The Minnesota Twins have been relatively quiet this offseason. They have avoided long-term deals to the top free agents, just like the rest of the league. However, they have been active on the bullpen market. The Twins have added three relief pitchers this offseason including Addison Reed, Fernando Rodney, and Zach Duke. These three figure to have roster spots secured heading into spring training. Let’s take a look at the candidates to fill out the final four spots in the Twins bullpen.
Trevor Hildenberger– It’s hard to imagine Hildenberger not breaking camp with the big league club. He posted a 3.05 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in 37 appearances last season. Hildenberger entered 2017 as an unknown, but was Paul Molitor’s favorite setup man by the end of the season. Look for Hildenberger to make a big impact in 2018.
Taylor Rogers– Rogers is also likely to make the team out of spring training. 2017 got off to a great start for Rogers, but a poor second half took some of the luster off his campaign. However, Rogers is still the top lefty in this bullpen and will be relied upon in a lot of big spots.
Ryan Pressly– Pressly’s arm is tantalizing. For years he has teased Twins fans with a fastball that touches the high 90s and a wipeout curveball. Pressly has better stuff than anyone on this list, but consistency has always been an issue. Look for Pressly to get a shot, but the Twins will not be afraid to pull the plug if he struggles.
Alan Busenitz– Busenitz was a key part of the Twins second half surge. He had a 1.99 ERA in 28 appearances following a June call-up. The signings of Reed, Rodney, and Duke have put Busenitz’s position in some doubt, but he should still be considered a front-runner to make the top seven.
Tyler Duffey– Duffey is in a weird position. I believe Reed, Rodney, and Duke, along with the first four names on this list have the inside track to get the seven open spots. Look for Duffey to potentially be used as starter, a role he handled well in 2015.
Gabriel Moya– Moya has potential. He looked fairly good in seven appearances last September for the Twins, however he was dominant in the minors. He posted a .77 ERA in 47 appearances between the Diamondbacks and Twins Double-A affiliates. Remember John Ryan Murphy? The Twins traded Murphy for Moya over the summer, and that appears to be a steal. Moya will start the season in the minors, but he’s one injury away from having a big role.
Trevor May– May will start the season on the disabled list due to Tommy John surgery last March. It’s unclear what the Twins will do with May following his return, but he could be used as a starter or reliever depending on where the need is greatest. Expect May back sometime in late May or early June.
Tyler Kinley– The Twins chose Kinley in the Rule 5 draft in December. This means he must be kept on the 25-man roster all season. If the Twins remove him from the roster the team they took him from, in this case the Marlins, will have the opportunity to take him back. Expect Kinley to contend for both a spot in the rotation and the bullpen.
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