The Twins announced a series of roster moves today, selecting right-hander Dereck Rodríguez and recalling infielder/outfielder Alex Kirilloff from Triple-A St. Paul. In corresponding moves, outfielder Trevor Larnach was optioned to Triple-A while left-hander Caleb Thielbar has been placed on the 15-day injured list with a right oblique strain. To open a 40-man spot for Rodríguez, righty Tyler Mahle was transferred to the 60-day IL.
Rodríguez, 31 next month, arrived in the big leagues as a starter in 2018, posting a 2.81 ERA in 118 1/3 innings. Unfortunately, his ERA jumped to 5.64 the next year and he’s largely been in a depth/swingman role since then. He made just two appearances in the big leagues in 2020 and none in 2021. Last year, he was with the Twins on a minor league deal and was twice selected to the big league club, once in April and once in September. In each case, he made one multi-inning relief stint and was promptly designated for assignment.
He and the organization seem to have have a good relationship, as he re-signed on another minor league deal this past winter even after all of that roster shuffling. He has a 4.66 ERA in 19 1/3 Triple-A innings this year and will give the club a fresh arm. They used five relievers yesterday, not including Thielbar, in their 12-inning game against the White Sox.
As for Kirilloff, he’s a former first round draft pick and was one of the top prospects in baseball not too long ago. Persistent wrist problems have frequently put him out of action and also diminished his production, but he seems to be on a tear right now. He began the year on the injured list and was optioned after returning to health, but is hitting .300/.426/.580 through 14 minor league games. He’ll get a chance to see if he can bring any of that up to the majors, hopefully staying healthy in the process.
As for Mahle, it was reported on the weekend that he would be shut down for four weeks due to a posterior impingement and a flexor pronator strain in his throwing arm. Even if he’s healthy after that shutdown period, he would then have to ramp back up to a full starter’s workload. It would have been difficult for him to return within 60 days but this move now makes that officially off the table.