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Blackburn Impressive

Only a superior Liriano start on Friday may keep Blackburn from rotation.

Nick Blackburn turned in five solid innings in Thursday afternoon's defeat to the Reds, allowing three hits and walking two while striking out four.  Cincinnati's only damage against him came in the fourth inning, when following back-to-back singles Brandon Phillips scored on a double play.  Unfortunately the Minnesota offense was unable to muster any runs off Reds starter Bronson Arroyo and Blackburn was charged with the loss.

While Blackburn's future likely lies in the bullpen due to his lack of over-whelming "stuff", his performance this spring has all but assured him of at least a few rounds in the Twins starting rotation.  Of course the lack of incumbents has helped his cause, but that shouldn't take away from what he's accomplished over the course of the last few weeks.  He's beaten out Glen Perkins and Phil Humber, and unless Francisco Liriano does something spectacular tomorrow he'll have at least a temporary edge over him as well.

Most things have been decided, at least on an immediate basis.  We have a center fielder, a backup infielder besides Nick Punto, and four starters in the rotation.  The final decision, between Blackburn and Liriano, will likely be made after tomorrow afternoon's game.

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