The Twins' bullpen shuffle continues. They optioned lefthander Aaron Thompson to Class AAA Rochester after Monday's game. To replace Thompson on the roster, the Twins selected the contract of lefthander Ryan O'Rourke from Rochester.
Yes, that Ryan O'Rourke.
His numbers -- 5.40 ERA in 22 games -- are not attractive. But it looks as if he's going to be a lefty specialist. And that's where he excels. O'Rourke held lefties to a .172 batting average with the Red Wings, and his strikeout rate of 15.0 per nine innings jumps out. Apparently, his fastball is deceptive and he has a nice slider. I know Doug Mientkiewicz thinks highly of him.
So as long as he's not exposed to righthanders, O'Rourke could help the bullpen.
What this also could mean is that the Twins might lean on Brian Duensing more. Duensing has been the subject of scorn from fans, but he's on a run of eight scoreless innings.
I still think the Twins will end up trading for at least one, if not two, relievers to help them stay in the postseason race. Thompson led the AL with 41 appearances, which can haunt a pitcher late in a season. Guess who was second on that list? Blaine Boyer, who pitched in three consecutive games in Kansas City. Talk about two potential tuckered out arms in September.
Another veteran arm is needed to take the workload off the bridge builders to the ninth inning, and that should not be hard for the Twins to find. Jason Frasor, whom the Twins were after last offseason, and Neftali Feliz have been designated for assignment, and I would not be surprised if the Twins sniff around them, maybe Frasor moreso than Feliz.