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Mejia set to start series opener against Jays

Twins deciding on Santana's next step following rehab start
MLB.com @RhettBollinger

KANSAS CITY -- The Twins will recall left-hander Adalberto Mejia from Triple-A Rochester to start the series opener in Toronto on Monday, but they're still deciding whether right-hander Ervin Santana will immediately rejoin the rotation after his rehab start on Friday or if he'll make another start in the Minors before returning.

Mejia, 25, replaces Fernando Romero as the fifth starter in the rotation after Romero was optioned to Rochester on Sunday. It'll be the second start with the Twins this season for Mejia, who struggled in his lone start against the Cubs while pitching in extreme heat at Wrigley Field on June 30. He allowed four runs on six hits over four innings.

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KANSAS CITY -- The Twins will recall left-hander Adalberto Mejia from Triple-A Rochester to start the series opener in Toronto on Monday, but they're still deciding whether right-hander Ervin Santana will immediately rejoin the rotation after his rehab start on Friday or if he'll make another start in the Minors before returning.

Mejia, 25, replaces Fernando Romero as the fifth starter in the rotation after Romero was optioned to Rochester on Sunday. It'll be the second start with the Twins this season for Mejia, who struggled in his lone start against the Cubs while pitching in extreme heat at Wrigley Field on June 30. He allowed four runs on six hits over four innings.

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But Mejia has pitched well at Triple-A this year, posting a 3.61 ERA with 61 strikeouts and 20 walks in 62 1/3 innings. He also showed glimpses of his potential as a rookie last season, posting a 4.50 ERA in 21 starts with 85 strikeouts and 44 walks in 98 innings.

"You hope he's a better version of what we saw a majority of last year," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "It means everything to trusting his catcher a little more and not trying to strike everybody out and try to make the perfect pitch all the time. The guy's got pitches. We all know that."

Santana, meanwhile, was solid in his latest start with Rochester, allowing one run on two hits and three walks over six innings on Friday. He threw 66 pitches -- 46 for strikes. His fastball velocity, however, remained at around 90 mph, which is where he's mostly topped out since undergoing surgery to remove calcium deposits from his right middle finger in early February.

"A lot of emphasis was about velocity, probably too much so," Molitor said. "I think the command was the highlight. The strike throwing, getting the ball where he wanted consistently. I think that we're pleased. I think we have to realize that the whole idea of him being exactly the same as before the injury is probably not happening yet, probably won't in the short term. We're going to consider when to get him back up here."

Santana is scheduled to throw his next bullpen session on Sunday, which would put him in line to make his next start on Wednesday with either Triple-A Rochester or the Twins.

Morrison on track for Sunday
Designated hitter Logan Morrison, who is on the 10-day disabled list with a left hip impingement, will be reinstated from the DL before Sunday's series finale against the Royals. Morrison took batting practice without any issues on Saturday.

Utilityman Willians Astudillo was optioned to Triple-A Rochester to make room for Morrison. Astudillo hit .263 with a triple and three RBIs in seven games while seeing time at second base, third base, center field, left field and pitcher, but never at his natural catching position.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins, Adalberto Mejia, Logan Morrison, Ervin Santana