Saturday, May 23, 2015

Contemplating Alex Meyer

Alex Meyer is a
long way from cracking
the Twins rotation.
I noted in Friday's post that the promotion of Tyler Duffey to Rochester meant somebody in the Red Wings rotation had to make way for him. That somebody was Alex Meyer, who has been struggling all year.

Meyer has a 7.09 ERA after eight starts. That ugly ERA isn't merely the highest of his minor league career, it's more than twice his previous worst ERA. His walk rate, always something of an issue, has ballooned to 5.5 walks per nine innings.

The big righty -- he's 6-foot-9, which is probably part of his issues with command and control -- is moving to the bullpen. Assistant general manager Rob Antony, traveling with the team while GM Terry Ryan watches the Fort Myers Miracle, told the writers Friday that this is intended to be a temporary move, but also conceded that it may not be temporary.

At this point, I'm inclined to think the bullpen is Meyer's ultimate destination. He's 25, he's not been able to get past 130 innings without encountering some sort of arm issue. and he's shown little aptitude for a change-up. As a starter, he needs a change to get through the lineup three times. As a bullpen guy, seeing nobody more than once a game, he can be a two-pitch pitcher: fast ball and slider. That's what Glen Perkins is. A simplified arsenal may be what Meyer needs.

The Twins traded Denard Span for Meyer because they were looking for a power starter. It doesn't appear to be happening for him. There's a better chance for a decent return on that investment as a relief pitcher.

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