The Twins batting order sure looks different without No. 2 at the top.
Brian Dozier has started 75 of 82 games in the leadoff spot. Not today, as he will miss a second straight start with a sore lower back. Dozier said he has made a lot of progress over the last several hours after waking up with soreness on Monday. He even texted manager Paul Molitor to let him know he could play today if needed.
"I thought about it, talked to him a bit," Molitor said. "You guys have heard me say it before, I don't feel the need to rush him back out there."
Dozier is available off the bench.
Molitor has had players talk their way back into the lineup after being injured. And Dozier played with a sore left ankle for a couple of weeks after injuring it in early May during a game against the Red Sox. He sat out for three games before re-entering the lineup but was not 100 percent. Remember all those swings where he dropped down to one knee? He couldn't put too much pressure on his left ankle.
But Molitor looks at this case a little differently.
"Guys play a little bit banged up, and I agree with you on the ankle thing," Molitor said. "It hurt him a little bit offensively for awhile, not having a stable front side. That's part of the game of figuring out how to still compete and contribute when things aren't 100 percent."
So Robbie Grossman will take over in the leadoff spot after Joe Mauer had two hits, including a home run, and walk in that spot on Monday.
With Ehire Adrianza activated from the disabled list, Molitor is giving Jorge Polanco a break.
Glen Perkins is trying to emerge from a setback in his return from shoulder surgery. He's scheduled to throw in the bullpen on Wednesday and Saturday before his next steps are determined.
Cameron Maybin, CF
Kole Calhoun, RF
Albert Pujols, DH
Yunel Escobar, 3B
Luis Valbuena, 1B
Andrelton Simmons, SS
Nick Franklin, 2B
Ben Revere, LF
Juan Graterol, C
JC Ramirez, RHP
Robbie Grossman, DH
Joe Mauer, 1B
Miguel Sano, 3B
Max Kepler, RF
Eduardo Escobar, 2B
Eddie Rosario, LF
Chris Gimenez, C
Ehire Adrianza, SS
Byron Buxton, CF
Kyle Gibson, RHP