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Pelfrey's problems persist, are his days as a Twins starter numbered?

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Despite a Twins win on Wednesday night in Tampa Bay, the struggles for starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey continued.

Pelfrey did not factor in the decision Wednesday and has struggled again at the start of the season.

According to Rant Sports, since his perfect five innings in his first start against the Cleveland Indians, Pelfrey has allowed 13 earned runs in his next 9.2 innings to push his ERA to 7.98.

He lasted just over five innings Wednesday night and allowed four runs (three earned), walked three and struck out just one.

The outing, though better than his last few, still was not a quality start.

Part of his problem again on Wednesday was an elevated pitch count. Through five innings, Pelfrey threw 92 pitches.

It's a problem that has plagued Pelfrey in each of his last four starts as he has thrown 372 pitches, just 202 of them were strikes, according to Rant Sports. Pelfrey also walked 15 and had just 8 strikeouts.

Even though, the Twins re-signed Pelfrey in the offseason to a two-year contract, his time as a Twins starter has to be numbered.

So what other options do the Twins have?

Samuel Deduno comes to mind first and foremost. He has a 1.84 ERA in 14.2 innings out of the bullpen. According to the Star Tribune, the Twins could seamlessly make the transition to Deduno, who was one of their best starters a year ago.

Other options would include a roster move from the minors.

– Scott Diamond and Kris Johnson, two lefties, were thought to be the most likely early callups should the Twins need rotation reinforcements, according to Baseball Outsider. Neither has been outstanding though in Class AAA, and Diamond has downright struggled posting a 10.20 ERA in just over nine innings.

Logan Darnell is also a lefty on the 40-man roster. He has posted a 1.80 ERA in 15 innings at Rochester.

Trevor May has posted a 2.93 ERA in Rochester. The flame-throwing righty has struck out 16 hitters and walked just three.

Alex Meyer, the super-prospect, will likely be called up at some point this year has been inconsistent, but his outing earlier this week has people talking.

Meyer struck out Boston third baseman Will Middlebrooks three times. 1500 ESPN's Derek Wetmore says some fans are excited to see Meyer, while others are irked he remains in Triple A.

I'll say this to start: there's no level of performance Meyer could achieve to force the Twins to call him up before mid-June, in my opinion. It's wise of a team that doesn't view itself as in the playoff hunt to save service time on a player it thinks could be great. Some fans view this as cheap but that's a drastic oversimplification.

With that said, Wednesday's outing had to be encouraging for the Twins. Meyer struck out 11 batters across 6 2/3 innings. He walked three batters and gave up three runs.

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