Like any other team, the Minnesota Twins have had to get by with injuries in the roster. But, once the injured players recover and plan to return, who should stay and who should sit out?
Samuel Deduno v. Mike Pelfrey
Samuel Deduno started out the season as a reliever in the bullpen, but has recently moved into the starting rotation after Mike Pelfrey suffered a groin injury that put him on the 15-day disabled list. Before his injury, Pelfrey went 0-3 in five starts and acquired a 7.99 ERA. In 23.2 innings of work, Pelfrey gave up 29 hits and 23 runs, 21 of which were earned and five being home runs.
Deduno has appeared in 10 games total, and has started three since he was called in to the five-man rotation. With a 1-2 record, Deduno has half of Pelfrey’s ERA, as he currently sits at 3.53. In 35.2 innings of work, Deduno has given up 34 hits and 15 runs, 14 of which were earned and only one of them being a home run.
Pelfrey was sent on Triple-A rehab assignment on Friday and is expected back in the lineup later this month once his rehab is completed.
Once Pelfrey does return to the active roster, I feel that it may be for the best for him to spend time in the bullpen before returning to his old position. Before his injury, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and pitching coach Rick Anderson had contemplated pulling Pelfrey out of the rotation so that his pitching could become more controllable. With Deduno performing better in the rotation and staying healthy as he is, I’m sure the Twins will not make any quick moves to pull him out of the starting position when Pelfrey becomes available. As of right now, all we can do is wait and see.
Josh Willingham v. Outfield
Josh Willingham fractured his left wrist after being hit by a pitch in early April and has been on the disabled list ever since. Willingham was sent on Triple-A rehab assignment on Friday and is possibly expected back later this month.
In the six games before Willingham was injured, he brought in five hits for the Twins, one of them being a double and one producing an RBI.
Overall, there isn’t any outfielder who stands out from the pack. Jason Kubel may be the best man to fit that description, as he currently sits at .262/.340/.349 after 126 at-bat opportunities. He is the only one who has more than 100 at-bats and has the most RBIs among the outfielders at 13 as well as hits at 33. Chris Parmalee holds the highest batting average at .276, as well as the most homers among the outfielders at two on the season. Additionally, Sam Fuld and Kubel are tied at six doubles on the season.
Of course, Willingham will need the time to work up to where he used to be, but I don’t think he’ll have a problem getting his position back in the outfield as well as finding his position in the starting lineup again. With the numbers the rest of the outfield is producing, I don’t think Willingha will have a problem catching up once he returns to active play.
In the end, the Twins coaching staff will have a few decisions to make once some players become available again. Once the players return, all anyone can do is wait and see what happens.