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On the mound, everybody done gone backwards

The Twins entered the season with a young, somewhat inexperienced - but potentially very good - starting rotation.  The hope seemed to be that those five pitchers - Scott Baker, Francisco Liriano, Nick Blackburn, Kevin Slowey, and Glen Perkins - would mature and turn into a staff to be reckoned with (and all for cheap, too!)

As Carl Pavano could tell you, things haven't exactly gone according to plan.

A few ERA and Fielding Independent Pitching numbers, just for comparison:

2008 2009
ERA FIP ERA FIP
Scott Baker 3.45 3.85 4.59 4.20
Francisco Liriano 3.91 3.93 5.63 4.90
Nick Blackburn 4.05 4.44 3.79 4.28
Kevin Slowey 3.99 3.98 4.86 4.32
Glen Perkins 4.41 5.24 5.89 4.76

 

What those numbers indicate: Blackburn's improved slightly, Baker and Slowey have gone backwards, Perkins was never very good to begin with, and Liriano's so far backwards that he can't even be said to still be in the race.

That young, cheap, good staff?  Well, two out of three isn't bad. 

Unfortunately, the third is what the Twins really need this year - and with two-thirds of the season gone, it would take a major turnaround to get it.