It has been announced that lefthanded reliever Fernando Abad has been traded to the Boston Red Sox for minor league righthanded pitcher Pat Light.
Abad came to the Twins on a minor league contract before the season though it seemed pretty clear he was brought on to be the top lefthanded option in the ‘pen behind Glen Perkins. Very quickly he became one of the better relievers in the bullpen, and although he’s started to tail off a bit, his numbers still look very impressive. In 2016, Abad had a 2.65 ERA in 39 appearances (34 innings) while allowing just a .218 batting average and striking out 21 percent of the batters he faced.
In spite of the good numbers, Abad relied more on smoke and mirrors rather than actual overpowering stuff and thus the return at first glance may seem (forgive the pun) light. However, Pat Light has exactly what Abad lacked: stuff. As in, Light can hit 100 with his fastball and a slider that can sit at 90 MPH, though his best secondary pitch is a splitter that’s thrown in the high-80s. The 25-year old has spent the majority of the season at Triple-A for the Red Sox where he has a 2.32 ERA and .184 batting average allowed while striking out more than 10 hitters per 9 innings. However, as you might imagine with a flamethrower, Light does have issues with his control and he walked hitters as often as Joe Mauer has walked this season. Light has made two appearances in the majors this year but hasn’t been too successful, but I imagine he would be in line for a September call-up nonetheless.
Light will be sent to Triple-A Rochester and the trade creates an opening for Jose Berrios to be officially called up from the Red Wings.