February 9, 2017

Twins’ old man caravan rolls on

Ryan Vogelsong, Matt Belisle and now 36-year-old reliever Craig Breslow has signed a minor league contract with the Twins, according to multiple reports.

For Breslow, it’s his second stint with the Twins after he pitched for the club in 2008-2009. Breslow has found enough success to eke out an 11-year career with seven teams. He last pitched for the Miami Marlins, and before that spent four seasons with the Boston Red Sox. In 2013, he appeared in 61 games for the Red Sox and compiled a record of 5-2 with a 1.81 ERA. He has a career ERA of 3.35.

His overall numbers aren’t bad, but he also hasn’t shown the best control in his career. Breslow has averaged nearly four walks per nine innings, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

The other issue is age. Far be it from me to be critical of someone’s age because I’m 48. But in the world of professional athletics, you’re much closer to the end of your career in your 30s than the start of it. Reliever Belisle is also 36 and starting pitcher Vogelsong is 39.

In reporting the Breslow deal (which was first reported by Ken Rosenthal), MLB Trade Rumors seized on comments that Breslow wants to be able to “function as a force against left-handed hitters.”

That’s great. But after reading Rosenthal’s interview with Breslow, I think I’m more impressed and encouraged by what he had to say about Twins Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey.

“I think (Twins chief baseball officer) Derek (Falvey) is a really engaging and bright guy with a great vision for the organization. I’ve got no doubt that he’ll be able to be able to bring sustained success. The opportunity to be part of that at this stage of my career is one that is really compelling.”

COMMENTS

Hi, I’m Rolf Boone and I love the Twins.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.