DETROIT – Left fielder Eddie Rosario had a bad game Wednesday. And his day got worse.
His multiple mistakes landed him in the doghouse, on the bench when he was pulled in the seventh inning and ultimately on the way to the minor leagues.
After the 6-3 loss to the Tigers, the Twins sent Rosario to Class AAA Rochester, according to a league source. Outfielder Robbie Grossman, who was not in the lineup for Rochester on Wednesday night, will be called up to replace Rosario.
Rosario missed a cutoff man in the first inning, made a bad throw to second as Nick Castellanos legged out a double in the second inning and didn’t communicate with shortstop Eduardo Nunez in the fifth as Justin Upton’s blooper fell between them for a single. And manager Paul Molitor lamented that Rosario continues to chase pitches out of the strike zone.
But the move that got him in the most trouble came with two outs in the seventh when he stole third. The Twins were down four runs and had two runners on with Joe Mauer at the plate.
“It goes back to one of those things where you are caught up in the moment and you do something that has no real impact on the game, trailing four with two outs in the seventh,” Molitor said. “We have our best hitter up there. The risk — 100-fold — is greater than the reward.”
Rosario was removed from the game after the inning, replaced by Darin Mastroianni. “I wanted to get Eddie out at that point,” Molitor said.
Grossman, 26, played 190 games the past three years with Houston but was released in November. He began this season at Cleveland’s Class AAA Columbus affiliate but exercised an out clause in his contract Monday to join Rochester.
Hughes to test shoulder
Twins righthander Phil Hughes is scheduled to throw in the bullpen Thursday at Target Field, and his session could determine if he remains in the rotation.
After leaving Tuesday’s game at Detroit with a 2-0 lead and 75 pitches thrown in the seventh, Hughes revealed he has been battling shoulder fatigue. He said the coaching staff had been aware of it, but he’s tried to pitch through it.
Molitor wants to make sure Hughes is healthy enough to remain in the rotation. The 75 pitches Hughes threw Tuesday were the most he has thrown in a game since he threw 81 on April 29 against Detroit. That’s about the time Hughes said he started to experience fatigue issues with his shoulder. He threw 58, then 67 pitches in his next two outings before Tuesday’s game.
“We still have him down as our starter for Sunday,” Molitor said. “We’ll see — when he gets out there [Thursday], most likely — if this thing is going to be a lingering issue and if we need to make alternative plans. I don’t think we’ll be able to determine that until we see how [Thursday] goes.”
Relief pitching has not been a strength for the Twins this year. When Molitor called on the bullpen Tuesday, Michael Tonkin and Trevor May gave up six runs in a game the Twins lost 7-2.
So Hughes’ willingness to be taken out of the game has become a hot topic in the Twin Cities.
“I can’t help that,” Molitor said of reaction to the move. “I have to listen to what my guy says. I can’t be concerned about that.”
Escobar on rehab
Shortstop Eduardo Escobar arrived in Fort Myers, Fla., where he will work out with the extended spring training team for a couple of days before joining Class A Fort Myers for a rehabilitation assignment.
Escobar, on the disabled list because of a left groin strain, is expected to play with the Miracle at least through the weekend and could be activated by the Twins on Monday. When he does return, Molitor will have to determine how much he will play.
Eduardo Nunez had played at short in place of Escobar, but he also could move around the infield if Molitor wants to keep him in the lineup when Escobar returns. And it sounded like he does.
“Nunez has played well in my mind,” Molitor said. “He deserves a chance to get a fair amount of playing time.”