Minnesota Twins Face a Difficult Decision

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The Minnesota Twins will be facing a difficult decision when Ervin Santana returns from his 80 game suspension. Santana is scheduled to make his first start July 5 against the Kansas City Royals. Who will Santana replace in the rotation is the question.

The answer won’t be an easy one as each pitcher has performed well. The starting rotation has combined for a 3.87 earned run average, which is fourth best in the American League.

This will be a difficult decision for first year manager, Paul Molitor to make. But, it’s a good problem to have. What are Molitor’s options?

Molitor could make room for Santana by moving left-hander Tommy Milone to the bullpen. But, with the way Milone has pitched since being recalled from Triple-A it might not be the smartest move. Milone has recorded four straight quality starts and hasn’t given up more than two runs in any of those starts. In his last start against the Brewers, Milone pitched six innings and gave up two hits, no runs and recorded seven strikeouts. The Twins could look to trade Milone. His stock could be high and a team looking for a quality left-handed starting pitcher could bite.

If Trevor May has another short outing he could be a candidate to move to the bullpen. May recorded just one out in his last start and gave up five runs before exiting. The rookie pitcher has had an up and down season, much like the rest of the starters in the Twins rotation.

Trading Mike Pelfrey is the scenario the Twins should try to pursue. How much longer can a Pelfrey continue to perform like an “ace”? Pelfrey owns a 60-75 career record with a 4.50 earned run average.

Pelfrey is 5-5 with a 3.81 earned run average this season, but the wheels are starting to come off. In two of his last four starts Pelfrey failed to pitch more than 3.2 innings and has given up 20 earned runs in his last four starts. They may not be able to get much in return for Pelfrey, but a team looking for a veteran pitcher could be intrigued.

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