Twins bullpen mainstay sent to minors; Cody Stashak is up to take his place

MINNEAPOLIS — After a great start to the season, the 30-year-old rookie with a slow curveball has fallen on tougher times. Ryne Harper has been optioned to Triple-A Rochester, the Twins announced Saturday. Cody Stashak is up to take Harper’s place on the roster and in the bullpen.

Harper started out the season as a great story. He was invited to spring training with virtually zero fanfare from outside the club. He pitched well in Fort Myers and used his slow breaking ball to baffle hitters on his way to earning a spot on the 25-man roster. He’s logged a 3.65 ERA for the season, which on its own might be considered a big success.

Unfortunately for Harper, his ERA is 5.06 since the start of July, and the Twins are seemingly always on the hunt for ways to improve the roster’s pitching.

Stashak, 25, has pitched well for Triple-A Rochester this season. He last pitched Wednesday, when he recorded 5 outs including 3 strikeouts without allowing a run, a hit or a walk.