FIRST PITCH: 6:10 pm CDT
TV: Bally Sports North / ~ / Radio: TIBN
On a yearly basis, I am amazed at the speed at which the season unfolds. We are nearly two months into the 2022 campaign, and yet it only feels like it’s been two weeks or so since the calendar began to close out March, and the anticipation of the upcoming marathon really started to settle in.
And yet, this will be the 40th game of the season, which means the time for brushing off hot openings and holding out hope for slow starters may be wearing off a bit. Storylines are beginning to emerge, and teams like the Royals (10 games under .500 and already 8.5 back) and the Twins (rocking a .590 winning percentage and a narrow division lead) are starting to figure out where they fit into the big picture.
It’s fitting, then, that tonight’s starters are a pair of pitchers are each putting in big-picture efforts. Kansas City’s Brad Keller is in his fifth season, but has slowly but surely emerged as a fixture in the Royal rotation. Joe Ryan, on the mound for Minnesota tonight, is the same age as Keller, and while only in his second season, seems to have done as much work as the former in establishing himself at the major-league level.
And speaking of the big picture, while we sit around watching the players go doink-doink-ball-hitsies, the top baseball minds of the greater Hennepin County area have been shuffling human men like playing cards. A litany of roster moves precedes this one, the most notable of which are Bailey Ober’s return to the rotation, and Josh Winder’s quick dip to the injured list:
A bunch of roster moves today:— Betsy Helfand (@betsyhelfand) May 21, 2022
Devin Smeltzer has been optioned
Bailey Ober has been reinstated from the injured list
Josh Winder has been placed on the injured list with a right shoulder impingement
Trevor Megill's contract was selected
Chris Vallimont has been DFA'd
In the wake of five pitching moves, the Twins will send out a pretty strong batting order to back up Joe Ryan, with both Byron Buxton and Carlos Correa in the lineup, and all the old familiar faces rounding out the squad.
A win tonight would mean an early clinching of the weekend series. GO TWINS GO!