Even the most optimistic Minnesota Twins fan would probably have had some reservations about the team’s starting rotation going into 2013, but it’s hard to imagine that even the harshest critic would have envisioned it to be this bad.
In fact, not only is the team’s starters floundering on the mound with a combined MLB-worst 5.12 ERA and having been worth a miserable 28th-ranked 3.5 fWAR thus far … they might even start running out of viable pitchers to put on the mound in general.
Well, at least not at this rate anyway:
Samuel Deduno had his right shoulder checked out by team doctors after his start yesterday. But still tentatively scheduled to start Friday.
— Rhett Bollinger (@RhettBollinger) August 19, 2013
Samuel Deduno, whose recent struggles on the mound (5.96/1.63 ERA/WHIP over 22.2 IP in August) may well be linked to a shoulder issue that the hurler notified the team about after his latest start, could be the latest Twins starter to go down to injury. If the issues do persist in his slated start on Friday and he is force to miss any time, it would leave the team with few savory options to fill out an already-unpleasant starting … three?
With a pitching carousel at full that that has seen bus trips to the minor leagues for folks like Liam Hendriks and Scott Diamond along with Kyle Gibson (who has about hit his innings limit), the team would have essentially have no choice but to put multiple pitchers the mound who probably isn’t good enough to be on it.
It doesn’t make it any easier that Deduno might just be the very best in a below-average staff that the Twins have to offer either.
Unless you’re counting on Andrew Albers to continue his mini-run (hint: I wouldn’t), Deduno’s 0.9 fWAR over 99 innings is second only to Mike Pelfrey‘s 1.4, and his 3.82 ERA leads the team’s starters who have made at least 10 starts (ie. not Albers).
None of these are spectacular numbers by any means, as we are really talking about a group of back-end starters fighting to be the no. 1 by default here.
In short, if the Twins thought things were rough now with the starters … let’s just say that Deduno’s shoulder doesn’t hold any promises that it’ll get any better for the duration of the season.