The Twins’ roster is a misshapen jumble at the moment, the result of needing 18 innings from the bullpen in Washington and the uncertain injury status of Tyler Duffey and Ervin Santana. The Twins recalled righthander Alex Meyer on Monday to address one problem, but they now have 14 pitchers on their roster and only 11 position players.
“I’m not sure if it’s going to be a day or two days, this scenario of [having two bench] position players,” manager Paul Molitor said.
For now, Meyer, who posted a 1.04 ERA in 17⅓ innings as a starter for Class AAA Rochester, will remain in the bullpen. Ryan said he intends to return to the normal 12-pitcher staff as soon as he can, but with a handful of pitchers unavailable Monday, the Twins chose to summon Meyer and demote outfielder Byron Buxton. In addition, outfielder Danny Santana was activated from the disabled list, his right hamstring strain healed, and Max Kepler returned to the Red Wings.
Ervin Santana still is bothered by back spasms, and did nothing more than play catch in the outfield Monday. Duffey, bruised by a line drive to his right shoulder while filling in for Santana on Sunday, felt much better, though the Twins aren’t ready to let him throw again. Until the Twins are sure of the former’s status — his next turn to pitch is Saturday — they are reluctant to send the latter back down. And they can’t demote Duffey anyway if he’s injured; he would have to go on the disabled list.
Murphy gives up
One player who won’t be joining the Twins: David Murphy. Ryan, who spent last week in Rochester, had planned to bring the veteran outfielder back with him, and even cleared a spot on the 40-man roster by waiving catcher John Hicks, who was claimed by Detroit.
But Murphy, who batted .194 with one home run in 10 games with Rochester, chose instead to exercise the out clause in his contract and give up his attempt to return to the major leagues. He was granted his release.
“He can still play,” said Ryan, who saw Murphy several games. “He was taking good at-bats.”
• Danny Santana returned to discover a full-time job awaiting him. With Buxton in the minors, Santana has inherited center field, much as he did in 2014. “It can be mine,” he said. “I’m just trying to work hard, help the team win, and in the future, if that’s my job, that’s my job.”
• Third baseman Trevor Plouffe is nearly recovered from his oblique injury and should be able to return from the DL as scheduled May 4, Molitor said.
• Tom Thibodeau will throw out the first pitch at Tuesday night’s game, hours after he is introduced as the new coach of the Timberwolves.
• The entire Wild roster attended Monday’s game, a day after team was eliminated from the playoffs by Dallas.