Scott Baker and his tender groin

4 May

baker-rookie-card.jpgI’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about Scott Baker’s groin.

Namely, how is Scott Baker’s groin? Is Scott Baker’s groin tender? Sore? Tight? Achy? In need of a massage? When will his groin recover enough to continue contributing to my overall happiness?

I am, of course, talking about Baker’s continued soreness in his groin, and his potential appearance on the disabled list because of it; and, consequently, who the Twins might turn to for a potential rotation replacement. If we assume Liriano’s return to the ballclub won’t happen for at least another month (fighting tears), and if we believe Slowey isn’t yet at full capacity, who else may be able to step up into the Twins’ rotation? Hernandez, Bonser, Blackburn…and then…? While Brian Bass and Matty Guerrier may be able to slide from the bullpen to the rotation, is there anyone else in the minors that might be in line for a call-up? Let’s take a look.

Brian Duensing (AAA) – 2.75 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 20 Ks/6 walks/36 IP

Not blowing hitters away by any means, but his great command (only 6 walks in his 36 innings) and team-leading WHIP give reason enough to give him a shot in the bigs. Another plus: Duensing’s a lefthander, which would be valuable in the Twins’ righty-dominated rotation.

Glen Perkins (AAA) – 2.97 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 27 Ks/19 walks/33 IP

Perkins’ less-than-stellar WHIP is mostly due to his control issues, but he’s still a top prospect who’s had decent success at the big league level. Perkins doesn’t have a dominating repertoire of pitches (unless he can pick up some bite on his curve he’s without an ‘out’ pitch), but he probably deserves a shot at a rotation slot sometime soon.

Kevin Mulvey (AAA) – 3.82 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 34 Ks/12 walks/33 IP

Mulvey has given up 37 hits thus far, contributing to his fairly ugly WHIP, and thus isn’t a realistic option to be called up just yet. The good news is his strikeout-per-nine-innings ratio is better than average, and at only 23 years old he has some years to improve. I also enjoy the fact that his last name almost rhymes with a part of the female anatomy.

Anthony Swarzak (AA) – 3.30 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 32 Ks/5 walks/30 IP

At 22 years old he’s not a logical option to be called up to the Show just yet, but Swarzak, one of the organization’s top prospects, is more than holding his own at the Twins’ AA affiliate New Britain. I’d like to see him in a Twins uniform soon. His sweet name and past steroid suspension make me think he’s a badass.

Yohan Pino (AA) – 1.80 ERA, .92 WHIP, 18 Ks/4 walks/25 IP

A tall, lanky righthander (he is hilariously listed at 6’3” and 158 pounds), 24-year-old Pino hasn’t been dominating (modest Ks/IP ratio), but he’s got good control and, considering his success at every level of the organization, seems in line for at least a promotion to AAA this season. I don’t expect him to get a call-up to the majors, but his success thus far can’t be ignored.

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