Mejia to rejoin Twins, could start Thursday

Mejia to rejoin Twins, could start Thursday

KANSAS CITY -- Left-hander Adalberto Mejia, who has been out since Aug. 8 with a left biceps strain, threw five scoreless innings in his final rehab start with Double-A Chattanooga on Saturday night and is expected to rejoin the Twins' rotation as the club's fifth starter.

Mejia, making his third rehab outing, allowed one hit and struck out five while pitching in the Southern League playoffs against Montgomery, but Twins manager Paul Molitor said the team is still working out when Mejia's start with the Twins will be.

"The reports were good across the board," Molitor said. "Changeup command, fastball command. Typical two-seamer at 89 [mph] and the four-seamer at 94. He pitched well and he got them through five innings with a chance to win the game. He'll head back to Minnesota today and we'll sort by Tuesday as far as the rest of the week for when guys might take the baseball."

Mejia could be slotted in on normal rest on Thursday, or the Twins could keep Jose Berrios in line to start that series opener against the Blue Jays. Bartolo Colon is lined up to start on normal rest Friday as part of "Big Sexy" night at Target Field, but could be bumped to Saturday if Mejia starts Thursday or Friday.

"You have a couple different options to look at," Molitor said. "Berrios could pitch Thursday, too. I'd say it's fairly likely we'll slot him in at some point. We're just going to try to do the right thing."

Mejia has a 4.47 ERA with 74 strikeouts and 40 walks in 86 2/3 innings as a rookie this season. He's replacing right-hander Aaron Slegers in the rotation, as his start is being skipped with the benefit of Monday's off-day. Slegers is moving to the bullpen in long relief.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.