OAKLAND, Calif. -- Adalberto Mejia’s calf strain perhaps kept him sidelined longer than most. But Mejia and the Twins used that time productively.
The Minnesota Twins reinstated the lefty Tuesday night, July 2, from the 60-day injured list. He slotted into the roster spot that was opened up when the Twins sent Lewis Thorpe down to Triple-A. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Twins outrighted Ronald Torreyes to Triple-A.
“We obviously have a ton of analytics we look at, and then we have biomechanical data … all that, so we needed to get him a little taller front side. We knew when that happened, he was really consistent, and, quite frankly, he was a little flatter and lower,” pitching coach Wes Johnson said. “His results were a little more inconsistent. When he had the injury, it was a time where we were like, ‘OK, we need to get this going.’ And we did. So obviously he’s done it in the minor leagues, with the video and the stuff we get from them. So we’re excited.”
Mejia, who was at the Twins’ complex in Fort Myers, Fla., joined up with the team when they were in Tampa Bay around the beginning of June. Johnson said he looked good back then and had been throwing strikes and attacking the plate in his rehab outings.
The lefty had an 8.74 ERA in 11 1/3 innings pitched with the Twins before his injury. He threw two scoreless innings with Class-A Advanced Fort Myers and five scoreless innings with Double-A Pensacola on rehab before his return. Mejia said he had been working on all of his pitches and maintaining the quality of them in addition to his rehab while he was in Florida.
“I feel good overall and I feel good now,” he said. “I think the learning process was important for me to be able to get up here and to do the things I have to stay up here.”
With Mejia back in the fold, the Twins now have a second lefty to join Taylor Rogers in the bullpen.
“Having another lefty, it creates some possibilities for you. I’ll also say with Rog and Mejia, they’re definitely different. You probably wouldn’t be talking about using them interchangeably of course but it does give you options a little earlier in the game with Mejia to come in and do some things for you and pitch to different parts of the lineup,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “Although you’re going to use them in different ways, it’s still very nice to have more than one available.”
Odorizzi might not pitch in All-Star Game
There’s always a chance the Twins’ pitching schedule could change. But if it doesn’t, there’s a chance Jake Odorizzi will not make an All-Star Game appearance. Odorizzi, who started on Tuesday night, is currently lined up to pitch on Sunday, the day before the All-Star break begins.
Previously, pitchers who started on Sunday were ineligible to compete in the game. That rule has been slightly relaxed but still, a start Sunday could mean Odorizzi would be watching the game from the dugout.
“I’d probably like to have that conversation with Jake but internally we all know where he lines up,” Baldelli said. “More than anyone, Jake knows where he lines up to pitch so we haven’t formally sat down to talk about that yet but it’s something that we’ll do and something that definitely affects the next week and everything that happens then.”
Twin agree to terms with international free agents
The Twins have agreed to terms with a number of international free agents, including Emmanuel Rodriguez, MLB.com’s No. 8-ranked prospect, per an industry source.
Rodriguez, a 16-year-old outfielder from the Dominican Republic, “has a skillset comparable to a young Eddie Rosario,” per an MLB.com scouting report. Others who the Twins have agreed to terms with include Malfrin Sosa (outfielder, Dominican Republic) and Yonardy Soto (shortstop, Dominican Republic).