The Twins are hoping that Thursday feels like the old days for a couple of former Wichita State pitchers, who they plan to have start both games of their doubleheader against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
After Tuesday's game with Los Angeles was postponed until Thursday because of the weather, the Twins were forced to call up another pitcher to start the second game of Thursday's doubleheader.
So they called up Kris Johnson to come to Minnesota to be the 26th man and he will start the second game of the doubleheader. Ironically enough Mike Pelfrey – who was Johnson's college teammate at Wichita State – is scheduled to start the first game.
"It's always good to get back with your college teammates," Johnson told the Pioneer Press this spring. "I haven't really kept in touch with many of my college teammates, but every time I see Pelf I try and chit-chat with him. We played golf this spring in Fort Myers. Now that I'm playing with him again, hopefully he and I can do what we did in college together."
That's exactly what the Twins are hoping the two can do on Thursday.
According to the Pioneer Press, Pelfrey went 11-2 with a 2.18 ERA in 2004, while Johnson was 7-0 with a 2.01 ERA. The two helped to lead the Shockers to a Missouri Valley Conference Championship and a 49-16 record on the season.
Johnson has been having a strong spring in Class Triple-A Rochester. He has posted a 2.86 ERA in four starts.
Throughout his career he has a 4.23 ERA in 940 1.3 innings in the minor leagues. He made four appearances with Pittsburgh in and posted 6.10 ERA in 10 1/3 innings last year.
Johnson, who was originally drafted by the Red Sox in 2006, came to the Twins after Minnesota dealt Duke Welker back to Pittsburgh for him. Originally, Minnesota had acquired Welker, from Pittsburgh, in the trade for Justin Morneau.
The Twins chose to go with Johnson over Alex Meyer. The Star Tribune's La Velle E. Neal reports that Meyer is not on the 40 man roster and Thursday is not his day to pitch.
Meyer has 22 strikeouts in 12 2/3 scoreless innings in his past two starts.