On Sunday afternoon against the Detroit Tigers, Blake Parker was summoned again from the Minnesota Twins bullpen to shut the door and secure a victory and a sweep of a snow-shortened series for our favorite team. After giving up a single, a walk, a strikeout, and another walk, all on 29 pitches, Rocco Baldelli had seen enough and brought in reliever Trevor Hildenberger to put out the fire and send everyone home. Two strikeouts on seven pitches and he did just that. Hildenberger notched his first save of the season while Parker was given a hold for his efforts.
Although Baldelli has mentioned that he does not have a go-to closer and does not intend on naming one for the foreseeable future, it seems that he has relied on Parker for most save opportunities. (All these stats are through Sunday, April 14, and are courtesy of baseball-reference.com, by the way.) I know it’s early in the season (even I don’t want to look at stats too much right now), but the Twins have had five save opportunities so far this season and have converted all five into saves: three by Parker, one by Taylor Rogers, and one by Hildenberger. Another oft-mentioned closer candidate, Trevor May, has not seen any save opportunities this season.
Something else to look at is what type of situations the relievers have come into during the game. Coming into Monday’s game, Hildenberger has been brought into the most high-leverage situations - six total - among Twins relievers according to Baseball-Reference, while being brought into one medium-leverage and one low-leverage situation. Parker and Rogers are both behind him with five high-level, one mid-level, and one low-level situation each. May has been in two high-level, two mid-level, and three low-level situations.
One last thing I’ll throw at you before the floor opens for discussion: inherited runners (IR) and inherited runners scored (IS). Hildenberger leads the majors with the most IR at 14, allowing only three IS (in that terrible, terrible inning against the New York Mets). May and Parker have had only one IR and no IS while Rogers has three IR and one IS.
The floor (and poll) is now open for discussion!
Should the Twins establish a permanent closer?
This poll is closed
Yes, and it should be Trevor Hildenberger.
Yes, and it should be Blake Parker.
Yes, and it should be Trevor May.
Yes, and it should be Taylor Rogers.
No; the closer role should be by situation.