Skip to main content

Jack Morris gets emotional talking about Twins rookie Devin Smeltzer

Tears were flowing at Target Field on Tuesday night.
Devin Smeltzer

Devin Smeltzer pitched a gem in his MLB debut Tuesday night, firing six shutout innings to lead the Twins to a 5-3 win over the Brewers. But his story is much more than a successful night on the mound. 

Smeltzer, 23, is a cancer survivor. According to Philly.com, Smeltzer was growing up in New Jersey as a 9-year-old when doctors found a tumor the size of a grapefruit in his bladder. 

"The fourth grader went through months of treatments. He lost his hair. He had no appetite for anything but garlic croutons and Doritos. He didn’t get a feeding tube implanted, because that would take away his true love: baseball."

He went into remission when he was 12, all the while maintaining his dream of playing Major League Baseball. 

"He's had to fight through a lot," said broadcaster Jack Morris, audibly fighting back tears while the TV cameras focused on Smeltzer. Morris, a World Series hero for the Twins, was telling a story on Fox Sports North about Smeltzer's journey to the big leagues. 

Morris' tears weren't the only ones at the ballpark. Smeltzer's parents were at the game along with 20 or so other friends and family, and both told FSN's Marney Gellner that they were crying every time he struck a batter out – he struck out seven. 

Smeltzer himself got choked up when Gellner asked what having family and friends in Minneapolis for his debut meant to him.

Smeltzer could stick with the Twins for at least a while longer, as right-hander Michael Pineda is on the 10-day injured list with knee soreness. However, the Twins are off Wednesday and next Monday, so they could also decide to go with a four-man rotation and send Smeltzer back to Triple-A Rochester to keep him on a consistent schedule. 

The lefty posting zeroes across the board in his debut shouldn't come as a total surprise. In nine minor-league starts this season, Smeltzer has allowed just seven earned runs and has a 1.15 ERA. 

Find the latest Minnesota Twins 2019 stories from Bring Me The News by following our Flipboard magazine.

Next Up

ambulance

1 dead, 2 with life-threatening injuries in Minnesota crash

The crash happened just after 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Image (1)

School bus carrying students plunges into river southwest of Fargo

None of the kids suffered life-threatening injuries, though some were taken to area hospitals.

Richfield High School

Richfield High School cancels weekend events after shooting

Two men were shot outside the school's football stadium

Screen Shot 2022-09-23 at 10.21.38 PM

Sound of shots, mass panic at Richfield football game streamed live on YouTube

Gunfire caused panic at a varsity football game Friday night.

J. Gordon

K-9 search leads to $36K fentanyl seizure during traffic stop

A traffic stop was made after the vehicle was seen speeding through the area.

Screen Shot 2022-09-23 at 5.20.08 PM

Gov. Walz reacts to Tuesday death of Mankato West student

The governor is a former geography teacher at the high school.

court room

Teen pleads guilty to Minneapolis carjacking, admits to others

The man was yanked out of the vehicle by witnesses before fleeing the scene.

Federal court house

Three plead guilty to roles in murder on Red Lake Reservation

The 2019 murder left another person seriously injured.

image

Sheriff: Heifer shot and butchered on farmer's pasture near Aitkin

Anyone with information regarding the incident is encouraged to call the Clearwater County Sheriff's Office.

SwearegeneMugDouglasCoJail

Minneapolis murder suspect arrested in Wisconsin

The man has been wanted by police since the shooting happened in April.

Related

Rocco Baldelli

Pineda placed on the injured list, Twins call up lefty Smeltzer

Smeltzer will start Tuesday against the Brewers.

Jack Morris

Jack Morris under fire for racist commentary during MLB game

Morris attempted to apologize in the ninth inning.

Screen Shot 2019-08-16 at 7.31.44 AM

FSN releases Twins TV schedule; Morneau gets 40% of games

The first game on FSN is happening Tuesday as the Twins take on the Cubs in an exhibition.

Eddie Rosario

Smeltzer cruises in MLB debut, Twins' erupt late to top Brewers

Eddie Rosario slugged his AL-leading 17th homer of the season.

Devin Smeltzer

Who steps up if Twins don't make a move to improve rotation?

The Twins have some depth, but they should really add a pitcher.

Keoni Cavaco

Twins take high school star Keoni Cavaco in MLB Draft

The Twins had the 13th overall pick in the MLB Draft.

With the 13th pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, the Twins select ...

The first round of the MLB Draft starts at 6 p.m. June 3.