PJ Walters To Fill Minnesota Twins Rotation Spot
Jim Mandalaro of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle tweeted today that
PJ Walters told Mandalaro that Walters will be promoted to the Minnesota Twins and start a game this weekend. This solves the mystery of who will be taking Vance Worley's spot in the starting rotation and puts to rest speculation that prospect Kyle Gibson will be making his major league debut in the immediate future
. How the Twins will juggle their 25-man and 40-man roster to make space for Walters is still unknown.
Walters joined the Twins prior to the 2012 season as a minor league free agent, but was called up in May as the Twins rotation was besieged by injuries. He started the year with four quality starts but faded badly in June and was eventually placed on the disabled list with shoulder soreness. He returned to the majors in September with mostly poor results, ending the year with a 5.69 ERA. He was dropped from the 40-man roster this offseason.
The 28-year-old has reestablished himself this year in Rochester. In nine starts, he has posted a 3.31 ERA with 46K in 54.1 IP and 16BB. Maybe most critically, he has given up only 2 home runs, which has been his Achilles Heel in the major leagues. Last year, he gave up 12 home runs in just 61.2 IP.
The Twins will need to make room for Walters both on the 25-man roster and on the 40-man roster before his start. Since the Twins shorted themselves a starting pitcher this week, finding room on the 25-man roster will mean demoting a relief pitcher or carrying 13 pitchers and demoting a position player. There are several likely candidates but no obvious choice.
In addition, the Twins will need to find room on the 40-man roster. Seth listed seven candidates in a story earlier today
. In each case, it's possible that the Twins could lose that player from the organization.