The Twins announced Thursday that they’ve selected the contract of right-hander Mike Morin and placed left-hander Adalberto Mejia on the 10-day injured list due to a calf strain. Minnesota had an open 40-man roster spot, so an additional corresponding move to accommodate Morin’s selection isn’t required.
It’s an early birthday present for Morin, who’ll turn 28 tomorrow. The former Angels, Royals and Mariners righty signed a minors pact with the Twins in the offseason and has thrown well in the early portion of the season with Triple-A Rochester, notching a 3.00 ERA with a 12-to-3 K/BB ratio in 12 innings of relief.
Morin had a terrific rookie campaign with the Angels back in 2014 when he logged a 2.90 ERA with 8.2 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, 0.46 HR/9 and a 43.9 percent ground-ball rate. That strong season has been far and away the best of his career to this point, as Morin has limped to a combined 5.56 ERA in 115 MLB frames since that time. He’s persistently maintained strong K/BB numbers and done a good job keeping the ball in the yard, however, and fielding-independent metrics have continually suggested that his bottom-line results should be better than they are. Morin has been plagued by a slightly elevated BABIP but more notably a 56.4 percent strand rate that is nearly 20 percent south of the league average.
Morin is out of minor league options, so the Twins won’t be able to send him back down unless they first pass him through waivers. He’ll replace Mejia, a former top prospect who has struggled perhaps more than anyone on the Twins’ staff to this point in the season. Through 11 1/3 innings, the lefty has been torched for 11 earned runs on 11 hits and nine walks with 11 strikeouts. Twins relievers, on the whole, rank 21st in the Majors with a 4.78 ERA and 4.62 xFIP (but 13th with a more palatable 4.21 FIP).