After taking three months off from game action following a disastrous season debut that saw him walk all six batters he faced, Twins prospect and 2010 first-round pick Alex Wimmers has finally taken a big step in his recovery from extreme control problems.
He returned to the mound last week at rookie-ball with just one walk in a scoreless inning, after which the Twins assigned him back to high Single-A. Wimmers threw a scoreless inning there yesterday, walking one batter and allowing zero hits.
He’s nowhere near out of the woods yet, but hopefully Wimmers can get somewhat back on track heading into 2012. When the Twins took him with the 21st overall pick last year the right-hander from Ohio State was consistently touted as one of the draft’s most MLB-ready prospects.
The Cubs’ bullpen got into trouble in the ninth inning on Tuesday afternoon during the first game of a doubleheader. Justin Wilson started the inning with the Cubs leading 3-2, normally a situation for closer Brandon Morrow. Wilson issued a leadoff walk to Austin Barnes, then gave up a single to Justin Turner. Morrow wasn’t warming up, curiously. Wilson ended up giving up a go-ahead two-run double to pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer and the Cubs went on to lose 4-3.
We now know why Morrow wasn’t available. He says his back tightened up taking off his pants early Monday morning, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports. Morrow said, “It’s frustrating any time you can’t get out there, especially when you can’t go for something as stupid as taking your pants off.”
Morrow, 33, has been terrific in the closer’s role this season for the Cubs. He owns a 1.59 ERA with a 25/9 K/BB ratio in 22 2/3 innings. He is also not available for the back end of Tuesday’s doubleheader, but it sounds like he won’t need to go on the disabled list.