Twins Need 8th Inning Ace….

After watching the first 3 games of the Yankees and Twins series, it is blatantly obvious the Twins need a better bridge to Joe Nathan and a power arm in their pen. The Twins are lacking that guy you give the ball to in the 8th that just comes in, throws 95 and just blows people away. They are missing their version of Ryan Madson, Scot Shields (pre 2009), Carlos Marmol or Octavio Dotel.

The Twins have a nice bullpen. It’s probably good enough to win the division, but it’s not a championship caliber bullpen. Jose Mijares has a power fastball from the left side and has stuck out a batter per inning this year (12 IP/12 K’s). Other than Mijares, the Twins have average arms in Matt Guerrier, Luis Ayala, Craig Breslow and Jesse Crain. They would be great in a league of 85 mph pitchers, but baseball is a game of 95 mph pitchers.

The guy the Twins should have made a move for in the offseason was Juan Cruz. I know they wouldn’t have signed Cruz to a free agent contract because they would have had to have surrendered a 1st round pick. However, there were rumors of them pursuing an NBA-like sign-and-trade with the Diamondbacks. Cruz would have been a perfect fit for the Twins. As we all know, Cruz went on to sign with the Royals and is pitching quite well for them.

The Twins could use Valverde

The Twins could use Valverde

So how do the Twins get their power arm? Well, they have a couple of options. First, they can try to go internally. Anthony Swarzak, one of the Twins top pitching prospects (#6 by Baseball America) is off to a good start in Triple A. In 7 starts he has a 2.25 era and has struck out 32 in 44 innings. Swarzak has a fastball in the low 90’s and perhaps they can use him like they used some guy named Santana years ago. That is, put him in the bullpen, let him get his feet wet and let him dominate for an inning or two. I think that strategy worked out pretty well for Santana.

The second option they have is to make a trade. Peter Gammons in his latest article had a list of some relievers who might be on the market. Huston Street, John Grabow and Russ Springer wouldn’t make much sense for the Twins because in my opinion they aren’t much different from what they already have. A guy like Jose Valverde from the Astros would make a lot of sense. Valverde throws gas (high 90’s) and would make a great 1-2 punch with Nathan.

Hopefully the Twins can find a better bridge to Nathan because right now they are in desperate need of an 8th inning ace.

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2 Responses to “Twins Need 8th Inning Ace….”

  1. Twins Need 8th Inning Ace Update…. « The Ghost of Moonlight Graham Says:

    […] Need 8th Inning Ace Update…. By Adam Bernacchio This is an update to my Twins need 8th inning acepost I wrote a couple of days ago. Not quite the update I was looking for, but it does involve the […]

  2. Billy Wagner Returns, Increases Trade Value « The Ghost of Moonlight Graham Says:

    […] they think they are still in it, then Wagner makes a lot of sense. I have been saying forever the Twins need a power arm in the pen to get to Joe […]

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