Thursday, October 23, 2014

Twins pitching moves

Jared Burton served
as the closer after
Glen Perkins was
shut down in September.
The Twins removed two pitchers from the 40-man roster Wednesday, but as far as I'm concerned the most significant news involved a  pitcher who isn't on the 40.

That would be the bad medical news about Mason Melotakis, a left-hander the Twins took in the second round of the 2012 draft. Melotakis was a reliever in college; the Twins used him in the rotation in 2013 at Cedar Rapids, then returned him to the bullpen last year, He shot up to Double A by season's end, running his fastball velocity up to a reported 97 mph.

I had hopes that he'd power his way onto the major league relief corps next year. Won't happen; he had Tommy John surgery this month, so no pitching for him at least until late next year.

In more immediate news:

  • The Twins declined the team option on Jared Burton, so the righty becomes a free agent. He spent three years in the Twins bullpen with ERAs of 2.18, 3.82 and 4.36. That's a pretty obvious pattern, and he'll turn 34 in June, so it wasn't a particularly surprising decision.
  • The Twins sold Kris Johnson to the Hiroshima Carp in Japan. Good for Johnson, who will get a seven-figure salary, something that doesn't seem particularly likely for him in the States. Johnson had a fairly decent year at Triple A Rochester last year, but he figured to be a long way down the rotation depth list if he stuck around.
The Twins now offically have 35 slots filled on the 40, with Mike Pelfrey (60-day disabled list) still to be restored, I fully expect more deletions. 

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