Somebody has to make the Minnesota Twins' starting rotation in 2013 — five people, in fact — and Sam Deduno is in control of his own fate over the matter.
John Shipley of the St. Paul Pioneer Press wrote that apart from Scott Diamond, there is no guarantee that any one person will make the Twins' starting staff next season, and that Deduno could prove himself worthy if he could illustrate command in his last few starts of 2012.
Deduno has struggled with command. He has 48 walks to 54 strikeouts in 75 innings this season with the Twins. He was signed as a free agent last November and added to the Twins' 40-man roster on July 8. Since then, he's gotten his biggest breath yet of major-league life. The 29-year-old had only pitched 5 2/3 innings in the majors over the past two years between the Colorado Rockies and San Diego Padres.
Shipley seems convinced Deduno has the stuff the make it in the bigs if he could figure out how to command his pitches, especially his fastball. From Shipley:
Now, [Deduno] said, "it's just minimal things, like not walking so many people. When I'm pitching and throw strikes, everything is doing well, and that way I can go more innings."
The Twins are cautiously optimistic, committed only to giving him a shot in spring training. But can they count on him? Not at this point. Minnesota has a lot of work to do this winter, and most of it revolves around starting pitching.
He's pitched 780 1/3 innings in the minors, and there his strikeout/walk ratio is 835 to 441.