Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Friday, May 09, 2008

Neshek to the DL

If you're watching the game, you just heard the news about Pat Neshek -- and unfortunately it isn't good. Neshek apparently has a torn muscle (Ok, the TV guys lie -- I guess it's a partially torn UCL) in his arm and will miss at least a couple of months (make that an absolute minimum of 3 months and probably the rest of the season). This is kind of what I think most of us feared yesterday when we saw the injury, because when a pitcher winces and grabs his arm the way Neshek did the news usually isn't good.

While I haven't yet heard any plans about what the Twins will do to replace Neshek, I'll reiterate what I said last night -- for the immediate future, I would guess that Neshek will go on the DL after the game and Glen Perkins will be activated to make tomorrow's start. That would leave Bobby Korecky on the roster, and I would presume he'll stay there until (at a minimum) Scott Baker is activated.

At that point, if Perkins has pitched adequately in the couple of starts he's going to receive, my guess is that he'll replace Korecky in the bullpen. Of course, if the Twins decide that Perkins is more important as a starter they may return him to AAA so that he gets regular work. That would probably leave Korecky in the 'pen, although other AAA pitchers like Julio DePaula, Ricky Barrett, and Carmen Cali could potentially be considered I suppose.

The other question is how the Twins will structure the bullpen. Obviously, Joe Nathan is still the closer -- but who is his setup man? The most likely answer would seem to be Matt Guerrier, who has pitched reasonably well this year. That means Juan Rincon and Jesse Crain will usually be left to handle the 7th with a lead on the line -- although I think Gardy will be very flexible (as he should be) and use whoever makes sense in the circumstances at hand.

As I said yesterday, while I'm disappointed that Neshek is hurt, I don't think that this dooms the Twins. They've been winning despite the fact that most of the bullpen has been underperforming (Joe Nathan being the obvious exception), and I don't think that's going to change. Hopefully Guerrier, Crain, and Rincon can step up and handle the pressure of pitching in more intense situations. So long as the Twins offense performs, I think the team will be fine.

Best wishes to Pat as he recuperates.

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