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The Minnesota Twins Need to Let Rick Anderson Go

Vance Worley is the Latest Scapegoat for Anderson, but the Twins' Pitching Coach is Running Short on Time

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | The Minnesota Twins made another change to their weak starting rotation on May 22 as they demoted struggling starter Vance Worley to Triple-A Rochester.

Worley was the Twins's Opening Day starter, but hasn't pitched like it with his 1-5 record and 7.21 earned run average after getting shelled by the Atlanta Braves.

While Worley is the next in a long line of scapegoats for a rotation that has been brutal for two years running, it shouldn't be the last.

The Twins need to make sure that pitching coach Rick Anderson is next to follow him out the door.

I preached the same idea a season ago, but also credited Anderson by being a key part in the five American League Central championships that the Twins won during the 2000s.

But, the more I think of it today, one question comes to mind:

What exactly has Anderson done?

A lot of people will give him credit with developing Johan Santana into one of baseball's most feared pitchers. The reality is that current bullpen coach Bobby Cuellar developed Santana's changeup at Rochester, and the rest was history after two Cy Young awards and a no-hitter during his time with the New York Mets

Outside of Santana, the Twins have seen several reclamation projects go wrong in a hurry. Veteran free-agent pickups such as SIdney Ponson, Livan Hernandez, and Jason Marquis have arrived as quickly as they were designated for assignment.

Younger pitchers haven't faired much better under Anderson. The biggest example of a young failure turned decent starting pitcher is Kyle Lohse, who infamously charged manager Ron Gardenhire's door with a baseball bat, ran into Dave Duncan during his time in St. Louis and won 16 games with the Cardinals a season ago.

While potential gems such as Lohse have failed in Minnesota, Anderson hasn't done well with his mediocre talent either. Nick Blackburn, Kevin Slowey and Scott Baker all had flashes of success in a Twins uniform, but regressed not long after they reached their short ceiling.

It's time to make a change here. It's possible that Anderson and Gardenhire are the tightest pitching coach/manager combo since Mac Macnally and Billy Heywood, but perhaps both their times have passed and the best situation for the Twins (and themselves) is to move on.

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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