Monday, April 23, 2018

Notes from the weekend

Ugly series all told against Tampa Bay for the Twins. They couldn't deal with the former Twins in the Rays outfield (Denard Span and Carlos Gomez) and the bullpen stuck so bad one assumes the trainer had to check the old guys for signs of decomposion.

Span went 5-for-14 with three runs and six RBIs. Gomez scored the winning run on Friday and hit a monster walk-off homer off the previously impregnable Addison Reed on Sunday.

Go-Go, by the way, is hitting third for Tampa Bay despite a .160 batting average. It's still early.


Gabriel Moya, lefty reliever I really like even through his major league numbers to date aren't good, was optioned out Sunday to make room for Phil Hughes. Dick Bremer was claiming that Hughes showed improved velocity on his rehab assignment, but we certainly didn't see that in Sunday's start.

For the first time, I now consider it a genuine possibility that the Twins will give up on Hughes relatively soon. They're on the hook for not only this season but next on his contract, so that's a genuine consideration. But when Ervin Santana returns -- and my guess is end of May at the earliest for that -- there's no room for him in the rotation. And there may not be room for him in the bullpen either.

Gotta get outs. And Hughes needs to start getting them soon.


Luke Bard, a hard-throwing relief prospect the Twins lost to the Angels in the Rule 5 draft, has now been designated for assignment. If he slips through waivers, I would assume the Twins will happily reclaim him.

Bard is said to have the highest spin rate on his four-seam fastball in the majors this year. That's nice. It obviously wasn't enough to keep him on the Angels roster.

If the Twins get him back, it may make it a bit easier for Minnesota to abandon the Tyler Kinley experiment. Kinley has pitched just three innings so far, and those innings haven't made Paul Molitor eager to increase his role. It's difficult for a contender to carry a Rule 5 guy.

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