Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson has directed starting rotations that have dominated and some recent ones that have been disasters.

With spring training opening Monday, Anderson said he believes he’ll have a starting five that will embrace a different ‘D’ word: dependable.

“This is the first time in about three years that we come to spring training with a little bit of an idea of what you have,” Anderson said.

Anderson appears particularly upbeat this year. Two reasons are because Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes are now Twins.

The club committed $73 million in salary to the two starters in an effort to improve a staff that has posted a 5.08 ERA over the past three season — the worst in baseball during that period. Nolasco, 31, was 13-11 with a 3.70 ERA last season with the Marlins and Dodgers but 8-3 with a 3.52 ERA in 16 games (15 starts) with playoff-bound Los Angeles following a midseason trade. Hughes was 4-14 with a 5.19 ERA with the Yankees — ugly, indeed. But the Twins believe Hughes, who won 18 games in 2010 and 16 in 2012, can return to that form. After all, he’s still only 27.

Who can blame the Twins for feeling optimistic? It’s spring training, where hope is in full bloom and every team is 0-0.

The Twins have learned from the past couple of seasons that nothing is worse for a team than starting pitchers who often had them trailing 3-0 after two innings. And nothing gives a team more confidence than starters who regularly can pitch deep into games.

The Twins offense might be under reconstruction well into the regular season, but teams can still contend with good pitching and a little run support. The Twins, after three consecutive seasons of between 96 and 99 losses, are willing to embrace that formula this season.