Monday, November 18, 2013
When Could Alex Meyer Boost the Rotation?
If the season started today, the Twins would likely enter the year with a rotation composed of Kevin Correia, Kyle Gibson, Scott Diamond, Vance Worley, and Sam Deduno. This isn't exactly the most exciting group of players and it would seem like the team would be destined for another less than mediocre year.
Luckily, the team does have some money to spend. If the Twins are allowed to get back to their 2012 payroll level of $100 million, the club has around $30-40 million in annual value to spend. This could leave the team will the allotted money to go after a couple big name free agents. It certainly doesn't mean the club has to give away money but they have some flexibility.
Another solution to add depth to the Twins rotation might be an in house option. Alex Meyer, the man most likely to get a chance in next year's rotation, just finished pitching in the Arizona Fall League. Last offseason, Meyer joined the Twins organization after being traded from Washington for Denard Span. Only one year later and he could be ready to make an impact at the big league level.
Meyer pitched most of last year for New Britain in the Eastern League. He was limited to 78.1 innings because of an issue with his shoulder and that was one of the main reasons the club wanted him to build up some innings in the AFL. His 11.5 SO/9 rate was the highest of his career and he recorded 100 strikeouts or more for the second consecutive season.
The Twins were looking for a few things from Meyer in his time in the AFL. His secondary pitches needed some work and the team wanted to see some better command from a pitcher they feel is a front of the rotation arm. He would end up finishing second in the AFL in strikeouts but he did this in three fewer innings than the league leader.
Reports on his fastball were good but his command and secondary pitches still don't sound like he is ready to make the jump to the big leagues. This likely means Meyer is headed to Rochester to start next season with the potential to make his debut at some point in the second half of 2014. There are some kinks that still need to be worked out and the Twins don't need to rush Meyer.
Minnesota hopes Meyer will be a boost to the rotation at some point in the near future but he needs to continue to work on command and his secondary pitches. This will help him to be a more successful pitcher at the big league level and the Twins need as much help as they can possibly get in the starting rotation.