The best pitcher on the Twins staff is not the rising star Jose Berrios or the resurgent Jake Odorizzi, it’s Taylor Rogers, the left-handed reliever who throws in the mid-90s and leads the team with a 1.82 ERA.
The Twins do not have a dedicated closer. Instead, Falvey & Co., ever since they traded Fernando Rodney last season, have elected to go with a closer-by-committee approach. Sometimes Blake Parker gets the ball, and sometimes it’s Trevor May, or Ryne Harper or Mike Morin.
But when the Twins really need a sure thing, they turn to Rogers. On Saturday, Twins manager, Rocco Baldelli, handed him the ball after Tyler Duffey faltered in the seventh, and asked him to get the seven-out save. He didn’t disappoint. Rogers struck out five over two-plus innings to earn his 12th save.
In addition to a team-leading 1.82 ERA, Rogers has struck out 51 batters in 39-plus innings. Hitters are batting .216 against him.
Rogers’ performance capped a 7-4 win for the Twins over the Texas Rangers. The Twins have the series win and now go for the sweep on Sunday. Kyle Gibson gets the ball in place of the injured Odorizzi. Gibson is not expected to pitch deep into the game and likely will be spelled early by a series of relievers.
-The Twins’ lead over the Cleveland Indians stands at 6.5 games after both teams won Saturday.
-Rogers pitched well, but so did starter, Michael Pineda, who struck out nine over six innings. Pineda is now 6-4.
-The Twins scored seven runs on nine hits. The big bopper was catcher Jason Castro who went 2-for-3 and drove in three runs.
-Miguel Sano hit a rare triple on Saturday.
-Pineda and Rogers pitched well, but Duffey did not. Duffey lasted only two-thirds of an inning and gave up three runs on three hits, including a home run. He also was called for a balk.
-More injuries for the Twins. C.J. Cron is on the injured list, so the Twins called up outfielder, LaMonte Wade Jr., who then proceeded to get injured in Saturday’s game. Outfielder Jake Cave is now on his way to the Twin Cities. Also injured: offensive leader, Eddie Rosario, and fan-favorite, Willians Astudillo.