CLEVELAND – If there was one statistic that bugged Trevor May about his start on Sunday, it was this one: He walked Roberto Perez. Twice.
No disrespect intended toward the Cleveland catcher, May said, but Perez was batting .176, and he pitched him tentatively, as if facing Miguel Cabrera or Mike Trout.
“I was trying to be fine there, with a guy who’s kind of struggling lately. It’s just unacceptable, and it happened twice,” May said. “A guy I should be attacking, I’m piddling around with, not throwing strikes. That’s not who I am.”
It was kind of a problem all day, however. May threw first-pitch strikes to only 11 of the 24 batters he faced. “I was constantly in these 1-0, 2-1 counts … and that just compounds things,” he said.
Trevor Plouffe was in Molitor’s original starting lineup Sunday, but he was scratched about a half-hour before the game because his flight from Dallas was delayed. Plouffe missed Saturday’s game to attend the funeral of his grandfather, Tom Armijo, in Texas, and was in a car from Hopkins International Airport when Molitor decided to give him Sunday off, too.
“I couldn’t have forgiven myself if I stuck him in there with 10 minutes to prepare and he gets hurt,” Molitor said. “It was a hard decision. I was trying to be as patient as I could. I texted him on his way here and just said, ‘I appreciate the effort, but I’m not going to let you [play].’ ”
Plouffe arrived at Progressive Field at 12:48, but Doug Bernier started in his place and struck out in all three at-bats.
• Righthander Tim Stauffer, on the disabled list with a strained intercostal muscle in his right side, pitched off the bullpen mound at Target Field on Sunday, the first step toward his return, perhaps as soon as Friday.
• Despite the off day on Monday, Molitor said he has no plans to alter the pitching rotation, giving everyone an extra day of rest.
• Cedar Rapids first baseman Trey Vavra, son of Twins bench coach Joe Vavra, went 10-for-19 with six walks last week, earning him honors as the Twins’ minor league player of the week.