Monday, September 1, 2014

Goodbye, Deduno

Sam Deduno had
 a 16-18, 4.26 record
with the Twins.
The Twins' second-half roster churn continued during the weekend with Sam Deduno going to the Houston Astros on outright waivers.

Deduno spent most of the season in the bullpen and was better in that role (3.21 ERA in 22 outings, 53.1 innings) than in his eight starts (6.52 ERA in just 38.2 innings). It seems safe to infer that the Twins figured they have better choices for the 2015 bullpen, and I think that's true.

Deduno spend bits of the past three seasons with the Twins, and always seemed more interesting as a rotation candidate. He had a couple of stretches in which it seemed he might finally have tamed his self-described "crazy fastball." But those stretches never lasted. His lack of command and injury history meant he wasn't capable of working deep into games.

Aaron Thompson had
an ERA of 3.98 for
Triple A Rochester
this year.
When the Twins waived Deduno, they already had two openings on the 40-man roster. They filled one with Aaron Thompson, a left-handed reliever who entered the organization the same winter Deduno did and in the same manner (as a minor-league free agent). Thompson was added to the 25-man roster Sunday and made his first major-league appearance since 2011, when he worked four games for Pittsburgh.

Thompson's September trial appears to indicate a dissatisfaction with the left-handed set-up men, Brian Duensing and Caleb Thielbar. I don't expect Thompson to be any improvement on them, and I expect the Twins to look for more lefty bullpen alternatives this winter. (Neither Duensing nor Theilbar are eligible for free agency this winter.) Or the Twins could consider giving one or more of the lefties in the upper minors a shot. (Mason Melotakis, headed to the Arizona Fall League, comes promptly to mind.)

One such lefty, Edgar Ibarra, was dropped from the 40 on Sunday, once again creating three openings. So I suspect that the Twins plan to add three players now off the 40-man roster for the season's final month. That fun can begin today, although the call-ups probably won't happen until Rochester and New Britain end their seasons.

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