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Following the Twins loss to the Tigers on Thursday afternoon at Target Field, they announced that Jose Berrios and Tyler Duffey had been optioned to Rochester. The club announced that lefty Andrew Albers was called up and another pitcher would be promoted before Friday's game. Twins Daily has learned that player is Alex Wimmers.

In June of 2010, the Minnesota Twins selected the two-time Big 10 Pitcher of the Year with the 21st overall pick out of Ohio State. There was reason to believe, and many scouts around baseball concurred, that he could be a quick-riser, nearly MLB ready.

He began his professional career later that summer by allowing one run in 15.2 innings (5 BB, 23 K) for the Ft. Myers Miracle. He headed into that 2011 season with an opportunity to move quickly, as Kyle Gibson had in 2010. But that's when things went off track.">

Wimmers' Long Road Finally Leads To Big Leagues

It's been a long journey, full of ups and downs for Alex Wimmers. However, on Thursday afternoon, he finally got the call he had long been waiting for. "Alex Wimmers, you're heading to the big leagues! Congratulations!"

Following the Twins loss to the Tigers on Thursday afternoon at Target Field, they announced that Jose Berrios and Tyler Duffey had been optioned to Rochester. The club announced that lefty Andrew Albers was called up and another pitcher would be promoted before Friday's game. Twins Daily has learned that player is Alex Wimmers.

In June of 2010, the Minnesota Twins selected the two-time Big 10 Pitcher of the Year with the 21st overall pick out of Ohio State. There was reason to believe, and many scouts around baseball concurred, that he could be a quick-riser, nearly MLB ready.

He began his professional career later that summer by allowing one run in 15.2 innings (5 BB, 23 K) for the Ft. Myers Miracle. He headed into that 2011 season with an opportunity to move quickly, as Kyle Gibson had in 2010. But that's when things went off track.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs (photo of Alex Wimmers)
Wimmers showed up to minor league spring training in 2011, but something clearly wasn't right. He wasn't able to throw strikes, at all. In his first start, Wimmers walked the first six batters he faced before being removed from the game. He was essentially shut down, sent to extended spring training, and started from scratch.

He came back in mid-July, working out of the Miracle bullpen. The problem appeared to be corrected. He ended the season with two starts. In his final start, he threw a seven-inning no-hitter for the Miracle.

Again, hope was high. Wimmers was set to start the 2012 season in AA New Britain. He made his first start, and then he didn't start again that year. In fact, he lost his season, and the 2013 season, to Tommy John surgery.

He returned to the Miracle to start the 2014 season. He primarily pitched out of the bullpen, though he made some starts. He struggled.

In 2015, he moved up to AA Chattanooga to start the season. He struggled in 18 starts, but he ended the season posting a 2.91 ERA in 12 relief appearances.

The bullpen is where he has pitched through the 2016 season. He posted a 6.43 ERA in six games (7 IP) for Chattanooga to start the season but was promoted to Rochester. He struggled for about a week, but since the end of May, he has really taken to the bullpen job.

He's worked two innings a handful of times, but for the most part, he's pitched one inning at a time. And manager Mike Quade isn't afraid to use him late in games. Wimmers has responded well. In fact, he's recorded 11 saves in 12 save opportunities with the Red Wings. IN 49.2 innings, he's walked 24, but he's struck out 50.

And after pitching an inning to complete another Red Wings win in Norfolk on Thursday afternoon, Wimmers got The Call he'd dreamed about.

I'd imagine that Wimmers got off the phone, and after likely loud cheers from his teammates, he had to have spent a few moments reminiscing about the long trek that the minor league career has taken. I'm sure he thought about those low points. I'm guessing he thought about the times when he certainly wondered what he would do next. Every minor leaguer likely experiences that discussion in their minds, but then imagine the pride he and his family must have upon receiving that phone call.

The 27-year-old became a father for the first time earlier this summer. I would imagine that that event, as well as his wedding day, were great moments of pride for Alex Wimmers and his family. I would imagine that today, August 25th, 2016, is another day that the Wimmers family will never forget.

While it's disappointing for Twins fans that Berrios and Duffey needed to be sent back to Rochester, there can't be a single Twins fan that doesn't feel really good for Alex Wimmers getting that phone call.

Even more important, Wimmers isn't just getting The Call, he has earned this opportunity.

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53 Comments

We sent down two starters and called up one reliever and one starter.  What does this mean?  Hopefully this is not a situation where we are going to ask Wimmer to go back to starting without stretching out all summer. 

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howieramone2
Aug 25 2016 04:25 PM

 

We sent down two starters and called up one reliever and one starter.  What does this mean?  Hopefully this is not a situation where we are going to ask Wimmer to go back to starting without stretching out all summer. 

It means he's a reliever and nothing else.

    • HitInAPinch likes this

We sent down two starters and called up one reliever and one starter. What does this mean? Hopefully this is not a situation where we are going to ask Wimmer to go back to starting without stretching out all summer.


I would imagine that Pat Dean will slide into the rotation.
    • mikelink45 and HitInAPinch like this
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Brandon Warne
Aug 25 2016 04:41 PM

Dean and Albers will make starts until Santiago is ready. 

