Seems like J.T. Chargois and Tyler Duffey do everything alike, doesn’t it? They were both closers at Rice University and they were both drafted by the Twins in 2012. They both had trouble getting to the ballpark for their major league debuts: Chargois due to mechanical issues, Duffey because he had no passport. And when they stood on a major league mound for the first time they both … enjoyed it a little too much.
“It was all so weird. Your dreams are coming true, and you just want to be outside the moment and look around, just be in awe and enjoy the wow factor,” Chargois said. “And then you’ve got to lock in on a hitter, and that’s a really hard balance to find.”
Duffey said the same last August, when he lasted only two innings in Toronto. So he understood what his friend was going through.
“I told him, ‘It could have been a lot worse. I know from experience,’ ” Duffey said of Chargois, who retired only two hitters Saturday, and gave up three hits, two walks and five runs. “You can’t really prepare yourself for that situation. The adrenaline, everything about being in a major league game is crazy. But once you realize no one is expecting you to go in and strike out every batter, you’ll be fine. It’s baseball — you’ve done this your entire life.”
Chargois knows that now. “Walking into the stadium today and being on the field, everything was different. It’s not dreamy anymore. I’m not star-struck now,” he said, adding he could appreciate the fact that the Red Sox took it to him. “Next time, I’ll be prepared for it and things will be different.”
Unfortunately, here’s one more thing Chargois and Duffey have in common: Both were sent back to Class AAA Rochester the day after their debuts. Chargois will carry his 67.50 ERA until his next summons from the Twins.
Bullpen arm added
As a rookie in 2014, Neil Ramirez was a valuable bullpen arm for the Cubs, posting a 1.44 ERA in 50 games. The Twins hope he’s got more of that sort of pitching left in him.
The Twins claimed Ramirez off waivers from the Brewers and will activate him Monday for their series at the Angels. The 27-year-old righthander, taken by Texas 44th overall in the 2007 draft, started the season with the Cubs, then pitched twice this month after being claimed by Milwaukee. His ERA for the season is 5.79 in only 9 ⅓ innings. He has given up three home runs and walked eight, which is why he was available.
The Twins, with a bullpen ERA of 4.61, 14th in the AL, are willing to give a fresh arm a try, though. General Manager Terry Ryan said the team has positive reports about Ramirez, who will become the 23rd player to pitch for the Twins this season.
• Pitching coach Neil Allen talks to Molitor nearly every day, the manager said, and is doing well as he works toward a return to the Twins following his arrest on suspicion of drunken driving May 26. Allen’s son Bobby, who attends high school in Sarasota, Fla., has joined him for the summer, and Allen attends substance-abuse meetings each morning.
“He’s in good spirits, very good. He’s anxious to get back to work,” bullpen coach Eddie Guardado said of Allen, whom the Twins suspended indefinitely after his arrest. “He knows he screwed up. But he’s a good guy, a good human being, and he’s working hard to get back here.”
• Outfielder Danny Santana will head to Rochester within the next day or two, Ryan said, to begin a rehab assignment. Santana has been out since May 30 because of a strained hamstring.
• Miguel Sano, also out because of a hamstring strain, “is doing light swinging, light jogging, light, light, light,” Ryan said. “It’s going to be a while before he can do a whole lot.”