MINNEAPOLIS — Ryan Pressly has been optioned to the Triple-A Rochester, a sign that the Twins have seen enough of the high-velocity, high-ERA reliever.
Also, Jason Wheeler, who made his MLB debut Tuesday, has been designated for release or assignment. The Twins intend to add two new pitchers in time for Thursday’s game in Anaheim, according to a team spokesman.
Pressly was presumed to be in the competition to be the setup man this spring, but the results have not been there for the enigmatic reliever. Two months into the season, Pressly has gone from trusted late-inning option to sporting a 9.50 ERA.
Pressly runs his fastball into the mid-to-upper-90s, and has two breaking balls to go along with it. But walks and home runs have been his undoing this year, and the Twins are sending him to the minors, where the lights are a little bit dimmer, manager Paul Molitor said, where he can focus on process over results.
For Wheeler, the move caps a whirlwind few days, in which he was added to the 40-man roster, summoned to the big leagues, pitched twice, and now he’s been taken off the roster. He’ll be exposed to waivers, traded or released, and that answer will be known within 10 days.
The Twins have not announced which two pitchers will take the two places. Wheeler’s designation frees up a place on the 40-man roster. One promotion likely will be someone already on the roster, like a Mason Melotakis or Randy Rosario. The other promotion could be anybody, since they could add him freely to the 40-man roster, but the best candidates from Triple-A include Alan Busenitz and Trevor Hildenberger. In Double-A, John Curtiss is having a great year statistically, with 17 2/3 scoreless innings in the Southern League. Michael Tonkin and Adam Wilk also have MLB experience.