The Twins have been in desperate need of pitching since Johan Santana departed for New York five years ago. Young hopefuls like Scott Baker and Nick Blackburn and veteran journeymen like Carl Pavano (among others) were supposed to bring in the new era of smart Twins pitching. They never did. Minnesota’s starting pitching and bullpen have been among the worst in the majors over the last few years and their record shows it.
Minnesota hopes minor leaguer Alex Meyer can help. Thursday afternoon the Twins sent leadoff man and outfielder Denard Span to the Washington Nationals for Meyer. The 28 year-old Span batted .283 in his fifth season with the Twins last year and has a .284 career average. Meyer is rumored to be able to hit 100 mph on the radar gun.
The 6-foot-9, 220-pound Meyer is 22 and was drafted 23rd in the 2011 draft. To go along with his fastball, the Kentucky graduate boasts a circle change, a knuckle curve and a slider. If his stuff is as good as reported, he’s the type of player the Twins need in their staff. Meyer hasn’t seen big league action yet, though. He spent last season in Class A, going 10-6 with a 2.86 ERA. It’s unlikely he will pitch for the Twins before the end of next season, if at all in 2013.
While it’s surprising the Twins couldn’t get a pitcher more ready for the majors for Span, Meyer could be the rarity the Twins need. In the short term, the Twins will lose this trade, but over the next five years, this could be a landslide in the Twins favor. We’ll miss Span, but Minnesota needs pitching badly. We can’t continue to march out the below average pitchers we have been. Meyer is a start.