The Minnesota Twins ushered in the month of roster expansion by adding three players from Triple-A Rochester — left-handed pitchers Buddy Boshers and Nik Turley and utility man Niko Goodrum.
The team officially announced the moves on Friday morning.
Goodrum’s contract had to be purchased to add him to the 40-man roster. The corresponding move to make room was placing left-handed pitcher Hector Santiago on the 60-day disabled list. Santiago’s timeline is no different than it was a few days ago — he’s slated to start for the Red Wings this weekend — but this just frees up a roster spot in the meantime.
Boshers has spent most of the season with the Twins, posting a 5.16 ERA (5.35 FIP) in 29.2 innings. Through 25 appearances, Boshers had posted a 3.77 ERA. Over his final two outings, however, Boshers allowed five earned runs over just one inning, pushing his ERA up by more than a run and making things look worse than they’ve been for much of the season.
Boshers is most successful when used as a specialist, and that’s most likely the role he’ll be used in the rest of the way. Opposing hitters have a .829 OPS against him this season, but that splits out to a .186/.234/.349 line for left-handed hitters (.583 OPS) and a .319/.390/.583 line (.974 OPS) for righties.
Turley has not seen much success over his 13.2 innings with the Twins — 12.51 ERA, .417/.456/.783 line against — but has been absolutely terrific between Double- and Triple-A this season, posting a 2.05 ERA between both stops with 12.1 strikeouts per nine innings, 2.8 walks per nine and a WHIP of 1.01. He’ll most likely work in long relief, and has potential to ascend up the bullpen ladder if he can prove competent. PITCHf/x has Turley as high as 95.7 mph with his fastball, though none of his pitches have been swing-and-miss offerings to date in the big leagues.
Goodrum is a switch hitter and a versatile defender who hit .265/.309/.425 with the Red Wings in 127 games. The Twins selected Goodrum in the second round of the 2010 draft from Fayette County (Ga.) High School. Goodrum was taken one pick after current Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons, and in the same round as Phillies starting pitcher Vince Velasquez, Cardinals utility man Jedd Gyorko, Mariners starting pitcher Drew Smyly, Brewers starting pitcher Jimmy Nelson, and Rockies starting pitcher Chad Bettis.
Goodrum was granted minor-league free agency last offseason, and re-signed with the Twins on a minor-league deal.
Goodrum has played every infield and outfield position for the Red Wings this season, and has played at least 100 defensive innings at second and third base as well as right and center field. He also played 72.1 innings at short, but is probably more limited to the corners. A scouting contact who saw him in Chattanooga last season — when Goodrum hit .275/.357/.451 and played all over — offered the following report:
“40 hit, 45 power. Versatility a bit limited to OF in the long run. For now, plays a passable third base. Strong arm. Always been a fan in the sense of him being a good platoon guy against LHP.”
There are a couple things to hone in on there. If Miguel Sano can’t return in the near future or is limited to designated hitter duties upon his return, it might make sense to get Goodrum some action at the hot corner. Furthermore, for a team that hasn’t hit lefties well all season, the Twins could get a shot in the arm from Goodrum, who has hit a robust .333/.388/.464 against southpaws this season. The Twins as an offense are hitting just .258/.335/.404 against lefties (95 wRC+), though that number has swollen in recent weeks with some big games against them, like Derek Holland in the most recent series.
The Twins are 19-19 against left-handed pitchers this season, and 51-44 against righties. Goodrum may be able to help put a dent in the former.