Robbie Grossman is in uniform, wearing Joe Nathan’s old No. 36, in fact, and is available tonight. Paul Molitor said he isn’t sure yet how the switch-hitting outfielder will be used yet, which is understandable. They just met, after all.
Grossman was a member of the Rochester Red Wings for about one day, not enough time to set foot in Rochester or wear a Red Wings uniform. He’s here because Molitor believed the time had come to send Eddie Rosario back to the minors to work on getting on base and to stop swinging at pitches outside the strike zone.
“If you’re getting on base 22 percent of the time, you’re not going to be able to steal bases and do other things,” Molitor said. Things like scoring runs and winning games, he means. Rosario was “taken aback” by the Twins’ decision to option him back to Rochester, Molitor said, and “he’s going to have to get to work fast. We’ve got [Byron] Buxton, [Max] Kepler, [Adam Brett] Walker” trying to get promoted, too.
Tonight’s game is between two slumping teams, with the Twins now 3-12 in May and the Blue Jays having lost five in a row. Both lineups have been shaken up in an attempt to generate a little more offense: Brian Dozier is back in the leadoff spot for the first time in 10 days, while slugger Jose Bautista is leading off for Toronto for the first time since 2010.
Kyle Gibson threw three simulated innings before batting practice, and pronounced himself ready to pitch again after three weeks off to let his sore shoulder heal. Gibson will travel to Florida and pitch for the Class A Fort Myers Miracle on Sunday against the Tampa Yankees. He’ll need at least one, and perhaps two additional rehab starts after that, but Gibson sounded upbeat and excited before the game.
This is the beginning of a seven-game homestand, with the Royals coming in this week. Here are tonight’s lineups:
D. Santana CF
E. Santana RHP