10:25pm: The Twins are selecting the contract of right-hander Alex Wimmers and recalling left-hander Randy Rosario to fill the two spots in the ’pen, as respectively first reported by Seth Stohs of TwinsDaily.com (Twitter link) and Mariana Guzman of 95.7 FM radio (Twitter link).
Wimmers wasn’t on the 40-man after being previously outrighted, but the former first-round pick will receive another chance to establish himself in the Majors. Minnesota plucked Wimmers out of Ohio State University with the 21st overall pick back in 2010, and though he was touted as a polished starter that could move quickly through the minors, injuries derailed his first several seasons as a pro. Now working out of the bullpen, Wimmers has a 3.94 ERA with a 13-to-7 K/BB ratio through 16 innings in Rochester.
The 23-year-old Rosario, who will be making his MLB debut, has torn through Double-A hitters this year, logging a 1.90 ERA with 7.6 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 and a 54.8 percent ground-ball rate. As noted by Stohs, he posted an 18-to-2 K/BB ratio with just four hits and one earned run allowed in 13 2/3 May innings. MLB.com rates him as Minnesota’s No. 27 prospect, praising his upper-90s fastball but calling his slider inconsistent.
4:33pm: The Twins have designated left-hander Jason Wheeler for assignment and optioned right-hander Ryan Pressly to Triple-A Rochester, the team announced to reporters following today’s loss (Twitter link via Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune). Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN had first tweeted that Pressly would be optioned. A pair of corresponding roster moves will be announced tomorrow.
Wheeler, 26, saw his contract selected just yesterday and made his MLB debut on Tuesday. However, the former eighth-round pick struggled through a pair of relief appearances over the past two days, yielding three runs on six hits and four walks in three innings of work. Generally speaking, the Twins’ abysmal bullpen performance in a three-game sweep at the hands of the Astros (28 runs allowed) necessitated a shuffling of the pitching staff, which undoubtedly contributed to Wheeler’s quick loss of his 40-man spot.
Pressly’s significant struggles this season have been one of the primary reasons that the Twins rank last in the Majors in bullpen ERA. The right-hander had pitched to a 3.36 ERA over his past 131 1/3 Major League innings prior to the 2017 campaign and has steadily seen his fastball velocity rise over the years. Pressly is averaging nearly 96 mph on his heater this season and entered the day with a considerably above-average 13.4 percent swinging-strike rate. However, despite his knack for missing bats, Pressly has been exceptionally home-run prone and has also had quite a bit of poor fortune on balls in play (.356 BABIP). He’s yielded five homers in just 18 innings this season after surrendering eight in 75 1/3 innings last year.