|Little more than a year after Arizona acquired righthander Jon Rauch as a bullpen boost for the stretch run, the club flipped him to another playoff hopeful. The Diamondbacks shipped the 30-year-old Rauch to Minnesota for a player to be named, who in a roundabout sort of way turned out to be Triple-A righthander Kevin Mulvey.
The explanation: The Twins originally claimed Rauch on waivers on Aug. 28, sending a player to be named to the Diamondbacks. Officially speaking, that player turned out to be cash considerations—and not a player at all. Then in a corresponding move, the D’backs claimed Mulvey on waivers from the Twins on Sept. 1 and subsequently sent cash considerations to the Twins.
At 6-foot-11, Rauch is the tallest pitcher in major league history. He
Since settling into the bullpen role in ’06, Rauch has
|The Mets’ second-round pick in ’06 out of Villanova, Mulvey was one of four players traded to the Twins for Johan Santana. Mulvey, 24, reached Double-A Binghamton in his first professional season and has posted above-average numbers ever since. This year for Triple-A Rochester, Mulvey was 5-8, 3.93 with 113 strikeouts in 149 innings.
Despite the solid numbers, none of Mulvey’s four pitches grade out as above-average. He locates an upper-80s fastball with sink and run, while featuring a slider, curveball and changeup. Still, Mulvey is tough against righthanded batters, and profiles as a back-of-the-rotation starter. He’ll have a chance to compete for a rotation spot in Arizona next year.
|The Twins have had difficulty finding a set-up man for closer Joe Nathan all season, and Rauch will fill that void in September. At 3 1/2 games behind the Tigers in the AL Central, the Twins’ August activity (which also included trading for Carl Pavano and signing Ron Mahay) signified they were pushing their chips all-in.|