Posted by: gravessack | June 13, 2018

Twins Snag Belisle Back

Apparently, not satisfied by how the bullpen has been pitching, the front office is keeping an eye on who may become available. Currently, the relief core is doing a fine job, adding to a 4.08 ERA to date. That is not going to cut it, though, if they are aiming to get in the play-offs for the second consecutive year. General Manager Thad Levine knows that too, and he showed that by signing another reliever in Matt Belisle.

After disappointing the Indians brass this year, the club outright released Belisle June 11. Seeing that Belisle was a free man, Minnesota quickly snatched him up the next day at a cost of $800,000 for the rest of this season. Belisle comes back to Minnesota where he had a decent year in 2017. Cleveland was hoping that he would perform better this year, but that was not the case, as the 38-year-old currently has an ERA of 5.06 with just 4 strike outs in 10.2 innings of work.

The Twins are counting on Belisle to become the pitcher he was last season. In 62 appearances, the Austin native pitched to a 4.03 ERA, which resulted in 54 strikeouts. He was also the substitute closer in which he totaled 9 saves. Belisle was not dominant, but could get the job done when he was called upon.

Belisle came up with the Cincinnati Reds in 2003, pitching 8.2 innings en route to a 1-1 record. Due to failures, he did not pitch in the majors the next year. However, in 2007, he rebounded and got to be the starter for thirty games with the Reds. Ever since then, the righty has been a reliever.

After going to the bullpen full-time, Belisle’s best year was in 2011 with Colorado. The pitcher went 10-4, had a 3.35 ERA, and struck out 58. Pitching for 15 years on 6 teams, he will bring in his career record of 51-57 and 690 knock outs to the Twins relief department.

Belisle is the first player to be brought in mid-season on a major league contract. This is saying two things: that the Twins bosses are not impressed with the pitching they have and they want the relievers to perform better. The Twins know that they must keep winning to have hope, and Levine and CBO Derek Falvey won’t be stagnant if they see something that needs improving. I just do not know how much Belisle has left in the tank; let us hope they do!

Nevertheless, Belisle is excited to have another MLB stint. “I’m honored and very grateful to be back with the Twins,” mentioned Belisle in a recent Star Tribune video.

Written by: Michael L. Sack

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