La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Twins postgame thoughts from LEN3: Pelfrey, the bullpen, Hicks

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: May 2, 2014 - 12:54 AM

Here are some items at the end of a long day at Target Field:

PELFREY IN TROUBLE: Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said they will have to meet to decide what to do about Mike Pelfrey who is 0-3 with a 7.99 ERA and was shaky again on Thursday. When Gardy says that, it usually means the decision to make a move has pretty much been made. Look for Samuel Deduno to make the start four days from now. He should be able to throw 80 pitches. But, the way Sammy rolls, that might not get him through four innings. What is concerning about Pelfrey is that his velocity is down 4-5 miles an hour. He says he's healthy, but something usually is wrong when the velo dips.

BULLPEN BEATDOWN: Here's a crazy stat from tonight. All nine inherited runners did not score. That's hard to believe. A few relievers had a bad day out there. And I think everyone is gassed right now. Michael Tonkin, Brian Duensing and Anthony Swarzak all have throw in back-to-back games. Jared Burton pitched in both games, which they were trying to avoid with him. Caleb Thielbar and Casey Fien look like they should be available tomorrow, but Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said everyone in the bullpen was wiped out. So we will see. Lefthander Edgar Ibarra (3.12 ERA), righthander Ryan Pressly (4.38), and lefthander Brooks Raley (4.63) are at Rochester and are on the 40-man. Righthander Johan Pino (1.17) is tearing it up and Matt Guerrier (two scoreless since promoted from New Britain) is there too but they are not on the 40-man roster. Let's see how the Twins work their way through this.

AARON HICKS INJURY: Hicks raced back to the wall in the seventh, jumped and hit his head on the wall as he just missed catching Scott Van Slyke's triple. He was down for a few minutes but remained in the game for the rest of the inning but was lifted for a pinch hitter after that and took some concussion tests. He's going to take more on Friday. If Hicks needs to go on the DL, the Twins are in a jam because I don't think they will be comfortable with Sam Fuld as the everyday outfielder. They would have to call up Darin Mastro.......oh wait, he's gone. Well, they could call up Alex Press.....oh, he's no longer around too. Who would the call up? Our would they just add a reliever for a few days until the bullpen gets rest and then add an outfielder. They don't want to call up Oswaldo Arcia back from his rehab because, Gardy said, they have had a bad history with calling players early from rehab stints, The only player on the 40-man who can play center is Kenny Wilson, whom they recently claimed off waivers and sent to New Britain.

BONUS THOUGHT 1: The Twins baseball communications staff just checked in with this: At 5 hours, 11 minutes, this game was the longest Twins game IN TERMS OF TIME since May 17, 2002 at New York-AL a 5:45 game, Twins lost 13-12 in 14 innings.

BONUS THOUGHT 2: Dan Haren gave up three earned runs over 6.2 innings on Thursday. Afterward, he talked about his approach against the Twins, which could be the start of a trend: ``I walked a guy in the first inning and I made a point to really attack the zone,'' Haren said, ``especially early in the count. If they wanted to take, they’re going to be 0-1. But it’s easier said than done to throw a strike. It’s not that easy.'' The Twins are being patient at the plate, but they might have to mix it up some or they will be battling from behind in the count. But the good hitters are comfortable doing it and end up running counts deep anyway. We'll see.

I've been here 16 hours. Time to go home...

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