    • HitInAPinch likes this
Congrats to Alex, and congrats to TD on the scoop.
    • twinssouth and HitInAPinch like this

Dean and Albers will make starts until Santiago is ready.

OMG! :)
    • kwazie71 likes this

Great to see years of hard work, battling through adversity, and determination pay off for the kid.  I hope he does well!

    • birdwatcher, jimmer and Dozier's Glorious Hair like this
Good for him. He's had a difficult road. Hopefully he has success.
    • Kwak likes this

I sure hope he has success. But with the way things have gone with the rest of our prospects I am skeptical.

Cup of coffee that includes a whole lot of financial benefits. See above.

Good for him.

Congratulations. Many of us are pulling for him.
    • brvama, TheLeviathan, jimmer and 1 other like this

 

Congratulations. Many of us are pulling for him.

I want every Twin to succeed, even ones I don't think are very good.  

 

GO TWINS!!!!

    • birdwatcher, ScrapTheNickname and Homer Hanky like this
While the who,E Albers and Dean situation is unsettling, Wimmers coming up is a very nice story. Congratulations and all the best to the kid!

Our prospects that did well in the minor leagues struggled. So, logically, our prospects who struggled in the minor leagues will excell! I predict a solid major league career for Alex! 

    • birdwatcher, wavedog, bluechipper and 2 others like this
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TheLeviathan
Aug 25 2016 08:18 PM

If nothing else, there were times this seemed like it was laughable to imagine happening.  So good for him.

    • birdwatcher, Danchat and bluechipper like this
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Deduno Abides
Aug 25 2016 08:36 PM
Question: with the possible exception of Fernando Romero, have the Twins ever had a pitcher undergo TJ and come back close what he was before?

Seems like there are plenty of good pitchers who have had TJ, but all of the Twins pitchers who have it see their careers ended (Scott Baker) or reduced (Alex Wimmers, Kyle Gibson). Joe Nathan returned close to his previous level, but not until he joined another team. Anyone else?

Well, Albers and Dean. Sigh. Too bad Logan Darnell is again, injured, at month's end. Otherwise.....

 

Sadly, I would rather see Wheeler and Mejia get the call. I expect both of those guys to contribute something in 2017. 

 

Don't get me wrong. I don't hate Albers or Dean. Good for them. But.....

 

I guess two starts for Berrios to work on whatever it was Blyleven/Santana/ Allen/Guardado discussed with him. Would like to see Duffey work out of the pen and come back as a long man (why do we only egt an inning out of our relief pitchers...isn't Rogers AND someone long guys, or should be long guys, in games we are losing).

 

I'm watching StubHub for CHEAP September seats for Twins games as they play their final 36, needing 22 loses to hit 100.

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clutterheart
Aug 25 2016 09:12 PM
What?????
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Halsey Hall
Aug 25 2016 09:29 PM

Good for Wimmers!I was at the Miracle game where he walked so many, and hit the backstop with at least 6 pitches.One batter made contact, hit it to his feet and he stood there and did nothing.I really doubted this day would ever come, so good for him.

    • SwainZag and howieramone2 like this
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bluechipper
Aug 25 2016 10:27 PM

 

Good for Wimmers!I was at the Miracle game where he walked so many, and hit the backstop with at least 6 pitches.One batter made contact, hit it to his feet and he stood there and did nothing.I really doubted this day would ever come, so good for him.

So Wimmers was a great college pitcher, then forgets how to throw a baseball when bumped up to professional baseball. Berrios is a great minor league pitcher, but looks awful when in the majors. Byron Buxton is a total stud in the minors, but looks absolutely lost when promoted to the majors...

 

Not that these are necessarily related, but I think there's a flaw in the system (possible understatement of the year)

 

Oh yeah, good luck to Alex Wimmers. And throw the ball over the plate please!.

Dean and Albers yuck must I say more congrats wimmers I'm sure he back in minors in 3 days.
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nicksaviking
Aug 25 2016 11:45 PM

Dean and Albers will make starts until Santiago is ready.


That's frightening. I've seen Santiago pitch as a Twin, there's a high degree of probability he'll never be "ready".
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operation mindcrime
Aug 26 2016 03:10 AM
Happy for Wimmers!

Can't we even congratulate a player without ripping 2 or 3 others down?  This site has become so pessimistic it's depressing.  I wish Alex the best and i hope he succeeds.  There are so many people so negative, that you are already blaming the pitching coach, the system and the front office for players for him no succeeding.  I can't even com to this site without hearing excuses.

 

 Berrios walks two batters and gives up a gift 3-run HR today...........let's blame everyone in the system. Jose knows how to pitch.  You don't blow by AA and AAA without knowing how.  You don't throw 55 of 91 pitches for strikes without knowing how to pitch.  Give the guy some time.  We don't have to blame someone for everything bad thing that happens.  ****.  A pitcher has a bad start............we blame the front office, the manager, the pitching coach and then the catcher.  They are human beings.  The Twins organization is not the only one that young players struggle.  Look it up. There are more players in the league than Michael Trout.  

 

I know all of you know what it's like to be a young twenty-something in a major league organization............but good christ.  I love this site, but it's getting to the point where I can't even come here anymore and that's sad.  Ugh. good night.

    • Han Joelo, Mike Sixel, pbrezeasap and 8 others like this

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