10:36am: The Twins have selected the contract of right-hander Matt Magill in a corresponding roster move. Magill owns a 6.47 ERA in 32 major league innings between the Dodgers and Reds; remarkably he’s walked more than a batter an inning at the game’s highest level.
8:38am: The Twins have designated right-hander David Hale for assignment, according to a team announcement. A corresponding roster move is expected at some point today.
Minnesota had claimed Hale off waivers from the Yankees less than 48 hours ago. Recent comments from GM Thad Levine suggested that his club had shown interest in Hale as far back as the offseason, when they made attempts to sign him to a minors pact and ultimately lost out to the Yankees in those efforts. Whatever interest the club had was clearly tempered last night after they watched him walk four hitters and allow four earned runs in just three relief innings against a cellar-dwelling Cincinnati ballclub.
While Hale’s short leash certainly tells a clear story about the capacity in which Minnesota views the 30-year-old, it’s fair to imagine that the club might still be hoping they can keep him by sneaking him through waivers. Levine went on record saying that the club likes his pitch profile; the righty throws a four-seamer, sinker, change-up and slider, though it should be noted that all of those pitches are negative throughout his career in terms of weighted runs above average per 100 pitches.
For the Twins, it’s the latest development in a story of bullpen despair early on in 2018. As a group, their relievers own the second-highest ERA and FIP in the major leagues, second only to the Royals. It’s fortunate that they’ve been asked to shoulder the fifth-smallest workload in terms of innings thus far, but the Hale experiment now looks like yet another shortcoming in a desperate search for bullpen stability; he’s already the twelfth reliever to make an appearance for them Twins in 2018.