Twins’ Austin Adams makes triumphant return to big leagues
SEATTLE — A year ago, Austin Adams was out of baseball, looking for another opportunity. While he waited, he was doing some field renovations with one of his college coaches.
“I just kind of had to go to work to provide for my family,” Adams said.
But his agent was passing his name around, and he felt physically fine. It was just a matter of hoping that opportunity would present itself.
Adams eventually latched on with the independent Sugar Land Skeeters, posting a 2.54 earned-run average in 28 1/3 innings and catching the eyes of the Twins in the process. He finished his season in Double-A, throwing nine innings there and posting a 1.00 ERA.
After a solid start to his season at Triple-A Rochester this year, Adams was promoted on Thursday, May 16. He threw two scoreless innings Saturday, May 18, in his first major league game since 2016.
“It was incredible,” Adams said. “Just to make it back and have the opportunity to pitch again in the big leagues, it was a dream come true.”
Adams pitched the last two innings in an 18-4 blowout win for the Twins, impressing his new manager.
“(He has a) good power arm,” Rocco Baldelli said. “(He’s) going to go out there and attack hitters (and has) the ability to go out and throw strikes with that good live fastball.”
It’s been an eventful weekend for the reliever, who along with returning to the majors met a man he has been mistaken for for many years. Earlier in the week, the Mariners called up their own Austin Adams, who is also a reliever. The two met for the first time before Saturday’s game.
“We’ve heard about each other for a little while but never been on the same field together, so it was cool to see him face to face,” the Twins’ Adams said.
Adrianza starts in right
After a nearly four-hour game Saturday night and against a lefty for the third straight game, Baldelli opted to rest both Max Kepler and Marwin Gonzalez.
With no true fourth outfielder on the team and Willians Astudillo behind the plate, Baldelli put Ehire Adrianza in right field for the first time in his career.
Adrianza has played some left field, appearing in 22 major league games there — 11 starts — but never right.
“We end up in a situation where we look to AD and we say, you’re in right field,” Baldelli said. “But the way he is, I don’t think he’s worried about it. He hasn’t been out there. He shags mostly; he spends most of his time in left, but he does spend a lot of time in the outfield. He’s a baseball player. He’s going to be able to make the adjustment.”
A day after Brent Rooker landed on the IL at Triple-A Rochester with a left wrist strain, Luke Raley joined him after injuring his left ankle. Raley was hitting .302/.362/.516 before his injury.
The Twins’ No. 6 prospect (Rooker), No. 10 (Nick Gordon), No. 11 (Stephen Gonsalves) and No. 26 prospect (Raley) per MLB Pipeline are now on the Triple-A IL.