All Five Twins Starters Are Gone! 23 Aug 12

Photos and Stories by Gordy Jones
All Five Twins Starters Are Gone!

Carl Pavano, who has been on the disabled list for most of the season, is out for the year.

When Nick Blackburn was sent to Triple-A Rochester last week, he was the final pitcher of the original 2012 Twins starters to leave the squad. Scott Baker had season-ending surgery even before the season began. Jason Marquis failed early for the Twins and was released. Francisco Liriano was inconsistent. He threw a few good games, but was overall unreliable, so they traded him. Carl Pavano has had inflammation in his shoulder and was unable to throw for most of this season. He has now been diagnosed as having a bone bruise and is out for the year. Nick Blackburn has had injuries and a lack of confidence; his best pitches weren’t working anymore. I think the statements he made after a recent loss finally convinced the Twins that they should send him packing, and on a permanent trip with his pal, the disappointing Japanese hope, Tsuyoshi Nishioka.

I was accurate in my prediction when I said that Josh Willingham would hit more than 25 home runs this year.

I’m one who’ll admit when I’ve made a mistake, and early this season I made some beauties. I think I was caught up in the magic of spring training and the beginning of a new season. After a dismal 2011, I had such great hope that the Twins would find a new beginning this season. I never saw any of these injuries or failures coming…but I’m in good company because neither did any of the Twins’ experts. I even thought Matt Capps would rebound and shine this year. I was wrong about the future of several position players as well. I thought Luke Hughes would rise to stardom this year. I never thought he’d be released by midseason.

Before the season, I also thought that Danny Valencia would have a “career” year. On the contrary, he had a terrible year. Then last week I talked about how Danny walked a fine line between confidence and cockiness. I went on to say he always treated me fairly…and that if you can’t play at big-league level, your gone, whether you’re a prince or a bad guy. But then I screwed up: I said I thought he would make a comeback. I mentioned how a Boston infielder’s misfortune of an injury was

Scott Diamond has been the best surprise of the 2012 season.

Danny’s big break, when he was promoted to the Red Sox right after he reported to Triple-A Pawtucket. Since then, he’s already been demoted back to Pawtucket.

I was correct in a few predictions and observations:

I wrote that Jamey Carroll would be a solid infielder, that he was quick and wiry, and that he played like he was 28 rather than 38.

After meeting Josh Willingham at spring training I was pretty sure he’d be a nice fit here. After watching him hit, I wrote that he’d hit more than 25 homers.

Before the season, I wrote that Trevor Plouffe would find a spot on the “big” club. I also said that he had power, and that he might have a nice streak of home runs this season. That came true, but his streak ended when he injured his thumb, although I think he’ll hit a few more this year. I never dreamed he’d hit into a triple play this year, though.

I love the nice surprises! Pedro Florimon, Darin Mastroianni, Cole De Vries, and Scott

Ben Revere has had a great year both offensively and defensively.

Diamond have been great, and Ben Revere has come into his own — on both offense and defense.

It will be fun to watch the Minor Leaguers play up here once their season is over, and the Twins’ roster expands to 40. The way things are going, one of these kids could be next year’s sensation. And hopefully, we will have some new “proven” veterans on the team by next spring to help the Twins get back into the playoff mix.

There’s still plenty of baseball left this year; we could be spoilers, and there are still some fun Twins charity events to come. But I’ve already bought my ticket for spring training in Florida, and my mind is on 2013.