After his most recent start on Friday night–which resulted in a 9-3 loss–Minnesota Twins’ right-hander P.J. Walters demonstrated, yet again, why he could never stick in the majors. Walters has been a good story over parts of the last two seasons with the Twins and has temporarily provided a lift to a starting rotation when he has received a promotion; but the fact that Walters cannot consistently string those good outings together reinforces why he belongs in the minors.
If you watch Walters pitch, he does a few things well: he has a good pace when he pitches, throws a lot of strikes and works both sides of the plate; but if you watch him pitch long enough you realize that although he throws a lot of strikes, he also has a bit of a wild streak to him. Walters also doesn’t have the overpowering stuff to dominate a game and thus he gives up a lot of hits and rarely strikes out anybody. If you put all of those things together, it adds up to Walters consistently getting himself into tough situations and relying on his defense to bail him out. That recipe cannot work at the majors and certainly with Walters being a journeyman of sorts within the organization, the Twins have nothing invested in him to keep him around longer than they need to.
With Vance Worley beginning to pitch well, Mike Pelfrey starting his rehab assignment and Andrew Albers pitching well, the writing is on the wall for Walters and fellow struggling starter Scott Diamond. Diamond’s problem stems from his inability to pitch past the fifth inning, but he at least has shown signs of being a competent and reliable pitcher. Walters hasn’t even been able to complete more than three innings over his last two starts and he is costing the team a chance to compete while wearing out the bullpen for the remainder of the series.
Walters can be effective as a spot starter, but to believe he is anything more than that is pure nonsense. There is a place for him in an organization at Triple-A and, in an emergency, in the majors; now it is time for the Twins to recognize this and place Walters where he belongs: back in the minors.