Blue Jays at Twins
The Minnesota Twins are calling up top pitching prospect Fernando Romero on Wednesday to make his major-league debut in the finale of three-game series with the visiting Toronto Blue Jays. The 23-year-old Romero made three starts for Triple-A Rochester to begin the season after spending all of 2017 at the Double-A level.
He will be taking the rotation spot of Phil Hughes, who is moving to the bullpen to work on some issues after another rocky start Friday against Cincinnati. "There's something good about the process of having [prospects] going step-by-step, for most guys," Twins manager Paul Molitor told reporters of Romero's quick movement through Triple-A. "But every once in a while, you get exceptions." Minnesota has to hope for some sort of boost from Romero after dropping the first two games of the series, including a 7-4 setback in 10 innings Tuesday night to fall to 1-11 over its last 12 games. The Blue Jays will turn to struggling right-hander Marcus Stroman as they aim to win four games in a row for the third time this season.
TV: 1:10 p.m. ET, Sportsnet (Toronto), FS North (Minnesota)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Blue Jays RH Marcus Stroman (0-3, 8.88 ERA) vs. Twins RH Fernando Romero (NR)
Stroman has allowed six earned runs over 5 1/3 innings in each of his last two starts, although he did walk a season-low one batter his last time out. The New York native, who turned 27 on Tuesday, is allowing opponents to hit .298 and currently sports the worst walk rate (5.3 per nine innings) of his career by a wide margin. Stroman allowed a run and three hits in 7 2/3 innings to pick up the win in his only prior start at Target Field in 2016.
Romero was 0-1 with a 2.57 ERA in four games (three starts) in Triple-A while striking out 20 and allowing 17 hits in 21 innings. He is 23-17 with a 2.83 ERA in 73 games (57 starts) across parts of six seasons in the minors. The Dominican Republic native missed all of 2015 following elbow surgery.
1. The Twins placed 3B Miguel Sano on the 10-day disabled list with a hamstring strain and selected the contract of INF Gregorio Petit from Triple-A Rochester.
2. Blue Jays DH Kendrys Morales was 3-for-3 with two homers Tuesday after going 0-for-19 over his previous seven contests.
3. Minnesota 2B Brian Dozier went 0-for-1 as a pinch hitter Tuesday and is 3-for-31 over an eight-game stretch.