MINNEAPOLIS - Trevor Hildenberger has pitched successfully in the Twins' past three save opportunities, and was asked Wednesday, Aug. 15, to come up with a song he wants played when he walks out of the bullpen in a closing situation.
But don't read too much into that.
Since they traded away Fernando Rodney in an Aug. 7 waiver-wire deal, the Twins have faced three save opportunities, and Hildenberger got them all, and earned his fourth major league save in Wednesday's 6-4 victory over Pittsburgh at Target Field.
The side-armer gave up one hit but struck out leadoff batter Francisco Cervelli looking and coaxed a double-play grounder from Josh Harrison to end the game.
"It's been going pretty well," Molitor said. "I mean, we're still trying to figure it out day to day, Hildy getting an opportunity here. The matchups have been good."
Still, Molitor insists he isn't zeroing in on Hildenberger for the final six weeks of the season.
That's fine for Hildenberger, still genuinely happy to be pitching in the majors and helping the team that selected him in the 22nd round of the 2014 amateur draft. He entered Wednesday's series finale against Pittsburgh averaging 8.9 strikeouts per nine innings, with 55 strikeouts against 17 walks in 58 innings this season.
Known mostly as a side-armer, he also throws a fastball and changeup from over the top, and is working on a breaking pitch with the same delivery.
The major league career saves list includes some notable side-armers, from three-quarter maestro Dennis Eckersley to submarine closer Dan Quisenberry, but for the most part, funky deliveries remain rare - for any pitcher.
That doesn't concern Molitor.
"There's a lot of ways to get it done, and (Hildenberger's) strikeout ratio is pretty good for a guy that doesn't throw that hard," he said. "Quisenberry, to go back to my earliest (playing) days, and Doug Jones had a little bit of a sidearm. It's results. There are different ways to do it; Hildy's got his own style, for sure."
As for a closer's song, Hildenberger was still thinking on it Wednesday. It definitely won't be the Beastie Boys' "Sabotage," which the Target Field crew played when he left the bullpen on Tuesday night.
"It's not a good name," Hildenberger said. "It seems counterintuitive."
Robbie Grossman, on the 10-day disabled list with a hamstring injury, will join Triple-A Rochester in Toledo, Ohio, for some rehab games, Molitor said. Wednesday was the ninth game he has missed since Aug, 5.
Also asked to choose a closer song Wednesday: Tyler Duffey, Trevor May, Adam Reed and Tyler Rogers.
The Tigers placed right-hander Artie Lewicki, scheduled to pitch against the Twins on Saturday, on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation. They have not named a replacement.