Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Win one (game), lose one (pitcher)

Adalberto Mejia left Tuesday's game in the fourth inning with what was described as soreness in the biceps/triceps area. I guess that means the upper arm. He went on the disabled list immediately after the game, with a corresponding move to be announced today.

A good guess is that Hector Santiago's rehab assignment will be cut short, with the veteran lefty returned to the roster. He might either step into the rotation spot vacated by Mejia or into the long relief role now occupied by Dillon Gee, who threw four scoreless innings for the save Tuesday, 55 pitches.

With the Twins now 1.5 games out of a playoff spot, this is a potentially important decision. My thinking, which may not be shared by management, is:

  • If the primary purpose is to try to snag one of the wild card berths, they should put Gee in the rotation.
  • If the primary purpose is to get something in an August waiver deal, they should put Santiago in the rotation.

Paul Molitor sounded in his postgame comments like he was leaning toward the first.

There are other possibilities, including putting both in the rotation and putting Kyle Gibson in the bullpen.

As for Mejia: The hefty lefty is to have an MRI today. (I like the sound of "the hefty lefty" and expect to run that description into the ground.) His ERA is 4.47, which is exactly league average by ERA+. He's been their third-best starter for much of the season, but has seldom worked deep into games. Mejia has pitched 86.2 innings across 18 starts, less than five innings per start, and has finished six innings only four times.

I've had Mejia penciled into the 2018 rotation whenever I look to the near future. We'll see if this injury forces that to change.

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