Gonna miss hearing his name...
KANSAS CITY -- Long delays between outings and skipped starts have seemed to play havoc on Boof Bonser, so the Twins decided to give him a more consistent pitching schedule on Wednesday by optioning the right-hander to Triple-A Rochester.
Bonser struggled in his latest start for the Twins on Tuesday night as he lasted just three innings while walking four and struggling to get pitches over the plate. Since being called up on May 19, Bonser went 2-2 with a 5.30 ERA in seven starts while allowing 40 hits with 12 walks and 27 strikeouts.
The hope is that a rigid schedule will help Bonser work on some of the things that have been troubling him on the mound.
"It's a little tough making adjustments as a young pitcher sitting and skipping a start and all those things, but the one thing that has to remain is you have to throw the ball over the plate," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "If you get beat you do it getting hit, not walking people. He understands that and he'll go back down and hopefully get things back on a roll again."
The Twins will not need a fifth starter until five days after the All-Star break, so it seemed like a good time to send Bonser down to try and right his problems. He will start for the Red Wings on Sunday and again on Friday July 15.
There is a chance that Bonser could be recalled to start the first time the Twins need their No. 5 starter on July 17, but the way his starts are lined up it makes that unlikely. The Twins aren't going to make a decision on who will get the No. 5 spot until closer to the date. Scott Baker, who began the year as the fifth starter and was optioned to Rochester on June 1, is also a possibility for the spot. Baker is 2-2 with a 2.70 ERA in six starts for the Red Wings.
One pitcher that won't be in consideration for the fifth starting spot is Kyle Lohse. As Lohse has finally started to adjust to his bullpen role, Gardenhire doesn't want to mess with what's working.
"I like Kyle right where he's at," Gardenhire said. "We're going to go with one of the younger guys in that [fifth] spot, so we can keep giving them that experience that they need for the future."
As for who will take Bonser's spot on the 25-man roster right now, a corresponding move will not be made until after the team's off day on Thursday and prior to the team's game on Friday at Texas.
The Twins likely will call up right-hander Pat Neshek as they look for another arm out of the bullpen. A native of Brooklyn Park, Minn, Neshek has compiled a 2.05 ERA with 13 saves in 32 appearances as the closer for the Red Wings.
"Trying to hit him was like trying to drink coffee with a fork." - Willie Stargell on Sandy Koufax