Baseball is a marathon, not a sprint. All that stuff. But sometimes you do need to make big changes, at one time. With their eighth consecutive loss in the books and the bullpen in big trouble I've been thinking about what, if anything, the front office could do to try and make an improvement or two.
At this point it's all about patching holes. Trades for proven bullpen arms aren't going to happen, and at this point shouldn't, which means all we can do is look to the farm and see what's available. And judging from sources who know, it sounds like Gardy is thinking the exact same thing.
It looks like it'll all start with Jose Mijares heading to the disabled list, which suits me just fine. I've been critical of Mijares from the start this season because he's had no command, hitters are teeing off, he's unable to strand runners, and ultimately it seems he's losing velocity.
Should the Twins look to make more than one move, they'll likely attempt to DFA Jim Hoey as well. He'll be the one removed from the 40-man roster.
[Edit: As soon as I published this story I read the Twins have called up Phil Dumatrait and Anthony Swarzak to fill out their bullpen. Not the choices I would have made, but you can tell that from reading my thoughts below. On the plus side, both pitchers have put up decent lines to date in Rochester.]
Chuck James will be the new lefty, and has been nothing short of outstanding for the Red Wings. He's struck out 30 in 22.2 innings, walking just eight en route to a 1.99 ERA. He's allowing just one base runner per inning. At 29 James has little left to prove at triple-A. It's time to see what he can do with the Twins.
The right-hander could be Carlos Gutierrez. Still just 24, the team and Gardy have loved him for a couple of years now. This season his 2.74 ERA is helping hold down the Rochester bullpen, although his 15-to-12 strikeout-to-walk ratio isn't terribly impressive he's been limiting base hits and home runs. He hasn't allowed a single one, thanks in large part to that massive, unbelieveable 71% ground ball rate.
Off the 40-man
In addition to Hoey, the Twins could look to take off another pitcher such as Eric Hacker or Dusty Hughes. But they could also try to pass STEVE HOLM! through waivers.
Whatever goes does later today or early tomorrow, changes are coming. But what else would you do? Would you move Francisco Liriano to the bullpen and call up Kyle Gibson now, or would you wait? If you do it now, who else are you kicking out of the bullpen?