5/20/2014 8:11 P.M. ET
Pitchers take hitting drills for Interleague Play
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
SAN DIEGO -- Twins pitchers spent the last homestand working on hitting and baserunning drills to prepare themselves for Interleague Play, and Twins manager Ron Gardenhire believes they're ready for National League rules.
The results might not be pretty, however, as veterans Kevin Correia and Ricky Nolasco are the only two pitchers in the rotation with much experience at the plate, as they both played several years in the NL but didn't have much success offensively. Nolasco is a career .138 hitter with a homer and 12 doubles in 369 career at-bats, while Correia is a career .113 hitter with five doubles in 283 at-bats.
Right-hander Phil Hughes was the best of the bunch during batting practice, launching several home runs, but is 0-for-4 in his career at the plate.
But Gardenhire said the biggest key is simply not getting injured out there, and he believes his pitchers got their proper work in during the homestand to get ready for Interleague Play. All five starting pitchers will get a chance to hit, as the Twins play five games against the Padres and Giants this week.
"They're doing fine," Gardenhire said. "It's a quick trip here and then San Francisco. But we're excited about it. We got our swings in. We got our bunting in. We got our baserunning in. So they're all prepared for this, so we'll see how it all turns out."
Herrmann gives Twins extra bat on the bench
SAN DIEGO -- Chris Herrmann officially joined the Twins at Petco Park on Tuesday after being recalled from Triple-A Rochester after Sunday's game against the Mariners.
The catcher/outfielder was called up to give the Twins an extra bat on the bench, as manager Ron Gardenhire wanted to trim his staff to 12 pitchers for their five-game Interleague trip through San Diego and San Francisco. The Twins optioned reliever Michael Tonkin to Rochester on Sunday to make room for Herrmann on the roster.
Gardenhire likes the flexibility Herrmann gives him off the bench, and it also allows him the chance to use backup catcher Josmil Pinto as a pinch-hitter.
"Bringing him up as a guy who can catch a little bit allows me to use Pinto in a pinch-hitting role or even Herrmann," Gardenhire said. "It gives me another catcher on the bench to protect us. And we all know about the double switches we have here and hitting for the pitcher."
Herrmann was swinging the bat well since being optioned to Rochester on May 8. He hit just .128 in 15 games with the Twins but batted .400 (14-for-35) with a homer, three doubles and a triple in nine games with the Red Wings since getting sent down.
"I just felt relaxed," Herrmann said. "It was nice to get some consistent playing time and I took advantage of that. I went into every at-bat looking to be aggressive, and I was able to drive in some runs and hit some extra-base hits. So it felt good, and I'm glad to be back up here."
Arcia swinging hot bat in Triple-A
SAN DIEGO -- Outfielder Oswaldo Arcia has been showing off his power at Triple-A Rochester in recent days, and could be recalled once his 10 days are up after he was optioned to Rochester on Wednesday.
Arcia, who was on the 15-day disabled list with a right wrist strain, was activated from the DL on Wednesday, and optioned to Rochester the same day.
He can't be recalled until Saturday unless the Twins place a player on the 15-day disabled list, but has made the most of his at-bats at Rochester over the last week. He's hit four homers over his last seven games, batting .320 (8-for-25) over that stretch with two doubles, nine runs and 10 RBIs. He also hit a three-run homer Monday with the Red Wings.
"He's swinging the bat good," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's healthy. Once his days are up, we want to see him back up here. We just wanted him healthy for a number of days. We didn't him coming in saying his wrist was still sore or he needed a day here and there. We want to be past that."