The Twins have promoted left-handed pitching prospect Adalberto Mejia from Triple-A Rochester, optioned first baseman Kennys Vargas and signed right-handed reliever Edward Mujica to a minor league deal, per a team announcement.
The 23-year-old Mejia joined the Twins organization last month in a trade for infielder Eduardo Nunez, whom it dealt to the Giants. Currently Baseball America’s 91st-ranked prospect, Mejia doesn’t have lights-out stuff, but the pundits credit him as a sturdy southpaw who limits home runs and walks and should be able to post strong results with a quality three-pitch mix. It’s unclear when he’ll get a chance to slot into the Twins’ rotation, which has been woeful this year. Entering play Saturday, Twins starters had the third-worst ERA and seventh-worst fWAR in the majors. Aside from steady veteran Ervin Santana, Minnesota’s rotation has been downright disastrous as the last-place team has stumbled to a 49-73 record.
Mejia, whom MLBPipeline.com ranks as the Twins’ 10th-best prospect, threw 19 1/3 innings with Rochester prior to his promotion and logged a 4.66 ERA that belied his excellent strikeout and walk rates of 9.31 and 1.4 per nine. In 65 Triple-A frames since last season, Mejia has posted a 4.29 ERA, 9.0 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9. If he sticks with the Twins through year’s end, he’ll become eligible for arbitration after the 2019 season and will be on track to reach free agency at the conclusion of the 2022 campaign.
The well-traveled Mujica became a free agent when the Royals released him Aug. 10. The 32-year-old lasted less than a month with the Kansas City organization and threw 12 innings for its Triple-A affiliate in Omaha. While Mujica struck out an impressive 14 batters during those frames, he offset that by yielding 11 earned runs on 17 hits. Mujica was previously far stingier as a member of the Phillies’ Triple-A club earlier this season, logging a 3.04 ERA and .92 BB/9 during a 39-inning stint with Lehigh Valley.
Mujica has pitched in each of the prior 10 major league campaigns and has compiled a 3.85 ERA, 7.0 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 over 546 2/3 innings. Last season, he scuffled to a combined 4.75 ERA with the Red Sox and Athletics in 47 1/3 frames.