Who Takes Kyle Gibson's Place in the Twins Rotation?

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Twins are once again in need of another starting pitcher. Who are the candidates to get the call?

Getting optioned to Triple-A was the right thing to do for Kyle Gibson, who will either throw one or two more starts with the Red Wings or be shut down for the season. With 93 innings in Rochester earlier this season and 51 innings with the Twins through this afternoon, he's logged 144 innings on an arm that the Twins and Terry Ryan said would be limited to 130 to 150 innings.

But in Minnesota, the Twins are once again looking for a fifth starting pitcher. Gibson's absence leaves a rotation of Samuel Deduno, Mike Pelfrey, Kevin Correia, and Andrew Albers.

Starting pitchers on the 40-man roster who aren't in Minnesota include Vance Worley, Scott Diamond, Liam Hendriks, Cole De Vries, and Pedro Hernandez. With Worley on the 7-day disabled list, De Vries in Double-A, and Hernandez pitching himself out of a role earlier in the season, it seems the two most likely options are Diamond and Hendriks.

Scott Diamond has made a trio of starts for the Red Wings, throwing 20 innings - including a complete game, five-hit shutout. His nine strikeouts aren't impressive but are what can be expected, and he's also done well limiting his walks (five) and by completely blanking left-handed hitters so far. He last pitched on Saturday, but instead of waiting for Gibson's spot to come up again in the rotation and keeping him on a couple of extra days' rest, the Twins could slot him in on Thursday or Friday and push the incumbents back just one day each.

Liam Hendriks, the right-handed option, has now made 15 starts for the Red Wings this season and is sporting a bloated 5.08 ERA. It hasn't been a good year for Henriks so far, which is disappointing following the success he's had at Triple-A in the past, but it's also an indicator of why he hasn't yet been able to make the transition to the Majors. He's been better lately, logging six quality starts in his last ten outings.

Hendriks is scheduled to start for the Red Wings tonight. While the Twins could pull him and send him to Minnesota, Hendriks could still make his scheduled appearance for Rochester and then slot neatly into Gibson's spot in the rotation this weekend.

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