Minnesota Twins’ RHP Nick Blackburn will miss the beginning of the season as he recovers from wrist surgery. Rhett Bollinger, mlb.com beat writer, tweeted early this week that Blackburn will undergo surgery on Wednesday, January 16:
CORRECTION: Nick Blackburn will have arthroscopic surgery on his right wrist Wednesday at the Mayo Clinic. In a cast for six weeks. #MNTwins
— Rhett Bollinger (@RhettBollinger) January 14, 2013
Six weeks from Wednesday is February 27, just over two weeks into spring training. His physical therapy won’t start until after the cast is off. Blackburn is not currently on the Twins’ 40-man roster and, presumably, he hoped to earn his way back onto it during Spring Training as the fifth starter in the rotation. Blackburn ended the 2013 season in Triple-A Rochester after posting a major league 7.39 ERA. The Twins owe him $5.5 million in 2014, regardless of where he plays.
I for one had quite enough of Blackburn last year, and I’m more than happy to let one of the other candidates take that rotation spot. My money is on Kyle Gibson, although I could see Cole De Vries starting the year in the #5 spot before Gibson is called up. I do, however, wish Blackburn a speedy recovery. Just like the injured Francisco Liriano, I wish him all the success he can possibly have on some other team…except if he pitches against the Twins.