Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Trip to Cedar Rapids: Off day

The Twins had expected to have Michael Pineda ready to step into the starting rotation next month. They wanted to spend the rest of the season looking at Adalberto Mejia.

Neither will happen.

Pineda, as you may remember, was signed to a two-year deal with an eye to 2019; he was to (and did) spend the season rehabbing his right elbow after Tommy John surgery. That went well enough that for the past month or so it was assumed that he would pitch in September. Instead, he has a meniscus tear. He might pitch winter ball. 

This, really, changes nothing about Pineda and 2019. He was expected to fill one of the rotation slots next year, and he's still expected to fill a rotation slot.

The same cannot be said of Mejia's injury, described as nerve irritation. The lefty is out of options after this season, so he's either on the active roster in 2019 or waived.

He's had a good season: 3.27 ERA in Triple A, 2.01 in five appearances in the majors. Hidden by the sparkling major league ERA: he's had just one appearance of more than 15 outs, his walk-to-strikeout ratio isn't good, and his strikeout rate is low.

But that's just 22.1 innings. The walk and strikeout rates in Triple A were strong. The innings per outing, not so much.

So Mejia really needed this opportunity. The Twins called him up in mid July to give him a chance to show, if not the Twins then somebody else, that he's capable of being a useful rotation piece. Instead, he's going to hit the offseason not only without that opportunity, but with a possibly significant health question.

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