MINNEAPOLIS -- After using a total of eight pitchers in Thursday's night's 10-9 loss in 13 innings to the Tigers, the Twins needed additional arms to aid a depleted and worn-down bullpen. That help came in the form of three pitchers from Triple-A Rochester -- right-handers Matt Fox, Rob Delaney and Alex Burnett. Fox was brought up to start Friday's contest against the Rangers. Delaney and Burnett will give the Twins two relievers that can both throw multiple innings if needed.
It was a bit of a whirlwind trip for the pitchers, who all got the phone call from Rochester manager Tom Nieto telling them of their promotion around 12:30 or 1 a.m. CT. Rochester's team had just traveled by bus back from Syracuse, N.Y., late on Thursday night, but Burnett and Delaney had gotten home in time to watch some of the Twins' game on TV with their fellow teammates. Since so many pitchers were used in Minnesota's game, the players admitted there was some consideration that perhaps the Twins could call up other arms to help out. But still the phone calls were a welcome surprise, particularly for Delaney. "I was in shock," said Delaney of his first ever callup to the Majors. After the phone calls came the whirlwind, as the players returned to the field shortly after their phone calls to pack up their baseball bags. They then flew out of Rochester at 10 a.m. CT, with a stop in Cincinnati, and headed to Target Field straight after landing at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, arriving at the clubhouse around 3 p.m. CT. Burnett has not pitched since Sunday and Delaney last threw one-third of an inning on Wednesday. And with the state of the Twins' bullpen, both relievers could see action in Friday's contest. "We have a thinner bullpen out there so we needed these guys to come in and be able to pitch," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. In addition to having Delaney and Burnett available out of the 'pen, Gardenhire said that closer Matt Capps is available to pitch in Friday's contest. Left-hander Brian Fuentes' back was feeling better, but he was still not available to pitch on Friday. The Twins also considered a couple other pitchers unavailable, including Jeff Manship, who threw 65 pitches on Thursday, Jesse Crain, who threw 40 pitches, and Matt Guerrier, who has thrown in two consecutive games. Gardenhire was asked if the Twins had considered bringing up reliever Pat Neshek to help out of the bullpen this time around. "He's thrown quite a bit the last few days, but definitely his name has been talked about over and over again," Gardenhire said. "The one thing with [Neshek] is he's a one-inning guy, and tonight we needed innings more than anything else. But he is one of the guys we're talking about bringing up when their season ends." The expectation had been that the Twins would bring up perhaps a few more pitchers or position players once Rochester's season ends on Monday. But Gardenhire said he was not sure how many more players the team might add now that these moves had been made.