• Step Right Up...

    It is now late May, and the Twins season is at a crossroads. The team has lost eight straight games as it embarks on a four-game series in Detroit against the Tigers. The season is in flux, and right now the roster, specifically the starting rotation, is in flux.

    Before tonight's game, the Twins will add Samuel Deduno to their 40 man roster and then their 25 man roster. Most likely, Tim Wood will be put on the 60 day disabled list. Following another poor performance on Thursday, the Twins optioned RHP Vance Worley to AAA Rochester. That leaves an open spot on the 25-man roster and the need for a 5th starter on Monday. So, who will it be?



    I present to you the three options with their numbers:


    • RHP Kyle Gibson is 3-5 with a 3.25 ERA. In 52.2 innings, he has allowed 46 hits, walked 14 and struck out 46. Opponents are hitting .240 against him.
    • RHP PJ Walters is 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA. In 54.1 innings, he has allowed 55 hits, walked 16 and struck out 46. Opponents are hitting .271 against him.
    • LHP Andrew Albers is 1-2 with a 2.34 ERA. In 42.1 innings, he has allowed 41 hits, walked 12 and struck out 40. Opponents have hit .255 off of him.


    All three have pitched well and a case could be made for each. Quite possibly the biggest advantage for Gibson is his first-round pedigree. However, the bigger disadvantage to Walters and Albers is that they are not on the 40 man roster.

    The question often is asked: who could the Twins take off their 40 man roster to make room for either of them? Well, assuming Wood goes on the 60 Day DL, they do not have another player eligible to put there (the DL). So, the team would have to DFA (designate for assignment) someone to make room for Monday's starter.

    It's never fun to look at who could be made available for other teams to claim, but if you think Walters or Albers is the right guy, it's an exercise that needs to be done. Here are some candidates:


    • Joe Benson - His name has been mentioned as a possible DFA candidate. After an injury-plagued 2012 season, Benson has struggled to keep his batting average above .200 this spring with Rochester. He will be out of options next season, but because of his immense athletic talents, I believe that he would be claimed and lost.
    • Drew Butera - The much-maligned backup catcher who plays tremendous defense but can't hit his weight is another name that people mention. He broke his wrist and hasn't played, though he should be getting into games soon. If there is a time that he could go unclaimed, it might be now.
    • Cole De Vries - The 28-year-old Minnesotan was on the Opening Day roster, but he went on the disabled list. In his three rehab starts and one Red Wings start, he has really struggled. I think he would clear waivers and could be kept in Rochester.
    • Liam Hendriks - Though it appears that the Twins brass has soured on the Australian right-hander, he's just 24 years old and until this year has been terrific at each minor league level. He is now on the Rochester disabled list. There is no question that he would be claimed if made available.
    • BJ Hermsen - Last year Hermsen was the Twins minor league starting pitcher of the year, and was very good in 2011 as well. Last year, he got outs and pitched very well in New Britain. This year, after going to big league camp, he was hurt. He has now made a handful of starts and struggled to regain his 2012 form. Although he doesn't have great velocity, he has two option years left, size and smarts. I think he would be claimed, but it might be more 50/50.
    • Chris Herrmann - Another is Herrmann. A year ago, or even earlier this spring, I would have said that was crazy. Now I don't think it's quite as unlikely. The Twins have five catchers on the 40 man roster. Joe Mauer and Ryan Doumit aren't going anywhere. Josmil Pinto has proven the team wise in keeping him. Herrmann is off to a slow start in his first AAA season. He can catch. He can play multiple positions and thus gives flexibility. He won't hit for average, but until his slow start, he has generally walked quite a bit and hit some doubles. I think he would be claimed.
    • Wilkin Ramirez - With Chris Colabello on the roster, the Twins have a right-handed bat off the bench. However, as the roster is currently set up, Ramirez is the backup centerfielder making it unlikely he would be made available now. I think he would clear waivers if or when they make him available.


    So, there are some candidates for removal from the 40 man roster if the Twins believe that PJ Walters or Andrew Albers is the right man to bring up now.

    It's been a rough season so far. We are just starting to see some transactions, and I anticipate we will see several more.
    This article was originally published in blog: Step Right Up... started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 30 Comments
    1. jharaldson's Avatar
      jharaldson -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      If the team is willing to demote Worley, they damned well better be ready to send Pelfrey packing as well.
      A couple of reasons to be against this:

      1. Improvement - Vance Worley had a 7.22 ERA in April and 7.20 in May showing no improvement. Pelfrey had a 7.66 ERA in April but dropped it 2 runs to 5.50 in May.

      2. Injury - Worley had a minor corrective procedure to remove bone spurs last September which we haven't heard caused him any issue this year. Pelfrey is coming off of Tommy John and was expected to start the season weaker and get better.

      I don't think his leash is super long but Pelfrey probably deserves another 4-5 starts before pulling the plug.
    1. snepp's Avatar
      snepp -
      I don't get why Pelfrey "deserves" anything. Much like Pedro Hernandez didn't "deserve" to lose his rotation spot.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by jharaldson View Post
      A couple of reasons to be against this:

      1. Improvement - Vance Worley had a 7.22 ERA in April and 7.20 in May showing no improvement. Pelfrey had a 7.66 ERA in April but dropped it 2 runs to 5.50 in May.

      2. Injury - Worley had a minor corrective procedure to remove bone spurs last September which we haven't heard caused him any issue this year. Pelfrey is coming off of Tommy John and was expected to start the season weaker and get better.

