Minnesota Twins 2016 Player Preview: Trevor May
As previously mentioned, it would be difficult to see the Twins not use May as reliever after the season he had in 2015.
With very little movement by the front office to go out and find another reliever, it would make little sense to force the issue of having May be the fifth starter and leaving the bullpen without one of its best options.
May should have more than enough opportunity to find his way back into the rotation in future seasons. As this will only be his second full season in the majors, May’s role as of right now should only be that of a reliever.
May should join the likes of Glen Perkins and Kevin Jepsen as the only real locks for the Twins bullpen. With so much uncertainty in an area that was perhaps the Twins biggest struggle in 2015, why not keep one of the top performers in that role for the upcoming year?
Baseball Reference projects May to perform slightly worse than his 2015 campaign. The site predicts May will go 6-8 with a 4.46 ERA through 101.1 innings pitched with 95 strikeouts.
I would respectfully disagree with those numbers. While May is starting just his second full season with the club, he made some huge strides last year in terms of command and consistency. I project that trend to continue for May in 2016 and his numbers to be more in line with his reliever numbers of last season.
There’s really nothing that would say otherwise and if you need a different case to compare this situation to, I would look at LaTroy Hawkins. Hawkins found little success as a starter but was able to strike out batters. When he made the move to a middle relief/set-up role, Hawkins thrived and soon turned that into a long career.
Could May be the Twins’ new version of Hawkins? The upcoming season will be a huge indication of what might be in store for his future.