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4th OF Discussion with Hamilton now DFA'd

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With Billy Hamilton DFA'd by KC today should we claim him to be our 4th OF/ speed off the bench?This would allow our OF defense to be at...
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Front Page: 6 Reasons Why the Twins Will Win the AL Central

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We’ve got less than six full weeks left in the 2019 Major League Baseball regular season. The Minnesota Twins are looking for their first...
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Internal Relief Help Could Provide Second-Half Upgrade

Minnesota is likely looking to add pitching to their roster before the July 31st trade deadline. While multiple moves could be made in the coming weeks, the Twins could look to supplement their roster with internal players. There are multiple players the team has already used this year, or it might be in the form of other prospects working their way to Target Field.

Could the Twins look to internal help instead of trading for a reliever?
Image courtesy of © David Berding-USA TODAY Sports
Lefty Duo
Lewis Thorpe, a left-handed pitcher, made one start for the Twins this year. Back on June 30, he held the White Sox to two earned runs on five hits while striking out seven. Thorpe is coming of a 2018 season where he was named Jim Rantz Award winner as the Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year.

Thorpe’s pitching repertoire might be a good fit as a bullpen arm. His fastball sits in the low-90s and he mixes in a slider, a curveball, and a changeup. Throughout his five professional seasons, Thorpe has been used as a relief pitcher on three separate occasions. In the last week, Rochester used Thorpe in relief, but this was so Fernando Romero could be utilized as an opener.

Devin Smeltzer, another left-handed pitcher, has made three appearances with the Twins this year. Across 16 2/3 innings, he has a 3.24 ERA, a 1.02 WHIP and a 13 to 4 strikeout to walk ratio. Right before the All-Star break, Smeltzer was used as a relief arm after Kyle Gibson had started the game as an opener. In that appearance, he allowed one run on five hits in 4 1/3 innings.

Smeltzer doesn’t exactly fit the mold of power-throwing lefty. His fastball sits in the high-80s while his change up (82.9 mph) and curveball (76.4 mph) help to keep hitters off-balance. Out of his 216 big-league pitches, only three pitches have been barreled up against him. Since Smeltzer is more of a finesse pitcher, it might make more sense for Thorpe to be given the first crack at a relief role.

Other Names to Consider
Over the last couple weeks, multiple 40-man roster spots have been vacated. Adalberto Mejia, Andrew Vasquez, Mike Morin and Ronald Torreyes were all either outrighted or designated for assignment. Minnesota currently has three open 40-man roster spots and no clear indication of what the plan will be for these openings. Perhaps, the club could be looking at internal options to add to the bullpen.

Cody Allen, the former Indians and Angels closer, has been working his way through the Twins system. He made three appearances with Fort Myers and didn’t allow a run. Since joining Rochester, he has allowed two runs in three appearances with two strikeouts.

Over the weekend, Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press mentioned that the Twins could look at other internal options. “It’s not necessarily Triple-A pitchers the Twins are considering, either,” Walters said. “They could reach to Double-A and even high-A for help. Those would be pitchers with fastballs in the mid-to-high 90s-mph range.”

Edwar Colina is a player that could fit that mold as he was just promoted from High-A to Double-A. As a right-handed pitcher, he can hit triple-digits with his fastball. In 61 2/3 innings as a starter, he has a 2.34 ERA with a 1.10 WHIP. Also, he has a 61 to 15 strikeout to walk ratio. He made his Pensacola debut on Tuesday as he allowed two runs on four hits in four innings.

Other than Colina, Jorge Alcala, who has pitched all year with Pensacola, could be a relief option. His fastball can hit into the high-90s, but there have been some struggles in his first taste of Double-A. He has a 6.15 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP in 89.1 innings. His 9.8 K/9 is good for a starter and the Twins could hope to take advantage of his strikeout ability.

It seems more than likely that the Twins will be adding a relief piece or two in the weeks ahead. Could any of these arms help the Twins in the second half? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

Other Stories of Interest
Is Taylor Rogers the AL’s Most Valuable Reliever?
Wouldja? Trading For Giants Closer Will Smith
Week in Review: Second Half Statement

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25 Comments

I would love to see them dip down into the talent below AAA.

Didn't the Two s sign a reliever or 2 recently like Krill or somone else that could get a **** too?
I wrote shot....

Also Kroll
    • TwinkieTownKiller likes this
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yarnivek1972
Jul 17 2019 12:12 PM
That’s fine as plan B in case of injury down the stretch or to shuttle replace the back end of the pen. But there are at least two relievers who should be removed from the roster right now: Duffey and Magill. Amazingly, just a few days ago that number was FOUR.

