At the very moment the Twins need seven starting pitchers over the next five days, they lost another member of their current rotation. Yeah, it’s been that kind of year.
Dietrich Enns, whose second career start kept getting pushed back while the Twins tried to sort out their pitching needs, now will wait at least another week. Enns reported some soreness in his pitching shoulder after his two innings in relief of Bartolo Colon on Tuesday. Given his history of shoulder problems, the Twins chose to be cautious, and placed him on the 10-day disabled list this morning.
While the move allowed them to activate Glen Perkins — who expects to pitch in a Twins game today for the first time in 493 days — and increase their bullpen to nine members for the moment, it just exacerbates the need for starting pitching. And manager Paul Molitor said there is virtually no chance that Adalberto Mejia might be back from his own injury by next week, leaving them with few options for Monday’s doubleheader in Chicago. One might be Dillon Gee, who could be used today in a short stint and then return in time to start on Monday, but that removes the Twins’ long reliever from availability this weekend against Arizona. So it’s difficult to plan with any certainty.
For now, the Twins will go with Kyle Gibson this afternoon, and rookie righthander Aaron Slegers tonight, finishing off what was billed as a big series in anticlimactic fashion. It’s the second time this season that there’s been some buildup to the Indians’ arrival in town, only to have rainy weather give it a get-it-over-with feel. But a sweep — by either team — could significantly change the Twins’ outlook about the postseason.
Gibson has had only two quality starts among his last eight outings, but the Twins will be looking for more innings than they’ve gotten from him this month, in order to minimize the need for bullpen help — especially with a rookie on the mound tonight.
Here are the lineups for Game 1, with a second game set for 6:10 p.m.: