Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Twins reassign Wimmers, Tepesch to Minors

Moves help settle Minnesota's bullpen situation
March 29, 2017

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Twins' pitching situation gained some clarity on Wednesday, as right-handers Alex Wimmers and Nick Tepesch were reassigned to Minor League camp, which essentially settles the bullpen situation.Wimmers was competing for a spot in the bullpen, while Tepesch was a fringe candidate for the rotation. With

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Twins' pitching situation gained some clarity on Wednesday, as right-handers Alex Wimmers and Nick Tepesch were reassigned to Minor League camp, which essentially settles the bullpen situation.
Wimmers was competing for a spot in the bullpen, while Tepesch was a fringe candidate for the rotation. With Wimmers out of the mix, it means Rule 5 Draft pick Justin Haley and Michael Tonkin, who is out of options, made the team as the last two relievers in the bullpen, joining closer Brandon Kintzler, Thomas Pressly, Taylor Rogers, Matt Belisle and Craig Breslow.
 

The Twins will announce the winner of the fifth-starter competition between right-hander Tyler Duffey and left-hander Adalberto Mejia on Thursday. Additionally, they'll announce the winner of the backup catcher job between Chris Gimenez and John Ryan Murphy, and the designated hitter role between ByungHo Park and Kennys Vargas.
"We're in good shape," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "There are still a few things we have to do still in terms of our 25-man. With Tep and Wim going down, it gives these guys an opportunity to come north with us. I'm excited about both of them."
Duffey is considered the slight favorite after outpitching Mejia in a Minor League outing, while Gimenez and Park are expected to be added to the 40-man roster. The Twins will have to clear one more 40-man spot if that's the case, as they can clear one with closer Glen Perkins expected to be placed on the 60-day disabled list.
Left-hander Ryan O'Rourke and infielder Ehire Adrianza are also expected to open the year on the 10-day DL. Adrianza's injury means Eduardo Escobar, Danny Santana and Robbie Grossman will make the club as bench players.
The Twins have 36 players in camp, but Matt Hague, Bengie Gonzalez, Ben Paulsen and Eddy Rodriguez have been told they'll open at Triple-A Rochester. Minnesota will make those moves official on Thursday, and outfielder J.B. Shuck is also expected to be reassigned to Minor League camp.
Wimmers, 28, had an impressive camp, posting a 2.00 ERA with eight strikeouts in nine innings. His fastball velocity was up to 93 mph to go with his plus changeup. One scout said Wimmers was the most impressive Twins reliever he saw this spring.
But Wimmers, who had a 4.15 ERA in 16 appearances with Minnesota last year, isn't on the 40-man roster, which hurt his chances of making the club, especially with Park and Gimenez expected to be added to the roster.
"It was probably just a roster-numbers thing," Wimmers said. "They said I performed well, and that's all I can worry about. I feel like I'm ready for a full season in the big leagues. Once I get up there, I don't want to come back. Obviously, I'm very disappointed, but it is what it is."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, **Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter [@RhettBollinger](https://twitter.com/RhettBollinger)** and listen to his podcast.