The carousel o’ arms is starting to heat up again this season for the Twins. After suffering an embarrassing 14-1 loss last night to the Yankees — a game in which fifth outfielder Ryan LaMarre was forced to pitch — the Twins optioned reliever Alan Busenitz back to Triple-A Rochester. In Busenitz’s place, the Twins recalled pitcher Tyler Duffey .
Duffey spent large portions of the last three seasons with the Twins, and was considered by many to be an Opening Day roster snub. He’s been doing well for himself so far this year in Triple-A Rochester, though, where he hasn’t given up a single earned run over 11.0 innings of work. He’s also amassed 14 strikeouts and walked only one batter.
Last year in the majors, Duffey had a 4.94 ERA over 71.0 innings, working mostly as a long-relief guy out of the bullpen.
Though Busenitz’s time with the big league club was short — he was only called up just prior to last week’s series against the Indians in Puerto Rico — it was also not fruitful. He gave up three earned runs over 4.0 innings, including a three-run home run last weekend to Tampa Bay shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria.
So this is a relatively minor move for the Twins, but it’s a smart one. Obviously, if Ryan LaMarre is pitching in a game, you’ve got some issues in your bullpen and fresh arms would be a good idea (especially when you’re in the Bronx facing the Yankees, who kill your team’s ass every damn time for some reson). Duffey’s arm by all accounts appears to be fresh, as he hasn’t pitched in a game since last Friday, April 20th.