The Twins are looking to add bullpen help, two sources tell La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The club is looking to add at least one and possibly two hurlers to their relief corps, possibly through trades or via waiver wire pickups as teams make roster cuts at the end of Spring Training.
“This bullpen has been a topic of conversation at headquarters,” Neal writes, and it “isn’t surprising” that Minnesota is looking for reinforcements given that their pen has an overall lack of experience and pitchers who can miss bats. Getting another left-hander could be a specific need, Neal notes. Besides closer Glen Perkins, the Twins have Brian Duensing and Caleb Thielbar as their primary lefty bullpen arms. Southpaw Aaron Thompson has had a good Spring Training and may have gotten himself in the mix, though the 28-year-old has only 15 career Major League innings to his name.
Trevor May, Tommy Milone and Mike Pelfrey are battling for the fifth starter’s job and Twins GM Terry Ryan recently told MLB.com’s Andrew Simon that any of the trio could also see bullpen duty.
Twins relievers ranked 21st in the league in ERA (3.73), 24th in fWAR (0.9), 29th in xFIP (4.18) and dead last in strikeouts per nine innings (6.66 K/9). Perhaps the biggest issue facing Minnesota’s bullpen is Perkins’ health, as the star closer has missed most of Spring Training with an oblique injury, though he is back pitching now and is expected to be ready for Opening Day.