Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Contemplating Trevor May

The Twins won in 11 innings Tuesday night. Paul Molitor went through seven relievers after yet another short start  (this one from Pat Dean), eight pitchers in all, and said after the game it felt like 18.

Eight was enough. I'm sufficiently old to remember some Orioles teams in the 1970s that carried eight pitchers on the entire roster for weeks at a time. Earl Weaver used to say of pitching staffs that eight was too many and 12 was not enough -- meaning that if the starters were effective he didn't need more than three relievers, and if the starters didn't give him seven and eight innings time and again, the 'pen would be overworked.

For Paul Molitor, 12 is not enough. Thirteen may not be either, but there are limits.

With so many relievers trotting in from the bullpen, it was pretty obvious that Molitor was avoiding Trevor May. May hasn't appeared in more than a week -- his last outing came June 1, and was his fourth appearance in six days. Despite the layoff, May entered Tuesday tied for ninth in the AL in games pitched with 27. He's been worked hard.

Sure he will,

I've started wondering if and when May will be pulled out of the bullpen role and redeployed to the rotation. The Twins insisted this spring even as they assigned him to relief that they view him as a long-term starter, they just didn't have an opening in a veteran rotation for him.

That veteran rotation has been awful, and the Twins have started nine different pitchers already, but none of them have been May.

But May has displayed command/control issues. He's walked 3.4 men per nine innings, and he's thrown six wild pitches in less than 30 innings. That's not a stat set that suggests he can get through six or seven innings on a regular basis, and that was an issue for him when he was in the rotation for the first half of 2015.

However, nobody else is getting into the seventh every time out either. This ain't an Earl Weaver pitching staff.

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