The 24-year-old Curtiss currently ranks as Minnesota’s No. 19 prospect, per Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis of MLB.com. Curtiss has laid waste to minor league opponents this season, posting a sparkling 1.28 ERA with 12.4 K/9 with a 48 percent ground-ball rate in 49 1/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. Control is a bit of an issue, though, as he’s averaged 4.0 walks per nine innings and snapped off six wild pitches on the year.
Callis and Mayo praise his 94-98 mph fastball, his “considerably” improved slider and his “intense and serious personality” on the mound in suggesting that Curtiss could eventually close games at the big league level.
10:25pm: The Twins have designated right-hander Tim Melville for assignment, manager Paul Molitor told reporters after the game Tuesday night (Twitter link via MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger). He’d been an option to start on Saturday, but that outing will go to fellow righty Dillon Gee, who shined in Game 2 of yesterday’s doubleheader. A corresponding roster move for Melville will be announced tomorrow.
Melville, who signed a minors pact with the Twins earlier this summer after a solid season with the independent Long Island Ducks, earned a spot start with Minnesota on the heels of a terrific 2.70 ERA with 8.6 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and a 33.7 percent ground-ball rate in 66 2/3 innings with the Twins’ Triple-A affiliate in Rochester. That spot start didn’t go well, however, as Melville was tagged for five runs on four hits and three walks with three strikeouts in 3 1/3 frames against the White Sox in Game 1 of yesterday’s doubleheader.
Unfortunately for Melville, the Twins need roster flexibility at the moment, so he’ll lose his 40-man roster spot and a potential September call-up. If he clears waivers, he’ll likely head back to Triple-A, though, and could reemerge to provide some depth for a fairly thin Twins pitching staff next month after rosters expand.