If you needed more proof that relievers are among the more fickle performers in professional sports.
Right-handed reliever Zach Littell has been outrighted to the alternate site at St. Paul. Last season, he picked up six wins and no losses, in 37 innings with a 2.68 ERA. That performance had many of us looking at him as a player with a big future in the Twins bullpen.
This season, he’s made six appearances and thrown 6.1 innings, in which his ERA is 9.95. ERA isn’t the end-all-and-be-all of evaluating pitcher performance, but quite frankly, that number outperforms his other metrics. He’s been bad this year, but small sample caveats still apply.
The 24-year old pitcher was part of the return from the Yankees in the Jaime Garcia trade a couple seasons ago.
Littell has spent separate stints on the IL this season due to hamstring and elbow issues, with the latter obviously being more concerning. The fact he still has an option, yet the Twins outrighted him is curious, as anyone added to the roster in his place would not be playoff eligible. Its also slightly surprising no one else wanted to take a chance on him, but between the elbow injury and the playoff thing, perhaps that’s why.
Littell still has a chance to have a future with the organization, but the road just got a little rockier. Still, we wish him the best as professional career continues to unfold.