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- Nick Blackburn
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By The Sports Xchange January 15, 2013 1:50 AM
Nothing is going right for Nick Blackburn these days. The Minnesota Twins right-hander pitched so poorly last season, he not only was sent to the minors, but he also was removed from the team's 40-man roster. In October, he had a bone chip surgically removed from his right elbow. On Monday, the Twins announced that Blackburn needs another operation. He'll have right wrist surgery Wednesday, and he likely won't be ready to pitch at the start of the upcoming season. Blackburn's wrist operation will be performed at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. The wrist will be in a cast for six weeks, meaning Blackburn won't be ready to throw at the start of spring training. Despite his 2012 struggles, Blackburn was viewed as a potential starting pitcher in 2013, in part due to his salary. He'll make a guaranteed $5.5 million this year in the last season of a four-year, $14 million extension he signed before the 2010 season. Since the deal kicked in, he is 21-31 with a 5.56 ERA in 73 games (71 starts). Last year, Blackburn went 4-9 with a 7.39 ERA in 19 starts. He went 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA in seven starts for Triple-A Rochester after his demotion. Blackburn was to receive a non-roster invitation to spring training, but the wrist surgery will take him out of the running for a rotation spot.