The Twins announced that they’ve designated left-handed reliever Mason Melotakis and right-handed reliever Alex Wimmers for assignment on Friday. The moves will clear way for the the team to select the contracts of veteran righty Dillon Gee and right-hander Trevor Hildenberger, one of the organization’s top bullpen prospects.
The DFA of Melotakis comes as something of a surprise, as he entered the season rated as one of the better relief prospects in the Twins system and has pitched well thus far in 2017, working to a combined 2.28 ERA with 10.4 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 and a ground-ball rate a bit north of 50 percent. Certainly, the Twins’ front office either saw something it didn’t like or feels there’s a good chance he’ll clear waivers, but it’s nonetheless a surprise to see him cut loose with the Twins in obvious need of bullpen help at the Major League level.
Wimmers, 28, has previously been outrighted by the Twins before, so he’ll have the option to elect free agency if he clears waivers. The former first-round pick was touted as a fairly safe bet to eventually join a big league rotation back in the 2010 draft, but his career has been derailed in large part by injuries. He’s tossed 7 1/3 inning with the 2017 Twins and walked more batters (nine) than he’s struck out (eight), though he’s posted a 3.72 ERA with 8.6 K/9 against 4.1 BB/9 in 67 2/3 career innings at Triple-A.