Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The state of the Twins bullpen

Rafael Perez has
yet to make a
game appearance
this season.
Rafael Perez, the former Cleveland Indians standout LOOGY now in the Twins organization, did not exercise his May 1 opt-out clause (if not in the majors by May 1, he could declare free agency). So he'll continue what appears to be a lengthy shoulder rehab, and maybe the Twins will eventually get something out his signing.

Even if he were ready to pitch in the majors — and his agreeing to stay with the Twins is a strong indication that he knows he's not — it's not easy to see where he'd fit. Here are the ERAs of the seven bullpen arms on the major league roster

Glen Perkins: 4.15 (allowed runs only in two blowout games, in one case because of a misjudged fly ball)
Jarod Burton: 0.96
Brian Duensing: 2.16
Casey Fien: 4.00 (all four runs allowed came in one bad outing; leads team in appearances)
Josh Roenicke: 1.50
Anthony Swarzak: 1.93
Ryan Pressly: 1.69

Tim Wood followed
five shutout innings
for Triple A Rochester
with a six-run
clunker on April 30.
Those seven have totaled 72 innings, with 65 strikeouts, 25 walks and 55 hits allowed. Combined ERA: 2.25. Only Roenicke has allowed a home run.

There's really nobody there who deserves to lose his job. Which means there's an interesting decision ahead, because Tim Wood, who is out of options, is on his minor league rehab assignment. I believe he can be on that assignment a month, and he's about halfway through that period.

By mid-month, Wood figures to be use-or-lose. Unless somebody in the current bullpen gets hurt or goes south, I don't see a place for him.

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