I think it's safe to say that it comes as something of a surprise, but the Twins have designated Matt Guerrier for assignment.
Matt Guerrier designated for assignment. Ryan Pressly to be recalled— Rhett Bollinger (@RhettBollinger) July 23, 2014
Guerrier had a blowout yesterday, giving up four runs in an inning. In his 20 prior appearances, he'd posted a 2.14 ERA in 21 innings. Even with the four-run train wreck, Guerrier owned a 3.86 ERA on the season. Batters put together a .273/.333/.373 triple slash against him.
There were red flags in his performance, and none of them were a secret. He struck out just 9.7% of batters faced, a career low and well below league average. The command was okay, but certainly not good enough to off-set substandard strikeout rates. Batters were making more contact versus Guerrier than they had since 2009.
FIP (3.92) liked Guerrier, but xFIP (5.28) saw the red flags. Perhaps the Twins did, too, but it's not as though Guerrier had been ineffective this season. And knowing what we know against the Twins, they've always seemed more likely to roll with the existing numbers even if there were harbingers of worse performance lurking beneath the surface.
In the sense of those peripheral numbers, it's pretty clear that the Twins probably got as good as they were going to get from Guerrier this year. As surprising as this move is, give them credit for recognizing when there wasn't much ceiling left to work for.
Taking Guerrier's spot on the 25-man roster is Ryan Pressly. Pressly, whose peripheral numbers with the Twins last season weren't that great in spite of a 3.87 ERA in 76.2 innings, owns a 2.98 ERA in 60.1 innings of relief in Triple-A this year. That includes 63 strikeouts and just 55 hits, but the mediocre command is still in place.
The most interesting note to make on Pressly is that he's already on the 40-man roster, meaning that there is now one spot open. While the issue of the Saturday starter has been solved with Anthony Swarzak's spot start today allowing Kyle Gibson to shift to the weekend slot, Swarzak will eventually return to the bullpen. Which means this team still needs a fifth starter.