Twins manager Rocco Baldelli can't use the same relievers every night. He's got to find out if Ryne Harper, Adalberto Mejia and Andrew Vasquez can get outs on this level.
Harper hasn't been too shabby, but Mejia now has a 9.39 ERA after giving up four runs in the eighth inning on Monday. And Vasquez's ERA is infinity following his rough night in Queens.
"We haven't played a ton of games, but the season's almost three weeks old, and over the course of I don't know, 20 days, you can go to almost anyone you want with all the off days we've had," Baldelli said. "You can go to guys two days in a row, knowing that you have an off day coming up.
"But we're gonna fall into a schedule now where we have to play regular games, and we're gonna be going a lot of spurts where we're going 20 games in 21 days or something along those lines. We're gonna need all of our guys to step up along the way, and I'm sure they will."
The Twins actually are playing 39 games in 40 days, so everyone is going to have to pitch in. And, if they can't, the Twins are going to have to make some tough decisions.
I know the "Sign Kimbrel!" crowd is screaming right now. But that doesn't have to be the move the Twins make - and I still think giving up a draft pick for a guy who apparently still has high contract demands is not the way to go. If the Twins find that they are within arm's length of Cleveland in the AL Central, then they have to be ready to deal for relief help in June.
By then, they will have had two months to see what they have internally. I'm sure by the end of the month we're going to see some flights from Rochester with relief help on them. Fernando Romero, however, is coming off of a rough outing in which he gave up three home runs. The wind was blowing out that day, but opponents should not be getting the ball in the air against him. Heck, he should be missing bats.
Also, Matt Magill, Addison Reed and Gabriel Moya will be coming off the disabled list at different points during the next few weeks. Magill could help. He's got a good fastball but needs to tighten his control. The Twins are hoping Reed can rediscover what he had early last season. And I think Moya is a true reliever, while Mejia is still getting adjusted to a new role.
I think Blake Parker will be fine once he gets his split-fingered fastball back. Is he enough? No.
The next few weeks will be interesting to see who can step up in the Twins bullpen.
ODD PLAY HELPED THE TWINS
There was a play during Monday's game that might never happen again - and not many people were at Target Field to see it.
An announced crowd of 11,727 was at the game - the lowest since Target Field opened in 2010. Actually, it was the second straight game they set a record, as 14,774 was announced at Sunday's game against the Tigers.
Anyway, a lot of people missed an interesting play in the sixth inning when Teoscar Hernandez was on first and Brandon Drury was batting.
Drury took a 2-2 pitch for ball three, but dropped his bat, took off his guard and began to walk to first base. He thought he had taken ball four.
Hernandez sees Drury walking to first, so he begins to walk to second. The Twins dugout noticed. And third baseman Willians Astudillo definitely noticed.
"I saw the count and when I saw him walk to first, Astudillo told me hey throw to first and we get the out," Twins lefthander Martin Perez said. "Big out right there. Astudillo did a great job in telling me to throw to first. I was confused at that time but we had a chance to get out of the inning quick."
Perez threw the ball to first baseman C.J. Cron, who tagged out Hernandez, who had realized that he goofed and tried to retreat to first base.
"Astudillo's letting him know on the field, just kind of almost yelling," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "And Cron was ready over there, and put a good tag on him, and Martin made a nice little throw over there. It was a good play, and something that when another team gives you that opportunity, you gotta take advantage of it, and we did."
The funny part about the play was that Drury deked his own teammate into believing he had to move up a base.
"I felt bad for the base runner because a lot of us would have done the same thing," Cron said. "It is what it is and I'm glad we got the out there."
Score that play a caught stealing, 1-3, since Hernandez moved toward second base.
Drury, returned to the batter's box - and walked on the next pitch.
PEREZ LOOKS SHARP
Martin Perez held Toronto to one run over six innings in his first start of the season. He made three appearances out of the bullpen until the Twins needed a fifth starter.
"Everything was good," he said. "I was competing and I was down in the zone and hit the glove every time and made my pitches real good. We don't get the win but that's part of the game. We have to come back tomorrow and be ready for tomorrow."
Perez hit 97 miles per hour with his fastball - late in his outing. He threw a solid changeup and has the cutter he likes to throw with two strikes. All Perez has to do in the No. 5 spot in the rotation is be functional. And he was that on Monday.