BOSTON – The biceps tendinitis that sidelined reliever Sam Dyson only four days after he was acquired from the Giants last month has again flared up.
Dyson was sent home to be examined by Twins doctors in Minneapolis, according to Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey, but he described the soreness as minor, and the early end to the trip for Dyson just a precaution.
Dyson was hit hard in two appearances after coming over from the Giants, but he has posted a 2.53 ERA in 10 games since his return on Aug. 13
Baldelli has abundance of options
Lewis Thorpe threw 60 pitches in earning his second career victory Tuesday, and he knows what that usually means after the game: Rocco would like to see you in his office.
“But not in September,” Thorpe laughed at the thought of being sent back to Class AAA Rochester for the fourth time this season. “That’s good.”
Yes, with the minor league seasons over and rosters now bulging with pitchers, the Fresh-Arm Express is grounded for the rest of the season. But with 15 relief pitchers available to manager Rocco Baldelli, there’s a new problem to address: How do you give more than a dozen pitchers regular work?
Baldelli’s answer: There are bigger issues to worry about. This is a pennant race, after all.
“The goal is to win each day, so you do the absolute best you can to figure out a way to win. Everything else comes next,” he said. “We can say we’re going to manage for the short term and we’re going to manage for the long term as well. That’s all well and good, but we’re down to the last month here. These wins all matter.”
Making the job a little easier: His relievers agree, even the ones who might not get as much work as they’d like. Ryne Harper, for instance, appeared in 10 to 14 games each month of the season. He spent the last week of August in Rochester, and now that he’s back, he understands playing time might not be as easy to come by.
“I’m ready to help whenever they ask me. The most important thing is to win, and I’ll leave it up to [Baldelli and his staff] how they’ll use us,” Harper said. “Obviously, everybody wants to pitch, but we’ve got more important things to take care of.”
Baldelli said he and pitching coach Wes Johnson have discussed how to divvy up the workload, and “hopefully it all works out nicely. But with this many guys here, it’s tough to keep everyone sharp and to keep everyone locked in.”
Jake Cave and Max Kepler saw an incorrect next day’s lineup card after Tuesday’s game, one that had Cave playing right field and Kepler center. So when they jogged to their positions Wednesday, that’s where they went.
One problem: Baldelli actually wanted them reversed.
“This is a challenging right field to play, and Kep is a good right fielder,” Baldelli said. “We decided it was best to put him out there in right,” as they had the day before. He drew up lineup cards saying so, and didn’t notice when they didn’t follow that direction.
“You don’t really survey the field and go over the lineup card to make sure everyone is playing” where they should, Baldelli said, then joked: “We got them in the right spot for most of the game.”
• Kepler left Wednesday’s game in the seventh inning after experiencing discomfort in his upper chest. “It was more of a muscle spasm than anything else,” Baldelli said. Kepler said he could stay in the game, “but I thought it was more important to get him off the field and get him looked at.” The condition is considered minor, he said.
• Jorge Polanco has been playing with soreness in his right middle finger, and when it flared up midgame, he was also replaced in the late innings. “I would think he’s going to be OK in a day or so,” Baldelli said of the shortstop.