      I don't think his leash is super long but Pelfrey probably deserves another 4-5 starts before pulling the plug.
      okay, what about Correia? Look at his May ERA.

      As far as Pelfrey goes, he's basically had three good starts and a bunch of carp.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dave T View Post
      I vote to DFA Benson. He needs a fresh start (or a new line of business). We have better outfielders than him coming up, and he knows it.

      I think we should keep Thielbar in the bullpen, not send him back down. Not all of those bullpen guys are worth keeping. Roenicke, I'm looking at you.

      I think we should promote Albers for a week or two, until Gibson's Super-2 date is passed. It will be useful to Albers development, and we surely need some young pitchers to get better in a hurry.

      I don't think Pelfrey is going anywhere. Twins management knew when they signed him that his first year back might be rocky. The price you pay is one bad year. The hope is, he regains his ability to locate pitches while he's under contract to the Twins.
      If you only do a cursory glance at their numbers, yes, Pelfrey has looked "better" (still awful).

      But dig into the numbers a bit more and a different story is told.

      Worley BABIP: .401 (incredibly unlucky)
      Pelfrey BABIP: .368 (very unlucky but looks like a lottery winner compared to Worley)

      Worley HR/FB: 15.5% (LOL, ouch)
      Pelfrey HR/BB: 6.8% (absurdly low and will only trend upward)

      Worley GB: 47.1%
      Pelfrey GB: 40.1% (given that he only puts the ball on the ground four of ten times, expect many balls to start leaving the park)

      All of that translates to...

      Worley xFIP: 4.83
      Pelfrey xFIP: 5.33

      Worley has pitched very badly this season. Pelfrey has pitched worse, only he's slightly luckier than Worley. Nothing about watching Mike Pelfrey makes me think he's going to succeed this season. It was a good gamble but it was just that... a gamble. He shouldn't continue to get playing time if he continues putting up horrendous numbers while also magically avoiding home runs (something a pitcher has very little control over).

      I'm not against the Worley demotion because he's pitching like crap, as evidenced by his mid-20s LD%. But he's not pitching worse than Pelfrey and Mike doesn't deserve a roster spot over Vance, particularly if he figures it out in Rochester.

      If Hendriks was healthy, I'd be all in favor of kicking Pelfrey to the curb and giving Liam the rest of the season to prove his mettle.
    1. AScheib50's Avatar
      AScheib50 -
      I live in Chicago, so I don't see a ton of games. I watch on MLB.tv if I am sitting by my computer but I don't sit down for entire games a lot.

      That said, I wanted to throw this out and there and get a sense for what everyone else thinks...

      All the BABIP numbers are out there...but the few times I have seen Worley...once in person at the Cell, in possibly his only good start, he seems less unlucky and more unimaginably hittable. I feel like at a certain point his BABIP isn't about luck as much as he's just getting crushed. Granted his BABIP will come down because that number is crazy high, but I have a hard time thinking that number is solely bad luck.
    1. Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
      Oldgoat_MN -
      I wish Pelfrey all the best, but he is only under contract for this year.

      This is a lost year. It was in March and we all pretty much knew that. Let the kids pitch and see if any of them can stick. I would rather see us getting our a$$ kicked while we are finding if any of those youngsters can make it in the bigs.

      Frankly, I don't see what Pelfrey, or Correia for that matter, do for our future.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Oldgoat_MN View Post
      I wish Pelfrey all the best, but he is only under contract for this year.

      This is a lost year. It was in March and we all pretty much knew that. Let the kids pitch and see if any of them can stick. I would rather see us getting our a$$ kicked while we are finding if any of those youngsters can make it in the bigs.

      Frankly, I don't see what Pelfrey, or Correia for that matter, do for our future.
      This should be rephrased in the form of a question by the media, and directed yet again to the FO.
    1. Aaron Cross's Avatar
      Aaron Cross -
      I'd give Pelphrey until Gibson reaches his Super 2 date (June something?). They knew when they signed him it could take half the season for him to get back on track. I'd love if he'd accept a demotion now though, and just go down for 3-5 starts. Call up albers or walters.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by Oldgoat_MN View Post
      I wish Pelfrey all the best, but he is only under contract for this year.

      This is a lost year. It was in March and we all pretty much knew that. Let the kids pitch and see if any of them can stick. I would rather see us getting our a$$ kicked while we are finding if any of those youngsters can make it in the bigs.

      Frankly, I don't see what Pelfrey, or Correia for that matter, do for our future.
      After getting over my initial frustration with the signings, my hope was they would pitch adaquate enough to fetch a couple low level prospects who would not require 40-man roster moves. Pelfrey has thrown that option out the window and Correia's honeymoon period is quickly fading.
    1. jay's Avatar
      jay -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
      Worley has pitched very badly this season. Pelfrey has pitched worse, only he's slightly luckier than Worley.
      Brock, have to be very careful with assigning all BABIP variations to luck. We're still dealing with SSS here and, as you alluded to when pointing out the LD%, BABIP doesn't catch how hard a pitcher is getting crushed. I'd have a .700 BABIP, but it wouldn't be because I'm unlucky.

      You keep on pointing out his FIP also, but some glimmer of hope can be expected there given that Worley hasn't walked a ton of guys and his HR rate hasn't been terrible (which you could very possibly call lucky).

      I don't think either one capture how poorly he has truly pitched.
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