Reliever Cody Allen has made four scoreless appearances for Class A Fort Myers since being signed to a minor league contract June 24. In four innings, he has given up three hits while striking out four.
The plan is for Allen, who is Cleveland’s all-time saves leader, to join Class AAA Rochester sometime after the All-Star break. He started the season with the Los Angeles Angels but was released after losing his closer's role and being ineffective more often than not.
On the mend
The Twins hoped righthanders Trevor Hildenberger and Fernando Romero would have a bigger impact on their bullpen this season. Hildenberger started the year with the Twins but was sent to Rochester on May 16 after compiling an 8.36 ERA in 19 appearances. Romero failed to make the team out of spring training and has failed to impress in multiple major league stints.
Now both are injured. Hildenberger hasn’t pitched since June 8 because of a flexor mass strain and Romero hasn’t pitched since June 19 because of a sore back.
Hildenberger is working out in Fort Myers and likely won’t be ready to pitch for a few more weeks, but Baldelli hopes that Hildenberger can return to the form that made him a solid contributor in past seasons and early this season.
“I think he’s working on a few different things,” Baldelli said. “With the injury that he had been dealing with and all that, where we’re sitting right now, we’re kind of in a spot where he’s still working his way back.”
Romero could return shortly after the All-Star break. The Twins still hope the converted starter can thrive as a reliever.
“This is a guy that when it all comes together, he’s a go-to, major league reliever that comes in and has the type of stuff that can and should go right through a major league lineup,” Baldelli said.
Kepler pulled from game
Max Kepler is the latest banged-up Twins player to leave a game, as the right fielder was pulled in the 10th inning Sunday because of a sore right knee.
It’s actually an old injury — it’s the same knee he bruised in Anaheim, Calif., in May when he crashed into the fence while trying make a play against the Angels. He has remained in the lineup, and has been productive.
“This is something that Max has been battling and just another example of our guys going out there and playing at far less than 100 percent,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said after the 4-1, 11-inning loss to Texas at Target Field. “He just got to a point where him being out there running the bases probably was not in the best interest of us winning the game or him, just his general health.”
Kepler was 1-for-5 before just-recalled Jake Cave pinch ran for him. Baldelli, who has seen eight players land on the injured list over the past three weeks, believes Kepler will be fine for the Twins’ next game, Friday at Cleveland.
Umpire leaves game
Plate umpire Gerry Davis left Sunday after the seventh inning, when he became ill from standing on a warm and humid day at Target Field.
One inning earlier, the umpiring crew went to check on the 66-year-old, with Twins assistant trainer Matt Biancuzzo soon joining them. Davis actually called balls and strikes for a bit while wrapping a cool cloth around his neck. But, before the eighth inning began, he decided to leave the game.
“This is a no-brainer,” Baldelli said. “We need to make sure that everybody is safe and feeling OK. It was hot out there, and humid. You could see it in everyone.”