The inconsistency and struggles of the Minnesota Twins’ starting rotation over the past few seasons—including this season—has been well documented and many pitchers have come and gone as this rotation has been in constant flux. The latest rotation that the Twins have been going to battle with has seemed to work well, but there are still a few starters who do not belong in the majors or need a change of scenery to get their mind right and to work on whatever shortcomings are causing their struggles. Kevin Correia, Samuel Deduno and Kyle Gibson all seem to be solidified in the rotation for the foreseeable future with Correia likely to be a trade candidate, but Scott Diamond—and especially P.J. Walters—have struggled mightily over their past few starts and are seriously jeopardizing their staying power at the majors.
With all of that inconsistency and the Twins recent strategy of demoting starters who are underperforming for a Triple-A starter in need of a chance, the Twins should once again make a change to the rotation and promote left-hander Andrew Albers to replace Walters or Diamond. Albers, 27, is 7-3 on the year with 3.13 ERA, 1.261 WHIP and a 7.8 strikeouts per nine innings ratio over 16 starts this season at Triple-A. Granted those are minor-league stats, but they certainly are just as good—if not better—than some of the stats that Gibson was putting up before his promotion, so why not do the same thing and reward Albers with a promotion?
Albers does surrender a lot of hits, with an average of nine per nine innings, but he certainly has done enough to merit a promotion to the majors to see what he is capable of. He also could provide more upside than a pitcher like Walters could over the next few games and give the team a good look at what value he could bring to the team long-term should he continue to pitch well.
In order to bring Albers to the majors, the Twins would have to add him to the 40-man roster and remove someone to make room. A player like Tim Wood would be a good candidate for Albers to replace, but there are a few other candidates who could be removed as well. To me, it shouldn’t be much of a decision for the Twins and I believe Albers deserves a chance to prove what he’s worth at the majors. While that may mean demoting Diamond and Walters in favor of Albers and Mike Pelfrey—when he returns from his stint on the disabled list—for the time being, if it provides the team with the best starting rotation possible, it is a move that needs to be done sooner rather than later.