Rogers and May are a pretty solid duo at the top. What is needed are two more at or close to the level of May, maybe even above for one. Basically, making the “pecking” order:

Rogers
????
May
????
Harper
Parker
Littell

If the Twins want to occasionally shuttle up an 8th reliever, fine. That’s the role for Thorpe, Smeltzer, etc.

Attempting to improve the bullpen only using internal options isn’t going to work. It will just add question marks. The Twins don’t need more question marks. They need more “sure things” - whatever those are with regards to relievers.
    • KGB likes this

 

I wrote shot....

Also Kroll

It doesn't look like he's fairing all that well in Rochester. The majority of his runs came in one outing, but he's walking almost a guy per inning.

I'm guessing one low- to moderate-impact bullpen arm, and then a mix and match of in-house minor league guys to try and patch something together (Hildy, Allen, Stashak, Thorpe, Smeltzer, Reed, Mason, Hackimer, etc.).

 

I'm hoping to be wowed by their aggressiveness, but preparing to be underwhelmed.

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TwinkieTownKiller
Jul 17 2019 01:51 PM

 

 

 

I'm hoping to be wowed by their aggressiveness, but preparing to be underwhelmed.

This is about the thought process I have. The nice thing is the bullpen has been doing well and just replacing a couple suspect pieces with a matchup lefty or an OK option would be an upgrade. Someone like Will Smith would be fantastic but even if we got like Jake Diekman and/or Sam Dyson rentals, we'd be looking good.

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MMMordabito
Jul 17 2019 01:57 PM
DFA May and try someone else ... Also Baldelli needs to stop the ultra-coddling ... Pulling guys at 70-80 pitches when they're effective is just nonsense when you hand the ball to someone like rubberneck May

It's a;; about the 40-man. Remember, they still have Romero and Eades in the mix. If you remove someone, you may lose them. If you add someone inexperienced from the minors, they are holding a spot aand because of their "future" you will be ahrd-pressed to jettison them. That the Twins have already passed on Moya, Vasquez, DeJong and Mejia, as well as goodbyes to Morin and Adams. They have three roster spots. Which is pretty darn amazing, because besides Eades and Wade and/or Cave, the Twins have few bodies to move...unless they would aprt ways, too, with Parker, Magill. 

 

They have to make a hard decision on Gonsalves and Romero. If they could bunch those two in a trade, it would probably benefit the team and the 40-man today and tommorrow gratly.

 

And, withthe guys in AA and below, service time becomes a question, especially if you still wish to develop them as a bullpen arm.

 

No one mentions Jake Reed.

    • blindeke likes this
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SpicyGarvSauce
Jul 17 2019 02:03 PM

This article aged well.

There is no real, actual bullpen help internally.

Go get some real, bullpen help, and pay what it costs. Falvine failed over the winter, so now pay the price.

I repeat...stop pretending the help is already in the organization. That's insulting, if you ask me.
    • notoriousgod71, Sconnie, ChrisKnutson and 5 others like this

There is no real, actual bullpen help internally.

Go get some real, bullpen help, and pay what it costs. Falvine failed over the winter, so now pay the price.

I repeat...stop pretending the help is already in the organization. That's insulting, if you ask me.


If there was real help available, they would be up, right now, actively helping the team.
    • Tomj14 and dex8425 like this

 

DFA May and try someone else ... Also Baldelli needs to stop the ultra-coddling ... Pulling guys at 70-80 pitches when they're effective is just nonsense when you hand the ball to someone like rubberneck May

 

Well after today's game, it's hard to argue with you.

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ChrisKnutson
Jul 17 2019 03:49 PM
While I wouldn’t DFA May, there’s no doubt that this FO is playing with fire by continuing to roll with our current bullpen. Rocco has my full support, but his constant defense of our weak bullpen, even at the expense of our great hitters, is getting really annoying...

It almost seems like someone is telling him what to say in regards to the team’s bullpen situation...

Just remember while we’re talking about ‘dual pitcher’ trades that Ian Kennedy could easily be had today.
Twins are starting to walk the line between being buyers to being sellers.
    • jz7233 likes this

There is no real, actual bullpen help internally.

Go get some real, bullpen help, and pay what it costs. Falvine failed over the winter, so now pay the price.

I repeat...stop pretending the help is already in the organization. That's insulting, if you ask me.

I wouldn’t completely rule out seeing an internal guy like Cody Stashak come up and help the team. Littell and Harper have proven that it’s not impossible to develop internal solutions.

