TORONTO — Today's Twins-Blue Jays pitching matchup features one starter familiar to Twins fans, and one unfamiliar. And they're not on the teams you'd expect.
Jose Berrios, who has pitched more innings, struck out more batters and won more games than any Twins pitcher since he debuted in 2016, will face his former teammates for the first time. He'll be opposed by Luke Farrell, a righthander who has thrown 20 innings in his Twins career.
The Twins had the option of adding Charlie Barnes, the lefthander who started six games for the Twins this year and who is traveling with the team as part of its taxi squad. But with no game on Monday, manager Rocco Baldelli decided the Twins have enough bullpen depth to handle a game without a traditional starting pitcher.
Farrell, a 30-year-old veteran who has pitched for five different major league teams, is enjoying a solid season, and hasn't allowed a run in more than a month, a span totaling 7 2/3 innings, so he was a logical candidate to draw the assignment. "It's not far-fetched," is how Baldelli put it.
But his history as an opener isn't so encouraging. Today will be Farrell's fifth outing as an opener, and though his most recent assignment was his best — one run in two innings for the Rangers in September 2019 — he has allowed 15 total runs over 10 2/3 innings as an opener. Farrell has thrown as many as 38 pitches in an appearance this season, so expect Baldelli to try to get three innings out of him.
The matchup is a good reminder of what the Twins gave up in order to acquire two top prospects from the Blue Jays at the trade deadline in July. It left them shorthanded in the starting rotation, a factor the Jays hope to take advantage of and keep the Twins without a series win in an AL East ballpark this season. Minnesota lost its series in Baltimore, Boston and Tampa Bay and was swept in New York. Home runs have decided each of the first two games at Rogers Centre, with Toronto claiming a 6-2 victory on Saturday.
Here are the lineups for today's 12:10 p.m. CT game: