There are a lot of the names you would expect in the bullpen, but the final three of Gibson, Graterol, and Smeltzer are the ones who would get the most buzz.
Gibson hasn’t been impressive since having stomach issues since June, but the Twins are likely going to throw him out there partially as a lifetime achievement award. Jokes aside, if Gibson can be an aggressive pitcher and throw strikes, he could be a solid piece out of the pen to handle the Yankees righty-heavy lineup.
The other name that will raise some eyebrows is Graterol. While he lacks the experience you want in a reliever during the postseason, he has the most upside out of any pitcher in this group. With an arsenal of pitches that routinely flirt with 100 MPH, that’s a weapon that Baldelli can use to get out of a jam if need be.
The final spot in the pen figures to be a left-hander and with Rogers locked in as the closer, the Twins must decide between Smeltzer, Perez and Lewis Thorpe. In this projection, Smeltzer gets the nod not because he has swing and miss stuff, but mainly because he’s pitched the best out of the three in September.
While facing Didi Gregorious or Brett Gardner in Yankee Stadium would be a pressure cooker, Smeltzer’s cool demeanor figures to be an advantage over his fellow left-handed counterparts.