The Twins had just settled in at their hotel last night when word spread that Fernando Rodney was pointing his invisible arrow to Oakland. Twins manager Paul Molitor had to find Rodney to wish him good luck and thank him for his contributions.
"He was very gracious," Molitor said. "I think he enjoyed his time here. He was a pleasure to be around. He was good. He was good for the guys, he did his job and now he has a chance to go help Oakland. We'll miss having him around but we wish him well."
Rodney did not ask for a trade, one official said. But it wasn't lost on the Twins during the harvesting of their roster that Rodney probably would like to pitch in a pennant race. And they are open to bringing him back next season as a free agent.
For now, the Twins will use matchups to determine who will pitch the ninth inning when there's a lead to protect. But keep in mind that the Twins said the same thing last year after they dealt Brandon Kintzler before settling on Matt Belisle. Addison Reed would be the best fit, but he trying to get back on track after a run of shaky outings and stint on the DL. It wouldn't be surprising if Reed ends up as the closer, however.
With Adalberto Mejia landing on the DL, the Twins need a starter for Sunday. Right now, that person does not exist.
"We're not ready to quite name that yet," Molitor said.
Keep in mind here that the Twins have 12 pitchers, so they could call up someone (Fernando Romero?) to make Sunday's start.
Tyler Austin is here, and he has two guys in his corner. Jake Cave is a former teammate. And James Rowan was one of his first hitting instructors when he joined the Yankees. The slugger didn't come up here to sit, and Molitor plans to play him.
"Because of the moves, we’ve at a four-man bench, at least for now," Molitor said. "I talked to him today, just about his transition to the Twins and ironically when he got traded he just had to walk across the field. They were playing the Yankees triple-a team. We know that power is a big part of his game. I think he’s trying to become a better hitter as he learns more about the game at this level. I don’t want to project too far because I’m not sure how everything is going to work out, but I told him there’s a good chance he’s going to be playing against these two lefties the next couple of days."
Focus on the first part of that statement, "we have a four man bench, at least for now." The Twins could easily add a pitcher to start on Sunday to go back to 13 pitchers. That would mean someone has to go. My spider senses are tingling that they could be parting ways with someone. Stay tuned.
Joe Mauer, 1B
Eddie Rosario, LF
Jorge Polanco, SS
Logan Forsythe, 2B
Max Kepler, RF
Mitch Garver, C
Logan Morrison, DH
Jake Cave, CF
Ehire Adrianza, 3B
Ervin Santana, RHP
Mike Gerber, LF
Jose Iglesias, SS
Nicholas Castellanos, RF
Jeimer Candelario, 3B
Niko Goodrum, 2B
Jim Adduci, 1B
James McCann, C
JcCoby Jones, CF
Jordan Zimmerman, RHP