CHICAGO – Lefthander Adalberto Mejia will be called up from Class AAA Rochester in time to start Saturday against the Cubs in an interleague series at Wrigley Field.
Mejia, who has appeared in 22 games for the Twins — including 21 starts last season — is 4-2 with a 2.74 ERA with the Red Wings. Twins manager Paul Molitor said Mejia already was scheduled to pitch Saturday for Rochester, so it was easy to slot him in.
The Twins could have called up righthander Aaron Slegers and started him Thursday against the White Sox, with righthanders Jake Odorizzi and Jose Berrios pushed back a day to face the Cubs. But Molitor preferred the other plan.
"My thought was I wanted to get Odorizzi back out there as quick as possible as long as it was on turn," Molitor said. "We all know that Jose is throwing the ball well. With Mejia, it gave him a chance to pitch on his regular turn and be lined up for Saturday. There were some things that made sense about doing it this way."
Odorizzi gave up six earned runs and was knocked out in the second inning in his last start, a 9-6 loss to the Rangers on Saturday.
Mejia, 25, is 4-7 with a 4.57 ERA in his major league career.
A Twins prospect was promoted to Class A Fort Myers — but it was not shortstop Royce Lewis. Flame-throwing righthander Brusdar Graterol, a name worth remembering as well as hard to forget, was sent to the Miracle from Class A Cedar Rapids.
Graterol was 3-2 with a 2.18 ERA at Class A Cedar Rapids. In 41⅓ innings, he walked only nine batters while striking out 51.
He signed as a teenager out of Venezuela in 2014, the hardest-throwing starting pitching prospect the Twins have had. A scout in attendance at Graterol's last start Sunday against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers watched him hit 101 miles per hour on the radar gun with the first pitch of the game and followed that with several more triple-digit tosses.
The Twins have been careful with Graterol, who missed all of 2016 because of Tommy John surgery. But he's become their top starting pitching prospect who has yet to reach the majors.
Lewis, the first overall pick of the 2017 draft, remains at Cedar Rapids. He hit .373 over his first 20 games for the Kernels, then .226 over the next 22. Since June 6, he's batting .306 with four home runs and 17 RBI in 18 games.
Righthander Kohl Stewart, the fourth overall pick in 2013, was sent up to Class AAA Rochester after going 3-4 with a 4.76 ERA at Class AA Chattanooga. Those numbers don't stand out, but he did post a 1.48 ERA over his past four starts, which likely encouraged the Twins to bump him up.
Polanco, Buxton plans
The Twins sent shortstop Jorge Polanco to Rochester to continue his preparation before his 80-game suspension ends July 2. He arrived just in time to be rained out Wednesday.
So the Red Wings, who have had nine games postponed this season, will play two games Thursday. The new plan is to have Polanco be the designated hitter in one game and play short in the other. Outfielder Byron Buxton, in the middle of a minor league rehabilitation assignment, will DH one game and play the outfield in the other.
•Molitor is a friend of former Tigers pitching coach Chris Bosio, who was fired for making a racially insensitive remark to a club employee. "Don't know much about [the news], other than I saw it," Molitor said. The Tigers promoted bullpen coach and former Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson for the rest of the season.