Then Terry Doyle made their decision easy.
The White Sox righthander started eight games in the Arizona Fall League, posted a 1.98 ERA and allowed just 12 hits in 27 innings for a league-leading 0.62 WHIP. He struck out 22, more than four times the five batters he walked.
"He held his own, and that's meaningful because hardly any pitchers do well out there," pro scouting director Vern Followell said. "It's a tough league to pitch in."
So is the American League, particularly for a 37th-round pick, as Doyle was out of Boston College in 2008. But in four minor league seasons, Doyle demonstrated that while he doesn't have an overpowering fastball—typically 87-90 mph—he does possess an ability that the Twins believe is a good predictor of future success: He throws strikes.
Doyle has walked 97 hitters and struck out 381 in his 423 pro innings.
"He's a smart guy who doesn't beat himself," Followell said. The first part is undeniable—Doyle spends his offseasons as a substitute math and calculus teacher in his hometown of Warwick, R.I.
His lack of high-level experience makes Doyle a gamble, considering that as a Rule 5 draftee, the Twins must keep him on the big league roster next season or place him on waivers and offer him back to the White Sox. Despite his advanced age, the 26-year-old Doyle has made just 15 starts at the Double-A level, all last season.
But Doyle also is a proven innings-eater, having thrown roughly 170 in each of the past two seasons, and the Twins expect that the 6-foot-4, 230-pound righty will be durable.
"The thing that catches your eye is the innings," Followell said.
• The Twins added potential bullpen depth when they acquired sinkerball righthander Dan Turpen from the Rockies in exchange for Kevin Slowey. Turpen earned 11 saves last season for Double-A Tulsa, where he posted a 4.83 ERA in 60 innings.
• The Twins named Minnesota native Gene Glynn manager of Triple-A Rochester. The 55-year-old spent the last five seasons as a pro scout for the Rays and last managed in 1992, though he spent 13 years as a big league coach in between the two gigs.