Friday, April 19, 2019

Ryne Harper and roster churn

Michael Pineda had a short start on Thursday, and Ryne Harper picked up the slack with 3.1 scoreless innings.

Which may be too much of a good thing for Harper personally. He emerged from that outing with the same 0.00 ERA with which he entered (8.1 innings), but it figures to be a few days before he pitches again. If he has options left, and I'm guessing he does, the Twins may ship him to Rochester to bring up a fresh arm.

This sort of roster shuffling has become routine, and it's part of why teams routinely go through dozens of players over the course of a season. The Twins last year used 54 players. The 1970 Twins -- a cherry-picked example, I freely admit -- used just 35. There is simply much more roster churn than there once was.

Is it an effective approach? Well, if the Twins demote Harper for a fresh arm, he's gone a minimum of 10 days. They lose, in effect, a week of Harper for the benefit of somebody being available to pitch the next three days. And in most cases, that's a somebody who's really only on the roster to work low-leverage innings -- there to pitch innings the manager doesn't want to put on the likes of Trevor May or Taylor Rogers.

The Twins presumably think Harper is better than Ryan Eades or Zack Littell. I'd rather see him stay than be shuttled.

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