The Minnesota Twins needed to clear a roster spot for the arrival of Josh Donaldson and the right-hander was the odd man out.
The Minnesota Twins cleared a spot on their 40-man roster for Josh Donaldson on Friday as they announced that reliever Ryne Harper has been designated for assignment according to Dan Hayes of The Athletic.
Harper made his major league debut for the Twins in 2019 and posted solid overall numbers out of the bullpen with a 4-2 record and 3.81 ERA in 54 1/3 innings. The right-hander also was able to limit his damage compiling an 8.3 K/9 and 1.7 BB/9 ratios during his rookie season.
While his 11.6% swinging-strike rate and 1.1 HR/9 are also solid numbers, he had plenty of peripherals that probably didn’t appeal to the analytics-driven front office of the Twins such as a fastball that ranked in the eighth percentile in velocity and dead last in the majors in spin rate according to Baseball Savant.
Harper’s demise was also accelerated by a bullpen that figures to be much better than it was in 2019. With the emergence of Taylor Rogers as the closer, the team re-signed trade acquisition Sergio Romo and added Tyler Clippard. With the news that top prospect Brusdar Graterol will stay in the pen for 2020, it figures to be a nice mix to go with other breakout relievers Tyler Duffey, Trevor May and Zack Littell.
As always, the talk with the Twins will be centered around their starting rotation, but the loss of Harper shouldn’t affect their bullpen much. In fact, any improvement could make the rotation’s job that much easier heading into 2020.