For Twins, doubleheader is a balancing act
BALTIMORE — Twins manager Rocco Baldelli did happen to notice as he was walking to and from dinner sans raincoat that the Twins probably could have played Friday night in Baltimore.
Though the forecast called for rain all night, it did seem to ease up and, at times, cease during the hours the game would have been played. Instead, with rain pelting down and soaking the field about 3 1/2 hours before first pitch, the Orioles decided to call off the game, prompting a Saturday doubleheader.
“At some point you have to make a call, and we’ve seen this happen on occasion,” Baldelli said. “Probably would have been easier on a lot of our players if we were able to play, but we weren’t. And our guys, they’ll figure it out and they’ll take care of business.”
Though Baldelli said straight doubleheaders like the Twins had Saturday are preferable to split doubleheaders, it still makes for a long day at the ballpark. With a desire to work as many players in and give players appropriate rest, Baldelli said it was a “balancing act” to draw up lineups for doubleheaders.
“A doubleheader for a grown man is a little different than a doubleheader for a Little League kid who runs out there and feels great after playing two games,” Baldelli said. “Over the course of a long season, those days can beat you up. But it’s just doing your best to take care of yourself.”
The doubleheader began an odd stretch for the Twins in which they play the Orioles and then Houston Astros on the road followed by the Orioles and Astros at home. They will be done with both of those teams for the season before they see the last team in their division that they haven’t yet seen — the Chicago White Sox.
“It is different. When you run against the same teams, sometimes there’s a minor psychological part to having to see the same players over and over again for a couple weeks, which you normally don’t have to do,” Baldelli said. “It brings you back to your Little League days when you play the same four teams over and over again.”
Fernando Romero returns
Fernando Romero joined the Twins briefly on Saturday, serving as the 26th man for the second game of the doubleheader.
The 24-year-old, before his brief call-up, had made four appearances out of the bullpen for Triple-A Rochester, three of them scoreless. Romero, asked if he missed starting, said, “Not really.
“I’m very comfortable doing it, and I think it’s like a short job,” Romero said of coming out of the bullpen. “Go out there and compete for three, four, five innings, whatever. It doesn’t matter. Just give your best.”
Gabriel Moya (shoulder) made his first rehab outing with Double-A Pensacola on Friday. He gave up two hits and struck out two in a scoreless inning for the Blue Wahoos.
Matt Magill (shoulder), also on rehab, has now thrown scoreless innings in three outings for Triple-A Rochester, including a scoreless inning in back-to-back games Thursday and Friday. Baldelli said all the reports they’ve received on Magill have been positive.
“I think when he is healthy and feeling good and also showing that he can go multiple innings and potentially going back-to-back and things like that, doing these things on top of each other I think are important because when he does come back, there’s going to be times when he’s going to have to do that,” Baldelli said.