1:29pm: The Twins announced that they have designated Graham and left-handed reliever Ryan O’Rourke for assignment. The club also announced that it has indeed selected the contracts of Mastroianni and Centeno, optioned Murphy to Triple-A Rochester and activated right-hander Ervin Santana off the disabled list.
O’Rourke, 28, made his MLB debut with the Twins last season and worked to a 6.14 ERA in 22 innings. He received another 7 1/3 innings this season and allowed four earned runs in that time. O’Rourke has picked up 29 strikeouts in his 29 1/3 big league innings, but he’s also issued 18 unintentional walks (20 total), hit a batter and thrown four wild pitches, demonstrating that his control leaves something to be desired. To his credit, lefties have mustered an abysmal .149/.286/.234 line against him in his brief time in the Majors, so perhaps a club in need of a left-handed specialist could harbor some interest.
12:59pm: The Twins will designate right-handed reliever J.R. Graham for assignment and select the contracts of outfielder Darin Mastroianni and catcher Juan Centeno, reports La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (links to Twitter). The disappointing Twins appear poised for a significant slate of roster moves today, though the club has yet to formally announce the full litany of moves. Last night, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that Tommy Milone and Casey Fien were to be placed on outright waivers.
The 26-year-old Graham was Minnesota’s selection in the 2014 Rule 5 Draft, and the Twins carried him on the roster for the entirety of the 2015 season in order to retain the rights to the former Braves top prospect in spite of a 4.95 ERA in 63 2/3 innings. Graham, though, has been shelled at the Triple-A level this season, surrendering 10 runs on 11 hits and seven walks with seven strikeouts in just 8 1/3 innings. He matched that 10.80 ERA in his brief promotion to the Majors, yielding a pair of runs on three hits and a walk with two strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings.
The addition of Mastroianni and Centeno comes with some noteworthiness as well. The pair will presumably fill two of the 40-man roster spots that were vacated by the placement of Milone and Fien on waivers. Perhaps more notable than the duo’s addition to the roster itself is the likely implications carried by their promotion; Centeno’s addition means that offseason trade acquisition John Ryan Murphy, who has begun the season in a dreadful 3-for-40 slide, will be optioned to the minors, writes Neal’s colleague Phil Miller.