Found July 07, 2012 on Fox Sports North:
Starting pitching has easily been the most inconsistent aspect for the Minnesota Twins in the first half of the 2012 season. For proof, look no further than Saturday's game against the Texas Rangers. Right-hander Samuel Deduno, who made his Twins debut Saturday, became Minnesota's 11th starting pitcher in 84 games this year. Deduno was called up from Triple-A Rochester earlier this week when the Twins sent struggling right-hander Nick Blackburn down to the minors. In 13 starts, second-most among all Minnesota pitchers this season, Blackburn was 4-5 with an 8.10 ERA. Saturday marked Deduno's first career major league start, but not his MLB debut -- he previously pitched in six total games with Colorado and San Diego over the past two seasons. Deduno exited Saturday's game after 5-13 innings and did not earn a decision in the Rangers' 4-3, 10-inning victory in Arlington. The 29-year-old Deduno was 1-2 with a 2.14 ERA in nine starts for Rochester this season before his promotion. That included 46 strikeouts and 22 walks in 42 innings. He allowed just three earned runs in five combined starts in June and July prior to his call-up. Deduno's debut began about as well as it possible could -- the first pitch he threw was put in play for an out, as Texas' Ian Kinsler popped out to second on the first offering from Deduno. But things didn't remain that easy for Deduno against a tough Rangers lineup that on Saturday included four All-Stars. Deduno was spotted a 2-0 lead by the Twins offense in the top of the second inning, but he gave a run back in the bottom half of the inning. After Adrian Beltre led off the inning with a single to left field, he then took second on a wild pitch. Nelson Cruz followed with a double to center that scored Beltre from second to cut Minnesota's lead to 2-1. Deduno gave up the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning on the third pitch to Josh Hamilton, who took Deduno deep to left field for an opposite field solo homer to tie the game at 2-2. Deduno helped his own cause defensively as he was a part of two double plays on balls hit back to the mound. He was also involved in a play at the plate after a wild pitch got away from catcher Joe Mauer, who threw to Deduno to tag Cruz at the plate for the third out of the second inning after Cruz tried to score from third on the wild pitch. Minnesota's Josh Willingham gave Deduno a one-run lead to work with in the sixth inning as his solo homer off Rangers starter Derek Holland made it a 3-2 Twins advantage. But Deduno gave the lead right back in the bottom of the inning as Beltre took him deep to left for a solo blast. That shot ended Deduno's first career major league start, as he left after giving up three runs on six hits in 5-13 innings. Deduno finished with three strikeouts and three walks and also gave up a pair of solo homers in his Twins debut. Minnesota was surely hoping Deduno could go a bit deeper into Saturday's game to help preserve the bullpen, but with the All-Star break beginning after Sunday's series finale, the Twins could afford a bit of a shorter start from Deduno. It remains to be seen how long Deduno will remain on the major league roster. He's not the first pitcher to be juggled between Rochester and Minnesota -- Cole De Vries and Liam Hendriks have both been up and down several times -- and he probably won't be the last by the time the 2012 season is finished. Follow Tyler Mason on Twitter.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES
DOZING OFF

Dozier loses track of outs, gets doubled off

Minnesota Twins shortstop Brian Dozier lost track of the number of outs and got himself doubled off first base during Saturday's game in Arlington against the Texas Rangers. Your browser does not support iframes. In the top of the second with one out and Dozier on first, Twins batter Jamey Carroll flied out to Rangers center fielder Craig Gentry. However, since Dozier ran...

Twins know they can climb out of 11-game deficit

The Minnesota Twins pull into the All-Star break playing reasonably good baseball and within spitting distance of first-place Chicago in the AL Central, 11 games out with roughly half a season left. The fact that they have rallied from such a deficit in recent memory bolsters confidence of a team digging itself out of a 6-16 April. "We dug ourselves a pretty deep hole,...

Francisco Liriano Has Stayed Down

When Francisco Liriano shut down the Athletics in his return to the starting rotation, many dismissed it as just one start, and one against the Athletics at that. Instead, Liriano has taken that start and ran with it, and six starts later he looks reborn. There could hardly be a bigger difference between Liriano’s first five starts and his last seven: First five starts: 26.2 IP...

