Earlier, I reviewed the players who are auditioning for positions with the Twins this summer and fall. There have also been several young pitchers that have been given the chance to pitch in the big leagues as a result of injuries. Here they are in order of their likely contributions next year and in the future:
Scott Diamond - Diamond was a rule 5 draftee that the Twins traded Billy Bullock for in order to keep him in the organization. That trade looks better as Diamond has shown he is a lefty with the stuff to pitch in the big leagues. He may not win a rotation spot next spring, but he will be in the mix.
Lester Oliveros - Oliveros was one of the pitchers the Twins got in return for Delmon Young. He has looked like a good one who will be given every chance to take a bullpen spot next spring. He projects as a late inning setup guy once he has some major league experience.
Anthony Swarzak - Swarzak is not really a rookie since this is his second chance to show he can pitch in the big leagues. He started out this year as the swing man in the bullpen, but has had the chance to start more often recently as a result of injuries. He looks like a swing man.
Jim Hoey - Hoey was one of the players in the trade for JJ Hardy. He throws very hard. Unfortunately, he doesn't locate the ball consistently. That leads to both walks and hittable pitches. His work this fall doesn't show much indication he made any progress at AAA this year. His fastball will continue to entice, but he will likely be a backup guy at AAA.
Liam Hendricks - Hendricks has had very good numbers in the minor leagues. It appears that he is a guy with limited stuff who has been effective by polishing those limited tools. Its doubtful that is going to work very well at the big league level.
Kyle Waldrop - Waldrop is a former first round draft choice who has never really fully recovered the stuff he had before being injured. Last year he was a minor league free agent and resigned with the Twins. I think his September callup is as much a reward for his loyalty to the organization as it is an audition for the big league club. That said, he is likely to hang around as a AAAA bullpen backup.
None of these pitchers are all that exciting. Diamond, as a left handed starter, probably has the most value. Oliveros may have the best potential to be a core part of the team's pitching staff. The others look like valuable spare parts.