I know I’ve been a bit lax about updating this blog as of late (but isn’t that happens when trying to cover the Twins’ “plethora” of moves this offseason?), but I did want to mention that the Twins just recently avoided arbitration with relief pitcher Matt Guerrier. Matty G. ended up signing a one-year contract worth $1.475 million.
As of right now, I think this is a good move for the Twins, although it remains to be seen if Guerrier can regain the early-season form he showed in 2008. For the first half of the season, Matty was the ONLY Twins reliever (excluding Joe Nathan, of course) who was even partially effective. He bailed us out of tough spot after tough spot. Come August and September, though Guerrier hit a major wall and was, as much as I hate to say this, quite terrible. Whether it was from him being overworked/overexposed earlier in the season or just a lack of confidence, Guerrier sadly became the guy you didn’t want to see trotting in from the bullpen. By the very end of the season, Guerrier’s setup job was given to Jose Mijares, as Matty failed in try after try to produce quality outings.
So, I think that Guerrier can flourish out of the pen again, but only if the Twins do not wear him down to the bone again. He has a windmill-like delivery that must make it difficult for batters to pick up the ball coming out of his hand, but he needs to be JUST the eighth-inning guy, and not EVERY night at that.