Twins call up Light to replace Mejia

Twins call up Light to replace Mejia

KANSAS CITY -- With Adalberto Mejia optioned to Triple-A Rochester after throwing 2 1/3 innings in his Major League debut on Saturday, the Twins called up right-handed reliever Pat Light prior to Sunday's game against the Royals.

Light, who was acquired from the Red Sox on Aug. 1 in the trade that sent Fernando Abad to Boston, posted a 2.57 ERA with six strikeouts and two walks in seven innings with Rochester. Light also had a 2.32 ERA with 36 strikeouts and 17 walks in 31 innings with Triple-A Pawtucket prior to the trade.

"He's another guy that's a part of our future," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "I'm looking forward to watching him pitch. Right of the chute, we'll try to get him into a situation that's not overly stressful. We'll see where he's at. But I know he can go more than an inning."

Light was napping on Saturday when he got the call from Red Wings manager Mike Quade that he was coming up to the big leagues, and Light said he was excited to be called up by his new team.

"It's awesome," Light said. "Any time you're in the big leagues, it's nice, whatever the case may be. Whether it's the Twins or Red Sox."

Light was nearly called up by the Twins on Aug. 11, when lefty Buddy Boshers was placed on the 15-day disabled list after the first game of a doubleheader, but Light's flight was ultimately cancelled. Light, though, took it in stride and was able to joke about the incident.

"That was a special day," Light said with a laugh. "I went to the airport in Syracuse and they kept delaying the flight. I ended up not being able to get there by game time. So it is what it is."

It's not the first time Light has been called up to the Majors, however, as he made appearances with the Red Sox on April 26 and July 2. But they didn't go well, as he yielded a combined seven runs in 2 2/3 innings. Light called it a learning experience and Molitor said that taste of the big leagues is a good thing, even with the struggles.

"The fact that he went through that and recovered by going back down to the Minor Leagues before he got traded, he's got into a better rhythm," Molitor said. "He's been throwing more strikes. I think he'll have that experience to help him for the next time he's in a Major League game."

Light is a hard-thrower who mostly relies on his fastball and splitter. He has a career 3.68 ERA in Triple-A, and the 25-year-old is looking to carry over that success to the Majors.

"I threw the ball really well at Triple-A all year whether it was with Pawtucket or Rochester," Light said. "Triple-A has been good to me, but the big leagues, not so much. So hopefully I can change that here."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.