Almost one month into the season - and nearly 30 games postponed due to weather issues - teams are on the lookout for innings eaters.
That's what drove the Twins to claim righthander David Hale off waivers from the Yankees. Hale joined the Twins on Friday and will pair with righthander Tyler Duffey to give the club two pitchers who can pitch a few innings.
"I can start or relieve," said Hale, who primarily a sinkerballer. "I have innings. I know all baseball teams right now are looking for a fresh arm or someone who can go deeper in a game or cover some innings. I think I work well that way."
The Twins got what they wanted (needed?) from Hale, who threw three innings on Friday. But he was designated for assignment after the game as the Twins need rested arms.
"One of your worst nightmares is not having enough pitchers to get through nine innings on any given day," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "We've been in that spot a couple of times."
I mentioned this in the dead tree edition for tomorrow. But it looks like the Twins are going to play around with that 40th spot on the roster again, using it to rotate pitchers through. How many will they use this season?
John Curtiss threw 2.1 innings Friday for Class AAA Rochester, so he's not an option.
It wasn't pretty. His command was off. And when he did throw strikes, he was hit hard.
For the second straight outing, Hughes could not get out of the fourth inning. He gave up four runs on five hits and two walks over 3.2 innings.
Is it stuff, command or both?
"They were both pretty awful tonight," he said. "My command was pretty bad, and my stuff wasn't much better."
Hughes has pitched himself onto the hotseat to remain in the rotation. Ervin Santana should be ready to come off the disabled list by mid to late May. Fernando Romero gave up three runs over five innings tonight for Class AAA Rochester. That's right, he's on the same day as Hughes. But he didn't have a strong outing, anyway.
While some moves could be made in the future, Hughes needs to raise his performance.
"Phil is going to have to figure some things out," Molitor said. "We're used to seeing a better strike-ball ratio. I don't know if it is a matter of trust in the zone or he's trying to trick people a little too much."