With the demotion of Pedro Hernandez to make room for reliever Caleb Thielbar, the Minnesota Twins had an available spot in the rotation. Reports circulated last night that the decision of who would fill the vacant spot came down to three candidates: Kyle Gibson, Samuel Deduno or P.J. Walters. Well, it looks as if the Twins’ have picked their guy and it wasn’t who most expected it to be.
According to Twins PR director Dustin Morse, the team has decided to promote Deduno to the majors and he will make his season debut on Friday in Detroit. Deduno spent time with the Twins last year and was up and down for the majority of the season. Some games Duduno seemed unhittable and racked up numerous strikeouts and surrendered few hits; other games saw Deduno struggle to find the strike-zone, which resulted in numerous walks and several hits. In 15 starts in 2012 he pitched 79 innings and posted a 4.44 ERA with 57 strikeouts and 53 walks, which fits the perception that I described of Deduno’s up and down season.
Despite his upside and promise he demonstrated for a rebuilding team in search of quality and inexpensive arms to fill out a starting rotation, Deduno was dropped from the 40-man roster at seasons end, but re-signed with the Twins later in the off-season.
This year, Deduno pitched for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic. He pitched well enough that the Dominican manager decided to give Deduno the nod in the championship game which saw Deduno pitch five shutout innings. For the entire WBC, Deduno finished with a miniscule 0.69 ERA with 17 strikeouts and five walks over 13 innings. However, he pulled a groin in the championship game which landed him on the disabled list until May 5th and resulted in a rehab assignment in Triple-A.
During his rehab, Deduno put up decent numbers by garnering a 2.70 ERA with 17 strikeouts and 10 walks in 16.2 innings. His control may still be a little iffy, but that may be the hallmark and problem that Deduno will face over his career at the majors and until he can harness his control problems, he may see his fair share of trips to the minors.
Many fans and analysts expected the promotion to go to Gibson after his recent surge in performances that saw him throw a complete game shutout in his most recent start. However, Gibson still needs a little more time to mature in the minors before he is ready to come up to the majors for good. I wouldn’t be surprised, however, to see Gibson promoted soon to replace another struggling Twins’ starter like Mike Pelfrey or Vance Worley.
Keep your eyes on Triple-A and Gibson’s progress Twins’ fans, as he could be making his promotion to the majors any day now as well. In order to make room for Deduno on the roster, it has been speculated that either Tim Wood or Darin Mastroianni will be added to the 60-day disabled list. My bet would be that Mastroianni will be the one who gets placed on the DL.