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Game 58: Twins (20-37) @ Royals (25-33)

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First Pitch: 1:10pm CDT
TV: FSN
Radio: Twins Radio Network
Know Thine Enemy: Royals Review


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Jeff Francis 2-5 12 12 1 0 0 0 74.2 90 40 37 8 15 39 4.46 1.41

To me, Francis is best known for being one of Billy Beane's targets in the draft made famous by Moneyball: the 2002 Oakland A's draft. Naturally the Athletics didn't get their man, as he was drafted 9th overall by the Rockies. Francis stormed through the Colorado minor league system, striking out double-digits per nine and allowing less than a base runner per inning, and eventually making his MLB debut in 2004 at the age of 23.

Nothing stuck. Whether it was the advanced competition, the dynamics of Coors Field, a combination of those and other things, he just wasn't the ace that many people thought he would be (Baseball America rated him the 23rd best prospect in all of baseball prior to the '05 season). He scuffled in Colorado for years, eventually departing as a free agent and signing with Kansas City in January of this year.

Francis, now 30, is a competent MLB pitcher. He can chalk up some innings and he has good control, even if he doesn't miss many bats and allows too many base runners. Which guy will arrive on the hill today: the solid starter or the hittable quasi-scrub?


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Brian Duensing 2-5 11 10 0 0 0 0 58.2 68 37 35 6 22 42 5.37 1.53

Duensing needs a strong start, he's been on the skids a bit more recently. In May the Twins were 0-6 in his starts, Duensing compiled a 8.76 ERA, and opponents crunched him to a .330/.405/.563. Time to turn it up, Duensinglinger.