Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The same OLD story on the roster

Michael Tonkin
was pretty quickly
eliminated from the
bullpen discussion.
I commented the other day, in connection with the removal of Lester Oliveros and Stephen Pryor from the Twins 40-man roster, that the clock is ticking for them.

It is, as well, for Ryan Pressly and Michael Tonkin, two other relievers who didn't make the 25-man roster while the 30-something likes of Tim Stauffer and Blaine Boyer did.

One of my core thoughts about this season is that the Twins need to stop looking for reasons not to use the kids and start looking for reasons to use them.

Tonkin is 25, his major league ERA (admittedly in just 30-plus innings) is 3.26 with a walk/strikeout ratio of 9/26, and his Triple A numbers last year were strong. Pressly is 26, with a major league ERA of 3.60 in 105 innings, and he too had a good year in Triple A.

But it's back to the bushes for them while the old guys with no upside have jobs. I don't get it. I really don't.

Aaron Gleeman has pointed out that there are only four players on the likely 25-man roster age 25 or younger: Kennys Vargas, Danny Santana, J.R. Graham and Oswaldo Arcia. Keep this in mind as you hear Bert Blyleven tell you what a young team this is: It isn't young. It certainly isn't as young as it ought to be, considering the miserable record of the past four seasons and the highly touted state of the farm system.

It's quite possible that neither Pressly nor Tonkin is destined to be a standout reliever. I'm not as high on either of them as I am on the Nick Burdi-J.T. Chargois-Jake Reed-Zach Jones quartet of fireballers. None of those four got major league camp invites; none has cracked Double A yet, two are coming off injuries, two only turned pro last June. They're not high enough on the Twins totem pole.

In my more cynical moments, I assume that Pressly and Tonkin are being kept around to be a reason not to try one of the younger guys, just as Stauffer and Boyer are reasons not to use Pressly and Tonkin.

Any totem pole that puts Tim Stauffer above Michael Tonkin, much less Nick Burdi, needs to be torn down.

1 comment:

  1. Patience is indeed a virtue...and something that is being severely tried. Think the Cubbies and Kris Bryant... Let's hope this is a different story come June and the last few years of 'can't miss' draft picks takes over and propels our beloved Twins into several years' worth of well as that extra year of Buxton and Sano et al that this is setting things up for.