CHICAGO — The Twins and White Sox have been postponed three times already this season, so at least everybody is used to this.
Rain is expected to arrive on the south side at roughly the same time as first pitch, which is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. It’s hard to say whether it will subside enough to allow the teams to play, but some sort of disruption, whether at the start or mid-game, is expected.
“I’ve heard there’s a good chance we won’t start on time,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said, with weather radar on his laptop screen, “but there’s some optimism that we will play.”
Nobody wants another makeup doubleheader this weekend, so it seems likely the White Sox will wait out the weather.
Meanwhile, Byron Buxton is with the team on this road trip, and Miguel Sano is not. That may reflect the level of concern the Twins have about their respective conditions. “There might be some credence to that, that maybe there’s some optimism” about Buxton’s return sometime during this 11-day trip, Molitor said. “That’s a long stretch where he might have an opportunity to get himself ready to play.”
Buxton hit in the batting cage today and will try to run on his fractured left big toe tomorrow, a sign that he’s making progress toward a return. And it’s not certain that the Twins would choose to send him on a rehab assignment, Molitor said.
“You can tell a little bit by his energy and his smile that he’s probably feeling a little bit better,” Molitor said. “I don’t really have a [return] date in mind. We’ll end up having to decide about what’s the right thing to do in getting him some at-bats, or just go ahead and plugging him back in.”
Sano worked out at Target Field on Thursday, but he’s not ready to run on his strained left hamstring. “The strength is returning a little bit,” Molitor said. “There’s some healing going on there. We’ll just have to see when we can get back to baseball activities.”
While the Twins wait, the games go on — they hope. In the event the rains stay away, here are the lineups for tonight’s opener of the four-game series: