Molitor, Twins sticking to five-man rotation

Molitor, Twins sticking to five-man rotation

MINNEAPOLIS -- Right-hander Jose Berrios officially joined the Twins to start against the Royals on Monday, but manager Paul Molitor said he won't go to a six-man rotation after talking it over with his coaching staff on Sunday.

Molitor said part of the reason he isn't going to a six-man rotation is because he wants right-hander Ervin Santana to see more action against contending teams this month. Santana, who starts on Tuesday, leads the staff with a 3.54 ERA, including a 2.38 ERA over his last 13 outings.

"I had a talk with Ervin yesterday about how we want to use him here on out," Molitor said. "We have him scheduled for three more starts up until the last game against the Mets [on Sept. 18]. So then we'll see where we're at and who's in the hunt. Things like that."

Veterans Hector Santiago and Kyle Gibson are locks to remain in the rotation with Santana, while Pat Dean was moved to the bullpen after throwing two innings of relief on Sunday. Lefty Andrew Albers lasted 4 2/3 innings against the White Sox on Sunday, and he's not expected to make his next start with Tyler Duffey set to rejoin the rotation on Friday after being called up from Triple-A Rochester. Berrios struggled again, allowing five runs in five innings in Monday's 11-5 loss, but he is also expected to remain in the rotation for now.

So there are still some moving parts, but Molitor said having three off-days left this season will help him stick with a five-man rotation, at least in the short term.

"The off-days give me some flexibility," Molitor said. "But we'll kinda go as normal here for a bit. At least until we figure it out."

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.