Friday, August 26, 2016

Rotation merry-go-round

Tyler Duffey had a poor start Wednesday night. Jose Berrios had a poor start Thursday afternoon.

And now both are back in the minors, with Andrew Albers and Alex Wimmers recalled.

Berrios has now made nine starts in the majors, and his ERA is just south of 9. His command is obviously not there. He clearly has stuff to work on. And Duffey has been effective in just two of his last seven starts. It's hard for Paul Molitor to keep trotting them out every fifth game.

That said, these two are a lot more likely to be important pitchers in the majors than Albers or Wimmers.

I don't know that that's exactly fair, but ... Mike Berardino had a piece recently describing Berrios' side session. There was the pitching coach, the bullpen coach, the number one starter and the Hall of Fame pitcher/broadcaster all there offering the rookie advice. Nothing like overwhelming the kid, huh?


Wimmers' callup isn't official, but it's been widely reported on the interwebs. His has been a torturous trip to the bigs: First round pick out of Ohio State in 2010, a rapid fall from grace the next year when he lost the strike zone, Tommy John surgery, seven seasons of grinding in the minors without ever having a true breakthrough season.

The Twins have twice exposed him to the Rule 5 draft. Nobody's taken him. Even this season hasn't been all that good -- ERA 4.04 at two levels. 

Wimmers was described leading into the 2010 draft as a polished strike-throwing machine who likely wouldn't take long to make it to the majors. It sure hasn't worked out that way.


I'm not sure what the starting rotation is now. Ervin Santana and Kyle Gibson, sure. Supposedly Hector Santiago was going to be held back because of a sore thumb, and now Berrios and Duffey are out of the picture at least until sometime in September. So there are at least two, maybe three, immediate vacancies.

I'm guessing Albers and Pat Dean will fill two of those slots. The Twins don't have an off day again until Sept. 8, so if Santiago has to be skipped somebody else has to fill in. Wimmers hasn't started a game all season, but considering that Jorge Polanco didn't play shortstop at all in the minors and has been pretty much a fixture there for the past three weeks, maybe Molitor intends to do the same with Wimmers.

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