CLEVELAND – Logan Schafer turns 30 Sept. 8, meaning he’s the oldest outfielder on the Twins by more than three years. So when he reported to his new team Monday, his was a veteran voice in a clubhouse meeting called by outfield coach Butch Davis to encourage better communication in the outfield.
The irony being, if they had better communication in the outfield, Schafer probably wouldn’t be a Twin.
“Obviously, I’m ridiculously excited to be here,” Schafer said before becoming the 48th player to wear a Twins uniform this season, tied with the 2014 team for the most in franchise history. “I wish it were under better circumstances, with [Danny] Santana going down, but I’m happy to be here and I’m hoping to contribute.”
That means in the clubhouse, too, he said. “I think they saw me as a good guy in the clubhouse to talk to the young outfielders. They have a lot of really unbelievably talented prospects,” Schafer said. “I can still play, and I’m healthy and agile, so I’m doing it for myself. But I also enjoy helping these kids.”
After Santana was injured in a warning-track collision with Robbie Grossman on Sunday, the Twins called up Schafer from Class AAA Rochester. He had spent parts of five seasons with the Brewers.
“Logan has had a lot of experience, and [center field is] probably his most comfortable position of the three,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said.
Schafer signed with the Nationals in the offseason, shortly before they traded for ex-Twins outfielder Ben Revere. When Schafer got to spring training, it was clear, he said, that Washington had no room for him. Eventually he asked for his release, and he signed temporarily with Lancaster of the independent Atlantic League before the Twins called in late May.
Now, with wife Michelle due with their first child in early October, he’s back in the majors.
“It’s been pretty crazy,” Schafer said. “I’m just happy to be here.”
Albers gets the nod
Andrew Albers will make his first major league start since Sept. 26, 2013, on Tuesday, pitching for the same team and against the same opponent as that night. The 30-year-old Twins lefthander also believes he’s a better pitcher now.
“I like to think my secondary stuff is better now, that my command is more consistent,” he said. “When you don’t have devastating [velocity], you have to work ahead, everybody knows that. I think I’m well equipped to do that.”
Did he think another opportunity would ever come? He has pitched in South Korea and for the Blue Jays since his storybook debut for the Twins in 2013 — 17 consecutive scoreless innings to open his career — but didn’t have a job until Rochester signed him in late April.
“You never want to think [you’re done]. Obviously it’s been an up and down ride, but you’ve got to maintain belief in yourself,” Albers said.
• Miguel Sano returned to third base for the first time since Aug. 18 and only the fourth time this month. His elbow is mostly pain-free, Molitor said, and he’s been working hard to improve his defense. “I don’t think he’s missed a day of work defensively, probably, in the last month,” Molitor said.
• Byron Buxton was named International League hitter of the week after hitting home runs in four consecutive games. He also has struck out 19 times in his past nine games. “The strikeouts are still there. He’s had some home runs this week, which is good to see,” Molitor said. “There’s still some inconsistency there.”
• Tyler Duffey took a no-hitter into the seventh inning Monday in his first start for Rochester since his demotion. The righthander went seven innings, giving up two runs, in a 6-2 victory over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.