Wednesday, August 02, 2006

More Roster Juggling

After making his spot start in today's 10-2 loss, allowing 4 earned runs on 6 hits and 2 walks in 4 innings, Boof Bonser was sent back to AAA Rochester, replaced by... Mike Smith?

You're forgiven if you did not know Smith from Smithee, or that he's a 28 year-old righthander who appeared in 14 games for the Blue Jays in 2002, and has posted a 9-4 record with a 3.52 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, and 6.75 K/9 in 125.1 IP with Rochester this season. The Twins plan to use him as Brad Radke's back-up in case he has another early exit on Thursday, or else give Smith the start on Sunday in Kansas City.

Scott Baker must wait at least 10 days for a return to the Twins, unless he's recalled sooner to replace a player going on the Disabled List. That may give Smith two starts to make an impression, while Baker works in Rochester to make his coaches happy and send along glowing reports to Terry Ryan's office. The timing may work out well for Baker, unless Smith catches a few flakes of magic pixie dust from hanging around Jason Tyner and Broccoli Rabe this week.

The only Red Wings pitcher besides Bonser and Baker currently on the 40-man roster is J.D. Durbin, who has pitched well but is done for the season because of a nerve problem in his right biceps. There remains one empty spot on the 40-man, which is likely to go to Matt Garza, but Terry Ryan on television lately sounds like he would prefer to keep Garza in AAA until September. That's sensible: Garza, 22, began the year at Fort Myers, moving to AA New Britain in mid-May, and now has just 4 starts to his credit at AAA. Ryan says he wants Garza to work on his secondary pitches before jumping another level. The Twins may push back Garza's arbitration eligibility by delaying the start of his service clock until September, as well.

So, depending on what happens with Smith, Radke, or Liriano this week, Scott Baker may still have one more window of opportunity with the Twins this season, before Garza will be demanding Ron Gardenhire's attention and, perhaps, great affection.


At 8/10/2006 7:59 AM, Blogger Moss said...

All the great baseball lately, and FW doesn't have anything to add??

At 8/11/2006 8:40 PM, Blogger frightwig said...

Thanks for checking in on me, Moss. I've been busy with some other things, but I hope to find the time to write something about the Twins this weekend.

At 9/03/2006 9:13 PM, Blogger Moss said...

Your hiatus has been over a month now, FW. Moss hopes you haven't thrown in the towel!

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