Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Twins Sign Helling

Baseball

I live in Minnesota, I'm a Twins fan and have been since I became aware of them as a kid during the '87 World Series.

Today, it was announced that Rick Helling signed with the Twins to a minor league contract. According to the Strib it's a $600,000 minor league contract with an option for $600,000 more. For those unaware, Rick Helling is a North Dakota native and graduated from Shanely High. I played for Shanely too although not until long after Rick had left.

Pros/Cons:
He's 33 and was pretty useless on the Marlin's staff while he was there last year. Helling did do some solid work as a reliever. Even during his best years he was good but not a star pitcher. Last year he pitched 155 innings which is not too bad for a reliever, however his ERA was an uninspiring 5.17.

I think this is a pretty good deal for the Twins. It's not a huge financial loss if it doesn't pan out. If it does, they have themselves a decent 5th starter who can eat up some innings as well as someone close to home for the fans to get excited about. To sum it up, he seems to be a younger Rick Reed without the hypochondria. As long as they don't give him too many chances like Mays and Reed I have no problems with this move.

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