The Twins have outrighted right-hander Lester Oliveros off the 40-man roster, tweets Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter link). The move drops the Twins’ 40-man roster to 39, Berardino adds.
The 26-year-old Oliveros was acquired from the Tigers in a trade that sent Delmon Young to Detroit back in 2011. Oliveros has thrown just 21 1/3 innings with the Twins since being acquired, as part of his tenure has been shortened by 2012 Tommy John surgery. The Twins are likely happy to see Oliveros clear waivers, as he does possess some upside; in 97 2/3 innings at the Triple-A level, Oliveros has a 3.69 ERA with 11.1 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9. He’s also averaged 93.8 mph on his fastball at the Major League level.
Removing Oliveros from the mix adds a bit of clarity to the Twins’ bullpen mix. Glen Perkins, Casey Fien and Brian Duensing are all locks to make the bullpen, and whichever of Trevor May, Tommy Milone and Mike Pelfrey don’t make the rotation could join the bullpen also. Other candidates for the bullpen include lefties Aaron Thompson and Caleb Thielbar as well as righties J.R. Graham, Tim Stauffer and Blaine Boyer. The Twins are known to be looking for one, if not two relief pitchers, so this move could provide them with the flexibility to add someone down the line or could be used to add a non-roster invitee like Boyer to the 40-man roster.