Michael Tonkin finally became a regular in the Minnesota bullpen last season after dominating at Triple-A and failing to stick in the majors the previous two years. Unfortunately, he struggled with the long ball as he allowed 12 home runs and had an ugly 5.02 ERA. However, there are some encouraging signs as he had a 10.1 K/9 and his long ball problems may have been due to a 16.0 percent HR/FB. He'll need to improve against left-handed batters as he allowed a 1.061 OPS to lefties, but Tonkin will attempt to stay in the majors and win a bullpen role again this spring.
Tonkin has given up six runs, three of them earned, over seven innings to kick off the 2017 season. Tonkin has not pitched in any significant situation yet this season, entering in the middle innings or in mop-up duty. He's struck out nine and walked five while allowing seven hits. In 2016, the 27-year-old surrendered 80 hits over 71.2 innings on his way to a 5.02 ERA.
Tonkin has made the final roster as a reliever, Phil Miller of The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports. The right-hander had plenty of opportunities to prove his worth this spring, compiling a 4.38 ERA over 12.1 innings in Grapefruit League play. Tonkin will look to improve upon a mediocre 2016 campaign in which he finished with a 5.02 ERA over 65 appearances along with an 80:24 K:BB ratio. Look for him to serve regularly as a middle reliever.
Tonkin gave up a run over two innings in Wednesday's spring training loss to Houston. He's competing for a final spot in the bullpen with J.T. Chargois and Alex Wimmers, Patrick Reusse of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Tonkin has a 4.35 ERA this spring and nine strikeouts in 10.3 innings, but he's allowed six walks. He allowed 12 home runs and had an ugly 5.02 ERA in the majors last year, but had a promising 10.1 K/9. The final bullpen spot may not be decided until the final days of spring training.
Tonkin (shoulder) had no issues following a bullpen session Friday and should be available to return Sunday, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Tonkin has been out since Sept. 2 due to shoulder fatigue, but it sounds like he'll be able to return to duty in the next few days.
Tonkin (shoulder) hopes to be cleared to return after throwing from flat ground Saturday, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. He threw a 20-pitch bullpen session Friday, throwing all of his pitches, and will throw from flat ground again Saturday in hope of getting cleared by the medical staff. His 25.5 percent K-rate is solid enough, but his 4.30 ERA and 1.41 WHIP leave a lot to be desired.