Saturday, April 9, 2011

Bringing up Burnett

Alex Burnett is getting
another shot.
The Twins on Saturday put Kevin Slowey on the 15-day DL and recalled Alex Burnett from Triple A Rochester.

I find this interesting, because Burnett was the first legitimate bullpen candidate to get shipped out this spring. First out, first back.

So why wasn't one of the later cuts brought back? I'll speculate:

1) Slowey's injury is not deemed particularly serious or lasting.There's a pretty good chance that this will be a 10-day or so callup (Slowey last pitched on Monday, so his DL stint can be backdated).

2) Two of the later cuts (Kyle Waldrop and Carlos Gutierrez) aren't on the 40-man roster. While the Twins have two openings on the 40, they're not likely to burn an option year on either for a 10-day stint.

3) Jim Hoey, I assume, stuck late into camp because his fastball velocity is so intriguing. He got sent down because his command is so lacking. Burnett is the safer choice right now.

The other late cuts were non-roster left-handers (Chuck James, Scott Diamond, Phil Dumatrait), and the Twins aren't likely to go with a four-lefty bullpen.

So Burnett got the call, in effect, by process of elimination. I rather believe that if Slowey had a serious, long-term injury, that Waldrop would have been tabbed.

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