Twins, Royals prepare for potential rainout on Saturday (May 20, 2017)
MINNEAPOLIS — Rainouts have already wreaked havoc on Paul Molitor’s rotation through the first 38 games of the season. Now the Minnesota Twins manager might have to adapt after yet another postponement.
Saturday’s forecast calls for rain all day, and neither Molitor nor Royals manager Ned Yost seemed overly optimistic that the game will take place. Kansas City comes back to Minnesota in September, so that would be one option for a potential makeup game.
Molitor, however, would prefer yet another doubleheader on Sunday, just three days after getting a split against the Colorado Rockies.
“We’ll just have to wait and see,” Molitor said. “I’m hoping, because then you’ve got to face the decision of either bounce back Sunday or put another one out there in the summer sometime, which we already have three of them lined up.”
Left-hander Adalberto Mejia is scheduled to pitch for the Twins (21-17), although he’s not yet on the 25-man roster. Mejia would have to be officially called up from Triple-A Rochester before the game, but he could also be an option for a possible doubleheader on Sunday. In that case, Mejia could be the 26th man that teams are granted for occasions like this.
Mejia (0-1, 5.79 ERA) has made just six big league starts so far in his career but already has faced the Royals once in his short time with the Twins. In fact, it was his major league debut on Aug. 20. Mejia entered the game in relief and allowed two runs in 2 1/3 innings in the Twins’ 10-0 loss.
Kansas City (17-24) will counter with Ian Kennedy (0-3, 3.03 ERA), who has been on the 10-day disabled list with a hamstring strain. Kennedy last pitched May 4 before he was sidelined with the injury. Yost said all signs pointed to the Royals activating Kennedy from the DL before Saturday’s outing.
“He’s good to go,” Yost said. “We’ll wait. The weather doesn’t look good (Saturday). If we do get a break and get to play, he’ll pitch.”
If Saturday’s game gets rained out, Kennedy would pitch Sunday, Yost added.
Kennedy has faced the Twins nine times in his 11-year career. He’s 4-2 with a 3.74 ERA in those nine starts, including two this season.
The Royals are 0-2 this year against the Twins in games that Kennedy has started. That included a 9-1 loss in the second game of the year in which Kennedy allowed three runs in five innings. Kansas City also lost 6-4 to Minnesota on April 28 in a game that Kennedy earned a no-decision after giving up two runs in 5 1/3 innings.
Kansas City remains in last place in the American League Central after Friday’s 4-3 10-inning loss to the Twins, who are in first place in the division. The Twins improved 6-0 against the Royals this year after pinch hitter Kennys Vargas slugged a game-tying two-run home run in the ninth off Kelvin Herrera and Joe Mauer scored on Jorge Polanco’s sacrifice fly in the 10th.