Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Contemplating Ryan Pressly

Ryan Pressly's
strikeout rate soared
last season, but so did
his homers allowed.
I have been at times -- most of last season, this year's spring training -- eager to see Ryan Pressly's roster spot go to somebody else. What I've seen is velocity with sometimes shaky command that proves all too hittable.

The Twins have been more patient. And so far this young season, that patience is being rewarded.

On Tuesday, Pressly, now 29 and a veteran, made his fifth appearance. He has now worked 5.1 innings, allowing just six baserunners and striking out six, with no runs allowed.

I've said repeatedly that even after this offseason makeover the Minnesota bullpen was shy a reliable power arm. Pressly has been that for the first couple of weeks.

Pressly's strikeout rate has risen rather steadily from his 2013 rookie season, when he was a Rule 5 pick -- 4.4 K/9 in 2014, 7.2 in 2015, 8.0 in 2016, 9.0 last year. He's at 10.1 so far in 2018, and that will certainly play.

What wrecked 2017 for him was allowing 10 homers in 61.1 innings. He's kept the ball in the park so far in 2018. He got to pitch with a narrow lead for the first time Tuesday; it probably won't be the last.

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