Jose Berrios had the pitching repertoire to reach the major leagues much earlier, but the Minnesota Twins understandably have been cautious with their top prospect.
Now that their top two starters are on the disabled list, it's time to give the kid a shot.
The 21-year-old makes his major league debut Wednesday night as the Twins go for a three-game sweep of the visiting Cleveland Indians.
Berrios had a combined 2.87 ERA between Double- and Triple-A last season and was named Minnesota's minor league pitcher of the year, his fourth with the organization. The Twins decided not to call him up at the end of 2015, though, because he threw a career-high 166 1/3 innings.
The right-hander went 2-0 with a 1.06 ERA in three starts with Triple-A Rochester to begin this season, and he'll get his chance to show what he can do at the big league level with Ervin Santana and Kyle Gibson on the disabled list.
Santana has a lower back strain, and Gibson suffered a right shoulder strain while allowing seven runs in three innings of Friday's loss to Washington. General manager Terry Ryan said Berrios will get every opportunity to stick with the Twins (7-14) if he performs.
"Berrios is a guy who spent his time in the minor leagues to get prepared the last few years, and now it's his turn," Ryan said. "He's got pitches, he's athletic, he's got command. He's gone up our system at a very rapid rate for a 21-year-old. We wouldn't have called him up if he wasn't ready."
The Twins hope to keep hitting for the rookie. They beat the Indians 4-3 on Oswaldo Arcia's ninth-inning homer Monday, then tied a season high with 14 hits in Tuesday's 6-5 walkoff victory.
Brian Dozier and Danny Santana had three hits apiece before Miguel Sano drove in Dozier with a single in the ninth. It was only Sano's third hit in his last 17 at-bats as the Twins won for the ninth time in 11 meetings.
''Arcia told me you can be a leader, the big guy in the game,'' Sano said of Arcia's ninth-inning message. ''He don't pitch to (Joe) Mauer. He tried to pitch me.''
Dozier is 6 for 15 with six RBIs over his last three.
Josh Tomlin (2-0, 1.54 ERA) gets the ball for the Indians (9-9) after going 2-4 with a 5.88 ERA in his first seven starts against the Twins. Mauer is 7 for 16 in their matchups while Dozier is 2 for 13.
The right-hander has looked good since missing the first week and a half with a right hamstring injury. After beating the New York Mets in his first start April 16, Tomlin gave up one run and four hits in 6 2/3 innings of Friday's 2-1 win at Detroit.
"The way Josh pitched, he pitched so well," manager Terry Francona said. "That was fun to watch."
Francona certainly hasn't had much fun losing back-to-back games in the Twins' last at-bat. Mike Napoli's homer tied Tuesday's contest in the ninth as Minnesota closer Kevin Jepsen blew his third save.
Michael Brantley made his season debut in the eighth inning of the series opener after recovering from a tear in his shoulder before going 0 for 4 in his first start.
Brantley hit cleanup, with Carlos Santana remaining in the leadoff spot.
''I kind of like the idea of Carlos leading off, getting on base the way he can,'' Francona said. ''It should create some scoring opportunities for (Jason Kipnis) and (Francisco) Lindor and (Brantley)."