Twins rookie lefthander Adalberto Mejia shook off catcher Chris Gimenez several times during his outing Saturday. Sometimes it was the pitch Gimenez asked for. Other times the location of the pitch.
Gimenez said there was only one time Saturday where he put his foot down and demanded a certain pitch be thrown, as per the scouting report.
“I think he’s going to have to trust the game plan a little bit more,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said of the 23-year-old Mejia. “He likes to shake off, and he has what he wants to do in mind. Sometimes it works, sometimes it backfires.”
In five innings, Mejia gave up two runs, six hits and two walks while striking out six. Gimenez said Mejia still is getting used to the majors and more detailed scouting reports. Also, Mejia’s between-starts routine was altered; he flew back to Class AAA Rochester after facing the Royals last Sunday, then had to fly back for Saturday’s game.
“You want the kid to understand that I have his best interests in mind,” Gimenez said. “And it could be that he sees something I don’t see or I see something that he doesn’t see. It’s just a matter of continuing to catch the guy and him learning himself, too.”
Mejia indicated he ended up on the same page as Gimenez.
“Sometimes I shake a lot because I don’t have a feel for the pitch that he wants me to throw or maybe I want to throw a different pitch that I feel more comfortable with,” Mejia said. “At the end of the day, I still throw the pitch that he wants me to throw.”
Sano’s strikeout spree
Miguel Sano was one of four Twins regulars not in the starting lineup Saturday, but the only one who had struck out in seven straight plate appearances.
Make it eight. He struck out as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning.
Molitor decided to hold Sano out of the lineup because of the run of strikeouts, in addition to the fact that he had sat out only one game all season, when he served his one-game suspension against the White Sox.
“We’ve all seen Miguel fighting it the last couple of days,” Molitor said.
Sano struck out four times Friday, running his season total to 69. He entered Saturday on pace to strike out 254 times, which would be a major league record. Attitudes about whiffing have changed, as the top 21 single-season strikeout records have all occurred since 2004.
Still, striking out eight consecutive times means something is wrong.
“We’ll find out,” Molitor said. “Generally, you expect players the more they play to minimize the trends instead of extending through 10, 12, 14 games. Hopefully they can get it back in a shorter span because they have more of a foundation of what they can go back to get back on track.”
Prospect to work out
Pitcher/shortstop Hunter Greene, regarded as one of the top prospects in the upcoming draft, will be in the Twin Cities on June 9 to work out for the team.
Greene, who most likely will sign as a pitcher, has a fastball that has reached 101 miles per hour on the radar gun. He would be the first high school righthander ever taken with the first overall pick.
The Twins, who hold that pick, normally hold a pre-draft workout for players from the Upper Midwest. Indications are that Greene will be the one, and perhaps the only, player from outside the region at the workout.
Just because the Twins will bring Greene in is not an indicator that they are leaning toward drafting the Sherman Oaks, Calif., standout. Louisville lefthander/first baseman Brendan McKay, Vanderbilt righthander Kyle Wright and California prep shortstop Royce Lewis also remain high on the Twins’ list. The Twins could select one of those players, especially if they can save bonus money to allocate toward the following rounds.
But the Twins have yet to settle on a pick. Their final draft meetings don’t take place for another week.