Twins' Liriano enjoys return to form in Texas

Next Tuesday's All-Star Game, in essence, will serve as one grand talent show for the Texas Rangers. An eye-opening eight Rangers will represent their squad in the Midsummer Classic. Yet, Friday night in Arlington, the Twins' starting pitcher outshone every Ranger he encountered. Francisco Liriano flashed back to his 2006 all-star form at times, spurring a 5-1 Twins victory...

Improved form boosts Liriano's trade value

Francisco Liriano is pitching better than he has in a long time, and it might just get him traded. Though the Minnesota Twins are on a roll of sorts, winners of six of eight after beating the Rangers 5-1 Friday in Texas, they don't have the rotation to make it sustainable. In last place all season, they're throwing rookies at the Rangers on Saturday and Sunday, and Minnesota...

Starting pitching must improve in second half

After a forgettable 99-loss season in 2011, the Minnesota Twins have again stumbled in the first half of the 2012 season. After Sunday's 13-inning loss to the Texas Rangers, the Twins are now 36-49 and 11 games out of first place heading into next week's All-Star break. Through 85 games last year, Minnesota was 38-47 and eight games out of first place. If the Twins are to...

Twins thunderstruck, hit the deck in Texas

A potentially scary scene turned comical Sunday at the Ballpark in Arlington as the Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers completed their three-game series. With one out in the top of the fourth inning of a scoreless game, lightning struck near the Rangers' park and was quickly followed by a loud clap of thunder. The noise was so loud that it caused a delay in the action. Twins...

De Vries' start gets Gardenhire's attention

By the time Sunday's 13-inning game between the Twins and Rangers was over, Cole De Vries' impressive start was all but forgotten. Still, that doesn't take away from the outing the right-hander put together for Minnesota.In just his fifth career major league start, De Vries delivered his best outing as a Twin. The Eden Prairie, Minn., native and former Golden Gopher held...

Twins 5, Rangers 1

Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau drove in two runs each, Francisco Liriano pitched around six walks and the Minnesota Twins handed the Texas Rangers their season-high fifth straight loss with a 5-1 win Friday night. Liriano (3-7) allowed five hits and one run with six strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings, and the Rangers scored two runs or fewer for the fourth time in five games. The Twins...

Rangers skid hits 5 in opener with Twins

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau drove in two runs each, Francisco Liriano pitched around six walks and the Minnesota Twins handed the Texas Rangers their season-high fifth straight loss with a 5-1 win Friday night. Liriano (3-7) allowed five hits and one run with six strikeouts in 6 23 innings, and the Rangers scored two runs or fewer for the fourth time in...

Twins' bullpen can't hold off Rangers in extras

Minnesota used six pitchers to again subdue the Texas Rangers' offense for nine innings Saturday night. Unfortunately for the Twins, they couldn't do it in extra innings. Nelson Cruz hit an RBI double off reliever Kyle Waldrop (0-1) in the 10th inning that scored Adrian Beltre to lead the Rangers to a 4-3 victory that snapped their five-game losing streak. ''Cruz...

Twins throw newcomer Deduno into the fire

By JEFF MEZYDLO, STATS Senior WriterA season-high five-game losing streak might not be the only major concern facing the Texas Rangers.Back spasms could keep slugger Josh Hamilton out of the lineup Saturday night when the AL West-leading Rangers look to get back on track against the visiting Minnesota Twins.The leading vote-getter for next week's All-Star game, Hamilton is considered...

Loud Thunder Scares The Crap Out Of The Twins And Rangers

I don’t think I ever heard thunder this loud before. The Texas Rangers were hosting the Minnesota Twins when out of nowhere a loud smack of thunder quickly sent the players running off the field. This would be a lot funnier except I would’ve reacted like the Twins player on first base who ended up on all fours.

Notable First-Half Stories

Trevor Plouffe as a Poor-Man's Jose Bautista Plouffe was hitting .138 on May 15, and since then has hit 18 home runs, giving him 19 on the year. He qualifies at shortstop, among other places and has an .873 OPS despite the slow start. In 192 Triple-A at-bats in 2010, Plouffe had a 1.019 OPS with 15 HR, so the power surge wasn't entirely out of nowhere. Even last year...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.