|Johnny Cueto has a career record of 92-63, 3.21, all|
It got a bit steeper on Sunday. The Royals shored up their troublesome rotation by trading for Johnny Cueto, a free agent to be who last year led the National League in innings and strikeouts and this season sports a 2.62 ERA.
It wasn't cheap. K.C. gave up three young lefties: Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb and Cody Reed. Finnegan is the one you're most likely to have heard of; a first-round pick in June 2014, he pitched out of the bullpen for the Royals in September and October during their run to the World Series. He's split this season between Double A, Triple A and the majors and between starting in the minors and relieving in the bigs. The Reds will focus Finnegan on starting, which is probably the best thing for his career.
The Reds were unlikely to re-sign Cueto this offseason, so it makes sense for them to move him for three good pitching prospects (and left-handed ones at that). The Royals are in win-now mode, so sacrificing the young talent makes at least some sense for them.(I suspect that at least one of those three will eventually make KC fans cringe at the thought of this trade, however.) And it's even good for Cueto, who as a mid-season tradee can't be burdened with draft-pick compensation, (He was probably going to have a robust market anyway.)
An interesting thing happened in Saturday's Twins loss to the Yankees that got lost in the furor and angst over Alex Rodriguez's three homers and Glen Perkins' blown save.
Trevor May was handed the eighth inning with a one-run lead, and he held that lead.
The Twins have shuffled eighth-inning duties all season. Casey Fien, Blaine Boyer, Aaron Thompson, Brian Duensing. All have been found wanting.
Now, it appears, it's May's turn to try it. I still expect the Twins to do something, either before the nonwaiver trade deadline or in early August through waivers, to shore up the bullpen. But May may be the fallback option.
The Twins this weekend added Michael Bowden to their Rochester pitching staff. The 2005 first-rounder has 103 games on his major league resume, mostly with Boston and none of them since 2012, but he's been having a fine season for Baltimore's Triple A team. He exercised his "out" clause when it became apparent that the Orioles weren't going to bring him up and signed with the Twins.
For now he joins Jose Berrios, Tyler Duffey, Taylor Rodgers and Pat Dean in the Rochester rotation, but he has another out clause he can exercise in about a month. He's more likely a bullpen candidate for the major league club than a starting candidate, in my estimation, and there's a decent chance the Twins never bring him up at all.