Saturday, April 30, 2016

Contemplating Alex Meyer

The Twins returned Friday from Thursday's offday with a reshuffled rotation. Tommy Milone got bounced to the bullpen, and Alex Meyer is to start Tuesday.

Then Meyer pitched in relief Friday and didn't fare well -- one inning, five hits, two runs, a walk and a wild pitch. Inasmuch as he hadn't worked in nine days, that was probably to be expected. The Tuesday start is still his.

The Twins will close out April with two members of the starting rotation that opened the season still standing -- Phil Hughes and Ricky Nolasco. It sounds like Ervin Santana will return late next week (he's to test his back with a bullpen session today), and that Kyle Gibson won't be ready to return when eligible to come off the disabled list..

The odds are that one of the three additions to the rotation -- J.O. Barrios, Tyler Duffey and Meyer -- is likely to get moved back to Rochester if/when Santana returns. That is based on the notion that there are no bullpen changes, and that notion may be misplaced.

The Twins had Meyer starting in Rochester, and he did well in in 17.1 innings -- 19 strikeouts, just two walks, 1.04 ERA -- but that probably only sharpens the debate over whether the big guy is better suited to the bullpen or the rotation. Paul Molitor was in the bullpen camp when Meyer was sent down in March. Where Mollie will be if Meyer shines on Tuesday, who knows?

So it's Duffey today, Nolasco Sunday, Barrios Monday, Meyer Tuesday, Hughes Wednesday, an off day Thursday and ... well, maybe Santana on Friday, and get ready to shuffle. One of the younger guys will be dislodged when Santana returns, another when Gibson does. It would be nice if they pitch well enough to make Molitor squirm when they go back to Rochester, but I'm not counting on it.

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