Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A one-day pitching callup

Kris Johnson was acquired
from the Pirates for Duke
Welker, who was himself
acquired from the Pirates
in the Justin Morneau trade.
Another day, another rain out.

The bizarre decision by the schedule makers to send a southern California team for a one-shot series Minnesota in the month most likely to be disrupted by weather is apparently magnified by the fact that the Twins and Dodgers share just three mutual days off the rest of the way.

So there should be no doubt that the two teams really, really want to get these games in today and Thursday.

The Twins intend to call up Kris Johnson, left-handed pitcher, to start one of the Thursday games. Johnson would be the first lefty to start for the Twins this year.

Since I posted this piece almost a week ago about potential rotation replacements, two notable things have happened to the Triple A starters:

  • Trevor May lost the strike zone in him most recent start and
  • Alex Meyer appears to have found a VIP -- Very Important Pitch. Specifically, a change up.

Meyer apparently learned a different changeup grip from colleagues Yohan Pino and Deolis Guerra. He had been unable to master the circle change, a pitch beloved in the Twins organization; Pino and Guerra suggested that he try their three-fingered grip. The result: 22 strikeouts in his two most recent starts, a total of 12.1 innings, the last coming with assistant general manager Rob Antony in attendance.

Two starts are two starts, and normally nothing to get revved up about, but if Meyer really has a quality change now to go with his imposing fastball and slider, he's coming up soon. He's not on the 40-man roster yet (Johnson is, as are May and Logan Darnell), and the Twins will want to be sure he's got it before they lop somebody, but it will happen.

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