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. One of his issues has been an inability to put away hitters with two strikes, but he has been more economical with his pitches in recent outings for Rochester.
By the way, he has never batted in the majors.
“Probably down there working on his swing as we speak,” Molitor joked..
Minor League Promotions
A player was promoted to Class A Fort Myers on Wednesday - but it was not shortstop Royce Lewis.
It was flame-throwing righthander Brusdar Graterol, a name worth remembering.
Graterol was 3-2 with a 2.18 ERA at Class A Cedar Rapids. In 411/3 innings, he walked just nine batters while striking out 51. He's the hardest throwing starting pitching prospect the Twins have had, as a scout in attendance at his last start on Sunday against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers watched him hit 101 miles per hour on the radar gun.
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 remains at Cedar Rapids. He hit .373 over his first 20 games for the Kernels then hit .226 over the next 22. Since June 6 his batting .306 with four home runs and 17 RBI over 18 games.
Righthander Kohl Stewart has joined the promotion movement as well. He 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 last four starts, which likely encouraged the Twins to bump him up.
The Twins sent shortstop Jorge Polanco to Class AAA Rochester to continue his preparation prior to his 80-game suspension ending on July 2. He showed up just in time to be rained out.
So the Red Wings, who have had nine games postponed this season, will play two games on 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 in the outfield the other.