Samuel Deduno: 5th Twins starter?


Maybe mowing down batters in the Puerto Rico lineup in March isn't the same as facing the Texas Rangers in July.

But the Twins' Samuel Deduno, the star pitcher of the World Baseball Classic champion Dominican Republic, has now made a name for himself.

After pitching the Dominicans to a 3-0 win Tuesday -- pitching five scoreless innings -- Deduno finds himself as a comeback candidate to win a job in Minnesota's 2013 starting rotation.

After Scott Diamond, Deduno was the Twins' second-most effective starter in 2012, posting a 6-5 record with a 4.44 ERA. That earned him exactly nothing, as the Twins bumped him from the 40-man roster. Over the winter, Deduno went unclaimed on waivers.

The problem: He's still wild, and throws a lot of pitches -- not exactly the greatest attributes for a major league starting pitcher.

The dilemma: He still pitched 13 innings of one-run baseball in the WBC over three games. Those numbers play in April, May, June, July, August and September.

As put it: There have to be several teams kicking themselves for not taking him on for a measly $500,000 over the winter.

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