But of course, they need to add outside options... I’d like two very good relievers.
    • Twinsoholic and jz7233 like this

May needs to be sent to IL. Magill needs to be released. Call up Thorpe and Stashak.

    • Utah Twins Fan likes this
There ARE interesting internal options. The problem is a lack of guys proven in that role to be an upgrade.

Littell is up and looking very good! But I'm not trusting him 8th inning of a playoff game yet. The Duffey we are seeing now, the best Duffey have ever seen, ditto.

Short term, Thorpe could be a good guy. He's has enough stuff and career SO numbers. But he's only a rookie and never relieved previously. Another ditto, this one for Poppen.

There are options, but nobody who feels fully reliable at this point. And that's what is needed, a couple guys experienced who you can trust.

 

There ARE interesting internal options. The problem is a lack of guys proven in that role to be an upgrade.

Littell is up and looking very good! But I'm not trusting him 8th inning of a playoff game yet. The Duffey we are seeing now, the best Duffey have ever seen, ditto.

Short term, Thorpe could be a good guy. He's has enough stuff and career SO numbers. But he's only a rookie and never relieved previously. Another ditto, this one for Poppen.

There are options, but nobody who feels fully reliable at this point. And that's what is needed, a couple guys experienced who you can trust.

Yes, it your are a contender, reliable is the key. The ground ball pitcher. The flyball pitcher. The strikeout pitcher. Consistent. And the ability of a starter to get you to the 7th inning. When trouble arises (two guys on) you have another dependable arm that SHOULD be able to shutdown the situation. The key is to win the game, not get as much as you can out of one guy to keep everyone resh for another day.

 

 

Twins are starting to walk the line between being buyers to being sellers.

 

No, they aren't.The Twins are 22 games above 500 on July 18th, yes they have been treading water for a month now, but they are where even close to the realm of being sellers.

    • Danchat likes this
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diehardtwinsfan
Jul 18 2019 12:27 PM

Problem with the internal options is the time needed to develop them. You're in a penant race... not the time to experiment with someone...

 

Like Chief said, pay the price. 

    • USAFChief, spycake and Vanimal46 like this

I think the internal help, would be to pitch the 5th and 6th innings (replacing Magil), they need external help to pitch the 7th, 8th and 9th innings, because Rogers can't do that every game.

And if they get that external help it pushes Parker, Harper and May to be the 6th possibly 7th inning guys.

 

Baldelli and company have been doing it with mirrors and it's starting to catch up to them.The lead is down to 4 games(from a high of 12)!May alone has blown two critical games with lead-changing taters.He does not belong in close game situations, nor does Duffy a proven talent but a highly erratic pitcher.Littell is totally unproven in late inning situations.And if anyone thinks Kohl Stewart is the answer, I have a bridge to sell.

 

This leaves Rogers, Harper and Parker.Rogers has been great but his overuse will almost certainly lead to burnout in the dog days of August.Harper has been a revelation but a big question mark going forward, given his lack of major league experience.Parker, too, is capable of good outings, but as a DFA player with the Angels is not a sure bet in tense situations.

 

If Falvey and co. are truly serious about winning this division, not to mention actually advancing beyond a Round 1 playoff game, they must be willing to give up some high prospects to fill out this bullpen.Two like Giles and Smith would send a message to the team, fans and opponents alike that this team is to be taken seriously.Without two such proven shutdown relievers, this FO will look far too much like the timid terry teams of the aughts, the little engine that barely made it to the first round, then collapsed.With the trade deadline less than 2 weeks away, this FO has to make an early preemptive strike and trade away some of their best prospects now, rather than waiting to the last days to see what low hanging fruit remains.Cleveland is getting healthy and has a very easy schedule over the next 2 weeks, especially compared to the Twins 7 games against Oakland and the Yanks.The rotation has for the most part been good enough but a couple more blown saves and the Twins will find themselves looking up.It would be a waste of a great season if the Twins were allowed to collapse down the stretch ala the 2001 team due to FO mismanagment of the bullpen.

 

 

Since the brain trust has released half the bullpen they started with I’m not optimistic that internal options are the answers
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yarnivek1972
Jul 18 2019 04:36 PM
The guy I wanted to see earlier this year (Jake Reed) has kind of fallen off. He’s had three outings in the past 2 1/2 weeks where he’s given up 3 or more runs.

FWIW, his numbers against RHB are still pretty good but LHB are killing him at a .926 OPS. I don’t know what his arsenal is, but usually a good cutter can be effective from RHP to LHB.

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