ABC’s of Righthanded Relief Options

There seems to be consensus across Twinsville that a bit of help in the righthanded relief pitching category may be called for. Since the Twins online community rarely reaches anything resembling “consensus” on any subject, this much agreement must mean there’s a real need, right?

I know we keep reading about how Twins GM Bill Smith and his staff are discussing options for addressing the team’s bullpen issues.

So what’s the hold up? I guess I could understand if Bill decided to wait until this stretch of games against the Indians and Tigers is finished before giving up even a bit of minor league talent in trade, you know… just in case the Twins were going to lose eight straight. Then again, perhaps that bullpen help might make that kind of losing streak less likely.

Maybe it’s just too difficult to identify pitchers who could help the Twins?

In any event, here at Knuckleballs, we’re always trying to help out. So, with a little research (in fact VERY little research), I’ve come up with a list of righthanded relievers for Bill and his buddies to peruse.

The word on the street is that it should be a “buyer’s market” for shoppers in the market for righthanded relievers. With that in mind, I went “shopping”… and to keep it simple, I tried to come up with one option for each letter of the alphabet, looking pretty much only at guys who are currently toiling for teams that are likely “sellers”.

Let me say up front that I was not successful. There are simply no legitimate (or even somewhat less than legitimate) options for righthanded bullpen arms beginning with the letters O, T, V, X or Y. (Hey, I came up with a U and a Z, whaddya want?!) To make up for that, I threw in a few extras for some of the other letters.

No, not all of these pitchers are likely to be available. Some of them are young enough and cheap enough that their current teams will want to hang on to them. Some of them would come with high price tags (either in talent to be exchanged or salary… or both) that the Twins aren’t likely to want to meet. And no, I’m certainly not advocating for all of them.

But with a very few exceptions, you could make a case that these guys would be an improvement over the long line of ugliness that has traipsed to the mound from the Twins bullpen lately. Don’t believe me? Look up the stat lines on these guys and compare them to Alex Burnett and the other righties that Gardy’s tried to get some middle innings out of this season.

(By the way… if it turns out a couple of these guys are lefties, are on the DL, or retired 12 years ago … well… sorry. There were a lot of names to come up with here!)

Let’s begin.

A – Mike Adams SD

B – Grant Balfour OAK or perhaps Matt Belisle COL

C – Tyler Clippard WAS would be nice, but he won’t come cheap. Fortunately, the Nats have another “C”… Todd Coffey

D – Octavio Dotel TOR

E – Marco Estrada WAS

F – Jason Frasor TOR

G – Matt Guerrier LAD (hey, if people seem to want Jon Rauch back, why not Shaggy?)

H – Blake Hawksworth LAD or perhaps Greg Holland KC

I – Jason Isringhausen NYM

J – Jim Johnson BAL

K – Hong-Chih Kuo LAD (yeah I had to REALLY stretch for a K)

L – Matt Lindstrom COL or maybe Wilton Lopez HOU

M – Ryan Mattheus WAS or Mark Melancon HOU or even Edward Mujica FLA

N – Leo Nunez FLA yeah… I know, it’s not gonna happen. Guess we could always get back Pat Neshek SD

Jon Rauch

O –Nada

P – Bobby Parnell NYM

Q – Chad Qualls SD

R – Jon Rauch TOR or, if you just can’t get your head right with that, Fernando Rodriguez HOU

S – Drew Storen WAS or Jeff Samardzija ChC (but we know we’d rather have Joakim Soria KC)

T –Nope

U – Koji Uehara BAL

V –Uhuh

W – Michael Wuertz OAK (a Minnesota boy, I believe) or maybe Blake Wood KC

X –YeahRight

Y – Surprisingly, nobody… seems Cy Young is no longer pitching

Z – Brad Ziegler OAK

So, there ya go Bill… Happy shopping!

– JC

6 Replies to “ABC’s of Righthanded Relief Options”

  1. Letting Shaggy go is one of my biggest criticisms from the off-season. Yes, I knew we couldn’t keep all of them but keeping the workhorse who had done more innings in Relief any most of our entire bullpen combined seeems like it might have been a wise investment. I would love to see Matt Guerrier back here – and maybe he’ll even have an arm left for the second half of the season since the Twins weren’t using him every day for the first half!

  2. The only arm on that list that I like is Michael Wuertz. My best guess is that Billy Smith will do nothing.

  3. I do think Weurtz might be a valuable addition, both from the fact that what I recall is a pretty reliable arm if nothing terribly flashy at a price that we could probably afford. Of course, like JC, I could be proven wrong – that’s just my recollection.

  4. Yes, Weurtz is indeed Minnesota born. He is from “The Land of SPAM” also known as Austin. Austin is also the birthplace of two PGA Major Champs, Tom Lehman (British Open) and Lee Janzen (US Open).

  5. If the Twins got Wuertz, I’d try to root for him… but it wouldn’t be easy. Being the son of an Albert Lea HS coach all those years pretty much sealed in an immediate and deep dislike for anything/anyone related to Austin.

  6. I have a “Tale (Tail) lol of Two Cities. I bought my very first new car in Albert Lea, MN from Bob Adams Imports. And my very first wife was born in Austin, MN.