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  • Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month - July 2022

    Ted Schwerzler

    Starters and hitters often get the glory, but there’s been plenty of solid relief performances on the farm over the past month as well. Given a constant need for pitching help, any of these performances could translate to future opportunity.

    Image courtesy of Jean Pfiefer (aka go4twinkies on Instagram), graphics by Thieres Rabelo

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    Honorable Mention

    • Wladimir Pinto (St. Paul Saints) 6 G, 8.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.88 WHIP
    • Drew Strotman (St. Paul Saints) 6 G, 6.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 7 K, 1.35 ERA, 1.20 WHIP
    • Andrew Cabezas (Wichita) 8 G, 10.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 9 K, 0.87 ERA, 0.79 WHIP
    • Jackson Hicks (Fort Myers) 8 G, 11.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 14 K, 1.59 ERA, 0.90 WHIP

    Number Three: Matt Mullenbach (Cedar Rapids) 6 G, 6.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.98 WHIP
    Mullenbach was transferred back to High-A Cedar Rapids at the beginning of July after spending most of May and all of June down in Fort Myers. He worked as a late-inning reliever for the Kernels and proved to be a useful arm at the back end of the bullpen. Old for the level at 25, Mullenbach could push for a move to Double-A if he replicates this month through August.

    Mullenbach was originally in the Mets system back in 2019 and joined the Minnesota organization last year. He did have a Triple-A appearance in 2021, and while these types of minor league adds generally wind up being organizational depth, there’s no reason why noteworthy outliers can’t exist.

    Number Two: Cody Laweryson (Wichita) 7 G, 16.1 IP, 13 H, 1 R, 5 BB, 15 K, 0.55 ERA, 1.10 WHIP
    Maybe a bit unfair in racking up additional innings, Laweryson did make a spot start this month for the Wind Surge. Even with the additional opportunity, he continued a very solid year. Working almost exclusively as a reliever now, Laweryson has taken a sizeable step forward from where he was in 2021. The strikeouts continue to come in bunches and he does a good job limiting walks.

    Minnesota selected Lawyerson in the 14th round of the 2019 draft from the University of Maine. He pitched in the Arizona Fall League for Minnesota last season and the additional challenge against heightened competition seems to have served him well. Just 23 years old, Minnesota has to be happy with how the start of his pro career has gone.

    Number One: Hunter McMahon (Cedar Rapids) 8 G, 14.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 11 K, 0.64 ERA, 0.50 WHIP
    McMahon was promoted from Low-A Fort Myers to High-A Cedar Rapids at the end of June. He responded by being lights out and finishing four games for the Kernels. Having collected six saves this season between the two levels, McMahon has shown an ability to work late in games and get big outs. His 9.3 K/9 this season is a bit lower than 2021, but he’s continued to issue virtually no free passes.

    The Washington Nationals took McMahon in the 9th round of the 2019 Major League Baseball draft. Now 24, McMahon joined the Twins organization in 2021 when they traded reliever Ryne Harper. He was little more than a lottery ticket, but pitching like this could certainly give him future promise for a pitcher they were going to instead lose for nothing.

    Congratulations to each of these relievers on a fantastic month! 



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    11 hours ago, roger said:

    Reading about McMahon got me thinking about how long it can be to see the results from a trade.  

    since he's been acquired, there was a lost minor-league season, and he had an arm surgery (maybe TJ?)... Just getting healthy this year. 

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    One of the first things I look at when I pull up minor league pitching stats, especially for relief pitchers, is walks.  McMahon does a good job of limiting free passes.  I haven't been able to find much scouting report info on him.  Does anyone know what kind of stuff he has?

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