Their need for pitching growing desperate yet again, the Twins are looking inside their organization and out for new potential solutions.
This weekend’s newcomers: Rochester closer Trevor Hildenberger, a former 22nd-round draft pick, and Dillon Gee, a longtime Met who was released by the Rangers earlier this week.
Those two righthanders were added to the Twins’ roster Friday, and two relievers -- righty Alex Wimmers and lefthander Mason Melotakis -- were designated for release or assignment.
Melotakis, 25, a second-round draft pick in 2012, pitched 21 games at Class AA Chattanooga and two at Class AAA Rochester, with good numbers, so the move on him would be considered surprising.
Nik Turley was sent to Rochester after Thursday's loss and Ehire Adrianza was placed on the 10-day disabled list.
Gee, 31, spent six seasons in the Mets’ rotation, and posted a 4.03 ERA with the NL team. He hasn’t pitched particularly well in a couple of seasons, turning in a 4.68 ERA last year with the Royals, and spending a month in the minors this season before joining Texas.
“He’s in the mix” to fill in on the pitching staff that will be updated Friday, Twins manager Paul Molitor said, a move that was later confirmed. “We’re trying to figure out what’s best in terms of protecting us. We just need to have some protection for innings. So him being a guy who has that potential, we have to consider whether we want to do that in the short term or just let him get some work down there and see where he’s at.”
Adrianza, who stole three bases Wednesday, was placed on the disabled list because of an abdominal issue, the Twins announced. Adrianza underwent tests and will have more done while the Twins are away.
“Hopefully, everything gets cleaned up and do what we need to as far as treating whatever’s going on there,” Molitor said.
Hildenberger, a sidearm pitcher who has saved six games for the Red Wings — three in the past week — has a 2.05 ERA in 21 games this year, striking out 35 with only eight walks in 30⅔ innings. He has held righthanded hitters to a .208 average in Class AAA, and has recorded double-digit saves in each of his three previous professional seasons.
Lefthander Hector Santiago (shoulder) will also join the team this weekend, after pitching three innings in a rehab start Wednesday, but will not be activated from the disabled list until next week.
Deals are struck
The Twins have reached contract agreements with 10 of their first 12 picks in last week’s draft, with only a pair of high school pitchers and a Puerto Rican outfielder still unsigned among the top dozen, a source with knowledge of the negotiations said. Landon Leach, the first pick in the second round from Pickering High in suburban Toronto, and Blayne Enlow, from St. Amant (La.) High, taken one round later, are still working out contract details, with Enlow expected to be in the fold on Friday. Outfielder Gabriel Rodriguez from Adela Rolon Fuentes High near San Juan, Puerto Rico, the first player taken on the draft’s third day, also remains unsigned.
High school seniors taken in the early rounds often require above-slot bonuses to convince them to forgo college, and Leach and Enlow are expected to receive more than their designated bonuses. Similarly, fifth-round pick Andrew Bechtold, a third base prospect and redshirt sophomore from Chipola College in Florida, agreed to a deal worth $600,000, well above the $378,700 targeted for that pick, rather than return to school. The Twins — who also signed 12th-round righthander Bailey Ober from the College of Charleston (S.C.) on Thursday — can offer more and still stay within MLB draft limits, because of the money saved by signing first-round pick Royce Lewis to a contract worth $1 million less than the $7.7 million target for his bonus.
The Twins waited nearly five hours for a break in Thursday’s afternoon showers but were able to start the game at 5 p.m. under bright sunshine.
They haven’t always been able to do that. The official delay of 4 hours, 50 minutes is a Minnesota record, and an example of how modern drainage technology at Target Field allows the grass to absorb even a daylong rain and still be playable.
Both teams were committed to getting the game in, a desire made easier by the fact that the White Sox were flying home to Chicago after the game, and the Twins only to Cleveland, both relatively short flights. Neither team wanted to schedule another doubleheader; the Twins have already played three this season, with two more to come, including an Aug. 21 makeup game in Chicago.
The announced attendance was 27,684, and perhaps half the crowd remained in the ballpark around 2 p.m. By the time the game began, though, perhaps one-fifth of that number remained, and it continued to dwindle as the lopsided game went on.
The Twins rewarded their fans, though, whether they stayed or not. The team announced that all tickets to Thursday’s game, whether they were used or not, can be exchanged at the Target Field box office for tickets to any regular-season game after Aug. 28.