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Twins call up pitchers Stewart, Romero from minors

HOUSTON — The Twins were busy making roster moves Wednesday morning, April 24, calling up pitchers Kohl Stewart and Fernando Romero from Triple-A Rochester and optioning pitcher Tyler Duffey and outfielder Jake Cave.

They also reinstated Gabriel Moya (shoulder) from his rehab assignment and optioned him to Triple-A.

Stewart, a Houston native, drew the start at Minute Maid Park on Wednesday against Justin Verlander and the Astros.

The move was necessitated by a rainout on Friday in Baltimore, which pushed Jose Berrios, who would have been the scheduled starter, back.

Stewart came into the game with a 6.00 ERA in three starts spanning 12 innings for the Red Wings.

Romero, who has had a busy week, was called up by the Twins to serve as the 26th man of the doubleheader on Saturday before being sent back down and then returning Wednesday.

The Twins, after having five scheduled off days in the first two weeks of the season, are mired in a stretch with limited off days, making another arm valuable.

“We’ve been going with a pitcher short in the bullpen for a while and we’re probably in a stretch right now where it makes sense for us to carry another arm just for a lot of different reasons,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “We could get into all those reasons but for some protection reasons and to take care of the other guys that are out there and have been pitching a lot, I think we also needed to carry that arm.”

That meant Cave, who has options and is limited to the outfield, was sent down. Cave was hitting .233 in 30 at-bats before being optioned.

With Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton and Max Kepler all healthy, at-bats became hard for him to come by.

Baldelli said he could see Cave returning to the big leagues later this year and if they need him to play on a more regular basis, like they did last year, he wanted Cave ready to go.

“He’s not getting the at-bats as a young player that I think that he needs. He needs to play,” Baldelli said. “Being in the big leagues is probably preferable for anyone to not being in the big leagues, general statement, but he needs to get some at-bats in. As of right now, he’s not going to get them on a regular basis here.”

Though they sent Cave, their fourth outfielder, down, the Twins have other options who can fill that role thanks to the versatility of both Marwin Gonzalez and Willians Astudillo.

Astudillo, for the first time in the majors, got in a game in right field late in the second game of the doubleheader on Saturday in Baltimore. He was out working in right field pregame on Wednesday and made his first start there in the series finale.

“We have guys that have played left field. Marwin has played left field,” Baldelli said. “Willians has more experience playing left field. We’re going to need some of our guys to get comfortable enough to where they could go out there in right field and play.”

BRIEFLY

The Twins flipped Berrios and lefty Martin Perez in the rotation. Perez will pitch in the first game of the home series on Friday against Baltimore while Berrios will go in the second game, getting an extra day of rest. ... Baldelli said third baseman Miguel Sano had begun playing in extended spring training games in Fort Myers, Fla., as he works his way back. Sano suffered a cut on his lower-right Achilles area in late January. ... “I think a lot of what’s going on with him right now is focused mainly around his strength and conditioning, getting outside, running around, sweating, getting on his feet as much as possible,” Baldelli said. “We were trying to make up a lot of time. We’re not going to rush to do that but we do have to make up for the spring training that he missed.”