Minnesota Twins Say Good-bye to Kevin Jepsen
Minnesota Twins DFA Kevin Jepsen, More Moves Coming
Today, the Minnesota Twins designated former closer Kevin Jepsen for assignment or release. This move comes one year after trading two prospects for the reliever, who was to have been closer Glen Perkins‘ setup man.
Those two prospects, Chih-Wei Hu and Alex Tapia, were sent to Tampa in exchange for Jepsen. It seemed like a lot to give for a setup man at the time, but when Perkins went down, Jepsen stepped in and performed admirably down the stretch as Minnesota’s closer.
The Twins fell out of the playoff race during the last weekend of the year, and Jepsen was a major reason for their success.
Coming into this year, the trade seemed one-sided in Minnesota’s favor.
If Perkins returned to form, the Twins seemed close to modeling the Kansas City Royals formula by loading up on end-of-the-game, shutdown relievers in Trevor May, Jepsen, and Perkins.
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The Minnesota Twins’ success in Spring Training only buoyed that optimism.
Then, the regular season started.
Perkins’ dead arm returned, Jepsen couldn’t find the strike zone with anything but his fastball while May lost his mechanics.
Now, after labrum surgery, Perkins will be lucky to be ready for the beginning of next season. Jepsen’s seven saves in 11 opportunities and 6.16 ERA are gone. May? We’ll get back to that in a minute.
In a corresponding roster move, the Minnesota Twins activated outfielder Eddie Rosario to the major league roster, and he will start and play left field in today’s finale.
Eduardo Escobar left yesterday’s game with a strained hamstring, but is trying to avoid the disabled list.
But another move is coming.
Trevor May was called back up to the Twin Cities, and is with the Minnesota Twins in the clubhouse today. He wouldn’t have been able to pitch today since he is coming off back-to-back relief outings for AAA Rochester.
The poor mechanics were leading to a stiff back. After intense video review, it was shown that May was over-striding this year versus when he was successful last season.
As for the trade now? The key piece of the trade back to Tampa was Hu, and he’s now pitching in the Rays’ minor league system.
Next: Kepler, Sano, and The Trade Deadline
Hu started the season in AA Montgomery, and was 2-5 with the Biscuits in the Southern League, featuring a 2.96 ERA and a 69/23 K/BB ratio. He was recently promoted to AAA, and will be featured in the upcoming All-Stars Futures game.