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Twins Pregame Tidbits: Inside Rocco Baldelli’s pitching plans for Game 2

NEW YORK — Manager Rocco Baldelli provided a bit more information about the Twins’ plans for a starting pitcher for Game 2 during his pregame press conference Friday. The Twins are giving the ball to Jose Berrios in Game 1 but have yet to reveal who will start on Saturday at Yankee Stadium.

“Basically, it comes down to we’re going to see how Game 1 goes, how our usage plays out, and that could potentially affect our Game 2 plan,” Baldelli said. “Will it probably affect it? No, but it’s possible, and because it’s possible, we’re going to wait until after the game to announce anything. That being said, we’re not waiting until (Saturday). As soon as the game ends, we know exactly who is going to be pitching and we’ll be able to just make a call.”

What does this mean? Probably that if Berrios’ start goes well, and the bullpen isn’t overused, that Randy Dobnak will start Game 2 on Saturday and Jake Odorizzi will start Game 3 on Monday at Target Field. Dobnak’s start likely will turn into more of a bullpen game.  However, if Berrios struggles, and if he does he will be pulled quickly, it’s likely Odorizzi will start Game 2 and be asked to go six or more innings.

THE DECISION ON PEREZ

The Twins decided to leave veteran lefthander Martin Perez off their 25-man roster for the ALDS and instead went with righty Kyle Gibson. Gibson will pitch out of the bullpen.

“These are — in a time where it’s very exciting, we’re having a lot of fun, and you’re getting ready to play big games, you end up having to make some very, very challenging decisions,” Baldelli said of leaving Perez off the roster. These are some of the more challenging decisions that I personally have had to deal with in this role.

“Martin has been extremely important for us this year. He’s taken the ball. He’s put us in spots to win games from April until now, and having to have that conversation with him wasn’t fun in any way. He’s been dominant against lefthanded hitters, and we’re facing — in a situation where you’re in a series against one team, you’re going to do everything you can to match up with that team as best you can, and because of that, this team, the Yankees here are about as heavy of a righthanded hitting group as you’re going to find. …

“That doesn’t mean that (if) we keep playing and winning games, that’s he not an option for us going forward. He could be a very, very important piece as this thing keeps going, potentially.”





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