Monday, February 21, 2011

Bullpen candidate profile: Jose Mijares

On Sunday I opined here that the serious competition for bullpen jobs this spring boils down to 10 guys.

Later that day the Associated Press moved a story in which general manager Bill Smith named seven pitchers, two of whom weren't on my list. Which may not mean anything. There are still 27 pitchers in camp, and the Twins aren't going to admit that any them are just there as formalities.

Today I'll start a little project: capsule profiles of the bullpen candidates. There's enough of them to take most of training camp.

Jose Mijares appeared
in 47 games in 2010,
just 32.2 innings.
Pitcher: Jose Mijares
Throws: Left
Age: 26
Status: 40-man roster, at least one option remaining. Eligible for arbitration after 2012, for free agency after 2015.
Chance of making roster: Excellent.

Mijares made a major splash in September 2008, emerging in the last few days of the season as the primary eight-inning option in a pennant race, but got himself pigeonholed into the LOOGY role in 2009. He was devastating against lefties that year, but was really no better against lefties than righties in 2010. He had some injury issues in 2010, particularly a knee injury that might be related to his too-high weight, and his workload and effectiveness both diminished.

He's made a habit the past two years of reporting to camp even more out of shape than usual, but the word this spring is that he came in probably a bit lighter than usual.

At the very least, he should open the season as the primary LOOGY (Left-handed One Out GuY); he could, in time, emerge with a bigger role.

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