We’ve talked endlessly about the Minnesota Twins bullpen struggles here at Puckett’s Pond. However, there may be some help on the way.
Hopefully, by then the mess in the bullpen will be fixed. However, knowing May is on his way back helps give Twins fans even more hope for a turnaround. Getting May back into the fold could have the same impact as trading for reinforcements, without losing prospects in return.
May tossed 46 pitches in three innings of work this week in extended Spring Training. This is significant because he hadn’t thrown a pitch from the mound since last March. This is also further proof that he is ready to work his way back and can help the Twins soon.
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Looking at May’s Twins career
The Philadelphia Phillies drafted May in the fourth round of the 2008 MLB draft. Four years later, he found himself headed to Minnesota, along with Vance Worley, in a trade for Ben Revere. He was mediocre at best during his first full season in the Twins Minor League system with a 4.51 ERA in 151 2/3 innings pitched across 27 starts.
However, through his first 18 Minor League starts of the 2014 season May looked like he had put everything together. He pitched 98 1/3 innings with a 2.84 ERA. He struck out 94 batters and walked 39 before earning his first MLB call-up. However, May didn’t fare nearly as well in the Majors and quickly found himself transitioning into a bullpen role.
After mediocre returns during 25 starts, the Minnesota Twins shifted May to the bullpen midway through the 2015 season. He appeared in 33 games, one start, after moving to the bullpen and had a promising 3.15 ERA in 34 1/3 innings pitched. However, he had a 5.14 ERA while appearing in 44 games during the 2016 season and was at a crossroads before suffering an elbow injury in early 2017.
What can we expect when May returns?
Based on his career to this point, it’s unreasonable to expect May to be a game-changer when he returns from injury. Without question, May has a chance to leave his mark on this season and build some momentum toward the 2019 season. However, Twins fans only hope should be that May can get through the 2018 season healthy and ready for a larger role in 2019.
May will not come in and instantly transform this bullpen into a strength for the Twins. Hopefully, he can help stabilize the bullpen when he returns and find his effectiveness while working his way back. However, maybe I’m wrong, and May comes in throwing darts and mowing hitters down like he’s in his backyard. Anything can happen and that’s what makes baseball so exciting.