Trevor May, famous for being the best pitcher from the Ben Revere trade to wear a Rochester Red Wings uniform, threw such a gem last night that it seems he might not be in that uniform much longer. He went 8.1 innings, giving up a single run and striking out 11 Pawtucket Red Sox. Everyone from my late great-uncle Sven (we watch the games with a Ouija board–don’t judge) to Real Live Experts can feel a Trevor May call up in their bones, if they’re corporeal, that is.
Trevor May 1ER over 8.1 innings. 120 pitches. Looks ready to me, and I don’t clamor for change like you rubes do…..
— LaVelle E. Neal III (@LaVelleNeal) June 17, 2014
Even with the snooty attitude, Neal is correct. May has pitched well enough this year to silence the slew of early season critics who questioned his readiness. His K/9 is sitting at a robust 9.4, and his walk rate is the lowest it’s been since he was hurling for the Lakewood BlueClaws. That’s right, his command hasn’t been this keen since he was a squishy pink 20-year-old all set to wear Philly red.
By all accounts, May is ready for the Show.
Of course, as Twins fans, we’re used to things rarely being so simple. Just when we all though Kevin Correia was bound for the Joe Mays Treatment Center for Formerly Decent Pitchers, he tossed six scoreless innings against a powerful Blue Jays lineup. He followed that last night by limiting the Red Sox to a single earned run over six solid innings. While his ERA is still an unsightly 5.29, and his 4.6 K/9 doesn’t exactly predict more success, Correia has correctly answered the question of what he’s done for the Twins lately.
Which makes Samuel Deduno the next likely Twins pitcher who will be kindly asked to stop starting games.
Deduno hasn’t gone six innings since the seventeenth of May. He’s given up more earned runs than innings pitched in consecutive starts. (Let’s not dwell on his performance against the Astros, agreed?) His BB/9 is a gruesome 4.4, which essentially wipes out his very average 6.4 K/9. Deduno, especially recently, has been putting a lot of guys on without getting many of them out.
Finally, the question isn’t only who May will replace, but if it will even be May who does the replacing.
Fellow Red Wing Logan Darnell has quietly put together an excellent season at Triple A. His 2.75 ERA edges out May’s 2.77. His 8.6 K/9 is the highest of his career, and while he’s walking batters at a slightly higher clip than May, Darnell is seven months older and arguably deserves his shot first*.
Given the performance of Twins starters over the past couple of seasons, this is a very good place for a logjam. And you may have noticed my conspicuous omission of that other really good pitcher the Twins have stashed in the minors. The tall one. What’s his name? Oh yeah, Alex Meyer, the Strikeout Kid of Greensburg. We’ll be hearing more about him soon, I’m sure.
*Darnell has already been called up once this year, if you’ll recall. He threw three perfect innings with one strikeout in one appearance, good enough for a positive WAR.