Outfielder Alex Kiriloff and lefthander Lewis Thorpe are headed for the Futures Game in Washington, D.C., on July 15, but a few other Twins — former Twins, actually — will get plenty of attention, too.
Torii Hunter will manage the United States team in the annual showcase of the sport's best prospects, and Hunter's former teammate David Ortiz will be in charge of the World team. Hunter has invited two more former teammates to serve on his staff: LaTroy Hawkins will serve as pitching coach and Matthew LeCroy will be the bench coach.
And former Twins farmhand Steve Singleton will coach the hitters. Singleton is the hitting coach at Class A Fort Myers, and LeCroy manages Class AA Harrisburg in the Nationals' system.
"It's a great experience, I can tell you because I did it in 2002," Twins manager Paul Molitor said of Hunter's chance to manage in the Futures Game. "I think the people that have a chance to play for him in that game will not forget the experience."
Kiriloff, selected 15th in the 2016 draft, earned the chance despite spending the season in Class A. But the 20-year-old's season — hitting .333 with 13 home runs at Cedar Rapids, then .317 after being promoted to Fort Myers — made him an obvious choice in the Twins' system.
Thorpe, a 22-year-old Australian, is 4-4 with a 4.04 ERA in 15 starts for Class AA Chattanooga, a solid comeback after missing two seasons because of injury and illness.
Hoping for a handful
The AL and NL All-Star teams will be announced Sunday night on ESPN, and Molitor believes he has at least three players who deserve consideration. But he knows it's pretty unlikely that a team more than 10 games below .500 will be rewarded with three slots.
"[Eddie] Rosario, [Eduardo] Escobar and [Jose] Berrios — you can make pretty good arguments for them," said Molitor, who has not been consulted by AL manager A.J. Hinch. "Unfortunately, given where we are [in the standings], I don't know how many people we'll have a chance to send for that game. It's always a tough roster to fill out, given the fact that they have to meet certain requirements," especially the every-team-must-have-a-representative tradition.
Rosario, who leads the Twins in average, home runs and RBI, is widely expected to be among the outfielders named for the July 17 game at Nationals Park. Escobar leads the AL in doubles and Berrios is among the league's 10 best in strikeouts, fewest walks and fewest hits.
Motter sent down
Utilityman Taylor Motter, who appeared in seven games for the Twins over the final two weeks of June before suffering concussion symptoms after crashing into the right-field wall against the White Sox last week, was activated from the concussion disabled list Friday and sent down to Chattanooga.
The Twins put him at Class AA because Class AAA Rochester will be on its All-Star break from Monday to Wednesday.
"I'm glad he's doing better. The collision in Chicago was violent," Molitor said.
Motter, who played four positions with the Twins, was 0-for-14 in 16 plate appearances. That's the most in Twins history by a position player without a hit.
Santana to Chattanooga
Righthander Ervin Santana's next rehab start will come Tuesday in Jacksonville, Fla., for Class AA Chattanooga.
He had a small increase in velocity in his start Thursday for Class A Fort Myers. "His slider was a little inconsistent, but he had some really good ones," Molitor said. "The [changeup], they said, had some really good movement underneath the fastball."