Minnesota Twins: 3 Up, 3 Down for week of 5/27-6/2
By Chris Schad
UP: Devin Smeltzer
The week began on a positive note as Twins prospect Devin Smeltzer made a spot start for the injured Michael Pineda. Smeltzer was a great story just for his work on the mound this season going 3-2 with a 1.15 ERA between Double-A Pensacola and Triple-A Rochester, but he also had an interesting path to the major leagues as he beat cancer after being diagnosed at nine years old and made his way through the Los Angeles Dodgers’ system.
Smeltzer drew a tough task in his first major league start as he went up against a Milwaukee Brewers lineup that averages 4.88 runs per game (6th in the National League). Instead of letting the moment get the best of him, the 23-year old took charge and silenced the Brewers’ bats for six scoreless innings while allowing three hits and striking out seven.
While Smeltzer wouldn’t get the win in his major league debut, he at least showed the moment wasn’t too big for him. Odds are Smeltzer will go back to the minor leagues once Pineda is able to return from right knee tendinitis, but as a piece acquired in the Brian Dozier trade last summer, the right-hander took a major step toward validating that trade.