Friday, April 27, 2018

The arson squad lights up another one

Seven losses in a row for the Twins now, three of them walk-offs. What a disastrous road trip for the Twins.

The veteran bullpen additions -- Fernando Rodney, Zach Duke and Addison Reed -- each bear a walkoff loss on their lines in this span. And yeah, Rodney had some "help" Thursday from the corner infielders (Miguel Sano and Logan Morrison) in setting up the fatal homer, but this remains true: Rodney has yet to have a 1-2-3 inning.

The Twins shuffled a bullpen roster spot repeatedly Thursday: First they filled the spot vacated by Tyler Kinley with Aaron Slegers, which gave them a long man if Kyle Gibson's start went poorly. (It didn't; it might have been the best start of Gibson's career.) During the game they announced that they had claimed David Hale on waivers; after the game they returned Slegers to Rochester. So Slegers had a prime seat for Thursday's game and got paid for watching, which isn't that bad a deal.

Claiming Hale, a 30-year-old who has pitched in the majors for Atlanta, Colorado and the Yankees without really establishing himself, feels like a return to the revolving door of mediocrity the Twins spun around in last season. I didn't expect that this season.

Thad Levine, the No. 2 in the Twins front office, told reporters the Twins had pursued Hale during the offseason. True or not, Hale is not really a fix for what ails this pitching staff. He's going to be used as a long man. The problems are early in games, with inconsistent starts, and late in games, where the Rodney-Reed-Duke-Trevor Hildenberger-Taylor Rogers quintent have not gotten it done.

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