Thursday, July 16, 2009

Back to 12 pitchers

The Twins will open the "second half" of the season with 12 pitchers again. Kevin Mulvey comes up, No. 3 catcher Jose Morales goes down.

I've alluded to this before, but I'll repeat myself anyway: Morales does more to help the Twins win games than a No. 7 relief pitcher does.

It would be one thing if they were adding a solid 8th-inning power arm, somebody to ease the burden on Matt Guerrier and Jose Mijares in the late set-up role. But Mulvey is to pitch long relief. Which is the preferred roles of Brian Duensing and R.A. Dickey and maybe Bobby Keppel, although it sounds as if the Twins have a share of the late innings in mind for Keppel. He's fared well so far, but I remain skeptical.

Mulvey's numbers in Triple A this season are a bit worse than last season's, and certainly not anything demanding a call-up.

Here's the deal, folks: The more often Duensing and Mulvey are used, the worse the Twins are doing. They are not guys they want to use in winnable games. The more of that kind of pitcher they have around, the more likely they are to have to use them in winnable games.

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