The Minnesota Twins starting rotation has been a work in progress all
along. The picture got even murkier (or clearer, depending on how you
consider it) yesterday, when the team disclosed that Nick Blackburn will
undergo surgery on his right (throwing) wrist Wednesday at the Mayo Clinic.
Blackburn, who will turn 31 in February,
has struggled with pain in his wrist since 2011. He even underwent
surgery following that campaign to free an entrapped nerve. However, the
pain returned last season, causing Blackburn
to hurl a career low 98 innings, and ultimately be sent to AAA ball and
removed from the Twins 40-man roster.
The native of Ada, Oklahoma
has been with Minnesota
his entire career. He has compiled a won-lost record of 43-55,
winning in double digits three consecutive seasons.
The Minneapolis'Star Tribunes' La Velle E. Neal III reports that the 6'4", 240 lb. starter
will be in a cast for six weeks following the surgery before he can begin
rehab. Once he is cleared to throw, he will need several weeks to get his arm
in shape. This is already the second surgery for Blackburn
since the close of 2012...He had a bone chip removed from his elbow in
October. Uncomfortably familiar to the knife, Nick has also had bone
spurs removed from his elbow following the 2010 season.
The Twins are already hoping for Mike Pelfrey and Rich Harden, both
off-season acquisitions, and both trying to return from arm injuries, to be a
part of their 2013 rotation. The competition for spots may have just thinned
out, but finding enough healthy arms to fill out a starting staff may still be
the Twins biggest challenge.
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