GOOD MORNING PETER ANDERSON is a cat I work with weekdays. He's a producer for FSN and has handled the 11-to-Cloz foxsportsnorth.com webcast of the 'Project since its inception two years ago. And by the way, great time to start the webcast (Twins have finished in last place the last two years). WEALWAYSLOVETHATONE!
Anyoldway, Peter is a very positive, good-natured guy with tremendous work ethic. He walked in studio tjhis morning around 1015 to set up his bit, and after I went to break he said, "Another nice win by your plucky Twins. String some more together and who knows?"
My quick response before walking out of the booth for a few minutes to run down some flirtation was "Not with this pitching staff, honey. Starters are too sketchy, and we need more DEDUNO efforts for that to be plausible."
My retort is true, and even during the three-game winning streak for Minnesota fewer than 5 percent polled would give them a chance to catch the Tigers and win the division. By winning last night, shoot, we just pulled out of last place, sadly our home the last two years. Deduno was terrific, the rock-star bully did its part and they are actually hitting the ball pretty well these days. But from 6 1/2 games back we need a bit, and I think I have the answer.
The starting rotation has given no signs of late it (a) will not kill the bullpen and (b) will string together efforts we saw from Sam last night. Seriously, we are near the bottom of MLB in BAA and even our best innings-eater KEVIN CORREIA gets tagged a bit during his elongated stretches. This bunch has the look all season of a "five-and-fly" quintet.
So, let's find a way to stay relavent with what we have, assuming the hitting improves, and some of these averages and OBP numbers cannot get any worse. When KYLE GIBSON joins the roster let's wheel him out of the bullpen to (a) keep his innings count down and (b) to have a trio in Gibson-BURTON-PERKINS that might be lethal. The starters play the five-and-fly card, we insert Gibson for a couple, then Burton, who is upper echelon at what he does, and hopefully get to Perkins, who has only two blown saves from 13 tries. Burton into Perkins is about as good as you'll find in the game.
Gibson amassed nine saves during his career at Missouri and will make his money as a starter in MLB. But maybe to take stress off his arm and mind we ponder using him from the bullpen to compensate for starters who can be antithetical to clean during the first halves of games. It's not a stupid idea, is it? ROY SMALLEY was in studio today and didn't mind the take, although he disagreed with it.
I know Gibson is a starter by trade and that's where he'll help the most. But if he's not totally ready and if they are going to keep an eye on his pitch count and innings pitched to be safe then let's bring him out of the bullpen. We can keep these suckers close through five, then while the adversary is dealing with a pitcher seeing a lineup for a third time or some no-name slappy entering because their guy was five-and-fly, we come in with Kyle Freaking Gibson! Kyle for two, hit the ball and makes some plays, Burton for one and Perkins to close you down.