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Twins designate Michael Tonkin for assignment

Certainly deserved but still a bit surprising.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Chicago White Sox Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

After their 11-1 loss to the Red Sox on Saturday afternoon, the Twins dropped this relatively moderate bombshell.

Tonkin has spent his entire professional career in the Twins organization. Armed with a mid-90s fastball, he always seemed like a good candidate to become a solid late-inning reliever, but he was never able to put it together. Home runs were always an issue for him and he never struck many hitters out until last year as he put together a career 4.49 ERA over 136 13 innings spread over parts of five seasons. Ultimately, it was determined that he didn’t fit into the organization’s future plans so Derek Falvey and Thad Levine decided to continue cleaning house.

It hasn’t been announced yet who will be called up, but Jose Berrios, Nick Burdi, Mason Melotakis, and Jake Reed have all pitched well at their respective levels and theoretically could be candidates to join the team at Target Field, but we should also keep an eye on Nik Turley, David Hurlbut, D.J. Baxendale, and Trevor Hildenburger. Plus, I’ll even toss in veteran Paul Clemens as a dark horse that could make the jump from Double-A Chattanooga.