The Twins will do something over the next few weeks that was unthinkable at the beginning of the month. They will monitor clubs that will have relievers available prior to the July 31 trade deadline, a team source said.
This according to LEN III at the Strib, who goes on to speculate that the Twins could target relievers from the Padres. As one of the worst teams in baseball, San Diego is a definite seller for the non-waiver trade deadline at the end of next month. Specifically Neal names Chad Qualls (who Beau wrote about recently) and Mike Adams.
Adams, to your right, looks a bit like Lurch from The Adams Family. Don't let that put you off.
|2011 - Chad Qualls||4-3||36||0||0||0||0||3||37.0||36||11||10||1||10||20||2.43||1.24|
Qualls is having a stellar campaign in spite of career-low strikeout rates. Some of it might be due to luck (his fly ball rate is low, however his homer-per-flyball ratio is due for regression), but he's also getting a lot of ground balls (57% of balls in play) and getting a lot of weak contact as hitters chase balls out of the zone (35%).
|2011 - Mike Adams||2-1||34||0||0||0||1||1||33.1||17||5||5||2||4||36||1.35||.63|
Adams has been the epitome of dominance as a relief pitcher. He's made a career of mowing down batters on both sides of the plate, but this season the 32 is having a career year. Left-handed hitters are struggling with an astonishingly low .457 OPS against. Right-handed hitters are even worse as they own a .410 OPS.
Something has to be said for both pitchers having the advantage of a pitcher's park. But they're both still good relievers, and both would certainly be definite upgrades for the Minnesota bullpen.
Trade season has been delayed a bit this year with so many teams remaining in a relatively competetive position. Sooner or later though, things will have to kick off. And this is our first taste of it for the Twins.