Twins release former closer Jepsen

Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Kevin Jepsen pitches to the Seattle Mariners.

Bruce Kluckhohn/Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins have released relief pitcher Kevin Jepsen after the reliever struggled for the first few months of the season.

The 31-year-old Jepsen had a 6.16 ERA in 33 games (30 2/3 innings) this season for the Twins, saving seven of 11 opportunities. The Twins demoted him to Triple-A on July 3.

Minnesota traded for Jepsen on July 31 of last year, sending prospects Chih-Wei Hu and Alexis Tapia to Tampa Bay for him. He posted a 1.61 ERA in 29 games (28 innings) last year for Minnesota, saving 10 of 11 opportunities.

Jepsen began the 2016 season as the Twins’ set-up man and became the team’s closer after Glen Perkins’ injury in April. He struggled, however, and the Twins took him out of the closer role last month.

Jepsen has a 3.83 ERA in 423 career appearances for the Angels, Rays and Twins over nine seasons. His best season came with Los Angeles in 2014, when he recorded a 2.63 ERA over 74 appearances.

Hu, meanwhile, has a 2.51 ERA in 15 starts in Double-A this season and was selected to the All-Star Futures Game. Tapia has an 8.10 ERA in two starts in Single-A but hasn’t pitched since April.