It’s not quite “Use the force,” but pitching coach Neil Allen has an idea for rookie pitcher Jose Berrios in his debut tonight: Use the weather.
There’s a dreary drizzle coming down at Target Field right now, and it looks like anything but baseball weather. Yet Twins manager Paul Molitor said he is fairly confident the Twins will get tonight’s series finale with Cleveland in tonight.
If so, it will be cold, windy and wet, the sort of conditions that make it difficult for hitters to make solid contact. That should work to Berrios’ advantage, Allen was saying, especially if he can jam Indians hitters with inside, 96-mph fastballs.
Forecasts for tonight are uncertain, but Molitor is hoping the game happens. Like all managers, Molitor detests rainouts, and the Indians’ next trip to Minneapolis is the weekend after the All-Star break. The Twins would probably reschedule this game for July 15 or 16, even though both teams are off tomorrow, another day with an iffy forecast.
If the game is rained out, the Twins’ rotation will be an even bigger jumble than it is now. Molitor said Phil Hughes will start Friday’s series opener with the Tigers no matter what happens tonight, so Berrios’ debut would be pushed back to the weekend, at the earliest.
A few of the Twins’ pitchers were talking about former teammate Andrew Albers in the clubhouse, happy for the veteran lefthander who signed a minor-league contract with the Twins. Considering Alex Meyer, Tyler Duffey and Berrios — three-fifths of the Red Wings’ rotation — are all in the majors now, Albers makes sense for Rochester right now. He was pitching for Leicester in the Atlantic League, an independent team.
Check back here, or @MillerStrib on Twitter, for update on the weather at Target Field.
If they play, here are tonight’s lineups: