Monday, June 12, 2017

Notes, quotes and comment

The Twins ended their essentially successful West Coast marathon (6-4) with another dud of a bullpen performance on Sunday.

I wrote a lot last week about Matt Belisle specifically and the thinness of the bullpen in general -- pretty much every post from Monday through Saturday dealt with the relief corps -- so it was probably fitting that Belisle had a central role in Sunday's late inning collapse.

Belisle's ERA for the season now stands at 8.59, with almost all the damage coming in four appearances. He always figured to be an ill fit for a high-leverage role, but I don't know who else Paul Molitor can use in those situations with the current bullpen without wrecking Tyler Duffey and Brandon Kintzler with overuse. There are just too many mop-up type arms on this staff.


The draft begins tonight. I devoted the Monday print column to my thoughts on who and what the the Twins should do with the first overall pick. With, of course, the disclaimer that the Twins know a lot more about this than I do.

I don't expect the Twins to follow my "recommendation," and I certainly won't criticize them when they don't.

One thing I didn't get to in a slightly longer than usual column: Sports Illustrated did nobody any favors by putting Hunter Greene on its cover a few weeks ago. The people who cover the scouting and prospect world for a living say the consensus is that Greene is a lesser prospect than a couple of high school righties from the previous two draft classes.

What makes Greene unique is that he's a viable first-round pick as both a pitcher and a shortstop. But I can't imagine that anybody is going to let him throw a few dozen high-velocity fastballs on Tuesday and play shortstop on Wednesday. He's going to do one or the other.


Catching up on the Twins roster moves: Randy Rosario was indeed shipped back to the minors (to Triple-A Rochester rather than Double A Chattanooga, from whence he was called up) to make room for Nik Turley, the Sunday starter, on the 25-man roster, To make room on the 40-man roster, Dan Rucinski was designated for assignment.

Turley wasn't great Sunday -- four innings, eight hits, four runs -- but he didn't walk anybody and struck out four and threw 46 strikes in his 73 pitches. I expect he'll get more starts; Phil Hughes hasn't thrown since going on the DL, so he's not close to returning, and Hector Santiago doesn't have a timeline to return either.

Jorge Polanco is to rejoin the team from his breavement leave today, so another move is coming.

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