Baseball writer Aaron Gleeman, who works for Hardball Talk and blogs about the Twins, tweeted a line that aptly describes the pitcher who has been a bright spot amid what otherwise has been a dismal season in Minnesota.
“Nothing about Samuel Deduno makes any sense,” Gleeman wrote.
The tweet was authored during Deduno’s gem on Thursday night against Boston. The 29-year-old limited the Red Sox to no runs and two hits over six innings. Both hits belonged to Adrian Gonzalez.
In a 5-0 Twins win, Deduno outdueled Jon Lester, who allowed three runs and seven hits in eight innings. It was the third consecutive victory for the unheralded right-hander, who is 3-0 with a 2.48 in five starts. Deduno has permitted 22 hits in 29 innings, holding opponents to a .218 average. His lone blemish is recording more walks (20) than strikeouts (19).
Deduno’s lack of command is a key reason why he has not seen extended time in the Major Leagues. Signed as an international free agent by the Rockies out of the Dominican Republic in 2003, Deduno entered the 2012 season with six big league appearances (four with the Rockies in 2010 and two with the Padres last year). He was signed as a minor league free agent by the Twins last off-season and logged a 2.14 ERA in nine starts at Triple-A Rochester, earning a promotion to the parent club.
“When a guy walks five, six guys a game on average, you don’t think he’s going to throw enough strikes,” Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony told TwinCities.com. “Sometimes you take a chance on guys like that, and sometimes you don’t. We were looking for help at Triple-A, and our scouting reports basically said that if there’s a need, this guy’s maybe got a chance, if he’s throwing enough strikes, to help the big club.”
Deduno allowed three runs in each of his first two starts, including an outing where he lasted just 4.1 innings against the Orioles because he walked five. Over his last three starts, he has permitted a total of two runs. In his last two outings, Deduno has limited Cleveland to one run and two hits in seven innings and Boston to no runs and two hits over six frames.
Deduno is a pleasant story for the 46-60 Twins. The obscure rotation also features names like Scott Diamond (9-5, 2.93 ERA in 16 starts) and Cole DeVries (2-2, 3.98 ERA in 10 games, including nine starts) along with veterans Nick Blackburn (4-6, 7.43 ERA in 16 starts) and Brian Duensing (2-6, 4.39 ERA in 39 games and six starts).