Exactly three months ago, I made the case that Pat Neshek should be the Twins' closer, in the absence of Joe Nathan. Unfortunately, these days he seems to be the forgotten man in the Twins organization by the fans, by the media and, unfortunately by the team.
Calls for improvement of the bullpen, either focus on acquiring second class outsize talent (Aardsma) or promoting one of the "Rochester studs", referring to Slama and Waldrop. I think that the solution is much easier: Promote Pat Neshek.
Pat played in 8 games already in Rochester and other than a single unfortunate outing when he was used in back to back games, he has been lights out. Here are his numbers compared to those of Slama and Waldrop, if you exclude that single outing:
There is no comparison. Pat has been twice as effective as Anthony Slama and is way ahead of Kyle Waldrop. Also he is on the 40-man roster.
I had the opportunity to watch Pat pitch against the Lehigh Valley Ironpigs (on the TV) a few days ago on June 29th. He pitched 2/3 of an inning and retired both batters he faced, striking out one of them. His velocity is back (the stadium radar was indicating between 88 and 91 fastball) and more importantly his movement, control and command are back. He needs to be in the bigs. The Twins need him in Minessota, instead of Ron Mahay, who has been an one batter pitcher and taking a spot from better players.
Is this another case of cutting your nose to spite your face situation, that Ron Gardenhire is so used to? If you remember, Pat was misdiagnosed earlier this year with a finger ailment by the Twins' medical staff. When he was correctly diagnosed with a palm ailment, he was frustrated and voiced his frustration publicly. Ron Gardenhire did not like that. I think that the Twins should really look into having the best players in Minnesota (I can make a similar case about Jose Morales vs. Drew Butera, but that's a whole different story) and do not try to stand behind the proven inept medical staff of this team.
Free Pat Neshek now!