Roster decisions loom as Twins head for seven-game road trip
Twenty-eight players will wear Twins uniforms when they open a series with the Rays on Friday. Only 26 will be in attendance Monday when they face the Orioles.
“I don’t think any team is eager to lose two guys from the roster,” the manager said Rocco Baldelli said Thursday, just four days before MLB’s expanded roster size, implemented because spring training was shortened by the lockdown, expires May 2. “You find good ways to use all your players, and we have to so far. But it will force teams to make certain decisions.”
Those decisions may have become more difficult on Thursday. Gilberto Celestinowho played just two games for Class AAA St. Paul before joining the Twins as a backup outfielder, doubled up, made a run with a single in the field and made an impressive slippery catch on the runway. warning in center field. Griffin Jaxadded to the bullpen a week into the season, hit 95 mph with his fastball to pitch three shutout innings and earn his first stoppage at any level.
Cody Stashak bailed out Bailey Ober when he left with a groin tightness, recorded four outs and earned his first victory since Sept. 16, 2020. Kyle Garlic walked twice, each time extending the Twins’ inning. And although the receiver Jose Godoy didn’t play either Gary Sanchez for the seventh consecutive game; uncertainty over his status makes Godoy a significant depth.
“Decisions are always difficult,” Baldelli said. “When you have a lot of guys playing well, it’s even harder.”
The Twins have not made any decisions about the impending reduction, he said, and will not do so until absolutely necessary. But Baldelli acknowledged that the Twins’ six-man starting rotation, temporarily derailed by Sonny Gray’s hamstring injury, may be jeopardized by impending cuts. Not to mention the luxury of wearing the rookie Josh Winder like a long relief.
“It’s impossible to really know right now,” Baldelli said. “We plan to carry the starting six and Winder as well. But there will be so many moving parts, and sometimes you also have to stick to the schedule to make things work. There is a reasonable chance that we will continue with the six man, but if we have to adjust, we will adjust.”
He is reluctant to change much, the manager said, as the Twins’ starters have been the most reliable part of the squad in the first three weeks of the season. The aggregate rotation ERA of 2.39 ranks second in MLB.
Ober feels “pretty good”
Another complication could be Ober’s health, although the right-hander said he doesn’t believe the groin tightness he felt in the fourth inning, forcing him to be lifted after 73 pitches, persist in.
“Feeling pretty good, just a little sore. Not too bad so far,” Ober said after failing seven Tigers base runners and allowing just one run in his 3 2 innings performance. 3.
The Twins will assess his condition in Saint Petersburg this weekend. Ober’s next round to pitch would normally be Tuesday in Baltimore.
“I’m glad he’s feeling good, which is the first step,” said Baldelli, who said the 40-degree weather kept him from taking risks when Ober told him he was feeling a feeling of oppression. “Hopefully we’re not running out of time. We’ll see.”
- by Miguel Sano Tuesday’s bizarre kick also had a downside. The first baseman, who changed direction three times as the Tigers misplayed his single in a game-winning two-run slump, twisted his right knee and ‘felt a little something’ a day later , Baldelli said. “He’s in a bit of pain when he’s moving around and straightening up and things like that,” said the manager, who kept Sano out of the line-up on Wednesday and Thursday. “He’s in the practice room today doing some work.”
- Sanchez also had “some minor soreness” after practice Wednesday, Baldelli said, so plans for him to serve as the designated hitter on Thursday were scrapped. But both sluggers should be available this weekend in St. Petersburg, he said.