Wimmers improves, but won't see the mound soon

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 2, 2011 - 12:45 AM

Twins pitching prospect Alex Wimmers

The Twins have 10 pitchers and five position players that are on disabled lists with their full-season farm clubs at Rochester, New Britain, Fort Myers and Beloit. There are three more players disabled that were slated to play for the short-season team at Elizabethton.

The injuries vary from the tragic to the distressing. Paul Bargas, a lefthanded pitcher obtained over the winter for catcher Jose Morales, has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Paul Kelly, a prospect with a chance to be an efficient shortstop in the big leagues, again lost the feeling in his right hand and has undergone surgery for a circulation problem.

There is another reaction from the Twins when it comes to pitcher Alex Wimmers: paranoia.

Wimmers is a righthanded pitcher from Ohio State. The Twins gave him a $1.33 million signing bonus last August. They were hoping for another college starter that could take the fast track, as has Missouri's Kyle Gibson, the 2009 first-rounder.

"Alex threw fine the little we saw him late last season," farm director Jim Rantz said. "He was throwing well this spring, before we had to shut him down the last week or 10 days of spring training with a minor groin problem.

"We put him in the fifth spot in the rotation at [Class A] Fort Myers. He made that start and couldn't get it over."

Wimmers faced six batters and walked them all. Since then, he's only pitched briefly in extended spring training.

Eric Rasmussen is the Twins' minor league pitching coordinator. Rather than traveling to various teams, he's spending most of his time with Wimmers.

"Ras is working with him, getting him on the mound, and he's better; I'll just say, 'He's better,'" Rantz said.

The Twins aren't going to put Wimmers on the mound at Fort Myers any time soon. The hope is that he will be ready to join the Elizabethton staff when the short-season schedule starts June 21.

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