One of the tough parts if the season at this point is just how little can be drawn from anything that’s gone on. Not only have batters only seen 10 games so far, but the weather really doesn’t line up with what they are used to, and the performance to date isn’t particularly indicative of things to come. It’s just time to come in and get some work in.
One thing that is always irksome early in the year is the overuse of the bullpen. It’s an issue league wide, but especially bothersome with the Twins who are right under my nose. Sure, the starters have been throwing too many pitches and are being bumped early in games, but bullpen pitches are potentially more fragile than their counterparts in the rotation.
With those two thoughts in mind, then, questions arise in my mind about the usage today. Not the quality of performances, but simply the general overall usage of the various pitchers on the staff. In the first 10 games of the season, we have seen a steady rotation of Addison Reed, Trevor Hildenberger, Taylor Rodgers, Ryan Pressly and especially Zach Duke.
Here’s a fun sidebar though. The Twins also have Gabriel Moya and Tyler Kinley in the stable. After 10 games, Moya and Kinley have appeared in fewer games than half of the starters on the roster. Granted, they weren’t great when they got their work in, but Duke has been hammered while getting twice as much work as Moya and Kinley combined.
I assume Moya will be relegated to Rochester when the Twins need a fifth starter, while Kinley can only remain with the Twins if the stays on the 25 man roster. Still, neither have ever pitched at AAA, and need to get work in. Why aren’t they? Do they assume that Kinley’s talent, which hasn’t played above High A so far, is getting better sitting in the bullpen?
It’s an even tougher situation for these guys, given the weather we have been experiencing. With more unscheduled off days, the managerial favorites are fresher, but the young, unproven talent is getting fewer opportunities. Yes, we are in “small sample” season, but for Kinley and Moya, that sample is even smaller than it should be.
(This post was written before Moya appeared on Thursday. Hooray!)