The Twins have recalled right-hander Bailey Ober to start this afternoon’s game against the Nationals, per a team announcement. To make room for Ober on the active roster, right-hander Simeon Woods Richardson has been optioned to Triple-A.
Ober, 27, has yet to pitch in the majors this season but impressed in 11 starts last year, pitching to a 3.21 ERA (120 ERA+) with a 2.92 FIP in 56 innings of work. Ober struck out 22.5% of batters faced while walking a microscopic 4.8%, though not all of his success appears that sustainable; just 4.8% of Ober’s fly balls last season left the yard for home runs in spite of a 11.7% barrel rate. More fly balls leaving the yard could be a significant issue for Ober, for whom fly balls made up 51.2% of his total balls in play in the majors last year.
Following Kenta Maeda’s return from Tommy John surgery and the club’s acquisition of Pablo Lopez from the Marlins, Ober ultimately found himself pushed out of the rotation to open the season. He’s seen great success in Triple-A to start the year, however, with a 2.55 ERA and 2.71 FIP in 17 2/3 innings of work so far in 2023. That performance, combined with the need for a spot starter in today’s game, led to Ober’s first call to the majors this season, which should give the Twins additional time to determine if Maeda will require a stint on the 15-day injured list after being hit with a line drive in Thursday’s game against the Red Sox. Should Maeda require a trip to the IL, Ober figures to slot into the big league rotation for longer than today’s spot start.
Woods Richardson, meanwhile, heads back to Triple-A after making just one appearance, a 4 2/3 inning relief outing yesterday during which the 22-year-old righty surrendered five runs on seven hits and three walks. The youngster is considered the club’s 8th best prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, and was viewed as a top 100 prospect in the sport as recently as 2021. Despite his prospect pedigree, it seems unlikely the youngster will factor into Minnesota’s rotation plans this season, given the club’s considerable depth at the position. For now he will head back to Triple-A, where he’s posted a 3.30 ERA in 43 2/3 career innings, and wait for his next big league opportunity.
Dumpster Divin Theo
Hopefully the ober under on starts is >1. I’ve got this dude on my team. Let’s gooo!!
As I was scrolling fast, I thought the name said, Barely Sober.
Bailey O’ber is one of my favorite songs by The Who
Managing by taxi is not working out too good. Seems to be no expectations on the cast of regulars.
5.2 w/ 1 ER isn’t too bad. Maeda was one of the fluke injuries every team has through the year. I don’t think a taxi squad was a plan, just circumstance.
Ober was more of the plan, it’s just last time they needed a spot start he had just pitched. No team wants to burn relief pitchers but that’s why there are option years. Keep the pen arms fresh.
Twins should give him an extended look even if Maeda doesn’t go on the IL. Maeda can move to the bullpen where he’s been effective in the past. It’ll make the pitching corps stronger now while developing Ober as a long term rotation piece.
A healthy Maeda is a significantly better pitcher than Ober in my opinion. I’m not sure why the Twins need to give Ober an extended look to see what he brings to the table when they’ve seen him pitch for 150 innings and 31 starts at the MLB level already. It’s not like they’re evaluating a rookie with no big show experience.
Ober also has his own injury concerns and history, and I expect he’s more likely to need the move to the bullpen than Maeda.
Significantly better, based off what? Other than the short Covid year, he’s been about the same pitcher Ober has been and Obers a decade younger. Maeda has been a swingman for much of his career, now 35 coming off TJ, he’s suddenly going to be a workhorse? Use him how the Dodgers did, maximize his effectiveness and control his innings. Allow Ober to use his bullets in the majors.
@Sky14 – Kenta Maeda vs. Bailey Ober.
Career xFIP = 3.71 vs. 4.08
Career Hard Hit = 29.5% vs. 39.9%
Career Barrel Rate = 5.4% vs. 10.3%
I’m not saying there’s no chance Ober isn’t a better pitcher now, but Maeda has historically generated more strike outs, giving up fewer hits and less hard contact than Ober.
As far as the Dodgers using Maeda in a swing role, it might have to do with the Dodgers generally having 3 Cy Young candidates in their rotation… and as far as that goes, Maeda started 26 games and pitched 153.2 innings in 2019. Ober has never been healthy enough to do that.
Maeda’s listed as the probable starter for Wednesday and he’s scheduled to throw a bullpen session Monday to make sure he’ll be ready.
Twins might be better served with four starters and two long guys. How many times do you roll the dice on 4-5 bullpen guys do the job. There’s a lot of overthinking metrics.
The starters have been the bright spot over the season. As a fan I feel each day they could win 1-5… it’s when they do go to the pen that I get concerned