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Two of a kind

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Rogers brothers making noise in pro baseball

By Alissa Noe

When it comes to relief, the Rogers twins are the men to beat.

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A few years ago, 27-year-old Chatfield graduates Taylor and Tyler Rogers entered their professional baseball careers. Tyler was drafted by the San Francisco Giants and Taylor, ironically, was drafted by the Minnesota Twins.

“Honestly, you can’t ask for anything more,” Taylor said. “It’s the chance to live out a dream. It’s just good people all around, from the staff to the fans. Everybody’s really supportive and welcoming, and the teammates are great, so I got nothing bad to say.”

Both, of course, are pitchers.

Taylor Rogers, Minnesota Twins

A reliever for the Twins, Taylor excels on the mound with his fastball and breaking ball. To date this season, the left-hander boasts a 4.03 ERA across 44.2 innings pitched (48 games) with 51 strikeouts and a 1-2 record. He throws in the conventional overhand style.

Taylor, however, only cares about one thing when he’s called on from the bullpen: “putting zeros on the board.”

“It’s a multitude of things,” he said. “Being a reliever is tough in that category because if you give up a three-run homer one day, it can explode your ERA, and it takes you a month to get back to where you wanted to be. That’s the other thing psychologically; I don’t necessarily look at that too much just because of how much it can change.”

He made his Major League debut in April of 2016 and has since been a valuable asset to the Twins. So far, he’s been able to stay healthy.

Growing up, he always had the support needed to make it all the way to the pros and, of course, someone to train with day in and day out.

“It was real nice having a best friend the same age as you, so we were always out in the yard playing catch or any type of sport, really,” Taylor said. “Having somebody at home was good and kind of kept us away from the video games or the couch. We were always outside doing stuff because we had our best friend with us.”

Through the constant travel and play, Taylor always finds time to check on his brother, saying he looks at the box scores every day to see how Tyler pitched the night before.

Tyler Rogers, Sacramento River Cats

In working his way up through the Giants’ minor league system, Tyler has been sitting comfortably in Triple-A for the past two and a half years, also as a bullpen specialist for the Sacramento River Cats.

Unlike his brother, however, he throws right-handed and uses a submarine style — in which the pitcher throws overhand but near the ground. He specializes in the fastball and the slider.

“I would say (it’s been going) pretty well,” Tyler said. “... Like anybody in the minor leagues, I just work on consistency in my delivery and getting used to defense situations. Whether it’s coming in late in ball games or having to do two or three innings, you’re just learning how to deal with all the different situations.”

Across 43 games so far this year, Tyler has an ERA of 1.86 in 58 innings pitched and has also struck out 51 batters. He currently holds a 3-2 record.

Since he first joined the River Cats, Tyler had to adjust the way he approaches the game and learned that he had to get more outs in the zone instead of making batters chase his pitches. That’s made a big difference toward improving his performance, and he’s happy with where he’s at.

“This team is one of the (most fun) teams I’ve ever been on,” Tyler said of the River Cats. “With all of the guys here, our camaraderie is great. ... It’s tough in Triple-A because there’s a lot of turnover. You’ve got guys going to the big leagues, guys coming down. Your roster is constantly changing, so it’s kind of tough to really have good friendships, but I’ve been fortunate enough to be with a few guys for a few years now, so that’s kind of nice.”

Over the past two years, Tyler has served as a mid-season All-Star in Triple-A. He, too, values the relationship he’s had with his brother and the way that relationship helped him hone on his skills growing up.

“It’s just really cool that I have a twin brother that plays baseball as well,” Tyler said. “There’s nothing more rewarding to me than watching Taylor on television or on my phone pitching against people. I get so nervous watching him still; I don’t think I’ll ever calm down when he comes into the game. It’s so rewarding to have my best friend going through the same kind of lifestyle as me.”