User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
In Twins rotation, experience, competition is up

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - With 195 losses over the last two years, the Minnesota Twins have a lot to fix. Starting pitching is on top of the list, and revamping the rotation might be the most complicated repair in the majors.

Advertisement
The Twins focused on the future by trading not one but two center fielders to acquire a couple of potential aces, but they also had a 2013 rotation to address. So they began, naturally, by increasing the competition.

None of the new guys were hot-stove headliners, but they're banking on at least more consistency that Kevin Correia, Mike Pelfrey and Vance Worley can bring to a group whose 5.40 ERA was the worst in the AL last season. Scott Diamond is the only one of 12 pitchers who took at least five turns in the rotation last year who has been guaranteed a place this season.

``I kind of read a little about how they don't think Correia or I were sexy pick-ups, I guess because we don't really strike a lot of guys out,'' Pelfrey said on Saturday at the team's annual fan festival. ``Any way you want to look at it, whether it's a groundout or strikeout, as long as you're getting people out, we'll take it.''

Pelfrey added: ``I think we can get this thing turned around and get a lot more consistency in keeping them in ballgames. From my understanding, this offense is going to put up some runs.''

Correia lost his spot in Pittsburgh's rotation last year, but he has won an average of almost 12 games over the last four seasons.

Pelfrey went 15-9 with a 3.66 ERA for the New York Mets in 2010, but he's coming off elbow reconstruction surgery and made only three starts last year. He said he'll be ready to throw at full speed when spring training begins on Feb. 13.

Worley has only 46 career starts, all with Philadelphia, but he went 17-13 with a 3.56 ERA over those appearances.

All of those statistics, of course, were in the National League. They'll have to face a regular diet of designated hitters now.

``It's a different offensive league than it is over there. There's a lot of stuff that doesn't happen in that league when you've got nine guys whacking away. So it's different. But if you can pitch, you can pitch,'' manager Ron Gardenhire said.

The Twins signed Pelfrey for $4 million, a modest sum in today's market for starting pitching. They gave a two-year, $10 million contract to Correia, a 32-year-old who struck out only 89 batters in 171 innings last season.

``I've been fairly healthy my entire career, so I pride myself on staying on the field and trying to help us win most of the times I go up there,'' Correia said. ``I think if you can do that throughout the season, you can have a productive year and help the team win.''

The Twins arguably invested the most in Worley by trading Ben Revere, a potential Gold Glove outfielder who stole a team-high 40 bases last year in only 124 games. Worley, whose picked up the nickname ``Vanimal'' for his work ethic in the weight room in college at Long Beach State, will have the benefit of pitching at spacious Target Field instead of tight Citizens Bank Park.

``In Philadelphia, it was tough pitching there because the ball really flew. And here I know I've got a pitcher's park to work with. I'm not going to be afraid to throw the ball in the strike zone. I'm not afraid anyway, but at least now I know don't have to look and see it go 20 seats deep,'' Worley said. ``Now it's going to be just a regular popup.''

That leaves holdovers Nick Blackburn, Cole De Vries, Samuel Deduno, Liam Hendriks, Esmerling Vasquez and P.J. Walters auditioning for probably one available spot. Top prospect Kyle Gibson also is in the mix, but he's coming off elbow ligament-replacement surgery that sidelined him for most of 2012. Rich Harden, once a rising star with Oakland only to be hit by injury after injury, was signed to a minor-league contract. Brian Duensing will probably be in the bullpen.

``I know I don't have a guaranteed spot. I don't think I deserve one. It's my job to try and win one,'' said De Vries, who went 5-5 with a 4.11 ERA.

Said Walters: ``We had tons of guys here last year, and the only guy who got called up ahead of me who started was Diamond. He's already there, so my job is to go take his job this year. However I have to do that and go out and pitch well, that's all I can do.''

---

Follow Dave Campbell on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DaveCampbellAP

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Rogers: Tuesday's Tip Sheet
News: MVP and Cy Young Odds
Iskoe: Daily Pitchers Report
Reds' Bruce goes on bereavement list
Orioles VP seeks pitching depth
Road woes continue for Rockies
Stacked farm system offers Cubs hope
Archer: 'Never saw Aaron flip his bat'
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
MLB Pro Baseball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
MLB Hot Streaks
18-8 L26 Guarantees, +7,887 TY
12-3 L5 Days, 14-6 L20 Totals
15-5 L20 Totals, +2,757 This Year
4-1 L5 G-Plays, +2,223 This Year
5-1 L6 Guarantees, 7-1 L8 Totals
6-3 L9 Over/Unders, +2,219 TY
7-3 +433 L10, +2,088 This Year
17-6 L23 G-Plays, +1,675 TY
7-2 L3 Days, 23-10 L33 Streak
5-1 L6 G-Plays, 14-8 +629 L7 Days
2-0 Y'day, 23-12 +1,402 L35 Run
6-2, +449 L8 Guaranteed Plays
MLB Pro Baseball Expert Sports Picks - Antony Dinero
2014 MLB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 7887
Bruce Marshall + 2757
The Gold Sheet + 2242
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 3417
James Manos + 2587
Dave Cokin + 1531
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 2289
Matt Zylbert + 1774
Tony Stoffo + 1574
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 1348
Doc's Sports + 1037
Kyle Hunter + 776
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 3489
Kevin Rogers + 1504
Mike Rose + 1443
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mike Rose + 2422
Bruce Marshall + 1146
The Gold Sheet + 1024
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!