As the Minnesota Twins shape their bullpen for the stretch, John Curtiss finally gets a shot. Who else is deserving of a chance with the Twins?
Last week the Minnesota Twins called up one of the long-awaited bats from the minors in Mitch Garver. If there was a pitching equivalent to that the anticipation of a move, we just saw it happen as the Twins called up relief pitcher John Curtiss.
Curtiss pitched exceptionally well in the minors this year. Starting at AA Chattanooga where he pitched in 21 games and held a 0.72 ERA. Curtiss was then moved to AAA Rochester where he continued to pitch well and now holds a 1.85 ERA between the two levels this season.
While we wait to see Curtiss debut and see if his strikeout per nine rate of just over 12 will be able to translate to the majors. The Twins may look to pull some more pitchers up this year to fill roles in the bullpen. Certainly, that will be the case once rosters expand in September.
The Twins drafted Luke Bard in the 1st round of the 2012 draft. Bard has split time between AA and AAA. In Rochester Bard has held an ERA of 3.86. Even though Bard has only pitched 7 innings at AAA, he continues to show the ability to get strike outs. Making him an attractive addition to the bullpen.
Jake Reed was a 5th round draft pick for the Twins in 2014. He has also split time between AA and AAA seeing most of his season in Rochester. He doesn’t get strike outs at quite the rate that someone like Bard does but still gets the job done as he sits with a 2.25 ERA this season.
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The Twins acquired Gabriel Moya in a trade when they sent John Ryan Murphy to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Moya has had a phenomenal season at AA holding a combined ERA of 0.84 between Jackson and Chattanooga. He also strikes batters out at a rate of 13.9 per nine innings. That and his newness to the Twins’ system makes him an intriguing name to watch on this list.
This is a long shot name in reality. Fernando Romero has continued to pitch well this season and scouts continue to rank him and Stephen Gonsalves as the top two arms in the Twins system. Romero has always been regarded as having some of the better “stuff” making him an interesting option for bullpen arm. Similar to how the Rays used David Price once upon a time. With Romero’s injury history a bullpen stint just might not be something the Twins want to mess with.
In this list the focus has been on pitchers who haven’t seen the big leagues yet. We could always see some of the players like Buddy Boshers, Felix Jorge, and Nik Turley continue to get a shot. It may be time to continue and see what these minor league arms have to contribute as the Twins battle for a Wild Card spot.