Mike Pelfrey vs Max Scherzer; Kyle Gibson's Impressive Saturday

Leon Halip

Jesse previews today's pitchers and extols the virtues of Kyle Gibson's talents.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Mike Pelfrey 3-4 9 9 0 0 0 0 40.1 61 32 30 4 12 19 6.69 1.81

As far as Mike Pelfrey is concerned, he may as well be pitching for his job this afternoon. This week the Twins have already swapped out Pedro Hernandez and Vance Worley, both of whom had proven that they had too much trouble getting outs. Pelfrey hasn't been as bad as Worley, but he's been worse than Hernandez, which more or less puts him in line for the next coach to Rochester.

The only thing standing in his way, and what differentiates him from Worley and Hernandez, is that Pelfrey was brought in as a free agent and doesn't have options remaining. If the Twins want to try sending him to Triple-A they'll need to designate him for assignment. They need to be so comfortable in their decision to get him out of the rotation that the risk of losing him to another club is a price they're willing to pay.

Kenny Rogers was the last free agent starting pitcher that the Twins signed who made it through an entire season. That was in 2003. Kevin Correia might turn that around, but Pelfrey, like Jason Marquis, Ramon Ortiz, Sidney Ponson, and Livan Hernandez before him, is at a turning point. He needs to string together a series of good starts or he could lose his job. A good job today guarantees nothing; it's only the first step in restoring any kind of faith in his ability to keep his club in the game.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Max Scherzer 6-0 9 9 0 0 0 0 62.1 44 26 25 5 13 75 3.61 .91

Scherzer is off to the best start of his career. He's been the Ace of a very strong Tigers pitching staff this season, and already has one Twins ass kicking in his rear view mirror: on April 29 he struck out 10 Twins in 7.1 innings while allowing three runs.

The good news is that Josh Willingham (1.017 OPS, 18 at-bats), Joe Mauer (.853, 23) and Justin Morneau (1.683, 13) all have a good history against Scherzer. If they can have similar success today, hopefully they can get some assistance from the rest of the lineup and the Twins can come away with a surprise win and a series split in Detroit.

Kyle Gibson Wants a Job

Following up a three-hit shutout is never going to be easy, but Gibson made a valiant effort of it on Saturday. The Charlotte Knights only managed two hits in eight innings, and didn't even get a sniff of a run.

That next hole to be filled in the Twins rotation is easy to see. Scott Diamond and Kevin Correia have had their issues recently, but strong bodies of work earlier in the year make them the least of the Major League rotation's issues. Mike Pelfrey has that dubious honor, and Gibson is making Pelfrey's sub-par performances harder to ignore. Twins brass has asked for consistency from Gibson before his promotion, and coming off of a nine-inning shutout and an eight inning shutout is getting harder to ignore. The 25-year old pitcher is very close to forcing the Twins' hand.

In addition to the two hits Gibson allowed, he struck out seven and walked three. On the season Gibson owns a 2.82 ERA ERA in 60.2 innings and ten starts, having struck out 53, walked 17 and allowed just 48 hits.

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