The Twins claimed the 35 year-old off of waivers earlier this afternoon in an attempt to replace the
injured Ron Mahay, who will miss the rest of the season with a torn rotator cuff. Flores has a good 2.96 ERA this season, but ugly peripherals: a 5.22 FIP, 5.12 xFIP, and 1.38 K/BB ratio. His career numbers don’t suggest anything more than a mediocre middle reliever, with a 4.60 ERA, 4.36 FIP, 4.48 xFIP, and 1.92 K/BB ratio. Career-wise, Flores has a pretty decent strikeout rate (7.31 K/9 rate in 246.1 IP), but walks too many batters (3.80 BB/9) and gives up too many home runs (9.7 HR/FB %) to be trusted in high-leverage situations. Still, the Twins didn’t claim him to pitch in a lot of high-leverage situations, just to retire tough lefties. Unfortunately, he isn’t all that effective against lefties, who are slugging .460 against him this season (while righties are slugging .375), and .428 over his career. There are right-handed relievers in the bullpen right now who have been more effective against left-handed hitters this season: Matt Guerrier (.356), Jesse Crain (.427), and Matt Capps (.355). And that isn’t including lefty-killer, and likely September call-up Pat Neshek, who has limited southpaws to a career .202/.283/.399 line. Sure, Flores gives the Twins another option against the likes of Josh Hamilton out of the bullpen, but not a particularly good one.
The Twins placed Mahay on the 60-day DL to make space on the 40-man roster, but still need to make a move in order to add Flores on the 25-man roster. No official announcement has been made, but it’s likely either Glen Perkins or Anthony Slama is headed back to Rochester. Perkins is certainly more deserving of a demotion, but most likely it will be the right-handed Slama.