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Twins option Hildenberger to Triple-A Rochester

@dohyoungpark
May 15, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS -- Though Trevor Hildenberger had been a critical part of the Twins' bullpen early in the season, the 28-year-old sidearmer was optioned to Triple-A Rochester on Wednesday after he allowed three ninth-inning runs in Minnesota's series-clinching 8-7 victory over the Angels. The Twins will announce a corresponding move prior

MINNEAPOLIS -- Though Trevor Hildenberger had been a critical part of the Twins' bullpen early in the season, the 28-year-old sidearmer was optioned to Triple-A Rochester on Wednesday after he allowed three ninth-inning runs in Minnesota's series-clinching 8-7 victory over the Angels.

The Twins will announce a corresponding move prior to Thursday night's series opener in Seattle.

Hildenberger had started the season with 11 scoreless appearances in high-leverage situations out of Minnesota's bullpen and had stranded 14 of the 19 baserunners that he had inherited. But since that strong start, he has yielded multiple runs in six of his last eight outings, with 13 runs allowed on 17 hits in 6 1/3 innings in that stretch.

"Hildy is a guy that has the experience, has a bunch of success at the big league level," manager Rocco Baldelli said. "I think he's an adjustment or two away from being the Hildy that we know he is. I don't want to take away anything from what he's done in the past."

Hildenberger also struggled with consistency last season, when he lowered his ERA to 2.06 on June 28 following 16 consecutive scoreless appearances out of the bullpen before he posted a 9.36 ERA in his remaining 37 games to finish the year.

Though the Twins still have three of their original high-leverage core intact in Blake Parker, Taylor Rogers and Trevor May, who have all pitched effectively throughout the season, Hildenberger's demotion could begin to test Minnesota's less proven bullpen depth in increasingly important situations.

Outside of Hildenberger, the Twins' bullpen has only allowed three runs in May, with Ryne Harper, Matt Magill and Mike Morin all having seen an increasing amount of action in close games, with only one run allowed between the three during the month.

Do-Hyoung Park covers the Twins for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @dohyoungpark and on Instagram at dohyoung.park.