Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Catching up on the roster shuffle

Adalberto Mejia made his major league
debut Saturday, allowing two runs in
2.1 innings against the Royals.
With all the short starts in the series at Kansas City, the Twins were juggling their pitching staff on a daily basis again during the weekend. New arms, new faces -- the pitchers acquired in a pair of July trades.

Kennys Vargas lost his roster spot through no fault of his own so that the Twins could add a 13th pitcher. On Saturday that was Adalberto Mejia, the lefty who came from San Francisco in the Eduardo Nunez deal.

Mejia worked 2.1 innings of relief on Saturday -- his first game in the bigs -- and was immediately returned to Triple A Rochester with Pat Light coming up. Light didn't have to work Sunday and thus has yet to make his Twins debut.

Rob Antony, the interim general manager, said Sunday that Mejia is not going to be a September call up. The organization does not want to push him past about 135 innings this year, and he's at 125 now (combining his workload at all levels.) Anthony said during a radio appearance that Mejia is "about out of bullets," noting that the lefty's velocity has declined sharply of late. He'll make probably one more start for the Red Wings, then finish the season in their bullpen.

Light, acquired in exchange for Fernando Abad, is another matter. Mejia is seen as a rotation candidate; Light is strictly a relief arm. He made his major league debut already this year with Boston and fared ill -- seven earned runs in 2.2 innings. I think it's quite likely that Light's here for the duration of 2016.

One interesting thing about Light: His preferred secondary pitch is a splitter. As I've noted before, the Twins have a history of discouraging that pitch, particularly from their minor leaguers. But it is an established part of Light's repertoire, and presumably they won't take it away from him.

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