Friday, August 18, 2017

One win, one loss, lots to talk about

Glen Perkins, in the first of Thursday's games, became the 32nd player to pitch for the Twins this year. Simply getting back onto a major league mound after essentially having his shoulder reconstructed is quite an accomplishment.

That said, his outing wasn't good. He hit two batters, walked another, threw more balls than strikes, got just one out.

He hit 93 at least once, but he didn't have command. He says he'll be better in future outings. We'll see. I'm pleased he's back; now I want to see him be effective enough to justify a role.


Aaron Slegers, in the second game, became pitcher 33. He was pretty impressive in his big league debut: 6.1 innings, two hits, two walks, three strikeouts. Paul Molitor pulled him after just 82 pitches, which struck me as a prematurely quick hook.

Slegers is being sent back to Rochester, as he was the 26th man for the doubleheader, the Twins are in the midst of a staff-straining seven-games-in-five-days stretch and he can't help further with that, and, well, numbers, man.  (Despite what Dick Bremer kept saying during the telecast, my understanding of the rules is that he could remain and somebody else removed from the 25-man roster, but all the somebodies who could be sent down in his stead might help in the next five days.)

But it's really difficult to concoct a baseball rationale for keeping Kyle Gibson in the rotation and Slegers in the minors. Plus there's an opening in the rotation with putative fifth starter Dietrich Enns going on the disabled list.


Enns went on the disabled list to make room on the 25 man roster for Perkins. Enns missed considerable time earlier in the year with a shoulder issue, but he was quoted as saying that this is in a different area of the shoulder.

Buddy Boshers gave up another homer in the first game and was demoted to Rochester between games, with Nik Turley activated. Bet you forgot Turley was still on the 40-man roster. (I knew only because I've been trying to figure out how to open enough space on the 40 to add all the Rule 5 eligible players I want the Twins to protect this winter.) Turley at least gives them another long man in the bullpen (and a potential starter). If he's still around a week from now, something went very wrong.


Robbie Grossman broke his left thumb bumping into Byron Buxton in the outfield. He's out probably three weeks or so; Molitor suggested he will be able to hit before he can throw again.

Mitch Garver, primary position catcher, was called up during the night to take his place on the 25-man roster. Garver has played a few innings in left field for Rochester, but I wouldn't advocate having him platoon in right field with Max Kepler, which was a significant portion of Grossman's playing time.

The move means the Twins don't have an true fourth outfielder. Presumably Zack Granite (left-handed hitter) will be back when rosters expand, if not sooner. Either way, with Grossman out, I'd just as soon see Kepler play even against lefties. He's too young and talented to condemn to a strict platoon role. He's not going to get better against southpaws facing them this infrequently.

My commentary on the major league team will be muted at best the next few days; I'm headed to Cedar Rapids for my annual look-see at the Kernels.

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