With the Minnesota Twins in search of options to improve their rotation, one name that continually gets brought up as an internal option to promote into the rotation is Ryan Pressly. Pressly came to the Twins via the Rule 5 draft this past off-season and has been a mainstay in the Twins’ bullpen all season long. Although Pressly has done a nice job in the Twins’ bullpen, it is unclear as to whether or not he could succeed in the rotation or not.
So far this season, Pressly sports a 3-3 record with a 3.79 ERA over 39 games and 61.2 innings pitched. Originally used as a starter, Pressly has revitalized himself as a reliever this season for the Twins and has garnered a 1.330 WHIP and a 1.75 SO/BB ration to complement an average of 6.1 SO/9. Those statistics have been a nice surprise for the Twins, but they don’t necessary indicate a pitcher who belongs in the starting rotation.
The scouting report on Pressly has been that he features a four-seam fastball that hits 90-91 mph and occasionally tops out at 93 MPH. Pressly is said to primarily rely on a cutter that sits 84-87 mph with inward break on lefties. It is this pitch that has made Pressly effective this season for the Twins out of the bullpen. Some of Pressly’s secondary pitches include a mid-70s 11-to-5 curveball and an 80-82 mph changeup. The diversity in Pressly’s pitch repertoire is something that a pitching coach could work with if the Twins decide to move him into a starting pitcher again; but the question I keep coming back to is this: why mess with a good thing?
When the Twins decided to move Johan Santana into the rotation, Santana was dominating in the bullpen and had the overpowering stuff that merited a look in the rotation. While Pressly has looked very sharp at times, he has lacked consistency throughout the entirety of this season. If he were to be moved into the rotation, he may struggle to get hitters out consistently, which could jeopardize his standing with the organization. With Pressly not holding much stock within the organization, he could easily become a candidate worthy of a demotion to the minors; however, if he remains in the bullpen, he can continue to work on harnessing his skills out of the bullpen and remain comfortable in his current role within the organization.
While it may seem like a great idea to move Pressly into the rotation, compared to the rest of the team’s options, he offers more value to the organization out of the bullpen where he has already carved out a role and is thriving in it.