Twins' Pressly adjusts to pressure

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 30, 2014 - 12:44 AM
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Twins reliever Ryan Pressly

Photo: Tom Olmscheid, ASSOCIATED PRESS

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– As a Rule 5 player in the majors for the first time, Ryan Pressly didn’t get many chances to pitch with the game at stake in 2013. In the statistical parlance, he faced only 37 batters all season in “high-leverage” situations, where the game could change with one pitch, and just 25 in “medium-leverage” situations. But 250 batters faced Pressly in “low-leverage” situations, when one team had a big lead on the other.

That changed this season, when the righthander was sent to Class AAA Rochester. Red Wings manager Gene Glynn trusted Pressly with late innings and big situations, even gave him the opportunity to earn six saves. So the 25-year-old Texan returns to the Twins bullpen this month a different pitcher, he figures.

“You always want to be put in those kind of situations, to find out what kind of pitcher you really are,” Pressly said Tuesday. “Gino kept using me in close games, and when I had some success, it really built my confidence.”

In fact, Pressly posted a 2.98 ERA in 61 innings in Rochester’s bullpen, and last week earned a promotion back to Minnesota, where he already has contributed five scoreless innings.

“I want to say I was [getting impatient], but it’s a business. I can’t get mad and anxious about getting called up,” he said. “I tried to use the time to get better.”

Especially in big moments. Pressly had a couple of bad games in April and early May, but “you just use them and learn from them,” he said. “I tried to attack hitters like I did here. I wasn’t nitpicking around the [strike] zone as much as I was up here last year, so that helped. I’m glad I got used in those [close] games.”

Papa Arcia to hurry back

The Twins played shorthanded Tuesday, but it had nothing to do with Thursday’s looming trade deadline.

Oswaldo Arcia’s wife Karla gave birth to a son they named Oswell Daniel early Tuesday morning, and the outfielder remained with his family in Minneapolis. But Arcia is planning to fly to Kansas City on Wednesday, assistant general manager Rob Antony said. When the team proposed placing him on the three-day paternity list and calling up another player, the 23-year-old Arcia said he preferred to rejoin the team right away.

“He said he wanted to spend the day with his family, and will fly in tomorrow,” Antony said. “So we’ll just play short for a day.”

Berrios leaves game

Class AA New Britain righthander Jose Berrios, who had allowed only one run in each of his previous two starts, left Tuesday’s game because of “shoulder tightness” in the second inning, Twins director of minor leagues Brad Steil told MLB.com. Berrios, rated the Twins’ top pitching prospect and No. 27 in all of baseball by Baseball America, started the Futures Game earlier this month for the International team. He was removed as a precaution, Steil said.

Etc.

 Paul McCartney is getting in Joe Mauer’s way, but the Twins don’t mind. The first baseman, recovering from a strained oblique he suffered July 1, took some swings in Target Field’s indoor batting cage Tuesday and will face live pitching Wednesday. But Mauer cannot use the Target Field diamond; the stage for McCartney’s concert Saturday is already being erected in center field. “He can do everything he needs to in the cages,” Antony said.

• Righthander Ricky Nolasco threw fastballs and changeups in the Kauffman Stadium bullpen Tuesday, “and had no issues,” Antony said. “Thursday, he’ll mix in the breaking ball.” Nolasco, recovering from an elbow irritation that has bothered him for much of the year, might require another bullpen session after that, Antony said, but will then be sent out to make a rehab start or two.

• Righthander Hudson Boyd, drafted 55th overall by the Twins in 2011, has been suspended indefinitely for an undisclosed violation of team rules, the Twins said. Boyd, 21, has a 4-2 record and 4.53 ERA for Class A Cedar Rapids.

• The Twins reached a deal with 24-year-old pitching prospect Brandon Poulson, who has thrown 100 miles-per-hour fastballs but never has been drafted.

Poulson, listed at 6-7 and 240 pounds, was pitching earlier this month for the Healdsburg Prune Packers in the collegiate Sacramento Rural League.

He is set to travel Wednesday to the Twins’ rookie club in Elizabethton, Tenn.

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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