Twins option righty Pryor to Triple-A Rochester

Twins option righty Pryor to Triple-A Rochester

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Twins made a single roster move on Monday morning, optioning right-handed reliever Stephen Pryor to Triple-A Rochester.

Pryor, who was acquired in the July 24 deal last year that sent Kendrys Morales to Seattle, made five Grapefruit League appearances this spring, scattering four hits and one run over six innings. He walked one and struck out one in that span.

"I told him today he did fine," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "I couldn't get him enough work in the short term. He had just five appearances and six innings, and his numbers were good with less hits than innings pitched. But a lot of those guys are in the same boat. Their breaking stuff is OK, and it works, but it's fastball command again for him."

Pryor appeared in just one Major League game (for the Mariners) last season. In 14 games with Rochester last season (20 1/3 innings), he posted a 0.89 ERA. He struck out 22 but also walked 16, so improving his control will be important for him moving forward.

"He just got squeezed," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. "We're getting to the point in camp where we have to start getting down, and he was behind a few guys. There are sizable numbers to go still, so I decided to send him over there to get some work."

Another important issue for Pryor is to regain his velocity, as his fastball averaged 96.2 mph as a rookie in 2012 but dropped to 91.6 mph in his one appearance last year after undergoing shoulder surgery in '13. But Ryan said Pryor's velocity is steadily improving.

"I started to see his velocity creep up this spring, which is good," Ryan said.

The Twins now have 41 players in camp (including 11 non-roster invitees): 17 pitchers, six catchers, 10 infielders and eight outfielders.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.