Twins call up 2 rookie relievers to bolster bullpen

Both have produced big-time strikeout numbers.
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Rocco Baldelli

With the Twins' bullpen being taxed and needing fresh arms, Minnesota called up two pitchers before Monday's series with the Yankees.

Both Lewis Thorpe and Cody Stashak have been brought up from Triple-A Rochester.

Stashak might be the name to watch. In 22 innings at Triple-A, the right hander struck out 31 batters in 22.2 innings. Among the 88 batters he faced, Stashak punched out 35 percent of them, while walking just four men.

The Twins drafted Stashak in the 13th round of the 2015 MLB Draft and has been primarily used as a reliever the past two seasons.

Thorpe made his MLB debut with the Twins on June 30 in Chicago against the White Sox, allowing two runs in five innings while striking out seven. The Australia native has been a starting pitcher in the minors but he might be asked to come out of the 'pen now that he's with the Twins.

Moving Thorpe to the bullpen might be beneficial. He owns an ERA north of five in Rochester but has struck out 102 batters in 84.1 innings.

Minnesota's bullpen has struggled this month, as their 4.72 ERA ranks eighth among American League teams in July. 

Thorpe was already on the Twins' 40-man roster but Stashak was not, meaning the organization's 40-man roster now sits at 37 players.

With Thorpe recalled, Zack Littell was sent to Triple-A Rochester. Also, C.J. Cron was placed on the injured list again with a nagging thumb injury.

The Twins currently hold a three-game lead over the Indians in the Central Division. If things don't go well for the Twins against the Yankees – which it usually doesn't – Cleveland could reclaim the lead considering they open a three-game series with the lowly Toronto Blue Jays on Monday.

Related: Big challenge: Twins face Yankees with Indians charging in AL Central

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