Twins Staff Tested With Chance On Shelf

Filed under Minnesota Twins
June 17, 1969

The No. 1 problem for the Twins is finding a replacement for starting pitcher Dean Chance. Chance, who was placed on the 21-day disabled list June 7, could be lost to the Twins for as long as five or six weeks. Replacing a man who won has 20 games will be tough, if not possible. The medical diagnosis on Chance’s sore right arm was “adhesive capsulitis”. The remedy is rest. Chance wasn’t to throw a baseball for three weeks.

The June 15 trading deadline slipped past and Twins’ Manager Billy Martin was faced with finding a replacement on his own staff, which currently includes five relief pitchers and five starters. Jim Perry, who has nine fewer career victories than Chance (115 to 106) was the most logical choice. But Perry has been acting as the No. 4 starter most of the season after being tabbed for the bullpen during the winter and in spring training. Perry hasn’t won more than 12 games in any one season since 1960.

There is also rookie Dick Woodson, a flame-throwing righthander who has started and relieved this season. Tom Hall, a wispy 149-pounder, is the fifth starter behind Jim Kaat, Dave Boswell, Perry and Woodson. In 1964, Chance, who was the Cy Young Award winner that year and a 20-game winner, also got off to a slow start. Chance had a 5.09 ERA when he went on the disabled list.

“I sure wish I knew what it was,” Chance admitted. “It’s got me puzzled. Some people think that when I reported late for spring training (nearly three weeks after the pitchers were slated to report, Chance signed for $55,000), I tried to rush myself into condition and aggravated my arm. I don’t agree with this theory. I threw at Ashland College, which is eight miles form my home in Wooster, Ohio for three weeks before I reported. I just hope I can start pitching by at least the All Star time so I can help this team win a pennant.”

To complicate matters even more, Hall and Woodson both have military obligations during that span. Hall will be lost for two weeks starting June 13 and Woodson June 21-22. When Chance was placed on the disabled list, reliever Al Worthington was reactivated from the voluntary retired list.

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