Friday, June 3, 2016

Gibson, Hughes and Milone

Kyle Gibson was supposed to come off the disabled list and start Thursday, but the right-hander reported sciatic issues. Phil Hughes, who was assigned to the bullpen after his last start but had yet to actually relieve, started. Four innings, nine hits, four runs, 63 pitches.

The Twins won, but that hardly earns him a reprieve from the bullpen assignment.

So ... Gibson remains on the disabled list indefinitely. The Twins have an off day Monday, and so they could skip this rotation slot the next time around, but eventually they'll need a fifth starter. If Gibson's back issues sideline him long enough, he'll need to redo the rehab assignment routine.

The three most likely non-Gibson rotation options:

  • Keep Hughes in the rotation. (Problem: He continues to be ineffective.)
  • Recall Jose Berrios. (Problem: He's given up 10 runs in 16 innings in the three starts since the Twins sent him back to Rochester.)
  • Recall Tommy Milone. (2.22 ERA in four starts, 28.1 innings since his demotion. Problem: He's not on the 40-man roster anymore.)

There are, obviously, significant drawbacks to each. Milone would require cutting somebody from the 40-man roster, and the Twins have already lost three players on waivers this season (John Hicks, Casey Fien, J.R. Graham). But he's the one who seems the best bet to actually, you know, get people out as a starter.

The Twins don't have to make that decision now, but they probably have it in mind.

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