Even with the surprise emergence of Scott Diamond and P.J. Walters, the Twins starting rotation is a godawful mess. Everyone is hurt, incompetent or both at the same time. Compounding the problem is that there really isn't much on the farm to help out. And with many of the team's tradable assets at a low value due to performance, unmovable contracts or injuries, dealing with another team isn't happening until the trade deadline nears. That leaves unsigned free agents. It's highly unlikely that the Twins will be able to land Roy Oswalt, but there are other, less high-profile arms out there. Twinkie Town takes a look at these other options. Desperate times, people.
- Glenn "The Malefactor" Thurm. Thurm, 29, is a right-handed finesse pitcher currently serving consecutive life sentences at the Tamms Correctional Center in Tamms, Ill. Thurm, who was given his nickname by local media due to his brutal exsanguinations of drifters, street punks and hobos, changes speeds and pounds strikes in the Tamms Correctional Center (TCC) rec league. Currently riding a 6-game winning streak, which ties the TCC record held by Brad Elster, a convicted pederast/knuckleballer who set that mark in 1995 before being shivved in a riot. "Thurm has the make-up that fits the Twins' philosophy," said one scout. "But getting him out on parole seems unlikely, especially since he ate his last public defender."
- Gustav, the Baseball-Kicking Mule. Gustav, a direct descendent of former California Atoms placekicker Gus, the Football-Kicking Mule, is known as a fireballer who, as his name implies, kicks the ball towards home plate. The 7-year-old grey mule is a classic one-pitch pitcher, as his lack of anything resembling hands makes a non-fastball nearly impossible. He's been clocked at 99 mph, but has issues with wildness, pooping and rutting. The Twins are said to be in touch with Yankees officials to see how they dealt with David Wells.
- Bernie Lomax. Lomax, the titular star of the 1989 comedy Weekend at Bernie's, is the deceased boss of Larry and Richard, who have to pretend he's alive through a series of over-the-top comic set pieces. Can they manipulate his slowly degenerating body through a major league season? "Let's just put it this way," said one team source. "We're watching how the Rockies handle Jamie Moyer very closely."
- Captain Baseball Pitcher. This is actually a fictional character that a young Joe Mauer created for an art class in grade school. As the drawing that still hangs on the Mauer family's refrigerator indicates, Captain Baseball Pitcher is roughly 8 feet tall, and has a cape, a red, white and blue glove, and a spaceship. His pitched balls emit rainbows and stars as they travel towards home plate. Although a work of fiction, a club source says that Mauer is pushing for the team to dress up one of their old players as Captain Baseball Pitcher because, quote, "It would be neat." The source says the team has gone so far as to reach out to former Twin Juan Rincon about his cape size.