COMMENTARY | The Minnesota Twins have had issues with their starting pitching over the past couple of seasons. That's to say the least.
What's worse is that despite efforts to bring in veterans to solidify the rotation, the team still finds themselves 29th in Major League Baseball with 5.30 earned run average from their starters.
If you're a "glass half-full" fan, you'll point out that the Twins rotation so far is a tenth of a run better than they were a season ago. If you're a "glass half-empty guy," you've been screaming at your television, "Didn't we get rid of Nick Blackburn?"
Unlike a season ago, the Twins haven't been burned by their starting rotation as they sit 18-19 entering May 16. However, a .500 record isn't going to last if the starting pitching gives up over five runs a start, so what can they do to fix it?
Send in Kyle Gibson.
It seems like an eternity since the Twins drafted Gibson with the 22nd overall pick in the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft, but he's been trying to find his way since undergoing Tommy John surgery late in the 2011 season.
With a fastball that pushes into the mid-90s and an arsenal of successful secondary pitches, he has the stuff that the current Twins starters don't have. Regardless, MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger says that general manager Terry Ryan does not share the same opinion
Kyle Gibson threw a shutout last night for Triple-A Rochester, but he won't be replacing Hernandez in the rotation, Terry Ryan said.- Rhett Bollinger (@RhettBollinger) May 9, 2013
It's a good point considering that after Gibson threw his four-hit shutout of Toledo on May 8, he didn't make it out of the fourth inning in his next start against Durham on May 14.
But, is there a difference compared to what the Twins are throwing out there now?
The Twins best starter, Kevin Correia, had a solid month of April with a 3-1 record and 2.23 ERA, but has summoned his inner Ramon Ortiz in May going 1-2 with a 5.71 ERA.
Mike Pelfrey has had similar issues while making his way back from Tommy John surgery. In his eight starts, he's ranged from quality start to completely lost.
Pedro Hernandez and Vance Worley have pitched bad enough to induce flashbacks of Blackburn performances in the first six weeks of the season, and Scott Diamond has gone back and forth as he recovers from offseason elbow surgery of his own.
The major leagues are a whole different beast for any prospect, but with the rotation failing changes need to be made. The current group of starters are not getting the job done, so it's time to go young and see what some of the prospects can do.
Gibson would be the first domino to fall in what will be a complete overhaul of the rotation that will take place in the next several years. His arrival will open the door for Alex Meyer and Trevor May to make their way up to the major leagues by the end of the season and eventually tap into the lower levels of the system as things progress.
The Twins have played hard over the first couple of months, but their pitching has made the surprising start feel like a misnomer. With a chance to add a boost to a stale staff, calling up Gibson to see what he can do is in the best interest for the 2013 roster and beyond.
Chris Schad is a lifelong Twins follower that has spent a majority of his life cheering the Twins on through the dark '90s and success of five American League Central championships in the 2000s. His work has also been published on Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @crishad.
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