The Twins took batting practice on the field before Thursday’s game against the White Sox, a routine that has been affected by wintry weather that has gripped many major league cities this season.
“It’s amazing,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “A 40-degree game in Florida, you would be shivering. Yesterday, everyone was somewhat overjoyed to be out there with one less layer.”
It won’t last for long.
Winter continues to ignore the calendar. A weather system that promises to dump a lot of something on the area is approaching, leaving the Twins to wonder how many more games of this four-game home series they will play against the White Sox.
And that is factoring in some of their decisions.
Indications are that righthander Phil Hughes will not be brought up to start Friday, weather permitting. Molitor hinted at the club wanting to “keep our rehab guys pitching the best way they can.” Hughes is scheduled to start on Saturday for Class A Fort Myers as he works his way back from a left oblique strain.
Pitchers at Class AAA Rochester have been thrown off schedule because the first three games of the season were postponed. Still, lefthander Adalberto Mejia, who threw 24 pitches on Monday, could be summoned to start on Friday.
Molitor added that Friday will not be a bullpen game, in which a relay of relievers are used.
“We will have someone to pitch for that game,” he said.
But the Twins aren’t confident about playing Friday because of the approaching storm.
“[Friday] is not looking good,” Molitor said. “There could be two different kind of days, but they are both going to be nasty, from what I understand.”
Twins President Dave St. Peter said the club hopes to make a decision on Friday’s game by midday.
About next week
Molitor has been concerned about pregame routines being disrupted. In addition to weather concerns, there are scheduled off days on Monday and Thursday — before and after two games against Cleveland in Puerto Rico.
And, as of Friday, rain was in the forecast for San Juan.
“We’re trying to think about what if you [can’t play] all three [games this weekend], what are you going to do?” Molitor said. “Look for a place to work out here? We’re definitely going to have to consider working out on Monday. Guys haven’t faced hitters. [Tyler] Kinley and [Gabriel] Moya haven’t pitched much. Our hitters haven’t had a chance to face a lot of pitching.
“Now you are looking at, worst-case scenario, not playing five of the next seven days. With two games in between, in Puerto Rico, where it is supposed to rain.”
There is time set aside on Monday for the Twins to work out in Puerto Rico if they desire.
• Righthander Trevor May, in Fort Myers rehabilitating after Tommy John surgery, will throw live batting practice on Monday. He’s progressing well but still has several weeks of work in front of him.
• Righthander Michael Pineda, also coming off Tommy John surgery, is up to 120 feet in his throwing drills. He’ll continue that for another week, then will take two weeks off before entering another phase of his rehab. As with May, the Twins are pleased with his progress.
• WCCO Radio broadcasts both Twins and Timberwolves games. But the Twins will have priority over the Wolves all the way through the NBA’s Western Conference playoffs. Wolves-Rockets playoff games will be available on one of WCCO’s FM partners.