Jose Berrios will pitch today for the Twins, his chance to enter the All-Star break — and the All-Star Game itself — with 10 wins. But the Twins’ plans beyond that remain indefinite.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been 24-26 hours away from a game, and not know who’s going to pitch,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “But we’ll have to see who we use today to get through the game.”
The best plan, obviously, is for Berrios to pitch like an All-Star — seven or eight innings, handing over just the final few outs to the bullpen. Berrios has done that in three of his past four starts, which helps explain why he’s headed to Washington after tomorrow’s game.
As for Sunday, Aaron Slegers is the natural choice, given that he started Tuesday’s loss to the Royals. He pitched only 1 1/3 innings, so he’s definitely fresh — but that’s also why Molitor may be reluctant to hand him another start right away.
Molitor wouldn’t rule out a bullpen game, or summoning a starting pitcher from Class AAA Rochester. Fernando Romero, for instance, is scheduled to start tonight for the Red Wings; if he doesn’t, it’s probably because he’s on his way to Minneapolis.
One person Molitor is sure won’t start Sunday’s game: Ervin Santana. The Twins’ former All-Star will make another rehab start for the Red Wings on Sunday, and the Twins will discuss during the break how close Santana is to returning to the majors.
There could be news about Byron Buxton today; he underwent an MRI on his injured hand Friday, and Twins doctors will read the results and make their recommendations.
Here are the lineups for today’s third game with Tampa Bay: