BALTIMORE -- The Twins have had their share of early-season scheduling adventures thanks to a number of off-days, a snow postponement and a rainout Friday, resulting in Saturday’s single-admission doubleheader against the Orioles. For Twins manager Rocco Baldelli, roster management isn’t as simple as echoing Ernie Banks by saying “Let’s play two.”
“For a doubleheader, there’s a lot to consider,” he said. “You want to get everyone involved, and some of that is you want to get them at-bats and get them playing. But you also want to make sure you take care of your players whenever you can. Running guys out there two games in a row does take something out of them.”
Baldelli joked that playing a doubleheader isn’t quite as easy as it was in Little League, but in all seriousness, the Twins’ stop-and-start schedule has prevented players from getting into a consistent groove, so playing two games in one day does give Baldelli a chance to spread the playing time around his roster.
“Do you intentionally go in saying, ‘We need to find a way to get all these guys in?’ Maybe,” Baldelli said. “But it’s more [about] looking at the guys that play every day and making sure that when you do get a chance to get those guys off their feet, that you take advantage of it. It’s a balancing act.”
Schoop ready for ‘weird’ day
Second baseman Jonathan Schoop didn’t have any problems locating the visitors’ clubhouse at Oriole Park, but watching the game from the opposing dugout will be a strange feeling after spending six seasons in Baltimore before he was traded to Milwaukee in July 2018 and signed with Minnesota in the offseason.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the game from the other side,” he said. “I’d been with the team since 2009. It’s weird, but it’s a good weird. I’m going to have fun for sure, like I always do.”
Friday’s rainout allowed Schoop the opportunity to go to dinner at nearby Ruth’s Chris Steak House, where he said he first visited as a rookie after winning a coupon. He continued to go there every week while in Baltimore and was happy to continue his tradition.
“Sometimes, it’s not only the baseball, but the outside too,” he said. “You get to know fans and get to know people that help you through your career. They treated me really good here and I love them.”
Right-hander Matt Magill continues to work his way back from a right shoulder injury, pitching back-to-back nights for Triple-A Rochester, but Baldelli is taking a wait-and-see approach before considering next steps for the reliever, who has yet to appear this season.
“He’s throwing the ball well and all the reports that we’ve had were positive,” Baldelli said. “I think when he’s healthy and feeling good, and also showing he can go multiple innings and back-to-back days -- doing those things on top of each other are important. Just going in and making a couple of outings with days off in between on both sides probably doesn’t prepare him or anyone else as they need to be. He’s been off for a little while, so we’ll see more outings to make sure he’s truly feeling good and able to recover and pitch.”