The Twins have designated right-handed reliever Cory Gearrin for assignment, per a club announcement. Minnesota also activated righty Zack Littell from the injured list, placed fellow right-hander Cody Stashak on the 10-day IL due to lower back inflammation and activated recently acquired infielder Ildemaro Vargas.
Gearrin, 34, inked a minor league deal with the Twins in early 2020 and was added to the big league roster over the weekend after beginning the season at their alternate training site in St. Paul. He pitched a pair of scoreless innings Sunday, and in doing so ensured that he’d pitched in his sixth consecutive Major League season.
Gearrin has never been an overpowering reliever, but he has a solid track record in the Majors. From 2016-19, he averaged 63 relief appearances per year and worked to a tidy 3.42 ERA with 8.2 K/9, 3.7 BB/9, 0.79 HR/9 and a 47.9 percent ground-ball rate. Overall, Gearrin carries a 3.61 ERA and 3.81 FIP in 304 innings at the Major League level. Given the number of struggling bullpens around the game, he could appeal to another team on a waiver claim or a minor trade.
As for Littell, he’ll return to the club after missing about two weeks with a hamstring strain. He was tagged for four runs in his first three innings of work this season, but Littell flourished in the Minnesota bullpen last year, finishing out the season with 30 2/3 frames of 0.88 ERA ball after being recalled from Triple-A in late June. Stashak had his own impressive run for the Twins in the second half of 2019 and has allowed three runs on five hits and a pair of walks with 10 punchouts through seven innings thus far in 2020.