Mike Berardino / St. Paul Pioneer Press
MINNEAPOLIS — Seth Maness doesn't consider himself a trailblazer. He just wanted to get back to work as soon as possible. That's why the Kansas City Royals reliever shook his head and smiled when it was suggested this weekend that the "primary repair" surgery he underwent on his right elbow could one day be known as Seth Maness Surgery.
CLEVELAND — Saturday afternoon's gem against the Cleveland Indians marked the third time Jose Berrios went directly from Triple-A Rochester to a major league mound, but this time he had an extra benefit on his side. No, not the smudgy pink bill of his special Twins cap for Mother's Day weekend, no matter what the conspiracy theorists might have you believe. Instead, for the first time in his professional career, the 22-year-old right-hander had been throwing his minor league side sessions with an official major league baseball.
CHICAGO — In need of additional pitching depth, the Twins claimed left-hander Adam Wilk off waivers from the New York Mets on Wednesday, May 10. They plan to use him out of the bullpen for now. Wilk is due to join the Twins on Thursday. To make room on the 25-man roster, right-hander Drew Rucinski was optioned back to Triple-A Rochester once Wednesday's game against the Chicago White Sox was postponed due to rain. Wednesday's game will be made up as part of a straight doubleheader on Aug. 21 at Guaranteed Rate Field.
MINNEAPOLIS — Prized right-hander Jose Berrios appeared to be in line to start Saturday at Cleveland, but the Twins were still considering all options for their suddenly unsettled starting rotation. After having his latest start at Triple-A Rochester pushed back a day by rain, Berrios was slated to make his 36th career start at that level on Sunday. In 223 Triple-A innings over the past four seasons, Berrios had gone 18-8 with a 2.54 earned run average and 9.9 strikeouts per nine innings.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — By a variety of both traditional and modern measures, Joe Mauer just completed the worst April of his Twins career. That .225 batting average? Ten points lower even than his nine-game mark in 2011, aka his bilateral leg weakness season. That .271 on-base percentage? Also an April low for the Twins' first baseman, who typically comes roaring out of the gates with a career .393 OBP.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Twins bullpen coach Eddie Guardado didn't need to watch the NFL draft on Thursday night to know how things turned out for Patrick Mahomes II. All he had to do was call Twins special assistant LaTroy Hawkins, who was over at the family's draft party with their fellow 'mid-90s Twins pitcher Pat Mahomes, the Texas Tech quarterback's father. Hawkins is godfather to the younger Mahomes.
ARLINGTON, Texas — Robbie Grossman always has been a famously picky hitter. That's one explanation for how the Twins outfielder finds himself ranking second in the American League in on-base percentage nearly four weeks into the season. Grossman, however, is teaching himself to be less picky. That's a key part of the story, as well.
MINNEAPOLIS — A tip from Bert Blyleven, Twins television analyst and hall of fame pitcher, helped right-hander Tyler Duffey get off to an impressive start in his new bullpen role. After getting clocked by right-handed batters last season en route to a 6.43 earned-run average, Duffey has moved to the third-base side of the pitching rubber. He continues to throw from the first-base side against lefties, who gave him more trouble in the past.
DETROIT — Twins rookie Justin Haley was momentarily confused after recording the final 10 outs of Thursday afternoon’s 11-5 win over the Detroit Tigers. Upon walking into the visiting clubhouse at Comerica Park, Haley was surprised to find himself receiving congratulations for a statistical feat rarely seen in the modern game. “Everybody was like, ‘First save,’” the Rule 5 draft pick said. “I was like, ‘I don’t think so.’”
DETROIT — Kyle Gibson was cruising until a marathon fourth inning ended his afternoon and cast some level of doubt upon the right-hander’s once-promising offseason mechanical revamp. Light-hitting Detroit Tigers outfielder Andrew Romine punctuated the uprising by golfing a two-strike slider for his first career grand slam, sending Gibson and the Twins to a 5-3 loss Wednesday at Comerica Park.