Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/21/12
Mlb_twins_vs_4a6a

Through most of Ron Gardenhire's tenure as manager, the Minnesota Twins have won with a consistent set of starting pitchers who have been remarkably good at avoiding injuries. The Twins have used 10 or more starting pitchers in a season just twice since 2002, and in both of those seasons -- 2006 and 2009 -- they gave a handful of starts to September call-ups.

This season, though, has been like little else the Twins have experienced since Gardenhire succeeded Tom Kelly.

Scott Baker, who was supposed to start the home opener, is out for the season after having Tommy John surgery.

Carl Pavano, who started on Opening Day, is working with a soft tissue specialist to overcome a sore shoulder.

Nick Blackburn is on the disabled list with a strained left quadriceps.

Francisco Liriano's confidence is so low that the Twins moved him to the bullpen to try to straighten him out after an erratic start to the season.

And Jason Marquis, who was signed to a one-year, $3 million deal in December to bring some stability to the rotation, has fared that his spot in the rotation -- and on the roster -- was in jeopardy.

It's all helped the door to the Twins' rotation revolve like never before in Gardenhire's time as manager. Minnesota has already used eight different starters in the first 41 games of the season, and it could introduce a ninth later in the week as a replacement for Marquis. Pitching coach Rick Anderson, who has been with Gardenhire the entire time, said in a St. Paul Pioneer Press story that this year has already been his toughest with the team.

"Hopefully we can get some kind of thing going," Anderson said. "The No. 1 thing is health."

Where the Twins will get consistency in their rotation remains to be seen, though. Their two best pitchers have been left-hander Scott Diamond and right-hander P.J. Walters, who have made three and two starts, respectively, in the majors after being called up from Triple-A Rochester. Liam Hendriks has pitched well at Rochester after struggling in three major league starts to begin the year, and Cole DeVries had several impressive starts in Triple-A, as well.

However, the Twins could have four starting pitchers from Rochester in their rotation by the end of the week, with Blackburn on the DL and Marquis possibly on his way out. The organization's best prospect, Kyle Gibson, is still working his way back from Tommy John surgery, and 2010 first-rounder Alex Wimmers is also out with an elbow injury.

Those two injuries have made the Twins' long-term outlook even muddier. Pavano and Liriano are both free agents after the year, and it seems unlikely the team will pick up its $9.25 million option for 2013 on Baker, considering the rehab he is facing.

The Twins won six AL Central championships from 2002-10 with strong pitching and defense, but they've got the worst record in the majors, and their rotation's ERA is the worst in baseball by more than a full run. It's been a long time since things have been this unsettled in Minnesota.

"Everything starts with starting pitching," general manager Terry Ryan said. "When you've got starting pitching, you've got a chance every night. And unfortunately, we've struggled."

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Seahawks’ Frank Clark rips Cam Newton ‘that boy a b—‘

Report: Tom Thibodeau has 'always wanted' Knicks job

Report: Luke Walton will not consider coaching offers until offseason

Budweiser: Peyton Manning not paid for Super Bowl beer plug

Archie Manning: 'I think Peyton's done in Denver'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Donald Trump: I told Tom Brady not to endorse me for President

Marshawn Lynch: Complicated and talented NFL anti-hero

Hue Jackson lets Manziel and ex know they aren’t alone

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

Tyronn Lue faces backlash for Cavs record since Blatt’s firing

Report: LeSean McCoy assaulted off duty Philly police officers

Attorney alleges Johnny Manziel ruptured ex-girlfriend's eardrum

Jeanie Buss may clean house in Lakers’ front office

Lisa Ann wants to reward Emmanuel Sanders for Super Bowl win

WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan to announce retirement

Nine best and worst players from 2015 NFL playoffs

Rodman wants Phil Jackson to know he’s ready to coach Knicks

Wade Phillips trolls Cam Newton with dabbing tweet

Top defensive performances in Super Bowl history

FBI questions Jeremy Shockey about drug and gambling ring

Coldplay drummer thought Johnny Football was real name

Ranking every game from 2015 NFL Playoffs

PHOTO: Panthers LB shows gruesome arm injury after SB

Patriots, Panthers early Super Bowl 51 favorites

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker