Saturday, September 8, 2018

Contemplating Trevor May

Trevor May was credited with the win Friday night. This gives the big righty a 4-1 record in 15 appearances for the Twins.

Plus he has four holds -- save-situation leads turned over to the next reliever. Nine quasi-decisions in 15 games suggests that Paul Molitor has not shied away from giving May game-crucial innings.

May has allowed seven earned runs since his call-up during the sell-off in late July, four of them in an ill-fated "opening" assignment in Houston. He also -- impressive ratios alert -- has walked three and struck out 24 in 17.1 innings.

May is, from all appearances, recovering well from his 2017 Tommy John surgery. What he hasn't done -- and this is unusual in Molitor's bullpens -- is work back-to-back games. This makes sense: He was out all of 2017, and 2018 is a season that combines actual game work with rehab. Molitor is protecting him with usage limitations.

Which means his future is wide open once again. Come 2019, May could return to a starting role. He might get a more prominent slot in late-inning relief. Or he could remain essentially where he is, working in the middle of games but more frequently.

I'd like to see him get another opportunity as a starting pitcher. But that's based on the assumption that he can be more than a five-and-fly guy, and he wasn't in his half-season as a starter in 2015.

There is a substantial difference between 30 starts, 150 innings -- five innings a start -- and 30 starts, 200 innings -- a bit less than seven innings a start. If May can do the latter, he should be in the rotation. If it's the former, he may have more value in the bullpen.

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