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Twins call up Nick Tepesch, send back down Buddy Boshers

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Here’s a clever move to help bolster the Twins’ over-used bullpen.

Minnesota Twins Photo Day
Hello, Nick Tepesch.
Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The new Twins front office got hot a little taste of making roster moves, and now it seems they can’t stop! Today they selected the contract of right-hander Nick Tepesch, who was signed to a minor league deal and had a fast-approaching June 1st opt-out date. To make space on the 40-man roster, the Twins moved Ryan O’Rourke to the 60-day DL.

To make space on the 25-man roster, the Twins optioned Buddy Boshers back to Triple-A Rochester. Actually, they did that immediately following yesterday’s game, so Boshers spent all of one afternoon with the big league team. He did get to pitch, though, throwing 2.1 scoreless innings.

This might seem like a minor move, but it’s actually a pretty smart one by Twins brass. Since Boshers used 30 pitches in yesterday’s outing, he probably wouldn’t be available to ptich again for a couple days. In fact, the Twins had to use a lot of their bullpen yesterday, since Kyle Gibson only lasted 2.2 innings. Instead of just crossing their fingers and hoping the rotation could hold its own for a couple days, the Twins brought in Tepesch to serve as a long-reliever.

Tepesch has been in the starting rotation for the Rochester Red Wings and last pitched on April 20th. He’s posted a 2.00 ERA with 17 strikeouts and only four walks through 18 innings so far in Triple-A this year.

Of course, Tepesch is no rookie—he’s a 28 year old veteran, having pitched for the Rangers in 2013 and 2014. He was no Cy Young, but he wasn’t horrible either. His career was derailed when he missed all of 2015 after undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome—the same rib removal thing Phil Hughes had last year. The Rangers ended up releasing him at the end of that year too.

Maybe Tepesch could finally make his comeback and become a cheap (he’ll be making $1 million), serviceable pitching option for the Twins.

But hey, wait—what about Ryan O’Rourke?

Why, I’m glad you asked! The Hurler In Chief has been on the DL since the start of the season due to a strained flexor mass in his forearm/elbow. An initial MRI showed no structural damage, so it wasn’t thought to be a big deal, but O’Rourke’s arm still hurts so much he had to suspend his throwing program. Doctors even recently did another MRI, but still found no structural damage.

The plan, according to Mike Berardino, is for O’Rourke to travel with the Twins to Texas and get a another opinion from the Rangers doctors, who on this third look will obviously probably find O’Rourke needs to get Tommy John’s surgery.