May 29, 2008

Twins claim reliever

According to Joe Christensen, the Minnesota Twins made a move today that will help bolster their bullpen. Craig Breslow was claimed off of waivers from the Cleveland Indians organization 6 days after they designated him for assignment. Since being drafted in the 26th round of the 2002 draft, Breslow has spent time with the Brewers, Padres, Red Sox, Indians and now the Twins. The 27-year-old will couple with Dennys Reyes as a left-handed reliever in the bullpen and will give the Twins another option against tough left-handed hitters.

Breslow's numbers aren't great, but he does have limited success in the Majors. He made it to the majors with the Padres as a 24-year-old back in 2005, then in 2006 with the Red Sox and after spending all of 2007 in the minors, the Indians picked him up last off-season and he only made 7 appearances before being released.

Breslow has had problems with his control in the majors, but he averaged 3.63 BB/9 innings in the minors. His fastball sits in the upper 80's and adds an slow curveball, a changeup and a slider. Despite not having great velocity, Breslow had a 9.84 K/9 ratio in the minors.

To make room on the 40-man roster, the Twins transferred Pat Neshek to the 60-day D.L. and to make room on the 25-man roster, the Twins will likely be shedding a reliever. Bobby Korecky has pitched alright since his promotion, but he may be the best bet. I say this because the two other likely options are Boof Bonser and Brian Bass, and Bonser is set to start against the Yankees this weekend and Brian Bass (as well as Bonser) will have to clear waivers if the Twins hope to hold onto him in the organization.

This raises an eyebrow as to what the Twins are going to do when Scott Baker returns from the D.L. It could mean either Bonser or Bass are DFA'd which would place them on waivers, they may send either Kevin Slowey, Nick Blackurn or Glen Perkins down to Rochester (however I'm sure neither Blackburn or Perkins are even considered for that right now), or they could just be acquiring Breslow for this weekend's series against the Yankees and may release him when Baker comes back. The reason I don't feel it's the latter option is because that's not how the Twins generally operate. The club may also be setting up for an unexpected move such as releasing Juan Rincon, which may please many Twins fans. Livan Hernandez's name has come up recently in trade rumors, but I'd be very surprised to see the Twins trade him right now.

We'll find out sooner or later.