NEW YORK – Twins manager Rocco Baldelli on Saturday showed a way he can vary his bullpen usage.
Blake Parker has been used nearly exclusively in save situations, but Baldelli summoned the righthander with a man on and two out in the seventh. Parker got out of the inning, and then faced the heart of the Yankees batting order for the eighth inning.
“I feel like having that ability to be fluid and to bring in who we would think is the appropriate guy at the appropriate time, I think it’s good for us,” Baldelli said after the Twins’ 7-3 victory.
In the eighth, Parker did give up a 444-foot home run to Gary Sanchez, the New York slugger’s third homer of the series. Parker also gave up a one-out single to Gleyber Torres but got Brett Gardner to ground into an inning-ending double play.
That enabled Baldelli to use Taylor Rogers in the ninth, and the lefthander pitched a 1-2-3 inning.
It’s one way Baldelli will attack the most dangerous parts of an opponent’s batting order in high-leverage situations.
“If we were kind of locked into certain roles and things like that, you have a tough time calling a guy’s name, especially in an environment like this and bringing him in in a situation that he’s not prepared for,” Baldelli said. “Our guys are prepared. They go out there with that mentality that they’re ready to go and when the phone rings, it could be them.”
Marwin being Marwin
Marwin Gonzalez was supposed to be the Twins’ everyday multi-positional player, as described by Baldelli. But that plan was put on the back burner when Miguel Sano missed all of spring training because of a laceration just above his heel. Gonzalez has been needed at third base.
On Friday, Gonzalez started in left field and showed why he’s so versatile. He threw out Luke Voit to end each of the first two innings, first when Voit tried to score from second base, then when Voit tried to advance to second after an RBI single. Gonzalez showed off his strong and accurate arm on both plays.
“We haven’t seen him do much of anything except play third base,” Baldelli said. “He’s kind of been thrown into that role where he’s going to play regularly over there. We’ve even talked about, it’d be great to see him move around, but we haven’t really been able to do that.
Baldelli noted Gonzalez hasn’t worked in the outfield much because he has focused on third base, adding: “To just get a little shagging in, a minimal amount of work, make a few throws and go out and have that kind of performance, it’s a testament to him. It’s extremely impressive and I think very few guys in the big leagues have the ability to do what he’s doing.”
• The Twins have released righthander Dusten Knight for a violation of team policy. Knight was a hit on social media this season because he liked to do back flips after notching saves; in seven games, he had posted a 1.59 ERA and three saves. Knight, 28, was selected by the Twins in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft last December from the Giants organization.
• Willians Astudillo (left hamstring) has done some light running and some sprint work during his rehabilitation. He is scheduled to do more running over the next couple of days. There is no decision yet on if he will need to go on a minor league rehab assignment.
• The Twins traded minor league infielder Adam Rosales to Cleveland for cash considerations. Rosales was batting .194 in 20 games with Class AAA Rochester. Cleveland will assign Rosales to Class AAA Columbus.