Oswaldo Arcia was ruled out right away this morning, his ankle still too sore to run on. Eduardo Escobar was ruled in, his leg "injury" last night just a cramp. And Danny Santana is back in the leadoff spot, but as the designated hitter, a funny place for the team's fastest player to be.
The reason, manager Ron Gardenhire said, is "you don't want too many players out of position." He wanted to put Aaron Hicks in the lineup again, even against a righthander, Houston starter Scott Feldman, to see if he can build upon his two-hit night on Friday. Gardenhire said he doesn't want to put Santana in a corner outfield spot, because he's just learning to play center. He considered moving Hicks to a corner spot and going with a speedy lineup, but as he said, that's too many players out of position. So Chris Parmelee and Josh Willingham will be in the outfield today with Hicks.
It's not an ideal situation, Gardenhire said, but he's trying to get the best offensive lineup in the game. And Santana continues to impress him, rocketing a home run into the left-field seats last night. It doesn't help that Arcia's ankle limits him to nothing but pinch-hitting, of course.
It's raining at Target Field at the moment and the tarp is on the field, but the rain is light and we're told that the worst of it has passed. Not sure the game will start on time at 1:10, but it appears likely that they'll play. Check back for updates on the starting time.
Here are today's lineups, featuring former Twins center fielder -- ironic, huh? -- Alex Presley in left field for the Astros: