Molitor taking to replay -- with a little help
Twins manager credits video coordinator with team's high success rate
DETROIT -- Being a first-time manager, Paul Molitor has had to get used to baseball's instant replay challenge system, but so far, he's fared well with it.
Molitor, who became familiar with the challenge process while serving as a coach with the Twins last year, has won six of eight challenges this season after losing one in the seventh inning of Thursday's 13-1 loss to the Tigers. But he said he doesn't take much pride in that success rate, as video coordinator Sean Harlin deserves an equal amount of credit for letting the Twins know whether or not a play could be overturned after a video review.
"You're kind of at the hands of your video guy," Molitor said. "A couple times I've said, 'Don't tell me if it's up or down, just tell me if it's close.' Because if it's the sixth inning, maybe it's worthwhile. But for the most part, it's just what he's seeing and I'm trying to respond to that."
Molitor said the key is to understand which plays can be challenged and to read the body language of the players involved with the play. He said sometimes the players are ultimately wrong, but it's worth at least checking with Harlin to see if the call on the field could be reversed.
"It's trust-worthy enough you can go with whatever your video guy is telling you at the time," Molitor said. "But you just don't want to miss anything."
• Torii Hunter has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball this month, but Molitor opted to give him a breather and keep him out of the starting lineup on Thursday. Hunter, 39, has started 30 of the club's 35 games this year.
"He's been out there a lot," Molitor said. "He has a lot of at-bats and it's mid-May so we're just trying to back him off. Just made sense today."
• Triple-A Rochester reliever Stephen Pryor, who was acquired in the trade that sent Kendrys Morales to the Mariners last year, underwent successful surgery for a torn meniscus in his left knee Wednesday morning in Rochester, N.Y. There's no timetable for his return just yet.
• Right-handed reliever Tim Stauffer, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right intercostal muscle, is set to make his second rehab appearance with Triple-A Rochester on Thursday night. He tossed a 1-2-3 inning on just nine pitches in his first rehab appearance Tuesday.