ANAHEIM, CALIF. – The jump from Class AA Chattanooga didn’t surprise Randy Rosario as much trying to jump from one plane to another did.
The 23-year-old lefthander got the call to the majors Wednesday when Lookouts manager Jake Mauer, during a presentation for a teammate, added something at the end.
“I just want to say Randy got a call up,” Mauer said.
Said Rosario, “Everyone was hitting me and joking with me.”
Rosario, with a 1.90 ERA in 10 games at Chattanooga, was happy but not surprised.
“I saw my stats,” he said. “I was saying in my mind, ‘Randy, just get ready for it.’ ”
He hopped a plane from Birmingham, Ala., to catch a connecting flight in Dallas. But storms in the Dallas area forced the plane into a holding pattern for a while before it was rerouted to Killeen-Fort Hood (Texas) Regional Airport for refueling.
By the time the plane arrived in Dallas, his connecting flight had departed. Then the next flight out was delayed another two hours.
“It’s really hard to make it to the big leagues, huh?” Rosario said.
Rosario arrived during the second half of Thursday night’s Twins-Angels game and went straight to the bullpen. Friday, he stood in a clubhouse full of familiar faces, thanks to pitching in spring training with them.
“I feel like I’m home,” said Rosario, who then pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning but gave up three runs in the ninth inning of an 11-5 Twins victory. “I feel like I’m at spring training, but with less guys.”
In 23⅔ innings at Chattanooga, he gave up 14 hits and six walks while striking out 20. In seven minor league seasons, he has given up only eight home runs in 318⅔ innings. His low- to mid-90s fastball is complemented by a slider and changeup. Rosario was signed by the Twins in 2010 out of the Dominican Republic.
“I don’t think he’s intimidated by the game,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “Obviously, the big-league spotlight will be a little bit of a test in that regard.”
Touched by speech
Hall of Famer Rod Carew met with the Twins on Thursday, delivering a speech that touched everyone in the clubhouse as he described his fight to stay alive.
“It was very cool,” catcher Chris Gimenez said. “Just to see him out and about.
“The really cool part is that he brought with him the pump that was inside of his body. He talked about not taking any day for granted, which I think is a good idea for everybody to hear, younger guys or older guys.”
The pump Gimenez spoke of was part of the left ventricular assist device that Carew wore to keep his heart pumping until a donor heart became available.
“It gave guys a glimpse of where we were at in terms of what we can do to keep people going,” Molitor said. “It’s amazing.”
Carew’s heart came from former NFL player Konrad Reuland, who played at Stanford and roamed the halls there at the same time Twins catcher Jason Castro did. Castro knew of Reuland but never met him.
It was the 41st annual dairy day at Angel Stadium, which includes a cow-milking contest between a player from each team. The Twins initially tabbed Gimenez, who has won three milking contests in his career, but Molitor had him in the starting lineup.
So the Twins went with infielder Eduardo Escobar, who got off to a slow start and saw his rally fall short. Angels reliever Blake Parker won with 6 pounds of milk to Escobar’s 4.
Twins President Dave St. Peter took to Twitter to suggest the milking contest be brought to Target Field. The event used to be held at Metropolitan Stadium.
The Twins sent lefthander Jason Wheeler to the Dodgers for cash considerations. Wheeler was called up from Class AAA Rochester on Tuesday, made his major league debut Tuesday and was designated for assignment Wednesday as the Twins looked for arms to prop up a beleaguered bullpen.