Winning at just a .455% clip, the third worst in the American League and in last place in the AL Central division with the July 31 trade deadline looming the Minnesota Twins caravan stopped at the local bus stop on their way to Target Field to allow 1B/DH Kendrys Morales and RHP Matt Guerrier to get off the bus. Morales is heading for Seattle but Guerrier’s destination is unknown at the present time.
The Twins signed Matt Guerrier this past March as a free agent. Guerrier, 35, appeared in relief in 27 games and had a 0-1 record with a 3.86 ERA. Guerrier is in his 11th season in the majors but is about 40 some games short of hitting the 10 year pension mark. Guerrier had pitched for Minnesota from 2004-2010 before signing with the Dodgers as a free agent and then being traded to the Cubs last season. The Twins designated Guerrier for assignment and recalled Ryan Pressly from Rochester. Pressly who spent all of 2013 in the Twins bullpen was talked about as a possible starter this season but with Rochester this season all of his 35 appearances have been as a reliever. Hard to say what is in store for Guerrier at this stage of his career but the Twins front office likes him and if he can’t find a job as a player, the Twins might offer him a pitching coach position somewhere in their minor league system.
The Twins surprised everyone when they signed free agent DH/1B Kendrys Morales to a $7.4 million deal on July 24. Morales however, has not exactly provided the punch the Twins were hoping to get when they signed the Cuban slugger that has had hit 34 home runs in 2009 and 23 last season as a Seattle Mariner. In 39 games for the Twins Morales had one home run, 18 RBI and a .234 batting average in 154 at bats. The Twins swapped Morales to the Seattle Mariners for right-handed pitcher Stephen Pryor. Pryor received his surprise birthday gift a day after his 25th birthday. Pryor was a 2010 fifth round pick by the Mariners and quickly made his big league debut with the Mariners in June of 2012. In only his 4th major league appearance for the Seattle Mariners on June 8, 2012, Pryor was credited with the win in a 1-0 combined no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Pryor appeared in 26 games as a Mariner in 2012 but only appeared in 7 games last season before under-going shoulder surgery. The 6’4″ Pryor has spent most of the season in AAA Tacoma but his solitary appearance with Seattle this season happened to be against the Twins on July 9th when he pitched 1.2 innings striking out one and allowing one unearned run. Pryor had been clocked near the 100 MPH mark in the past but is closer to the low to mid 90’s since his surgery. Having said that, his surgery was last season so there is always a chance he could regain his lost velocity. Pryor is not exactly a control pitcher as he has a 4.5 BB/9 mark in the big leagues and even worse 4.9 BB/9 in the minor leagues. The Twins assigned Pryor to Rochester. The Twins called up shortstop Jorge Polanco from Ft. Myers to replace Morales on the roster but I would expect that Polanco’s spot on the Twins roster will be short-term.
Who will be the next Twins player to be calling Minnesota a place he used to play?