The Twins announced that they’ve designated right-hander Blake Parker for assignment. His spot on the roster will go to veteran righty Carlos Torres, who signed a minor league contract last month and will have his contract selected from Triple-A Rochester. Minnesota has also optioned right-hander Kohl Stewart to Rochester and recalled lefty Devin Smeltzer in his place.
Parker, 34, was non-tendered by the Angels last fall despite putting up a 2.90 ERA in his two seasons there. The Minnesota org scooped him up for a $1.8MM guarantee. There were a series of roster bonuses that kicked off beginning 130 days into the season, a point less than two weeks away. While the Twins won’t owe any of the extra contemplated cash, they’ll be on the hook for the remainder of the salary unless another club takes over the contract or partially offsets what is owed by eventually bringing Parker onto their roster at a league-minimum rate of pay.
Though Parker seemed a reasonable risk for that rate of pay, he was probably miscast from the outset as a part of the team’s closer mix. He did pick up ten saves before being elbowed out of the ninth for good. Befitting a club that is turning over relief arms at a rapid pace in advance of the trade deadline, Parker was still trusted to work the eighth of a tight game just days ago.
After picking up a hold on Saturday against the A’s, Parker owned a 3.25 ERA on the season. But he was shredded for four earned runs while recording just one out yesterday, in what was in all likelihood his final appearance for the Twins this year. That left Parker with a cumulative 4.21 ERA through 36 1/3 innings on the season. The peripherals never inspired much confidence. He’s carrying 8.4 K/9 against 4.0 BB/9 with seven long balls on the ledger. As it did last year, Statcast identified a worrying volume of hard contact. The batted-ball profile indicated that Parker has actually been somewhat fortunate (.333 wOBA vs. .360 xwOBA).
The 36-year-old Torres is back in the bigs once again after forgettable and brief stints in each of the past two seasons. He’s a ten-year MLB veteran but hasn’t had a full and effective campaign since 2016. Torres has been generating good outcomes this year at Triple-A, though, with a 2.79 ERA in 48 1/3 frames at the top affiliates of the Tigers, Padres, and Twins.