Minnesota Twins’ relief pitcher Bob Keppel is pitching great in his long-relief role. Keppel pitched 3 2-3 scoreless innings against the New York Yankees for his fourth relief appearance Wednesday. The right hander has yet to give up an earned run in 11 1-3 innings of work since being called up late June.
His recent outing against a potent Yankees offense in a very close game showed his great composure and ability to get the job done. The Twins need Keppel to continue to step up as a reliable relief pitcher to help a struggling bullpen.
Since being called up to replace an ineffective Luis Ayala, the Twins used Keppel in a long-relief role for both close and not-so-close games. In the four games, he pitched 4 innings, 2 1-3 innings, 1 1-3 innings and his recent 3 2-3 innings, all scoreless and allowing only six total hits.
Before signing a minor league deal with the Twins, the 27-year-old pitcher had short stints in the Majors while with the Colorado Rockies and Kansas City Royals in 2006 and 2007. He gave up a combined 26 earned runs in 38 1-3 innings as both a starter and relief pitcher.
Starting the season at AAA Rochester this year, he posted an ERA of 2.43 while appearing in 23 games, striking out 28 and walking only 13. The former first round pick (In 2000, to the Mets) found success being used mainly as a relief at Rochester. He had previously spent the majority of his career as a starter, and posted below average numbers.
Looks like Keppel found his nitch as a relief pitcher, and we hope he continues his success with the Twins.
Nam Huynh writes for Minnesota Sports Zone (http://www.mn-sz.com)