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.
Fringe Twins players are treading VERY carefully today. They may be next…
In other words, the rest of the team.
Seriously, how did Graham earn the recall in the first place? His ERA at AAA was over 10.00. And Mastroianni and his .208 AAA average? Time to blow it up – let the kids play, and win 40 games and #1 overall pick.
I remember saying something along those lines in 2011. This is getting a little old.
What’s the point of a #1 pick when they’ve proven themselves so terrible at converting top prospects into major league talent?
What’s your evidence of this?
Buxton, Hicks, Pinto, Valencia, Parmalee, Meyer, Worley, Wimmers, and Hendriks to name a few
Glenn Perkins is the last player they took from draftee to bonafide MLB talent. Can you name anyone who’s come up through the pipeline since him and proven themselves as an impact player at the MLB level?
Very very poor record developing players. Especially position players. And starters. And relievers.
They have let the kids play. Berrios was called up, Bux had his chance, Sano, Rosario, Park, Polanco, Kepler, even Meyer have all had time on the big league roster this year.
The only 2 teams to have successfully traded for a Braves pitcher is the Cards and Rangers