Monday, April 20, 2009

Crain to DL; Welcome Back, Mijares

The Twins put reliever Jesse Crain on the 15-Day DL on Monday and replaced him with lefthander Jose Mijares. Crain's move is retroactive to Saturday and according to LaVelle, the problem is shoulder discomfort and nothing serious.

Mijares had a great teaser with the Twins last September. In 10 appearances spanning 10.1 innings, Mijares gave up just 3 hits and 1 run, striking out 5 and walking nobody. He was thought to be the solution for the Twins' 8th inning hole, since Pat Neshek would be missing the entire 2009 season following Tommy John surgery. Instead, Mijares showed up overweight to spring training, had trouble throwing strikes (9 BB in 10 IP), sported a spring ERA of 9.90, and was shipped off to Rochester. With the Red Wings, Mijares allowed just 4 hits, 1 walk, and 0 runs in 6.1 innings pitched, so it appears that the message was sent.

Initially, my guess is that the Twins will probably work Mijares in slowly in the later innings - using Craig Breslow, Luis Ayala, and Matt Guerrier as well - and will eventually look to make him Joe Nathan's primary set-up man. Newly-acquired Jose Morillo is most likely a project to be brought along slowly and most likely won't get many chances in tight games. Mjiares showed last year that he had a penchant for tough situations and will need to step up again this year.

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