Inbox: When might Berrios, Park get callup?

Beat reporter Rhett Bollinger answers Twins fans' questions

Inbox: When might Berrios, Park get callup?

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins are off to a surprising start, with an American League-best 5-1 record.

They've received competent starting pitching -- outside of a shaky first Major League start from lefty Adalberto Mejia -- while the defense has stood out, especially the outfield. Miguel Sano, Jorge Polanco and Jason Castro have carried the offense, while Byron Buxton, Eddie Rosario and Joe Mauer are off to slow starts.

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It's incredibly early in the season, but it's still an encouraging start for Minnesota after last season. Questions, however, always remain, and that leads us to the first Twins Inbox of the regular season.

The Twins went with 13 pitchers to open the year, essentially as insurance with Hector Santiago not fully stretched out, Phil Hughes coming off thoracic outlet syndrome and Mejia being a rookie. But Santiago and Hughes each went five innings, and with two off-days early in the year, the bullpen hasn't been taxed, even with Mejia's short start.

Jose Berrios pitched well in Triple-A Rochester's opener, tossing six scoreless with seven strikeouts, but Mejia is expected to get at least a few more starts to show what he can do.

As for ByungHo Park, he'd be considered a top candidate to be called up as the club's designated hitter, but would need to be added to the 40-man roster. Kennys Vargas has the advantage of being on the 40-man, while former Rockies first baseman Ben Paulsen has homered in each of Rochester's first three games. So Minnesota has options at DH, and it's just a matter of when the club wants to get back down to 12 pitchers, which could be soon if the rotation continues to hold up.

Park's solo homer

Mauer clearly hasn't been the elite hitter he was prior to his concussion in 2013, but he's still adept at getting on base, as he was second on the team with a .363 on-base percentage last season. He was also batting .284/.384/.417 last year before sustaining his quad strain in mid-August that led him to start only 20 of the final 43 games.

Mauer's RBI single

Mauer is off to a bit of a slow start this season and he could be moved down in the order against lefties, but he remains one of the club's best on-base threats.

The Twins have the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 Draft on June 12, but it's still too early to say who they'll take. Southern California high school phenom Hunter Greene remains a top candidate, but Louisville left-hander/first baseman Brendan McKay is quickly rising up Draft boards.

Chief baseball officer Derek Falvey saw Greene in person on Friday, witnessing him strike out 12 batters, while reportedly hitting 100 mph on the gun. Falvey has also seen McKay as well.

With more than two months to go until the Draft, however, much can change. But it's still worth keeping an eye on those two.

The tradition started by Torii Hunter in 2015 remains alive at Target Field after wins, as the strobe lights were still going off as the media entered the clubhouse after their Opening Day win.

One of my greatest athletic accomplishments is beating the powerful TC Bear in a home run derby at Target Field last year, and I'm ready for a rematch whenever the bear wants.

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.