Saturday, August 11, 2018

Burning Kohl

Baseball isn't the meritocracy we imagine it to be.

Were Kohl Stewart the fourth pick of the 11th round of the 2013 draft, his performance in the minors might have gotten him released by now. But he was the fourth pick of the first round that year, and he's going to start for the Twins on Sunday.

There are at least four pitchers in the Twins system I would rather see with this opportunity -- assuming their availability -- but it's Stewart who got the call.

It may not be an extended stint in the rotation. The Twins reportedly don't believe the wrist strain that sent Aldaberto Mejia to the disabled list is serious; he may well miss just the one start.

On the other hand, the Fernando Rodney trade demonstrates that the decision makers are quite willing to dump veteran salaries to open roster spots even if they have no obvious successor, so it would be no real surprise if they moved Jake Odorizzi or Ervin Santana or even Kyle Gibson in a waiver deal. (Well, Gibson would surprise me.)

As for Stewart's credentials:

The flip side, from ESPN prospect guy Keith Law's chat last week:

Dan: Kohl Stewart has put together some nice starts recently. Can he still become a viable starter?
Keith Law: He hasn’t, though. Still throws strikes with no out pitch.

We have seen Gibson transform from a guy who strikes out about 6.5 men per nine innings to, this year, 8.7. It's not impossible that Stewart has also learned how to use his stuff to miss bats. But I'm skeptical. 

1 comment:

  1. I like this move. He has pitched well at AAA. It may not translate to the majors, but you can't find that out for sure by leaving him in the minors. The Twins have a real chance of losing him if he isn't added to the 40 man this winter. Might be a good time to find out a little more about him in a lost season.

    They should have better ideas about the likely big league success of most other possible minor candid ates for the major league staff next year.