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Pitching prospects to watch for at Minnesota Twins spring training in Fort Myers

Hammond Stadium, Fort Myers, Florida, the Twins' spring training facility
Hammond Stadium, Fort Myers, Florida, the Twins' spring training facility

This season, non-roster pitchers the Minnesota Twins have invited to spring training include left-handers Jose Lugo and Mike Maroth and right-handers Anthony Slama and Kyle Waldrop. Of the quartet, Maroth – a former Detroit Tiger – is the only one with major league experience; the other three are all Twins farmhands; Lugo and Slama started in Rookie ball.

In five years as a starter with the Tigers, the lowest ERA Mike Maroth enjoyed was 4.31 in 2004, his third year with the club. Overall, he had an ERA of 5.05 in 161 games, amassing a noteworthy 443 strikeouts in 918 innings pitched. If there is a downside, it might just be the 262 walks and 133 homers he gave up over the same number of innings plus the .297 batting averages opponents enjoyed against him resulting in a career win-loss record of 50 and 67.

A starter at the outset of his career, Lugo graduated to reliever in midstream. With an overall 20-22 W-L record and 4.09 ERA in 185 games, he might have a shot at a spot on the roster, provided he can overcome control problems that resulted in his allowing 143 walks in only 314-2/3 innings.

With a 24-21 W-L record in six seasons, a 3.45 ERA, and a respectable 102 walks in 396 innings pitched, Kyle Waldrop is also in the hunt.

On paper at least, the hottest farmhand is Anthony Salma. As if his 9-6 W-L record over 140 games and 2.17 ERA weren’t enough to recommend him, his average of 14 saves per season with highs in ’08 and ’09 of 25 saves each season can’t hurt his chances one bit.

Hammond Stadium is at 14100 Six Mile Cypress Parkway in Fort Myers.