Minnesota Twins recall Aaron Slegers and create interesting possibilities for their 5th starter
By Nate Palmer
The Minnesota Twins made a roster move bringing Aaron Slegers to the majors. What could his addition to the roster mean for the rotation?
The Minnesota Twins announced last night that they would be releasing or assigning to the minor leagues Rule-5 pick Tyler Kinley. Something that we wrote about here at Puckett’s Pond that the Twins needed to do.
Thursday morning they announced the corresponding move which was to bring Aaron Slegers back up to the major league club. Slegers got a taste of the majors in 2017 as he appeared in four games and made three starts for the Twins. In all, he pitched 15.1 innings had a 6.46 ERA.
That isn’t the most impressive of debuts, but as Slegers has begun the season at Triple-A he has been pitching well in his three starts with the Rochester Red Wings. He has gone 18.0 innings, with a 2.00 ERA, only allowing four runs total over those three starts.
One of the things that stands out about Slegers is he is tall (no pun intended) as he measures 6’10”. Tall pitchers generally struggle with the ability to repeat their delivery motion, but Slegers actually excels in that area. That helps lead to good control which he needs as he is not an overly powerful pitcher with a fastball that generally sits around 90-92 mph.
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For a deeper dive on Slegers, here is a scouting report posted here at Puckett’s Pond last summer around the time of Slegers’ debut. Of course we never know how minor league performance will translate to the majors but this Tom Froemming tweet had an interesting stat about Slegers in it.
Froemming is clearly not trying to say Slegers will be Jose Berrios. He is pointing to an interesting stat that supports Slegers’ above-average ability to control his pitches and even control his pitch count.
What is interesting about Slegers call-up is the that he has been primarily used as a starter in the minors, but is seemingly being swapped with a reliever. Slegers could easily be used as a long arm in the bullpen alongside recently recalled Tyler Duffey. Is it possible that Slegers call-up points to another possible change?
The Slegers’ call-up gives the Twins the ability to change Phil Hughes‘ role going forward. Slegers could easily slot in as the 5th starter which would push Hughes to the bullpen. The Twins could even be looking to employ pseudo bullpen type game in those 5th games as Slegers and Hughes could combine together as one starter, with Duffey even possibly getting into the mix in a game like that. At least until Ervin Santana is able to return to pitching.
Next: Aaron Slegers Scouting Report
The Twins needed to do something with Kinley, and they did. It will now be interesting to see how the Twins use that Slegers, Hughes, and Duffey trio moving forward.