One of the nice things about working for the Minnesota Twins is that my boss will post official press releases on Facebook for all to see, such as this one.
The Minnesota Twins announced today that they have selected the contract of right-handed pitcher Blaine Boyer. In seven games this spring, Boyer has posted a 1.69 ERA (10.2 IP, 2 ER) with one walk and five strikeouts. The 33-year-old has pitched in parts of eight seasons at the major league level, with Atlanta, St. Louis, Arizona, New York-NL and San Diego, going 9-15, 4.63 ERA (274.1 IP, 141 ER) with 102 walks and 191 strikeouts in 265 games.
The Twins now have 39 players on their 40-man roster.
Boyer had mainly pitched with the Atlanta Braves in his career, though that was back from 2005 to part of 2009. He then fell off the radar and even was out of professional baseball for two years before turning up with the San Diego Padres last season. Working as a bit of a long reliever, he had a 3.57 ERA, 2.93 FIP, 6.47 K/9, and perhaps most impressively a 1.79 BB/9 and 0.45 HR/9.
I know, you'll all point out that he pitched in Petco Park, but Boyer has limited home runs his entire career (0.62 HR/9) so last year wasn't a fluke in that department. His walk rate was easily a career high, so we'll have to see if he can carry that into this year, or if he'll revert back to his middling control.
He can reach the mid-90s with his fastball though last year it was more in the 93-MPH range. I can't imagine him being much more than a 6th inning pitcher, though, as his lack of success in the major leagues suggests he's not proven enough for a higher leverage role.
This also muddles up the bullpen picture as it sure seemed that J.R. Graham was a near-lock for the roster. Now it's down to him, Caleb Thielbar, and Aaron Thompson. I would think that the Twins would want a second lefty behind Brian Duensing (excluding Glen Perkins, of course) though perhaps they'll be content with just Duensing for the late innings.