BOSTON – Three times in Monday night’s 4-1 loss to the Red Sox, Eddie Rosario raced back to the warning track in front of Fenway Park’s 37-foot-tall wall, turned his back to home plate, leapt in the air and made a running catch.
The Twins picked the right night to put one of their best athletes in left field.
“If we had won that game,” coach Jeff Pickler said, “Eddie would have been the hero.”
They didn’t, but Twins manager Paul Molitor was happy with the way Rosario gobbled up all three outs. It was part of a plan, he said. “I have to give Jeff a little credit for doing some research on how the Red Sox play Fenway, and how visiting teams play it. We [went over] some of the factors involved with outfield defense,” Molitor said. “One of the things we talked about proved to be pretty accurate. With Rosey making those three plays, some of the things we tried to account for, matchups and how their guys swing the bat, came into play.”
Pickler said one thing that emerged from his scouting is that it’s a mistake to play shallower that normal. “It doesn’t feel like other parks when you’re out there, so you think you should move in,” the Twins’ outfield coach said. “But you should play the same distance from home plate that you would in any other park.”
The Green Monster is always a big consideration when teams visit Boston, and it’s still relatively new to Rosario. Monday was only his fourth career start in front of the wall, and it’s still an adjustment, he said. “You have to be ready for anything on every at-bat here, because the wall is so close,” Rosario said. “It was a good night.”
Molitor wasn’t surprised that Rosario enjoyed the challenge. “I would think it would be fun to play left field in Fenway. Obviously there are things you’ve got to do here that you don’t in other parks,” he said. “Quick decisionmaking, the ability to deke runners, throwing guys out on balls off the wall, all those things.”
And one other thing, Pickler said. “Eddie doesn’t panic,” he said. “When you don’t panic, it gives your athleticism a chance to take over.”
Bump and banished
The Red Sox played without manager John Farrell on Tuesday, after the commissioner’s office imposed a one-game suspension for a heated argument Saturday with umpire Bill Miller. When umpires signaled for a balk, the Red Sox claimed time had been called. The umpires huddled and let the balk stand, setting off a nose-to-nose shouting match between Farrell and Miller.
Farrell said before Tuesday’s game that he wasn’t surprised by the suspension, because he had inadvertently bumped Miller during the argument.
• Righthander Alex Wimmers, designated for assignment Friday, cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Class AAA Rochester, the Twins announced. Because it was the former first-round pick’s second outright assignment, he could have declined it and become a free agent. The status of lefthander Mason Melotakis, also designated for assignment Friday, remains unresolved.
• Infielder Ehire Adrianza will begin a rehab assignment with Rochester on Thursday, Molitor said. The Twins would like Adrianza, sidelined because of abdominal pain, to get at-bats in three games before he’s eligible to be activated from the disabled list Monday.
• Molitor said the Twins are discussing options to start Saturday’s second game of a doubleheader in Kansas City. Dillon Gee would have gotten consideration had he pitched for the Twins over the weekend, but never got into a game before being sent down to Rochester on Monday. The righthander will pitch Wednesday, Molitor said, but getting the start Saturday “is a long shot, given how sparse his work has been lately.” Gee, an eight-year veteran signed last week, hasn’t pitched since June 14.