Deolis Guerra's career didn't just stall after his trade to the Twins, it entered a total hibernation. Now it's back on track.
As a Met, Guerra had reached the high Class A Florida State League late in the 2006 season as a 17-year-old. He spent the entire 2007 season in the FSL as well then was traded to the Twins during the offseason in the Johan Santana trade.
The Twins move their players slower than the Mets do, so Guerra returned to the Florida State League for a third year, and a second full season. And that's where things got tricky. Guerra's once plus 92-94 mph fastball lost some velocity and he continued to struggle to develop a breaking ball. When he went 11-9, 5.47 in his first year in Fort Myers, the Twins didn't have much choice but to send him back to Fort Myers again in 2009, meaning Guerra spent parts of four seasons in the Florida State League.
Eventually Minnesota did promote Guerra to Double-A New Britain in the middle of 2009, but story didn't change once Guerra was promoted. He posted an ERA above 5.00 for New Britain in 2009, 2010 and 2011. But midway through the '11 season, the Twins moved Guerra to the bullpen, and with that, Guerra's slow-motion career has once again gotten on track.
Guerra's fastball is once again showing signs of being plus and his changeup is still a useful weapon. As a reliever, Guerra has earned a legitimate promotion to Triple-A this year by going 2-0, 0.71 with 15 strikeouts and 1 walk in 12 2/3 innings at New Britain. He hasn't allowed a run in his first four outings stretching over nine innings for Triple-A Rochester, including 2 1/3 scoreless innings on Tuesday. Althogether Guerra has allowed 1 R, 11 H and 2 BB in 21 2/3 innings while striking out 25.
After nearly seven seasons stuck between two levels, it's not unreasonable to think that Guerra could make it to Minnesota this year. Considering he's the only player left on the Twins side from the Santana trade, that is one piece of good news in a rough year for the Twins.
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