In an unexpected twist, their reunion ended up being moved up by four months.
Last week, the Padres acquired Taylor from the Twins and installed him as their new closer, setting the stage for 19 matchups between the 31-year-old relievers in the National League West.
“I think the NL West is the best-looking division in baseball,” Tyler said.
The brothers faced off for the first time in the Majors on Monday night, becoming the fifth set of twins to appear in the same game and the first to pitch for opposing teams, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The end result was a bit awkward, as Tyler was charged with the loss after giving up the go-ahead run in the seventh inning, and Taylor picked up the save after working a scoreless ninth in a 4-2 win for the Padres.
“I thought about that as I was running out to the mound, like, man, this is putting me in a weird spot here,” Taylor said. “But it’s OK, because the relationship that we have — I’m not going to go over to him and say, ‘Ha ha.’ I’m going to go over to him and say, ‘Dude, how freaking cool was that, what we just did?'”
What they just did was become the first set of twins to appear in the same game since Jose and Ozzie Canseco did so in 1990. Pitching in the same division, it won’t be the last time they square off, either.
“I think there’s going to be some bittersweet moments for me personally,” Tyler said last week. “But it will be nice to not have to watch him on TV as many times. Normally we leave for the season and I don’t see him again for eight months. So I’m looking forward to seeing him throughout the year. Dinners are on him.”
While the Rogers brothers are identical twins, they are easily distinguishable on the mound. A 2021 All-Star with the Twins, Taylor is left-handed and sits in the mid-90s with his sinker. Tyler, meanwhile, is a right-handed submariner who tops out in the mid-80s. While their deliveries could not be more different, Tyler noted that their pitching styles aren’t actually too dissimilar when you break it down.
“We’re both sinker-slider guys,” Tyler said. “We’re both trying to throw a lot of strikes. We both do throw a lot of strikes. We pitch different — I pitch different than everybody — but, really, if you look at it, we’re very similar pitchers.”
The brothers have supported each other throughout their careers, with Tyler attending last year’s All-Star festivities in their hometown of Denver and Taylor in the stands at Oracle Park for the National League Division Series against the Dodgers last fall.
“I owe every baseball skill I ever had — it’s because of him,” Taylor said. “We got to play in the yard every day. You had a brother that wasn’t way better or way worse than you. We were the same level, and I think we pushed each other. Kind of the ‘iron sharpens iron’ mantra. He was just a supporter and somebody to try and stay at his level, he tries to stay at my level, which is good.”
Still, it might be more difficult to keep rooting for each other now that they’re playing for division rivals. Catcher Curt Casali said he asked Tyler if he was happy to see Taylor traded to the Padres when the deal was announced last week.
“Yeah, yeah,” Tyler responded.
“Well, we’re not,” Casali said. “That makes one of us.”
The Rogers brothers’ first meeting didn’t last long. Tyler hopped on a flight to Indiana immediately after Monday’s game, as his wife, Jennifer, is scheduled to give birth to the couple’s first child, Jack, on Tuesday morning.
Family, in the end, trumps all.