DETROIT – Thursday was the 15th day of the 2024 regular season, and the fifth without a Twins game. By comparison, they are scheduled to have five more days off over the next 65 days.

How would Rocco Baldelli describe the lopsided workload, which was worsened by a steady Michigan rainfall on Thursday?

"It's the American League Central," the Twins manager said with a shrug. "It's a Central Special."

Special isn't how the Twins' players would describe their second rainout in five days, but at least this game wasn't pushed off until August, unlike Sunday's home rainout vs. Cleveland. The Twins and Tigers will make it up on Saturday as part of a single-admission doubleheader beginning at 12:10 Central time.

The game was called off shortly after 9 a.m., or about the time the Twins' first bus of players arrived at Comerica Park. The news wasn't exactly a surprise given the wet forecasts, but scheduled starter Pablo López joked about not enjoying his once-a-week pitching program, and Ryan Jeffers laughed that "it's nice that everyone is getting an introduction to what us catchers do" — meaning, play roughly every other day.

Not much you can do about it, though.

"It's been a long time [since his last start on April 4], but you just have to make adjustments," López said. He tries to "take advantage of the time off. Having seven days between starts gives you a chance to touch the mound two times [in between], so you do get to work on some things. You allow yourself to work on pitch shapes, or simulating 0-2 counts, putaway counts."

López's start was pushed back to Friday night, and he will be opposed by Detroit lefthander Tarik Skubal, though forecasts say showers could continue all day, putting that game in some doubt as well. Baldelli said Tigers manager A.J. Hinch told him that the team expects to play, but "a lot of it has to do with how the field takes all the water."

Even if the rain doesn't stop, "we try not to stress about it too much," López said.

The Twins have played only 10 games, the fewest in the major leagues. By the end of the day Thursday, every other big-league team will have played at least 12 besides Detroit and Milwaukee (11 each).

Does all the downtime help explain the Twins' slow start at the plate? The Twins are last in the major leagues in batting average (.184), runs (29) and hits (59) and next-to-last in home runs (nine).

"I don't think so. We all know how to handle it by now," Jeffers said. "We've just got to get back into a rhythm."

Joe Ryan will start Game 1 of Saturday's doubleheader, but the Twins haven't announced who will start the second game. MLB rules allow them to add an extra player for the doubleheader, and the Twins historically use that roster spot to call up a pitcher from the Class AAA Saints to make the start.

If they follow that pattern, there is only one St. Paul pitcher who is currently on the 40-man roster and not on the injured list: Simeon Woods Richardson.

The righthander, who has pitched in one Twins game in each of the past two seasons, owns a 7.56 ERA for the Saints this year, having given up seven runs in 8⅓ innings over two starts — oddly, all seven runs came in the same inning. Woods Richardson last pitched on Sunday, so he would be on rotation for a spot start.

The Twins also expect to face Kenta Maeda in one of Saturday's games, and Jeffers said he's looking forward to it. The Japanese righthander departed for the Tigers last offseason after pitching for the Twins from 2020 to '23.

"It's exciting. It's cool to see somebody that you've played with for awhile," said Jeffers, who caught 19 of Maeda's starts with the Twins. "It can be a little weird, especially for a catcher, because you know what they do, how they pitch, what they're trying to do. What he likes to do in certain counts. So you can't think about his patterns, because he knows you know them."

Thielbar wins

Diego Castillo hit a three-run homer, DaShawn Keirsey Jr. also homered and the Saints defeated Iowa 5-2 at CHS Field. Twins lefthander Caleb Thielbar pitched two innings of relief on his rehab assignment, giving up a solo home run to Ali Sánchez and earning the victory.