This might be the week the Twins call top pitching prospect Jose Berrios and ask him to join them in the big leagues.
The 22-year-old right-hander allowed one run on six hits over 6 2/3 innings Sunday, lowering his International League-leading ERA to 1.13. More impressive is that he's struck out 39 and walked only eight in six starts this season.
"I think we’re seeing slight improvement," Twins manager Paul Molitor said Sunday, via the Pioneer Press. "Obviously it’s potentially an issue up here more so than down there."
Molitor was talking about Berrios' command, which was a problem in 14 starts with the Twins last season.
“I didn’t think his command was all that great,” Rochester Red Wings manager Mike Quade said of Berrios after Sunday's game, according to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. “His stuff is plenty good enough to pitch as well as he did today, but he was behind more than I’ve seen him, and his fastball command wasn’t as good. I mean you start to wonder if you’re picking too much; we’ll take that outing all day long. But I’ve got my mind set on him pitching somewhere else, so maybe I’m a little more critical.”
Minnesota does not have a pitcher lined up to start Saturday at Cleveland. Hector Santiago, Phil Hughes and Nick Tepesch are scheduled to start the three games in Chicago this week, and then Ervin Santana, who had his worst start of the season in Sunday's loss to the Red Sox, is scheduled to pitch Friday at Cleveland.
TwinsBaseball.com's Rhett Bollinger tweeted Sunday that you "gotta figure" Berrios will join the Twins this week.
It's no guarantee that Tepesch gets another chance Thursday after he was roughed up by the Red Sox, so there could be quite a bit of movement with the rotation this week. Stay tuned for updates.