The Twins announced Wednesday morning that they’ve designated veteran right-hander Nick Vincent for assignment. The move opens a spot on the active roster for left-hander Lewis Thorpe, who has been recalled from Triple-A St. Paul to start today’s game.
Vincent, 35, appeared in just two games for Minnesota but pitched quite well, holding opponents to a run on four hits and a walk with four strikeouts in that limited action. Prior to his selection to Minnesota’s big league roster, he split the 2021 season with the Triple-A affiliates of the Twins and Rangers, pitching to a combined 4.19 ERA with very strong strikeout and walk rates of 29.3 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively.
Minnesota was the sixth big league organization for which the increasingly well-traveled Vincent has pitched. The soft-tossing righty continues to bounce around the league despite enjoying fairly consistent success. He’s never posted a single-season ERA higher than last year’s 4.43 mark, and he’s posted strong strikeout-to-walk numbers throughout his career. Vincent averaged just 88.8 mph on his fastball in his brief time with the Twins, although that’s not exactly a new or notable decline in his velocity. He’s never averaged even 91 mph on his heater in a given season and hasn’t cracked a 90 mph average since 2017 — but he’s nevertheless had success along the way.
A fly-ball pitcher who averages around 89 mph on his heater is something of an oddball in today’s velocity-driven game, however, so Vincent will now head to either outright waivers or release waivers in the coming days, giving the other 29 clubs around the league a chance to pick him up. In 403 1/3 career innings, he carries a 3.37 ERA with a 24.2 percent strikeout rate and a 6.1 percent walk rate.
Thorpe, 25, has seen action in parts of three seasons with the Twins. The Australian southpaw was once a highly touted prospect within the system but has had his career slowed by injuries, most notably Tommy John surgery. He’s tossed 14 innings of 3.86 ERA ball in Minnesota this season but did so with career-low velocity and a perilously low 8.6 percent strikeout rate. Thorpe missed a good chunk of the minor league season on the injured list due to a shoulder strain and only recently returned to the team’s Triple-A club. He’s tossed a 8 1/3 innings since that return, allowing a pair of runs on six hits and a walk with six strikeouts while stretching back out to 65 pitches in his most recent outing.