BOYER SURPRISES: When Blaine Boyer prepared to face Mark Reynolds in the ninth inning on Thursday, I thought, ``Thi is where they could use a power pitcher to match up with the power hitter.'' Then Boyer throws a 96 mph fastball then backs that up with one at 95. He keeps something in reserve. Sneaky guy. Oh, and he struck out Reynolds, which was huge at the time.

WILL PELFREY BE HERE?: Pelfrey has his ERA under 3.00 with Ervin Santana and Ricky Nolasco expected to be available in a couple of weeks. I'm not saying the Twins should do this, but they are going to have a numbers problem soon, and if there's any starter they could get something decent for it might be Pelfrey. Again, I'm not acting on any information - although the Dodgers did have a top official at one of his outings earlier in the season. They aren't going to get much for Nolasco. Phil Hughes and Kyle Gibson aren't going anywhere. I doubt they would move Trevor May because he's under control. Maybe Tommy Milone. For more on this, read the next item.

ABOUT TIME TO WONDER WHAT WILL HAPPEN: A lot of things could happen over the next couple of weeks, but the Twins could have a collision of roster decisions regarding the starting rotation.

On Saturday, Ervin Santana will make the first of three starts for Class AAA Rochester as completes his 80-game suspension for testing positive for the banned drug Stanozolol. He has been pitching in extended spring training games to build his arm strength and indications are that he is progressing well.

Santana is on track to start July 5 against Kansas City, when a roster move will be needed to make room for him.

Righthander Ricky Nolasco, who has missed 17 games because of an impingement in his right ankle, recently had a setback in his recovery and is now being fitted with orthotics to help with the discomfort. He will have to be build arm strength - and likely need a minor league rehab assignment - before he's ready to pitch for the Twins again.

Both could be ready to return at about the same time.

Twins starters ranked 14th in ERA, at 4.00, heading into Thursday's game. And no one is really pitching poorly enough to be on the hot seat.

``It looks like (Santana) is going to have three starts in Rochester,'' Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said. ``If everything goes well then we have a decision to make. If Nolasco is coming back about the same time, not exactly sure hen his return will be, that will be a good problem we've got.''

Sometimes these decisions are made for a team, as in another injury or a trade. The Twins have made no indications they will consider using a six-man rotation so, yes, they might have more than one decision to make in the coming weeks. The pressure is on the current staff to not be the guy to leave the rotation when Santana is ready.


 

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