MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 17: Lester Oliveros #17 of the Minnesota Twins delivers a pitch against the Cleveland Indians in the second inning on September 17, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Following last night's almost comeback against the Phillies, the Twins recalled Lester Oliveros from triple-A. With the exception of a terrible appearance his last time out (5 runs, 0.2 innings on June 11), Oliveros was pretty good for the Red Wings. Between Rochester and New Britain this season he's struck out 38 and walked 12 in 36.2 innings, surrendering just 26 hits and a single home run.
A "depleted bullpen" is the reason behind recalling a reliever, and examining the appearances of the Minnesota bullpen over the last ten days doesn't exactly bear that out.
I'd guess that Manship and Swarzak will both be unavailable until Saturday or Sunday, and Perkins has thrown two days in a row, but even without Oliveros that would leave Burnett, Burton, Capps, Duensing, and Gray available out of the bullpen tonight. Perhaps one or two of them go longer tonight, but this move still seems premature.
More after the jump.
With P.J. Walters getting a MRI yesterday and likely to miss his next start, and with speculation still brewing that Liam Hendriks could be called up to make a start on Saturday, making a move on a starting pitcher would have seemed like the logical choice to make. Instead the Twins have called up Oliveros, meaning that bringing up Hendriks (or anyone else to start) would necessitate two roster moves.
Someone will need to start on Saturday, whether that's Hendriks or perhaps Swarzak, but there will now also be a question of who starts on June 23. Monday is an off day, meaning the Twins can cycle through Francisco Liriano, Nick Blackburn, Scott Diamond, and Saturday's starter, until next Saturday when a hole may need to be filled again (barring a clean bill of healthy for Walters). If Hendriks does arrive for this Saturday and Walters isn't ready to go next weekend, it's likely we'd see the return of Cole De Vries.
Which makes the Minnesota pitching staff a bit like musical chairs.