Thursday, March 17, 2016

Oh what a relief it is

Trevor May's batting
average allowed as
a starter in 2015 was
.290, as a reliever .250.
Some notable things are happening in regards to the Twins opening bullpen these days.

First: Trevor May was told Wednesday by Paul Molitor that he's going to open 2016 in the bullpen.

This is hardly a surprise. As I saw it months ago, May ranks behind seven other starters -- Ervin Santana, Phil Hughes, Kyle Gibson, Tyler Duffey and Tommy Milone, the five who comprised the rotation down the stretch last year, plus the well-paid Ricky Nolasco and prize prospect Jose Berrios.

Terry Ryan insisted Wednesday that the Twins still view May as a future starter; it's just that he fits better on this staff as a reliever. And maybe May will be a starter, but I'm pretty sure of this: He won't get that chance if the Twins keep throwing eight-figure salaries at veteran starters.

Second: Michael Tonkin had a rough outing Wednesday night. Given the ninth inning against the Red Sox with a seven-run lead, the lanky righty struggled to get out of the inning. There was a misplay behind him, and a dribbler for an infield hit, and he did strike out two men, but there was also a drive over the right fielder's head and a hit batter and a lot of pitches. 

Tonkin is out of options. He's making it easy for the Twins to decide to expose him to waivers. 

Third: Tonight's exhibition game (at Sarasota against the Orioles) is going to be a bullpen game. 

That's a collection of arms on the bubble, including four lefties (Rogers, Abad, Darnell, O'Rourke). Hughes and May will stay in Fort Myers and pitch in a minor league game on a side field. Which makes sense. They are getting ready for the season. The guys going to Sarasota tonight are pitching for jobs.

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