My Milkshake by Kelis
Twins reliever Jose Mijares is kind of like that guy in high school who never really gave a crap until something was on the line; putzing through practice and then shining at gametime. Mijares was a southpaw savior in his brief time in the bigs last year, allowing just a single run and no walks in 10 autumn appearances.
Yet after a winter hardball season in Venezuela that found Mijares literally quitting on his club after a dispute with his skipper, the tubby lefty then showed up to Twins' spring training morbidly out-of-shape (reportedly, after not conditioning for six weeks) and proceeded to allow 11 earned runs in just 10 spring innings. An unexpected, albeit well-warranted, spring slicing ensued and Mijares began the year at AAA Rochester. In the months since, however, Milkshake has devoured the oft-fine line of "fat" and "phat."
After compiling a dominating line of 6.1 innings pitched with no runs and 2 hits in his brief time on the farm, Mijares has returned to the Twins (five pounds lighter) to become the club's most dependable bullpen arm. That statement eschews closer Joe Nathan, at least for today.
But amidst the rest of the relief arms, Milkshake has fast reestablished his rep from the closure of '08. While the Twins' bullpen as a whole ranks a sad 12th in the American League in ERA (5.52), Mijares leads the club with a stellar 2.25 clip, a number slightly skewed in that he's amassed nine stellar outings coupled with two brutal efforts which ran concurrent on May 7th and May 10th. Those two stompings aside, Mijares has allowed no runs, 5 hits and 4 walks. All told, he's compiled a strong 3.00 Walk/Strikeout ratio and boasts an average of 9.00 K's per 9 innings pitched. Furthermore, he's allowed just one of his seven inherited runners to score (14 percent), while the Twins' pen as a whole has allowed an eye-rubbing 45 percent in said category.
With fellow bullpen fellas Luis Ayala, Craig Breslow, Jesse Crain, and R.A. Dickey are all sporting respective ERA's above 4.50 (with Matt Guerrier at 3.92), Twins' Strength and Conditioning Coordinator Perry Castellano may reconsider the dietary needs of these skinny boys, and start spinning up a few more milkshakes down in the pen.