Posted on March 5, 2011 at 5:50 PM
Blackburn has won a spot in the starting rotation, manager Ron Gardenhire announced. He threw three scoreless innings in Saturday's spring start. "I'd say Blacky's in the rotation," Gardenhire told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "I like that sinkerball. I like the way he's going about it. If he's healthy, he's going at it pretty good. I like what we're seeing. He's one of my guys."
ROTOWIRE FANTASY ANALYSIS
With Gardenhire saying Blackburn and Brian Duensing are in the rotation, the final spot is a battle between Scott Baker and Kevin Slowey. Blackburn has thrown five scoreless innings with two strikeouts and no walks so far this spring. While he struggled last season (5.42 ERA), he says he has better movement on his pitches after offseason surgery to remove a bone spur and other loose particles in his right elbow.