Thursday, April 26, 2018

The end of the Tyler Kinley Experiment

Tyler Kinley's ERA
is 24.38. That decimal
point is not misplaced.
The Twins announced after Wednesday's loss to the Yankees (six losses in a row now) that they would designate Tyler Kinley for assignment. So the Rule 5 guy is coming off the 40-man roster, either by trading his Rule 5 rights to somebody willing to carry him on the 25 man roster all year or by returning him to the Miami Marlins, whence he came.

I've noted often enough that the Twins exposed Nick Burdi and Luke Bard to the Rule 5 draft in order to open a roster spot for Kinley. Bard was DFA'd a few days ago by the Angels; his status is unknown. Burdi will spend most if not all of the season on the disabled list as he rehabs his surgically reconstructed elbow; his Rule 5 clock won;t start ticking until 2019.

My sense of this is that I wouldn't trade either Bard or Burdi for Kinley, but one aspect that I haven't dwelt on much is that Kinley has been healthier than either of the others. Both Bard and Burdi have missed a lot of time to injuries in the minors. (They've also been, generally, more effective when they've been able to pitch than Kinley.)

This is a common thread among the young arms the Twins discarded during the off-season to clear space on the 40-man roster. Not just Bard and Burdi, but J.T. Chagrois and Randy Rosario -- hard throwers with injury histories. If half of life is just showing up, half of pitching is just taking the mound.

Kinley could take the mound. He just wasn't good enough on the mound to get more innings for this team, and even with this losing streak, this team has sufficient ambitions that it can't afford to sacrifice a roster spot to somebody it can't use.

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