The Twins optioned southpaw Devin Smeltzer to their alternate training site while reinstating Cody Stashak from the injured list, per Betsy Helfand of the Pioneer Press. The team has also announced the moves.
Smeltzer played a relatively important role on the 2019 Twins because of his ability to plug the gaps on the pitching staff, hurling 49 innings by way of 6 starts and 5 relief appearances with a 3.86 ERA. This season has been more of a grind for the New Jersey native. In 7 appearances including 1 start, Smeltzer has picked up a pair of wins with a 6.75 ERA. The bloated ERA might not be as bad as it seems: 8.4 K/9 to 2.8 BB/9 and a 4.02 FIP suggest a much better effort from the left-hander. He nonetheless heads back to the alternate training site a day after allowing 2 runs on 3 hits over 1 1/3 innings to the Tigers.
Without Smeltzer, the Twins are down to Taylor Rogers and Caleb Thielbar as the only lefties in the pen. Rogers, of course, doesn’t function as a traditional lefty given his role as the team’s closer. Sergio Romo is also an effective weapon against lefties, as the veteran has held opposite-hand hitters to a .174/.231/.261 line this season. He’s been effective against lefties primarily by staying away with his frisbee slider and hammering the bottom corner of the zone with his sinker.
Stashak, 26, came into the season with a 3.24 ERA/3.01 FIP from 18 appearances covering 25 innings in 2019. This season he’s appeared in 6 game thus far, allowing 3 earned runs across 7 innings for a 3.86 ERA. Stashak brings a 92 mph heater about 50% of the time, backing it up with a slider away to righties and in on left-handers. He’ll give the Twins another option for the middle innings.