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Liam Hendriks will be the Twins Minor League pitcher of the year. He has been terrific in AA New Britain and pitched well his last few starts in Rochester. On Monday, he will make his Major League debut for the Twins. The 22 year old Australian went 8-2 with a 2.70 ERA in 16 appearanced with the Rock Cats. He has made nine starts in AAA and gone 4-4 with a 4.56 ERA. In his last four starts, he has gone 22.2 innings and given up just four runs on 15 hits, 0 walks and 17 strikeouts.
He will be joined on the Twins roster by Reliever Kyle Waldrop and IF/OF Brian Dinkelman. Dinkelman spent a few weeks with the Twins earlier in the season. He went 4-14. With the Red Wings, he is hitting .243/.316/.324 with 27 doubles, a triple and three home runs.
Kyle Waldrop is a terrific story. He has been terrific with the Twins the past two spring trainings. He could have been a 6-year minor league free agent after last season, but he made the decision to stay with the Twins. He had a rough first half, but he has been terrific in the second half. He has a great sinker ball and induces a ton of ground balls. He was the Twins third, first-round pick in 2004 out of high school in Tennessee where he was a great hitter as well as a dominant pitcher. He was a good prospect, but then he missed the entire 2008 season due to shoulder surgery. He was unable to achieve full range-of-motion. Since he came back, he has been in the bullpen and done a very nice job. He is still just 25 years old.
None of the three are currently on the 40-man roster, so additional moves will be made. Remember, the Twins are at 39 players on their 40 man roster since the Jim Thome trade. I’ve been speculating for two weeks that Hendriks would get Thome’s spot. But the Twins will need to make two additional roster moves to make room for Waldrop and Dinkelman. I would guess that Denard Span would be moved to the 60 Day DL. Would anyone be surprised if Joe Mauer was put on the 60-Day DL with a cold? I would doubt it, but who knows? (Update – As others have said, it’s possible the Twins could put Francisco Liriano, Nick Blackburn or even Scott Baker on the 60 Day DL to make roster room)
Will the Twins reach down to New Britain to grab a few more players when the Rock Cats season ends? The Rock Cats tonight split a double header with Trenton while Reading won their game. That means that New Britain is one game back with two games to go. It is possible that the Twins could promote 40 man roster players Joe Benson, Chris Parmelee and Deolis Guerra. Yangervis Solarte is another option, as he would need to be protected following the season anyway. Brian Dozier does not need to be added to the 40 man yet this offseason, so it makes no sense to call him up.
Anyway, a HUGE Congratulations to Liam Hendriks, Kyle Waldrop and Brian Dinkelman!