CLEVELAND – A.J. Achter can count. He knew the Twins had eight relievers on their staff, so he never dreamed, he said, that they might add a ninth.
Until the call came Thursday.
“It was a little nutty. We were in a rain delay in Gwinnett [Ga.], and they told me I’m headed back up,” Achter said. “It was still very exciting, of course. But I never saw it coming this time.”
Neither did Twins manager Paul Molitor, but it’s “a strange circumstance,” he said — with no game Monday, the Twins don’t need another starting pitcher until next Saturday. It didn’t make sense to keep rookie starter Tyler Duffey on the roster if he wasn’t going to pitch, so Molitor, General Manager Terry Ryan and assistant GM Rob Antony considered summoning a position player, “someone who could possibly help us in the short term off the bench. But we didn’t get very far with that discussion,” Molitor said. “It became apparent that our best option was to add another pitcher.”
It’s only temporary, but Achter certainly doesn’t mind. The Toledo native, who turns 27 later this month, appeared in seven games as a September call-up last year, “but this is my first time on the 25-man roster, so that’s a big deal,” he said. He had a 2.82 ERA in 44⅔ innings at Class AAA Rochester and made the International League All-Star team, but allowed a three-run home run Friday to Yan Gomes in his 2015 big-league debut. He recovered to strike out the next four batters he faced, however.
Perkins on Teague
Glen Perkins is an occasional donor to the University of Minnesota athletics department, mostly the baseball program, and in doing so, he has become friends with Norwood Teague. So Perkins said he was as shocked as the rest of the Gophers community Friday when Teague suddenly resigned as athletic director after being accused of sexual harassment.
“Norwood has always been good to me and my family. So I feel bad for him — he’s obviously got a problem with drinking, and it’s good that he’s going to get help,” Perkins said. “The circumstances [stink], and it’s certainly not OK what he did. Alcohol is not an excuse. But if he gets help, at least something good comes of it.”
• Byron Buxton had three singles and drove in a run in five at-bats Friday in his first rehab game for Rochester. Buxton served as designated hitter in the Red Wings’ 9-5 loss, but is expected to return to the outfield this weekend.
• Phil Hughes has the best control of any AL pitcher, according to Baseball America’s annual survey of the league’s 15 managers. That distinction is hardly a surprise, considering Hughes has walked only 29 batters in two seasons with the Twins. The other Minnesotan to be mentioned in the survey was a bit more of a surprise, considering his rookie status: Molitor ranked third in the “Best Manager” category, behind Baltimore’s Buck Showalter and Cleveland’s Terry Francona.