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Twins make mistake in sending Trevor May to the bullpen

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It wasn't an easy call to make, but Minnesota chose the worst in a set of bad options.

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

When the Twins activated Ervin Santana, we knew that the club would be forced into removing one of their current starters from the rotation. Kyle Gibson, Mike Pelfrey, and Tommy Milone all have ERAs in the 3's. Phil Hughes is making too much money to go anywhere. Trevor May gets more swinging strikes than the lot and posts some of the best peripherals (including a 3.20 FIP).

So there wasn't a good option for the Twins. There wasn't an obvious pitcher to point out and pull into Paul Molitor's office to deliver the news. But I can't believe that demoting May was making the best of a bad decision; I'd call it the opposite.

A list of nine things in which Trevor May has been the Minnesota Twins best starter

  1. Wins above replacement
  2. Strikeouts
  3. Strikeouts per nine innings
  4. Strikeout percentage
  5. FIP
  6. xFIP
  7. SIERRA
  8. Contact percentage
  9. Swinging strike percentage

And that's not all. Here's a list of the top five most valuable rookie pitchers not just in the American League, but all of baseball.

  1. Trevor May, Minnesota - 1.7 fWAR
  2. Lance McCullers, Houston - 1.6
  3. Chris Heston, San Francisco - 1.6
  4. Noah Syndergaard, Mets - 1.4
  5. Nate Karns, Tampa Bay - 1.4
Trevor May is under team control through 2020, and therefore as more future value to the Twins organization than any other starter currently in the Major League rotation. Taking pitches, starts, and value out of his hands seems short-sighted, and relies upon the Minnesota Old Guard standard of giving preference to veterans over youth.

As good as Mike Pelfrey has been this season, he's come undone a bit more recently and has no future value to the organization. Tommy Milone is pitching out of his mind but is facing an uphill battle not just as a member of the Twins rotation down the stretch this year, but as a member of the Twins rotation in the future. Trevor May is the best option to win more in 2015, and down the line, in both cases.

I understand what the Twins are doing here and why they did it, but I couldn't oppose the decision more strongly. Trevor May isn't just the best starter in Minnesota right now, he's the best rookie pitcher in the American League. Let's hope this decision doesn't have a long life expectancy.