number five starter in the Twins’ rotation. For the spring, De Vries allowed one earned run during 17 innings and held batters to a .071 average.
You have to feel for De Vries for his run of bad luck because the pitcher has done everything he could to earn himself a job with the Twins and in his last start of the spring, he succumbs to injury. If any Twins’ pitcher could be counted on for his toughness and durability, it had been De Vries. In addition if any pitcher got everything he possibly could out of his frame and potential, it was also De Vries. The injury doesn’t seem to be very serious at first glance, but it definitely could set him back a few weeks as he is preparing to make his mark as part of the Twins’ rotation.
So where do the Twins turn next if De Vries is unable to make his scheduled start on April 6? Well, the most likely option would be to turn to Brian Duensing or Pedro Hernandez to hold the fort down until De Vries or Scott Diamond has healed and is ready to step into the rotation. Heck, if the team needs a live arm, throw Drew Butera in the mix as the catcher did have an impressing outing last season when he pitched one inning, allowing zero hits and walked one batter.
With opening day only three days away, time is running out for the Twins to assemble a starting rotation. Hopefully the injury bug has made its yearly rounds on the Twins’ staff early this year, so the team can enjoy the fruits of a healthy summer as the season trudges on.