The Twins played 20 doubleheaders during their first season in Minnesota, back in 1961, a number that seems crazy today, given how much roster management goes into even one such two-games day anymore.
Two rookies will start for the Twins today, Adam Wilk (in his Minnesota starting debut) this afternoon, and Adalberto Mejia in tonight’s makeup of the April 19 rainout. That fact makes Paul Molitor and his bosses very nervous. So to make sure there is enough relief pitching on hand, just in case, Ryan Pressly was optioned to Class AAA Rochester this morning, a surprising move on the surface, because he had pitched well in his two appearances since returning from the minors on Monday.
But he threw 30 pitches on Friday night, and would not have been available today (nor is lefthander Craig Breslow, presumably, since he shouldered a similar workload last night). The Twins needed his roster spot to add Wilk; by doing it that way, they can add righthander Alex Wimmers as the 26th man. Since the doubleheader was scheduled more than 48 hours in advance, Wimmers is eligible for both games.
Between games, the Twins are expected to drop another pitcher — Wilk, presumably, though perhaps Nik Turley if Wilk is especially impressive — to add reliever Alan Busenitz, a righthander with a 2.15 ERA at Rochester.
It’s a lot of maneuvering, and the Twins will probably have to do something similar in two weeks, when they play two on a single day in Kansas City.
Meanwhile, Hector Santiago threw in the bullpen this morning, and he was optimistic before the game that he’ll be ready to start next week. So more transactions are on the way.
If you bought one of the Twins’ $99 ballpark passes that admitted you to every April and May game, remember: It’s good tonight, too. Let’s hope the rain in the forecast stays away.
Here are the lineups for Game 1: