When high winds and the threat of lightning compelled the Twins to ask fans to evacuate Target Field’s seating area and take cover on the concourses, it became clear there probably wouldn’t be a baseball game Wednesday.
Shortly thereafter, the team confirmed those doubts: The Twins’ game with the Colorado Rockies was postponed until Thursday night at 6:10 p.m., the second half of a split-admission doubleheader. It was the Twins’ fourth rainout of the season, and the second in their home park.
“Our optimism never panned out,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “We tried.”
The rain stopped a few minutes after the game was officially called off, and Molitor said the teams had been informed that a short window of dry weather, perhaps a little more than an hour, was likely. But neither team was eager to risk using their starting pitcher for a few innings, then lose him to a long delay.
“You don’t ever want to start a game, no matter who’s pitching, if you don’t think you’re going to get five innings in,” Molitor said.
Tickets for Wednesday night’s game can be used for Thursday night’s makeup game or be exchanged for any future game at the Target Field ticket office.
The first-game pitching matchups remain intact for Thursday: Ervin Santana will face Rockies rookie German Marquez in the regularly scheduled 12:10 p.m. game, and Jose Berrios’ second start of the season comes in the nightcap against Tyler Chatwood.
Baseball rules allow teams to add a 26th player for the makeup game, and Molitor said righthander Drew Rucinski, who pitched one game earlier this month, will be summoned from Class AAA Rochester for the night game. (Had the doubleheader been scheduled with 48 hours notice, the extra player would have been eligible for both games.)
The rainout complicates the Twins’ already jumbled pitching plans. “Wheels are spinning. We’re trying to map out our pitching for the next couple of weeks,” Molitor said. “Obviously, we need a sixth starter now. We’ve gone with three [pitchers in the rotation], now we’re going with six.”
Molitor confirmed that Adalberto Mejia, who was removed from Tuesday’s start for Class AAA Rochester after throwing only 33 pitches, “is in the mix” to start Saturday against the Royals. But playing two games Thursday means the Twins need another fill-in starter Monday.
Newcomer Adam Wilk, a starter in the Mets organization in April and early May, is one possibility. Presumably Kyle Gibson and Nick Tepesch, currently at Rochester, are as well.
“He’s already here, and he’s got starter’s length and ability,” Molitor said of Wilk, a righthander claimed off waivers from the Mets last weekend.
Henry Sanchez, a first-round pick of the Twins in 2005 whose career was derailed by injuries, has died of cancer in California.
“It’s very sad,” said Twins bullpen coach Eddie Guardado, who knew Sanchez as the nephew of a close friend; they also shared the same agent. “He was a terrific young man, a great talent, just a great person.”
Sanchez was selected in the sandwich round of the 2005 draft, 39th overall, and signed for $900,000. But hand surgery, knee surgery, battles to keep his weight down and a 50-game drug suspension limited Sanchez to only 102 games over five seasons in the Twins’ system.
• Alex Wimmers, the Twins’ first-round pick in 2010 who appeared in 16 major league games last season, was reassigned to Class AA Chattanooga on Wednesday. Wimmers posted a 5.73 ERA with seven walks and nine strikeouts in 11 innings for Rochester this season.