Twins DFA Kinley, claim Hale off waivers

Rule 5 pick struggled over first four big league outings; Minnesota options Slegers after brief callup

April 26th, 2018

NEW YORK -- With Twins pitchers struggling during their seven-game losing streak and the club looking to add relief help from the Minors, Minnesota designated Rule 5 Draft pick for assignment after its loss to the Yankees on Wednesday night.
Right-hander was recalled from Triple-A Rochester on Thursday morning, but he was optioned after Thursday's 4-3 loss to the Yankees to make room for right-hander , who was claimed on waivers from the Yanks.
"This is a guy we pursued this offseason," Twins general manager Thad Levine said of Hale. "We think we may have been the runners-up to the Yankees in terms of enticing him to come to Spring Training. From a pitch profile standpoint, we've liked him. I think at this stage in the year, it's important to add to your depth, and we did that. He can pitch in a variety of roles."
Hale, 30, made one appearance with the Yankees this year, throwing two scoreless innings with three strikeouts before being designated for assignment on Tuesday. He's pitched in parts of five seasons in the Majors with the Braves, Rockies and Yankees, posting a 4.43 ERA with 123 strikeouts and 62 walks in 180 2/3 innings.
Hale has experience as both a starter and a reliever, spending last season in the Dodgers' Minor League system with a 4.08 ERA in 15 appearances (14 starts). He also made three starts with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre this season, posting a 5.52 ERA.
Slegers, 25, made three starts for Rochester before his brief callup, going 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA, one walk and 10 strikeouts in 18 innings. The Twins want him to remain in Rochester's rotation instead of pitching in long relief.
"We see him as a starter," Levine said. "The reason why we are sending down Slegers and bringing in Hale is to give Aaron a chance to go back in the rotation and be the next line of defense for us on the starting front."
In Kinley's case, when a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster, and the 25-man roster if he was on that as well. Within seven days of the transaction (it was previously 10 days), the player must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.
Kinley, 27, struggled in his first taste of the Majors, allowing nine runs on nine hits and four walks over 3 1/3 innings for a 24.30 ERA in four outings. His last appearance came Monday, when he gave up a grand slam to Didi Gregorius and could only record one out in the eighth before outfielder came in to finish the inning.

"It's obviously tough," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "There's a lot to like about that young man. Unfortunately, we've run into a little bit of a spell here where with our rotation, we haven't got enough innings to feel like we're protected."
If Kinley clears waivers, he must be offered back to the Marlins, unless Minnesota can work out a trade with Miami. If Kinley is claimed by another club, he has to stay on the 25-man roster the entire season or be offered back to the Marlins.

"We've talked about the possibility of what had to be done, even last night, to be able to keep him in a Twins uniform," Molitor said. "I don't know how likely that is. But we'll see what kind of response and interest there is."
Kinley possesses plus stuff, with his fastball averaging 96.8 mph to go along with his slider that averages 89.1 mph. But he's had trouble harnessing it, and he gave up at least one run in three of his four outings.
"I understood completely," Kinley said of the decision. "I know the team is trying to put its best foot forward, and I was unable to do my part. That's unfortunate. But I'll learn from it. Hopefully, this team in Minnesota can continue to win and turn things around."