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Twins dump Nick Blackburn and his 6.53 ERA from rotation

Jul 21, 2010, 12:43 PM EDT

After another poor start Sunday raised his ERA to an MLB-worst 6.53 the Twins have decided to bump Nick Blackburn from the rotation and replace him with Brian Duensing.
Blackburn’s situation is made more complicated by the fact that the Twins misguidedly signed him to a four-year, $14 million contract this offseason instead of simply going year-to-year with a player they controlled through 2013 anyway.
Blackburn’s incredibly low strikeout rate and mediocre ground-ball percentage always made him a poor long-term investment, but that ship has obviously sailed and now the Twins are locked into paying him $13.25 million over the next three seasons.
Duensing has posted a 1.67 ERA in 43 innings as a reliever this season and pitched very well in nine starts down the stretch last season, but his secondary numbers and minor-league track record suggest his upside is fairly limited. With that said, it won’t take much for Duensing to provide a huge upgrade over Blackburn, who has allowed a .337 batting average and .561 slugging percentage overall this season and is 1-6 with a 9.88 ERA since June 1.

  1. BC - Jul 21, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    Something’s gotta be physically wrong with him. He’s not THIS bad.

  2. doctorfunke - Jul 21, 2010 at 1:37 PM

    Agreed.
    While I like the demotion, I think they should have went a step further and sent him to Rochester. He needs to get his head right and find out why that sinker isn’t working. Maybe even change his approach since the sinker is clearly not an effective pitch for him right now. He’s been effective in the past, he needs to find it again. Not sure the bullpen is the place to do it.

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