Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Pitching woes

If you've been paying any sort of attention to the Twins, you know that their pitching is in complete disarray. Carl Pavano put together a very good start in his debut, but other than that the pitching staff has been allowing baserunners at a rate not seen since Livan Hernandez was released last July. In their latest attempt to patch up the situation, the Twins called up Jeff Manship and put Glen Perkins on the DL with a shoulder injury. Manship was pitching pretty well for Rochester since his midseason call-up, but his peripheral numbers don't suggest he's going to have too much success at the big league level. The Twins don't have much to choose from, though, and he is the most deserving starter in AAA if that's the route they wished to take.

All in all, this move seems like it will remind us of Sean Henn, Bobby Keppel, Kevin Mulvey, and Brian Duensing all too much. I have nothing against Manship, and will certainly be rooting for him to make me eat my words, but I've grown weary of the Twins' poor attempts to patch up their pitching troubles. I can't say I have a be-all-end-all answer, but they could start by trying Rob Delaney or Anthony Slama instead of Keppel and Duensing (or both).

With that, I'll just leave you with some statistics to highlight what has become of a once-proud pitching staff.

Since July 31st, the Twins have allowed 10+ runs five times in just 10 games, and 8+ runs seven times. They've allowed 78 runs in that span (7.8 per game if you need the help) and 130 hits to go with them (in just 88 innings). The Twins have surrendered more than 15 hits (!!) in six of those games! In no particular order, the stats for some pitchers over that period:

Nick Blackburn: 14.2 IP, 12 R, 25 H, 4 BB, 6 K
Francisco Liriano: 5 IP, 4 R, 8 H, 4 BB, 4 K
Glen Perkins: 5 IP, 9 R, 13 H, 2 BB, 2 K
Anthony Swarzak: 4 IP, 13 R, 17 H, 0 BB, 2 K
R.A. Dickey: 4.1 IP, 6 R, 7 H, 4 BB, 4 K
Jesse Crain: 5 IP, 5 R, 7 H, 3 BB, 4 K
Brian Duensing: 9.1 IP, 7 R, 9 H, 6 BB, 9 K
Bobby Keppel: 10 IP, 10 R, 18 H, 4 BB, 5 K

When 7 of your 13 pitchers (I included both Pavano and Dickey) have a WHIP over 2.00 (Blackburn is at like 1.98 so I included him), it's tough to win ballgames. When 4 pitchers who have made starts for you have combined to allow 63 hits in only 28 2/3 innings, it's virtually impossible to win.

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