Zack Granite has found more ways to get noticed.
Sunday in his first major league start, the Twins center fielder drew a walk at the end of a six-pitch plate appearance in the second inning and later scored. Then he pulled off a Byron Buxton imitation when he raced back to the fence to make leaping grab of Manny Machado’s dangerous-looking drive. The play drew a standing ovation from the fans.
“I think he looked really comfortable,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said after the 11-5 loss to Baltimore. “His at-bats were good. He made a really nice play to go that far and time it and deal with the sun and everything else.
“First day out in center field in our ballpark, so you are learning the territory. It was good to see him get a chance to play. Thought he battled very well and, of course, made an outstanding play.”
This comes after Granite, in his major league debut Saturday, locked horns with Michael Givens during an 11-pitch at-bat that ended with a flyout to left but also another standing ovation.
Granite, 24, is expected to join the Twins in Houston on Friday but could be sent back to Class AAA Rochester by the end of the weekend to make room for a pitcher or someone coming off the disabled list. He was batting .360 at Rochester when called up Friday.
Catcher Jason Castro was in Sunday’s starting lineup until he started to experience neck spasms. So he was replaced by Chris Gimenez.
Castro was 3-for-7 in the series with a run scored, and was listed as the No. 5 hitter in Molitor’s lineup Sunday. Molitor had to re-work his batting order in Castro’s absence, inserting Gimenez in the eighth spot and moving Kennys Vargas, Eddie Rosario and Jorge Polanco up one spot each.
The Twins expect Castro to be ready to play on Friday when the Twins head to Houston. He was a first-round pick of the Astros in 2008, played six seasons with them and represented them at the 2013 All-Star Game.
Breslow to Rochester
Lefthanded reliever Craig Breslow has started a minor league rehabilitation assignment at Rochester, but the Twins aren’t sure how much work he will need before they activate him from the disabled list.
“It’s not overly quantifiable right now,” said Molitor, using words that the Yale-educated Breslow probably would use. “Had a good conversation with him [Saturday] just to make sure he understood that we’re going to be paying attention.”
Breslow will also head to his home in Trumbull, Conn., during the All-Star break before returning to the Red Wings. Then the Twins will determine when they will be comfortable with bringing him back.
“We’ll have to make a determination, physically, that he’s fine,” Molitor said. “Then how many times we want to see him out there. What kind of duration in terms of pitch counts.”
Breslow has been on the disabled list since June 28 because of left thoracic rib soreness.
Molitor confirmed Bartolo Colon is scheduled to make his debut with Rochester on Thursday. That would put the 44-year-old righthander in line to start for the Twins on July 18 vs. the Yankees at Target Field.
Barring an injury or ugly outing, the signs point toward Colon joining the Twins after the All-Star break. He signed a minor league contract Friday after getting released by Atlanta.
“We’ll see how his outing goes on Thursday,” Molitor said.