Righthander Trevor May downplayed his first major league victory since 2016 Thursday, focusing instead on how he could have avoided walking in two runs after he replaced Ervin Santana with the bases loaded in the fifth inning.
“I’m a little bit caught up with having a job to do in the fifth inning to pick Erv up,” May said. “I could have done a much better job with that.”
He got through it, though. And manager Paul Molitor has been more than pleased with May since he was called up from Class AAA Rochester on July 31 after missing all of 2017 because of Tommy John elbow surgery.
“That’s a long rehab,” Molitor said. “You feel disconnected from the team, and you are out doing your program and you find your way back to the minor leagues and have to work your way up to prove that you can perform. Now he’s getting that chance, and he was rewarded [Thursday] with the win.”
May is 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA in six outings since being recalled. The velocity of most of his pitches is about where it was pre-injury. And he has held opponents to a .200 batting average.
While he is using this year to re-establish himself, his role for 2019 will, once again, become a topic for debate at 1 Twins Way.
“We’ve been back and forth with him a lot,” Molitor said. “I like his value in the bullpen. I’m sure there’s some other people that are going to try to keep our options open because depth in starting pitching is always pretty vital too.”
Michael Pineda has reached the final checkpoint on his way back to the majors. The righthander, signed as a free agent despite recovering from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery, is headed to Class AAA Rochester to make three starts.
Pineda will pitch four innings in his first two outings, and in the third outing, tentatively scheduled for Aug. 31, he will throw either five innings or 75 pitches. That will bring him up to the time rosters can be expanded in September.
In his outing on Thursday for Class A Fort Myers, Pineda gave up one run over three innings on two doubles while striking out a batter. His fastball averaged 93 miles per hour.
The Twins signed Pineda to a two-year, $10 million contract during the offseason. He’ll make $2 million this year as he completes his rehabilitation, then $8 million in 2019.
Tink Larson Field back
On Saturday, Twins President Dave St. Peter and third base coach Gene Glynn will head down to Waseca, Minn., to take part in the celebration of the return of Tink Larson Field.
Two years ago, the stadium was destroyed by fire. A fundraising campaign, which included a donation by the Twins, brought in enough to cover the cost of repairs, about $1.8 million.
Glynn, who is from Waseca and was the first Minnesota Mr. Basketball in 1975, will attend the celebration before heading to Target Field for the Tigers-Twins game.
“It’s just a connection to a lifeline of sports, because town team baseball is so big,” Glynn said, “[and] it’s still used by the high school to play its games, and the Legion and the VFW.”
Morris to be honored
Before Saturday’s game, the Twins will honor Jack Morris for being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame last month. It will be a celebration of St. Paul baseball, as Dave Winfield is scheduled to attend and Molitor is expected to take part; all three grew up in St. Paul. A video tribute will be shown, and Morris is expected to deliver a short speech.
Morris will take the field with 13-year old Ben Barbatsis, who is receiving assistance from Crescent Cove, which provides hospice services to Minnesota children and their families.