CHICAGO – Bailey Ober admits he was surprised when he was optioned to the minor leagues on Aug. 28, a move the Twins made to conserve the number of innings he’s thrown.
“I can definitely see their perspective on things,” said Ober, who has thrown 145⅓ innings between the majors and Class AAA after never crossing 109 innings in a season previously in his career. “Hopefully, it works out for both of us in the long run and these upcoming weeks.”
Ober, who has posted a 3.67 ERA through 22 starts this season, doesn’t know if the Twins will keep limitations on him for the remainder of the season. He went 13 days between starts before his five-inning outing with the Class AAA St. Paul Saints last weekend. The Twins are planning to activate him Friday for a start against the White Sox.
During his near two-week break, Ober had two bullpen sessions and faced hitters in a live batting practice session to keep his arm in shape.
“With the minor league schedule, it’s a little bit tougher grind than it is up here,” Ober said. “Eight-hour bus rides and stuff like that. I feel good and I’m ready to throw.”
Even if the demotion caught Ober off guard, the next couple of weeks are an important audition to show he deserves a spot on the postseason roster. Ober has a 5.85 ERA in eight starts following the All-Star break.
“I was a little surprised, but it is what it is,” Ober said. “I try to take it day by day. Now I’m back here.”
Rookie dress-up day
When Royce Lewis looked at his locker after Wednesday’s game against the Rays, his clothes were gone and there was a package sitting on his chair.
“Honestly, I thought it was something from Adidas for me,” Lewis said. “I ordered some warmer clothes because it’s about to be freezing.”
It wasn’t quite athletic gear. It was a Dr. Evil costume from the “Austin Powers” films. Pablo López and Kyle Farmer picked out the costumes for their rookie teammates. Edouard Julien dressed as a Canadian Mountie. Matt Wallner was Buddy the Elf. Louie Varland was Scooby Doo. Joey Casey, the Twins’ replay review guy, paired with Lewis as Dr. Evil’s Mini-Me.
López and Farmer spent a game chatting in the dugout about which costume each rookie should wear.
“When I was a rookie, we got dropped off in Times Square,” said López, who dressed as a Minion from the “Despicable Me” films and Curious George in his two seasons with rookie eligibility. “There are millions of people looking at you. The exposure, it’s part of the experience for them to remember.”
After the team flight, the Twins took their rookies to a Chicago restaurant, Joy District, in full costume.
“There were people smiling like, ‘This is weird,’ ” Lewis said. “If I was at dinner, I saw a bunch of people dressed up in costume, it’d be kind of random. It was those kinds of looks. Smiley, ‘Who’s that?’ You could tell people were trying to guess, ‘I don’t know what that guy is.’ But it was fun, man. The waiters had a good time messing with us, too.”
Farmer added: “Just making the young guys feel like idiots for a day. That’s the main point of it. I think we accomplished it.”
• Carlos Correa remained out of the lineup Thursday, his second consecutive day off as the shortstop continues to play through plantar fasciitis in his left foot. “I’m hopeful that he comes back [Friday] and there’s a real positive effect from that,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “Time will tell, but that’s the goal. I think it’s the right move for him.”
• Randy Dobnak allowed nine hits and six runs in 5⅔ innings in the Saints’ 9-3 road loss to the Iowa Cubs. Jair Camargo, who totaled three hits, hit his career-high 19th home run of the season.
Source: Yahoo Sports