Time to talk about pitching (according to ME)! I am very excited about our rotation this year. The experience our young guys gained last year in the hunt for the division will prove to be invaluable. I am so glad we are not starting the season with the likes of Ramon Ortiz or Livan Hernandez. I understand the desire to pepper your rotation with veterans, but we have Rick Anderson, it doesn’t get more veteran than that!
ROTATION (in order):
Liriano – “The Franchise” went 6-4 with a 3.91 ERA with 67 strikeouts and 32 walks in 76 innings pitched. He has always had the tools to be tops in our rotation. He came back too soon from surgery and got rocked in the Majors. He settled in at Rochester and got his mind right and never looked back. He was back to his old self the rest of the way and I’ll be chanting Cy Young in 2009!
Baker – Once referred to as Scott “The home run maker” Baker, this 27 year old veteran went 11-4 with a 3.45 ERA with 141 strikeouts and 42 walks in 172.1 innings pitched. Who could forgot his almost no hitter in 2007 against the Royals. Baker does not have overpowering stuff, but he can paint the corners and mix up his pitches nicely. I like our 1-2 punch for 2009.
Slowey – “Slow Throw” takes the third spot by going 12-11 with a 3.99 ERA with 123 strikeouts and 24 walks in 160.1 innings pitched. He is very reminiscent of Brad Radke because of his superb control. 24 walks in 160.1 innings is amazing!
Blackburn – “Sideburns Jr.” as I like to call him went 11-11 with a 4.05 ERA with 96 strikeouts and 39 walks in 193.1 innings pitched. I think you are seeing a pattern among Twins pitchers….they don’t give up walks!
Perkins – I don’t have a nickname for him yet (work in progress) went 12-4 with a 4.41 ERA with 74 strikeouts and 39 walks in 151 innings pitched. A Minnesota native that is beginning to show a lot of promise and I feel he has what it takes to secure another spot in the rotation this year.
The rotation looks really good this year. Liriano is the only household name to MLB fans but those four other guys have more than enough talent and potential to take us to the next level. I feel like the division is ours for the taking.