Notebook: Twins might take 13 pitchers to Texas; Revere struggling
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Luke Hughes was visibly disappointed after being given his plane ticket to Rochester on Friday night, most likely because a demotion to Triple-A was probably the last thing on his mind when he woke up in the morning.
Despite hitting only .237/.293/.322, Hughes was one of only four bench players for a Minnesota Twins team that currently carries 13 pitchers. It seemed likely that Scott Baker's return from the disabled list would bump a pitcher off the 25-man roster, but manager Ron Gardenhire elected to stash an extra arm instead.
"I didn't want to have to do that, but that's a couple of short performances (by starters) in a row, and ... we've got to keep another pitcher to protect ourselves," Gardenhire said Saturday. "Especially with Bake going (Saturday), (Anthony Swarzak) is his backup. If we had any issues (Saturday), we'd really be screwed."
Because of the uncertainty surrounding Baker's right elbow, and because his relievers have been forced to pitch 7 1/3 innings over the last two nights, the manager said it's very possible the team will take 13 pitchers on the road following these last two home games against Detroit.
"I don't see how you can go to Texas without having plenty of pitching," Gardenhire said. "My only concern there is the heat with the position players, not having another position player. It's supposed to be 100 degrees every day down there, so that's my concern with beating the (expletive) out of my position players, but what do you do? You've got to protect yourself in both places."
If and when the Twins do revert back to 12 pitchers, outfielder Rene Tosoni is currently the only eligible man on the 40-man roster to be called up. Major League Baseball rules require that Hughes must spend at least 10 days with Rochester. Matt Tolbert, who was sent down earlier this week, must spend another four days at Triple-A.
Revere struggling at the plate
It's tough to be a pest on the basepaths without actually reaching base.
That's been the main problem lately for outfielder Ben Revere, who has reached base only once in his last 25 plate appearances.
"He's playing every day," Gardenhire said when asked about Revere's drop-off in production. "I mean, the heat's been unbelievable and he's playing every day. And I think he needs a break right now. He probably could use a day or so, but right now this is not the time. I need him at the top of the lineup and see what happens."
Revere's offensive numbers have dropped from .218/.317/.326 on June 29 to .251/.284/.288 following an 0-for-4 night on Friday.
Because he covers more ground in center field than almost any other outfielder in the game, Revere still provides plenty of value, but his bat has certainly become a hindrance in the leadoff slot.
Interestingly enough, Revere's recent skid isn't due to a lack of contact. He has struck out only three times in his last nine games and makes contact on 92.5% of the pitches he swings at this season, which ranks top five among all hitters.