Though the Twins lost two pitchers in the Rule 5 draft this morning, they also added one, claiming right-hander Tyler Kinley from the Miami Marlins.
Taking Kinley was a bit of a surprise, given he’s turning 27 years old in a couple weeks and has only pitched 9.2 innings in Triple-A (and that was back in 2016). He spent the entire 2017 season split between High-A and Double-A, putting up significantly better numbers in the former (27.1 IP, 1.98 ERA, 0.732 WHIP, 12.5 K/9) than in the later (26.0 IP, 5.19 ERA, 1.731 WHIP, 11.8 K/9). He’s never cracked Baseball America’s top 30 prospects in the Marlins system, and their system isn’t exactly rife with prospects in the first place.
So what’s the deal? Well, umm... I guess Kinley has pitched 13.0 scoreless innings so far in the Dominican Winter League. He strikes out a lot of guys, though apparently his control has been an issue. Not quite sure why this guy was preferable to Nick Burdi or Luke Bard — the two right-handed pitchers the Twins lost in the draft — but I’m not the professional here, I guess.
Anyway, the Twins will now have to keep Kinley in the deep recesses of their major league bullpen for all of 2018, or give up and return him to the Marlins. His addition brings the Twins’ current 40-man roster up to 38 players.