Jared Burton served up a pair of homers in his Twins debut on April 7 and allowed a run two appearances later, but since then he’s been unhittable. Literally.
Burton pitched a 1-2-3 inning last night against the Angels, giving him 10.2 consecutive no-hit innings dating back to April 13.
During that time batters are 0-for-32 with 11 strikeouts off him, getting on base only via two walks and two plunkings.
Minnesota’s overall team ERA is ugly because the starters have been abysmal, but the Twins’ bullpen has improved from the AL’s worst last season to the middle of the pack this year and Burton is a big reason why. Not bad for a 30-year-old who was available on a minor-league contract after multiple injury wrecked seasons with the Reds.
Matt Ehalt of The Record reports that the Mariners may have some interest in acquiring second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera from the Mets. The club hasn’t confirmed anything of the kind, naturally, but the prevailing thought is that they’ll need some insurance at second base if they reach the playoffs, since Cano’s current 80-game suspension precludes him from participating in any postseason series.
On Friday, club GM Jerry Dipoto revealed that Cano will likely return to the team as a first baseman once his suspension expires, while second baseman/outfielder Dee Gordon is slated to remain at the keystone for the foreseeable future. With the infield all but set in stone, however, Dipoto said that acquiring position players at this year’s deadline isn’t likely to be a “primary concern,” especially as the team focuses on strengthening their pitching staff prior to making a run at the postseason.
Still, there’s a case to be made for Cabrera. The 32-year-old second baseman has already improved on some of last year’s totals and is currently batting .282/.335/.492 with 17 home runs (16 more than Gordon has tallied so far in 2018), 21 doubles and an .827 OPS in 385 plate appearances. He could provide some much-needed support behind Gordon until Cano’s suspension lifts on August 14; following the end of the 2018 season, he’s scheduled to enter the free agent pool for 2019.