Thursday, January 27, 2011

Another bullpen candidate added

Just when we figured the Twins had finished tinkering with their 40-man roster this winter ... they add Dusty Hughes, a LOOGY candidate with experience.

The initial reaction to the news is: If the Kansas City Royals waived him, what's the point in claiming him?

And that may be the final reaction as well. But it's not that difficult to see the appeal here. The Twins had three left-handed bullpen candidates on their 40-man roster -- Jose Mijares, who has repeatedly reported to camp out of shape; Glen Perkins, who does not have a track record of getting left-handers out; and Scott Diamond, a Rule 5 draftee.

The Twins waived Rob Delaney to make room on their 40 for Hughes, and it's a lot easier to imagine a scenario in which Hughes makes the 25-man roster than one in which Delaney makes it.

I don't know if Hughes has options left, and I certainly don't know why the Royals picked him to dump to open a roster spot for Jeff Francis. They would seem to have bigger bullpen problems than him. Which isn't to say he's a good pickup. His stats suggest his control isn't up to Twins standards, and he wasn't all that effective against left-handers last year (.261 batting average allowed).

He's left-handed and breathing. He adds to the Twins' options in their bullpen reconstruction project. If the Twins saw something there they can use more effectively than the Royals did, great; if he bombs, they invested little in acquiring him.

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