Friday, July 27, 2012

Swarzak, Pavano, Perdomo

Luis Perdomo will
be the 41st player
used by the Twins
this season.
The Twins front office used Thursday's offday not to make a significant trade, but to do a little roster shuffling.

Anthony Swarzak went on the disabled list with what is described as a mild rotator cuff strain. Luis Perdomo was brought up from Rochester to fill the bullpen spot. And Carl Pavano was moved to the 60day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster for Perdomo.

Start with Pavano. He went on the 15-day DL in early June, and he hasn't yet gone on a rehab assignment, so the 60-day designation means nothing in terms of his return. It does mean that if and when he's ready to pitch in the majors, somebody else is leaving the 40-man roster.

I say if and when. I fully expect Pavano to return, if only because his contract is up and he'd be better off in his search for a new contract if he demonstrates down the stretch that his shoulder is sound. It wasn't at any point this season. It could be the difference between a guaranteed contract and a minor-league deal.

Swarzak's injury came as the Twins were testing him out in higher-leverage situations. His season has had one significant plus -- his strikeout rate is up from 4.9 K/9 to 6.0 -- and one significant minus -- he's allowed 11 homers in 69 innings this year, as opposed to 9 homers in 102 innings in 2011. His ERA is slightly higher, his WHIP almost identical.

His best work has come as a long reliever. The thinning of the bullpen over the past month -- Matt Capps on the DL, Brian Duensing in and out of the rotation -- prompted Ron Gardenhire to try Swarzak in a set-up role. It hasn't gone swimmingly; for what it's worth, opposing hitters are hitting .247 against Swarzak when one team or the other is up by more than four runs, .298 when the game is closer. 

Perdomo is a 28-year-old right-hander who was signed as a minor league free agent during the winter and was an early cut in spring training. He opened in Double A, pushed his way to Rochester with 43 strikeouts in 39.1 innings, then racked up a 0.92 ERA in 19.2 innings in Triple A (18 Ks and just two walks).

Despite the impressive BB/K ratio in Rochester, his history suggests that command is a problem. He has 61 major league innings on his resume (San Diego), in which he's walked 5.3 men per nine innings and fanned 8.3. 

Perdomo will be the 24th Twin to pitch this season, counting Drew Butera. 


  1. Where does Butera rank among the 24?

  2. Until this year, Perdomo's command issues were apparent in his minor league performance. He walked 46 batters in 71 innings last year and that was pretty typical. This year he has walked 18 in 59 innings. If that carries over into the big leagues he will be a solid addition to the bullpen.

    It does make you wonder where guys like Waldrop, Oliveros and Guerra fit into the Twins plans since they are already on the roster.