MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins designated left-hander Andrew Albers for assignment after Friday's 7-3 loss to the Royals and selected the contract of left-handed reliever Ryan O'Rourke from Triple-A Rochester on Saturday in a corresponding roster move.
Albers, 30, helped save Minnesota's bullpen in the second game of Thursday's split doubleheader against the Astros, as he tossed six innings, allowing five runs (three earned) on 11 hits and a walk. It was his first Major League appearance since May 1, 2015, while with the Blue Jays. It was also his first outing with the Twins since Sept. 26, 2013.
According to manager Paul Molitor, the Twins were hoping to wait until Tuesday to make another roster move, but the bullpen needed a fresh arm after Albers' 108-pitch marathon on Thursday and left-hander Pat Dean threw three innings of relief on Friday.
"They've picked us up in terms of instances where we needed to absorb some innings and try to get through a ballgame," Molitor said. "Using both those guys up put us in a situation where another body was needed. [O'Rourke is] fresh and I know I can get a couple innings out of him."
O'Rourke is 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA, 29 strikeouts and six walks in 33 relief appearances with Triple-A Rochester this season. He has registered a 5.83 ERA in 36 outings for the Twins across two seasons, including eight relief appearances earlier this season.
Although O'Rourke had previously spent time as a lefty specialist, he had a chance to stretch out his arm for longer outings with Rochester. He hasn't pitched since Aug. 9, which means he will immediately be available out of the bullpen for the Twins.
Molitor believes that O'Rourke's chance to get extended looks against both left- and right-handed hitters in Triple-A has helped with his confidence when facing righties. In his Major League career, right-handed hitters are slashing .259/.380/.431 off of O'Rourke, versus .149/.286/.234 by left-handed batters.
Do-Hyoung Park is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.