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Berrios pleased to remain in Twins' rotation

Rookie looking forward to next start on road against Mets
MLB.com @RhettBollinger

DETROIT -- Rookie right-hander Jose Berrios said on Wednesday that he was thankful to get another chance to start on Friday against the Mets after meeting with manager Paul Molitor, pitching coach Neil Allen and bullpen coach Eddie Guardado on Tuesday.

Berrios, who came up as a highly regarded prospect, has struggled in the Majors, posting a 9.27 ERA with 42 strikeouts and 28 walks in 44 2/3 innings. He's had only one quality start in 11 outings, and lasted 2 2/3 innings last time out against the Indians on Sunday. But the Twins are giving him another chance, and the 22-year-old said he wants to make the most of it.

Full Game Coverage

DETROIT -- Rookie right-hander Jose Berrios said on Wednesday that he was thankful to get another chance to start on Friday against the Mets after meeting with manager Paul Molitor, pitching coach Neil Allen and bullpen coach Eddie Guardado on Tuesday.

Berrios, who came up as a highly regarded prospect, has struggled in the Majors, posting a 9.27 ERA with 42 strikeouts and 28 walks in 44 2/3 innings. He's had only one quality start in 11 outings, and lasted 2 2/3 innings last time out against the Indians on Sunday. But the Twins are giving him another chance, and the 22-year-old said he wants to make the most of it.

Full Game Coverage

"I take it with a lot of pride and enthusiasm because that's what I want to do the rest of my career," Berrios said through interpreter Carlos Font. "I want to pitch and show them I can do the things I've been doing in the Minor Leagues."

Molitor said the meeting was focused on trying to get Berrios to shake off some of the pressure that comes with being a top prospect as well as getting him to harness his fastball command.

"Everything he's had to endure in terms of what people have said about him, expectations put on him, it has added to the burden of trying to perform up here," Molitor said. "We've tried to loosen that load."

Berrios appreciated the meeting with the coaches and their words of encouragement, saying his confidence has remained high, but that their advice on not putting pressure on himself helped.

"I try not to think about it that way, but they did tell me to try to forget about that stuff," Berrios said. "Just go out there and pitch my game and throw strikes. So that was good for me."

Berrios threw his bullpen session on Tuesday, and said the key was focusing on locating his fastball down in the zone. The Puerto Rico native also said he's looking forward to his first career start in New York.

"I think it's an honor to pitch out there in New York," Berrios said. "I think it'll be a good moment for my career. But I'm going to treat it like any other start. I know their fans can be rowdy and they're good fans toward their team, but it's just another game."

Worth noting
• The Twins were hopeful Joe Mauer would return to the lineup on Wednesday, but he was held out for a fourth straight game with sore quads. Mauer was able to get through batting and fielding practice without any issues before the game and could return to action on Thursday.

• Third baseman Miguel Sano also missed his second straight game with a sore lower back after leaving Monday's game in the seventh inning. But Molitor said he thinks Sano will be back in time for the weekend series against the Mets.

"He likes New York," Molitor said with a laugh.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Minnesota Twins, Jose Berrios