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Twins beef up pitching with 2 waiver claims

@dohyoungpark
October 30, 2020

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins claimed right-handed pitcher Ian Gibaut and left-hander Brandon Waddell off waivers on Friday, adding a pair of young arms with extensive Minor League experience but limited MLB track records to their depleted pitching staff. The 40-man roster is now at 33 as the Twins take early

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins claimed right-handed pitcher Ian Gibaut and left-hander Brandon Waddell off waivers on Friday, adding a pair of young arms with extensive Minor League experience but limited MLB track records to their depleted pitching staff.

The 40-man roster is now at 33 as the Twins take early shots at making up the lost production of Sergio Romo, Tyler Clippard and Trevor May (among others), three of the core members of the 2020 bullpen.

Gibaut has more big league experience, with 26 2/3 innings pitched over the past two seasons with the Rays and Rangers. He has a strong fastball that has averaged 95.2 mph in the Majors to complement a slider and a changeup, but command issues have led to a 6.08 ERA in his short career, with 30 strikeouts and 19 walks.

The 26-year-old has a 2.44 ERA in the Minors across five seasons since he was drafted by the Rays in 2015. According to Statcast, his slider had 63 percent more break than the average slider at his velocity and release this season, which would have ranked second among Twins regulars behind Taylor Rogers' slider.

Waddell is of a similar mold, with command issues across his five-year Minor League career, highlighted by a 4.12 ERA, 423 strikeouts and 204 walks across 478 innings, mostly as a starter, after he was selected in the 2015 Draft by the Pirates. He posted a 2.70 ERA (one earned run in 3 1/3 innings) in two MLB appearances out of the Pittsburgh bullpen in '20.

Though neither pitcher has an established track record, keep in mind that a similar move by the Twins this time last offseason paid huge dividends when they claimed journeyman Matt Wisler off waivers from the Mariners and turned him into a bullpen force with a 1.07 ERA in 25 1/3 innings -- second most among Minnesota relievers.

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