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Twins have been experimenting with ‘opener’ strategy

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You may recall that, earlier this season, much was made of the Rays’ decision to begin some games with a reliever — not a starter — on the mound. Back in May, when we wrote about it, Sergio Romo started two of three games against the Orioles and Ryne Stanek started the other.

Though the strategy hasn’t gained widespread acceptance yet, the Rays have had a bit of success with it, entering Wednesday’s action with a 57-56 record. They’re 9.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot, but it’s a gap that can feasibly be made up.

The Twins have noticed and are experimenting with the “opener” strategy at Double-A and Triple-A, MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reports. Manager Paul Molitor said, “This thing has a chance to pick up legs across the game. You can’t argue with Tampa’s success. That’s for sure.” Molitor also said he has talked with the Twins’ front office about using the “opener” strategy in the big leagues this year. He said, “It wouldn’t surprise me if we did it.” In response to a question from a reader, Bollinger suggested the Twins could try the strategy with Trevor May in September.