Minnesota Twins Relievers Battle for Limited Spots in Spring Training
May struggled early as a starter, but settled into a trustworthy 7th or 8th inning-man after switching to the bullpen. After Glen Perkins went down with an injury, the Twins made a move at the trade deadline, acquiring Jepsen for prospects.
Jepsen performed well as the closer, and looks to be the main 8th inning setup to Perkins this season. His performance (WHIP, 0.89) has Twins fans hopeful for an improved ‘pen at Target Field. If Trevor May is not in consideration for this year’s rotation, then he easily makes the squad as a late-inning arm that can be counted on.
Fans were down on Fien last year for some blown holds in big games, but he statistically had a great season. He finished 2nd to Bowyer in holds (19-18) with a decent 3.45 FIP and finished 2nd among returning Twins in allowing only 18% of inherited runners score. His K/BB was was respectable at 41/8, and he didn’t really strike out all that many 5.83 K/9, which would be last among Minnesota Twins relievers looking for a spot on this year’s team. But Fien looks to make the final 25.
Ricky Nolasco, like Trevor May, will also get a look as a starter in Spring Training. While his stats were horrifying (6.75 ERA/+12 H/9), he could show a resurgence as a long-relief man in the pen. One number working in his favor that bodes well as a reliever, was his 8.44 K/9, just a tick below both Perkins and May. He may end up being the highest paid long reliever in Twins history, but with Brian Duensing no longer here, Nolasco may just be the guy for the job. He can also jump up for a spot start if/when someone needs to be skipped in the rotation.
Next: Who's on the bubble?