May remains in Minnesota's closer mix, but manager Rocco Baldeli has not indicated who may be his closer or if he'll use a bullpen by committee, MLB.com reports. "You might not ever get to the point where you're giving firm answers on those sort of things," Baldelli said. May is having a strong spring with one run allowed in five innings with six strikeouts and two walks. He returned last year after missing a season due to Tommy John surgery and showed increased velocity on his fastball (94.1 mph average) and an improved strikeout rate (12.8 K/9). He converted all three save chances when used in the closer role the final week of the season. He looks like the leading candidate for saves, but it sounds increasingly likely the Twins will use a committee approach at closer based on matchups. May would be in the mix with Blake Parker and possibly Trevor Hildenberger, Addison Reed, Taylor Rogers and Fernando Romero.
May signed a one-year, $900,000 contract with the Twins on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Robert Murray of The Athletic reports. May put together a great season after missing 2017 due to Tommy John surgery, with a 3.20 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 36:5 K:BB over 25.1 innings once healthy in July. The 29-year-old seems likely to battle the newly signed Blake Parker for Minnestoa's closer's role in 2019.
May will be used as a reliever in 2019 and will not move to the rotation, Twins Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. May returned after missing a season due to Tommy John surgery and showed increased velocity on his fastball (94.1 mph average) and an improved strikeout rate (12.8 K/9) once he returned to the majors in August. He converted all three save chances when used in the closer role the final week, and could be in the closer mix this spring if the Twins don't sign an established closer in free agency.
May recorded two outs on two strikeouts and picked up the save in Game 1 of Friday's doubleheader against the White Sox. May was deployed with one out in the ninth, and he went on to fan the final two batters of the game. He'll likely remain in the closer's role for the final few matchups of the regular season after securing his second save of the year. May owns a 3.33 ERA and 1.07 WHIP with 34 punchouts over 24.1 frames in 2018.
May (3-1) allowed four runs on five hits in a one-inning start against the Astros on Tuesday, recording no walks and no strikeouts while taking the loss. Making his first start of the year, May gave up a couple RBI base hits before surrendering a two-run homer to Yuli Gurriel. The right-hander wasn't expected to go long in the bullpen game, but a better showing was anticipated from a guy who had allowed just three runs in 14.1 innings of relief work. May saw his ERA balloon from 1.88 to 4.11 in the outing, but he still has a decent 1.17 WHIP to go along with a 22:3 K:BB in 15.1 innings.