NEW YORK – The Twins had hoped to keep Tyler Kinley on the roster all season. They made it only four weeks.
Kinley, the righthander plucked from the Marlins’ organization in the Rule 5 draft last December, was designated for assignment after Wednesday’s loss to the Yankees, his roster spot suddenly more important than his future with the Twins.
“It’s obviously tough. There’s a lot to like about this young man,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said after breaking the news to Kinley. “Unfortunately, we’ve run into a little bit of a spell here where we haven’t gotten enough innings [from the starting rotation] to feel like we’re protected.”
Kinley had a 24.30 ERA in four games, giving up nine runs on nine hits and four walks in 3 1/3 innings.
The Twins called up 6-foot-10 Aaron Slegers from Class AAA Rochester. Slegers is 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA in three starts this season.
The Twins have seven days to either trade Kinley or place him on waivers; if he’s not claimed by another team, they would have to offer him back to the Marlins, for whom he pitched the first five years of his pro career. It’s possible the Twins will try to work out a trade with Miami in order to keep Kinley and send him outright to the minors.
Kinley has a fastball that can reach the upper 90s, but he’s been hit hard in the majors this year. In four games, Kinley has recorded 10 outs while allowing nine runs and two home runs, striking out four and walking four.
• Lefthander Adalberto Mejia left his start for Class AAA Rochester with a blister on his pitching hand after throwing one pitch in the second inning Wednesday.
• By pinch-hitting in the seventh inning Tuesday, Joe Mauer appeared in his 1,748th career game, passing Kent Hrbek for the third most in Twins history. Harmon Killebrew (1,939) and Kirby Puckett (1,783) hold the first two spots. Killebrew also played an additional 390 games when the franchise was located in Washington.