Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Starting Rotation

I'm writing this at 2 o'clock Mountain Time, just after the completion of the Twins loss to the Orioles and before anything has been posted on the Strib or the Twins website about who is going to start tomorrow. While Boof Bonser is in line to get that start, that might not happen. Here are my thoughts on the two most likely ways that the Twins could set up the rotation for the start of the season.

Option #1: Santana, Ortiz, Ponson, Bonser, Silva/Garza
This is a slightly convoluted option, but may end up being the one the Twins go with. Ramon Ortiz has (with one notable exception) been pretty this spring, and will be in either the second or third spot when the season starts. He's currently slotted into the 3rd spot, meaning that in order to get him into the #2 spot he would have to make a start on just 3 days rest. The best way to do that would be to have him start on Thursday, one day before his next scheduled start, so that he could pitch the second game of the season on full rest.

Ponson just pitched today, so in order to slot him into the third spot he, like Ortiz, would have to go on just 3 days rest for his last spring start, and would be asked to go on Friday. That would allow him to start against the Orioles in the third game of the year on full rest.

If Boof is asked to start in the fourth spot, he could start tomorrow and then either start in the last spring game on Saturday (on 3 days rest), or not get another start this spring after tomorrow. Having him in the fourth spot would allow him to start against the White Sox in the Twins road opener, and I would mind that much.

In this scenario, the Twins would probably bring a minor leaguer into camp to start tomorrow's game, and then rely on relievers to go about 5-6 innings.

Option #2: Santana, Bonser, Ortiz, Ponson, Silva/Garza
This option would also leave the Twins without a logical starter for tomorrow, because Boof Bonser would have his start pushed back two days to start on Thursday, which would slot him in to start the second game of the season. Ramon Ortiz would pitch on Friday, where he's already scheduled, and Sidney Ponson would start on Saturday, where he's already scheduled. As a result, this option really just means that the Twins would have to find a starter for tomorrow and then skip Silva's spot through the rest of Spring Training. It's probably the easiest to implement, and matches Ron Gardenhire's thoughts on where Bonser deserves to be. Under this scenario, Santana, Bonser, and Ortiz would pitch against the Orioles, and Ponson, Santana, and Bonser would go against the White Sox. Ortiz, Silva, and Ponson would then go against the Yankees (a rather scary thought).

If Bonser starts tomorrow, as he's currently scheduled to do, then things become more difficult, although the Twins could still have Bonser start in the second game of the season (albeit on about 7 days rest).

I'm not sure which option I prefer, but as I see it, we'll see one of these two setups when the Twins start the season. We should know which one the Twins choose in the next few hours.

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