Friday, August 21, 2015

Tyler Duffey vs. Trevor May

Tyler Duffey made his third major league start on Thursday and went 7.2 innings, just four outs from a complete game.

Trevor May, with 25 starts, has gone that deep exactly zero times. The only outs he's ever gotten in the eighth or ninth innings have come as a relief pitcher.

There was a time this summer when I thought the Twins might turn to Duffey, a closer in college, as a bullpen reinforcement. Instead, Duffey is starting, and could get almost two months of rotation time this season, while May gets late-inning relief work.

And I'm fine with that. Not that I dislike May as a starter. His strikeout and walk rates suggest that he's a better choice that most of the the "established" starters in the Twins rotation. But the Twins really need some starters to work deeper into games, and May hasn't done that even as often as Mike Pelfrey has. Pelfrey has 10 starts this year of seven innings or more, May just two, and none were more than 21 outs.

I'm open to the possibility that May will be a better reliever than a starter. And his difficulty getting through lineups three times efficiently is part of that equation.

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