7:36pm: The Twins have created a 25-man roster spot for Heston by placing southpaw Hector Santiago on the 10-day DL with a shoulder strain. Santiago has a 5.26 ERA, 6.5 K/9 and 1.68 K/BB rate over 65 frames for Minnesota this season. His career-long issues with the home run ball has been an even larger issue than usual, as Santiago has already allowed 14 homers over his 65 IP.
5:18pm: The Twins have claimed right-hander Chris Heston off waivers from the Dodgers, Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. In a corresponding move, righty Nick Tepesch has been released to create room on the 40-man roster. Minnesota will still have to make another 25-man roster move to accommodate Heston.
It’s been a busy six months for Heston, who will join his fourth different organization in that span. After spending his first four seasons with the Giants (which included a no-hitter in 2015), Heston was dealt to the Mariners in December and then claimed off waivers by the Dodgers two weeks ago after Seattle designated him for assignment.
Heston will now look to stabilize his career with the Twins, not to mention simply pitch well enough to stay in the majors. Heston has only pitched 10 big league innings in 2016-17, to the tune of an ugly 15.30 ERA with more walks (11) than strikeouts (six). Never one to miss many bats, Heston has somewhat less margin for error, though he showed a good ability to keep the ball on the ground during his one full big league season in 2015 (53% grounder rate), and in the minor leagues.
If he can get himself on track, he could find an opportunity within a Twins rotation that is short on stability behind ace Ervin Santana and impressive rookie Jose Berrios. Minnesota could also potentially use Heston as a reliever to help a relief corps that has a league-worst (5.32) bullpen ERA.
Tepesch signed a minor league deal with the Twins last winter and made one appearance for the team, allowing seven runs (but only one earned) over 1 2/3 innings in a losing start on May 6. After breaking into the league as a starter with the Rangers in 2013-14, Tepesch missed all of 2015 recovering from thoracic outlet syndrome surgery and spent 2016 pitching for four different organizations, including a cup of coffee in the bigs with the Dodgers.