The Minnesota Twins have been one of the best teams in the American League so far because of a number of unexpected players stepping up and performing far better than their original expectations.
Left-handed reliever Aaron Thompson is one of these players, but his early success has slowly been slipping away and it is time for the team to make a move.
Thompson has pitched in 29 games in 2015, which leads the American League. The 28-year-old was very strong out of the gate and had an impressive 2.11 ERA through his first 17 appearances, but it has since ballooned to 3.91 and the game is slowly slipping away from both Thompson and the Twins, who have now lost five of their last eight games.
It would be in the Twins’ best interest to send Thompson, who has minor league options available, to Triple-A and replace him on the roster with fellow 28-year-old lefty Caleb Thielbar. Thielbar has proven himself to be a Major League-caliber relief pitcher and boasts a 2.74 career ERA over 109 appearances with Minnesota. He got off to a rough start with the Twins in 2015, allowing three runs over six appearances before winding up on the disabled list, but things are starting to click for Thielbar once again in the minor leagues right as Thompson is beginning to struggle.
Thielbar has a 1.69 ERA with the Rochester Red Wings (Triple-A) this year and has allowed just one earned run over his last eight innings pitched. When he came off the disabled list earlier in the season there was just no room in the Twins bullpen for Thielbar, largely due to Thompson’s success, but now there is space for him and with Thompson having options, Minnesota isn’t at risk to lose any players who could be of value to them in a possible playoff race.
The Twins look to reclaim the lead in the American League Central tonight with the Kansas City Royals in town. The Royals defeated Minnesota 3-1 last night, tying Minnesota in the standings.