According to multiple reports, Stephen Gonsalves could be making his major league debut on Monday. The Twins have a doubleheader scheduled that day against the White Sox, and are in a bit of a bind when it comes to pitching, especially with Dietrich Enns being placed on the DL. Paul Molitor told reporters that Gonsalves was “on the rise” and on the “short list” of possible starting candidates.
It’s not a done deal, but ESPN.com feels so confident about it they have Gonsalves listed as the probable pitcher for Monday:
Stephen Gonsalves, as you probably know, is the third best prospect in the Twins’ system and best pitching prospect, according to MLB.com. He was only recently promoted to Triple-A, but both of his starts there so far have been pretty stellar—only three earned runs in 13.0 combined innings (and 15 strikeouts, too). In Double-A this year, Gonsalves held a 2.68 ERA over 87.1 innings.
The Twins do have other starting options, especially Dillon Gee, whom Molitor specifically mentioned. Although Gee pitched in the first game of yesterday’s doubleheader, he only threw 36 pitches, which isn’t enough to preclude him from starting Monday. So whether or not Gonsalves gets the call could depend heavily on whether the Twins have to use Gee again in this weekend’s series against the DBacks. They already recalled Nik Turley, who could serve in long-relief, plus they also have their two best starters going this weekend, so the Twins could very realistically save Gee to use Monday.
In any case, we should have a definitive answer by Sunday at the latest. Gonsalves is scheduled to start then for the Red Wings, so if he actually does that he obviously won’t be starting again for the Twins on Monday. He’s not on the 40-man roster, but there is currently an open spot and Gonsalves has to be added after the season ends anyway, so that’s not an issue.
The Twins could also do something crazy like call up Tim Melville to start which oh my god that’s probably going to happen isn’t it?