LAKELAND, Fla. -- Rule 5 Draft picks face fairly high odds and a very small window of opportunity to make a case for sticking on the 25-man roster. For pitcher Terry Doyle, that window shut on Wednesday when the Twins sent him back to the White Sox.
Doyle was the second selection in the Major League phase of the December Rule 5 Draft, with the Twins paying $50,000 to take him from the White Sox. In offering him back, Minnesota gets $25,000 from Chicago. He will likely be assigned to Triple-A Charlotte in the White Sox system.
"We asked for waivers on him and he cleared, like you do in a situation where it didn't look like he was going to beat out a few of our guys," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. "We offered him back to the White Sox, with some discussion about possibly trying to keep him. I threw some things at Kenny, he threw some things back just like any of those discussions go. We couldn't work it out, so we're sending him back today.
"He needs to get on with his career. You never like to see a young kid that's trying to make his way to the Major Leagues sit around too long. He's only had a few innings here. That's not good for anybody's career, so we made a decision sooner rather than later."
Doyle made three appearances this spring, allowing 10 earned runs on 14 hits over 5 1/3 innings. One outing in particular, a March 15 start against the Pirates, was disastrous. The right-hander allowed eight earned runs and didn't get out of the first inning. One outing alone does not seal a fate, but Rule 5 players have to seize the moment they're given.
"That didn't help the cause," Ryan said. "Obviously, he struggled in that outing. You have to have damage control if you're going to pitch in the big leagues. It's what the Rule 5 guys have to do. You have to make an immediate impact on the people making the decisions.
"We kept Johan Santana at 20 and hid him for about two years. We'll do that if we think it's the right situation. We've had pretty good Rule 5's. You have an opportunity to make a 25-man roster, you have to produce. There's no secret to that."