Eventually, the Twins will have to address Michael Pineda's workload.
Pitchers who are in their first season following Tommy John surgery are watched carefully and their innings are monitored closely. Pitchers have been shut down. Pitchers have been moved into the bullpen. It's reasonable to assume the Twins will reach a similar point with Pineda.
I've only brought up the issue with Twins officials during casual conversations, so we really don't know what their plans are. And, based on early dealings with Rocco Baldelli, he prefers to keep things close to the vest until it's absolutely safe to share. (for instance, Byron Buxton should be good to go Tuesday when the Twins open a series against the Rays, but he won't admit that yet. That's fine. That's Rocco.)
The Twins appear to be in the market for two pitchers, based on conversations I've had with officials. That could be either two relievers or one starter and one reliever. If they add a starter (and I don't know who that could be because the market doesn't look that strong) someone in the current rotation would have to move to the bullpen.
So it would make sense that Pineda would be that guy. His innings will eventually become an issue, so that would be the logical move.
Over his last seven starts, Pineda is 2-0 with a 3.67 ERA. Over his last two outings, Pineda has a 1.54 ERA while holding opponents to a .179. He has been on a season-long quest to perfect his slider, and it seems to have finally come around.
So Pineda looks to be in a good spot as the Twins look to take three of four in Kansas City.
It's a very soggy morning in KC. It rained most of the night is still raining and will rain up until noon. There is a window to play the game, with more storms due in around 5 p.m. Any scattered showers that pop up unexpectedly could be a challenge.
And that would stink on a day the Royals are saluting the Negro Leagues but having a "Dressed to the Nines" day at the park. The club encourages fan to dress up for the game, and many show up in suits, dresses, bonnets, etc. The Twins and Royals will wear throwback uniforms, with the Twins wearing St. Paul Gophers gear from 1908.
A couple player notes.
Buxton was supposed to hit on the field today, but he would have to be amphibious to do that right now. I expect he will hit indoors and see how his right wrist is.
Jose Berrios was very confident that he will make his next scheduled start despite leaving Saturday's game in the eighth inning because of a blister. It was too bad for two reasons. One, the Royals came back and tied the game because of it. Two, Baldelli was willing to leave Berrios in if he could have a clean inning. And he might have been allowed to pitch the ninth. I don't know when I'll ever cover another complete game.
Max Kepler, CF
Jorge Polanco, SS
Nelson Cruz, DH
Eddie Rosario, LF
C.J. Cron, 1B
Luis Arraez, 2B
Miguel Sano, 3B
Jason Castro, C
Jake Cave, RF
Michael Pineda, RHP
Whit Merrifield, RF
Nicky Lopez, 2B
Alex Gordon, LF
Hunter Dozier, 3B
Jorge Soler, DH
Cheslor Cuthbert, 1B
Humberto Arteaga, SS
Martin Maldonado, C
Billy Hamilton, CF
Homer Bailey, RHP