Jair Jurrjens has allowed just three runs in 15 innings at Triple-A since being demoted to the minors last month, but the Braves haven’t given any thought to his return.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez made it clear that Jurrjens was sent to the minors as a demotion, rather than as a rehab assignment, telling David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution: “Without making this sound cruel, he’s a minor league player right now.”
Gonzalez admitted that “nobody wants to have $5.5 million sitting down in Triple-A” and said reports from the minor-league coaching staff have been positive, but added that Jurrjens will only return “when he’s ready and we think he’s ready.”
In other words, it might be a while after the 26-year-old right-hander coughed up 17 runs in 16 innings to begin the season after injuries caused him to miss all of September last year.
The Fernando Rodney Experience hasn’t been a good one for the Twins thus far. The veteran closer served up three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to the Yankees on Thursday afternoon, erasing a 4-1 lead and blowing his third save in five opportunities.
In the ninth, Didi Gregorius reached on a throwing error by Miguel Sano. Giancarlo Stanton then singled, and Gary Sanchez followed up with a walk-off three-run home run.
Rodney, 41, now sports a 6.75 ERA on the year. He inked a one-year, $4.5 million contract with the Twins back in December. The club has an option for next year worth $4.25 million. If things keep going the way they’re going, the Twins aren’t going to want to pick up that option.
The Twins may even want to think about moving Ryan Pressly or Addison Reed into the closer’s role, even if just temporarily. Pressly has been terrific, tossing 13 scoreless innings with 18 strikeouts. Reed has a 2.25 ERA with 12 strikeouts in 12 innings.