The Minnesota Twins have cleared a lot of roster space by way of trades and now the auditions for 2019 begin with the call-up of several Twins prospects.
The Minnesota Twins have continued to shuffle their roster as they have seen many familiar faces leave over the past several weeks. That means that several new players will be given the opportunity to prove that they deserve a place on the Twins roster come 2019. Leading up to the weekend, Kohl Stewart, Tyler Duffey, and Tyler Austin were all given the news they would be joining the Twins and given that opportunity.
Fernando Rodney‘s trade to the Oakland Athletics and the wrist injury to Adalberto Mejia helped to open up the roster spots for these three players. This is not Duffey’s first chance to play with the Twins even this season, but he has been stuck in Triple-A even after performing well and has found himself as part of the bullpen logjam the Twins have for most of this season.
This season while pitching for Triple-A Rochester Duffey has logged 53.0 innings in 27 games as he continues his transition to a full-time relief pitcher. In those 27 games, Duffey holds a 2.72 ERA and a 9.3 K/9 rate. Duffey is likely best known for his time with the Twins as a rookie in 2015 when he came up and made 10 starts and held a 3.10 ERA and a record of 5-1.
Duffey will now have the opportunity to improve upon what he was able to show the Twins earlier this season. In a seven-game stint he allowed nine runs with a 6.35 ERA. With Rodney, Zach Duke, and Ryan Pressly out of the pitcher for 2019. Duffey is one of the arms who will be competing for a bullpen spot in 2019.
More from Puckett's Pond
- Minnesota Twins: 2022 Year in Review for Twins Baseball
- Minnesota Twins: Making the Case for the Current 2023 Rotation
- Minnesota Twins: Does the MLB or the Twins have a Spending Problem?
- Minnesota Twins: 2 Possible Free Agent Reunions for 2023
- Minnesota Twins: Holiday Wish List for the rest of the Offseason
There was a lot of excitement around Kohl Stewart when he was drafted in 2013 in the first round by the Twins. The then prep pitcher’s mid-90s fastball had him projected as pitcher that could develop into a frontline starter for the Twins. Five years later and we are going to get our long-awaited first major league look at Stewart as he will take Mejia’s spot in the rotation and start Sunday against the Detroit Tigers.
Stewart has split time between Chattanooga and Rochester this season and has performed in ways better at Triple-A than Double-A. Since moving to Rochester, Stewart has pitched in seven games and holds a 3.98 ERA. His K/9 rate has dropped from 9.4 in Double-A to 6.6 during his time in Rochester. It will be interesting to see what Stewart brings with him to the majors on Sunday.
Lastly, recently acquired first baseman Tyler Austin will get his chance with the Twins. Austin certainly represents a right-handed bat that could take over or at least be a platoon player at first base and DH in 2019. Lots of Twins fans are excited to see how Austin’s power could translate in the majors after hitting .255/.283/.425 in with 22 home runs in Triple-A this season.
This is not the type of excitement we wanted as fans in 2018. That is if you are someone who gets excited about watching prospects develop. These next couple of months will certainly be an important piece of the slow build towards the Twins becoming consistent contenders and to help decide what is needed for the 2019 Twins roster.