Emilio Pagán has not only been bad this season for the Minnesota Twins, but has been one of the worst relievers in baseball going on three seasons now. Our friend Aaron Gleeman said it best:
Continuing to trot out Pagán every few days is actively harming the Minnesota Twins. He continues to harm the team and his upside is certainly not high enough to warrant the catastrophic performances we see from him on a weekly basis. Additionally, the Minnesota Twins have plenty of players just 15 minutes away from Target Field who could fill in for Pagán. There’s a great chance that these players would perform better than Pagán, and would give each of them valuable experience with an eye toward sticking in the bullpen for years to come.
These four players are better options for the Minnesota Twins’ bullpen than Emilio Pagán:
Jovani Moran should be a familiar name for Minnesota Twins fans as he has been up with the Twins many times this season. In his time with the Twins, Moran has been more than solid, owning a 1.93 ERA in 23 1/3 innings in 2022. Moran is a left-handed pitcher who possesses a nasty changeup that can neutralize right-handers. Moran is certainly a pitcher who has a future in this Twins bullpen and the fact that Emilio Pagán is getting more play than him isn’t right.
Ronny Henriquez was acquired from the Texas Rangers in the Mitch Garver/Isaiah Kiner-Falefa swap early in the 2022 offseason. Henriquez has not been amazing for the Twins in 2022, owning a 5.90 ERA for the AAA affiliate, but he has been better as of late. In 26 innings since June 21, the right-hander owns a 3.12 ERA with a 29/8 K/BB ratio. What makes Henriquez an intriguing option for the Minnesota Twins bullpen is that he has yet to be tested in a true 1-2 inning bullpen role. Henriquez can get to the upper 90s with his fastball and his pitch repertoire might just be one that thrives in a bullpen role rather than the 4-5 inning stretches that he has been pitching with the Saints this season. Henriquez is currently on the 40-man roster with the Minnesota Twins.
The Minnesota Twins acquired Evan Sisk in its trade with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2021 for J.A. Happ. Sisk performed extremely well this season in Wichita and was moved up to the St. Paul Saints where he has continued his great pitching out of the bullpen. In 14 innings with the St. Paul Saints in 2022, Sisk owns a 2.57 ERA with a K/9 of 9.6. Sisk is not currently on the 40-man roster for the Twins so would need to be added if he were to be called up to the big-league club.
Acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays in the Nelson Cruz trade last summer, Drew Strotman struggled mightily as a starting pitcher with the Minnesota Twins in 2021. Coming into 2022, the Twins opted to convert Strotman into a reliever and he continued to struggle in the early months of this season. Over the past month and a half, though, Strotman appears to have turned a corner and become somewhat of a weapon for the St. Paul Saints. Over his last 10 appearances, Strotman has a 1.32 ERA and opponents are hitting just .180 off of him. On the season, Strotman has demonstrated the ability to miss bats, boasting a K/9 in the double digits.
Control can be an issue for Strotman, but when he’s able to locate his pitches, he can be really solid. Strotman is already on the 40-man roster, so no roster finagling would need to be done with a Strotman call-up.
Do you agree that these options would be better for the Twins’ bullpen than Emilio Pagán? How would you rank your confidence in these names? Leave a comment below and start the conversation!