DENVER – Righthander Kyle Gibson will start Friday when the Twins return from the All-Star break to play host to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Gibson, who threw six shutout innings Wednesday at Seattle, is expected to throw in the bullpen Sunday, then throw a light session between then and Friday. He’s 8-7 with a 3.92 ERA in his first full season in the starting rotation.
Righthander Kevin Correia will start Saturday. After holding Colorado to one run over six innings in Saturday’s 9-3 victory, he enters the break on a roll, posting a 2.30 ERA over his past seven starts, lowering his season ERA to 4.61.
Righthander Phil Hughes will start Game 3 of the Tampa Bay series. He will end up getting a week off between starts. Before the Twins’ rotation plans were learned, manager Ron Gardenhire said he wanted to make sure no one ended up going nine or 10 days without a start.
What’s not known is who will round out the rotation. Gardenhire was expected to have conversations with General Manager Terry Ryan about it. Yohan Pino is expected to be called up from Class AAA Rochester, meaning he could start July 21 at home against Cleveland. That leaves July 22.
Righthander Ricky Nolasco is recovering from a strained flexor pronator and has not climbed onto a mound since July 6. He can come off the DL on July 22, but it seems unrealistic to expect him to be ready to pitch in a game.
That leaves lefthander Kris Johnson, who lasted only four innings Friday against the Rockies, filling in for Nolasco.
There are no indications that this is in the works, but if there was ever an opportunity for the Twins to give righthander Trevor May a chance to show his stuff, July 22 would be it. May has been out since June 21 because of a sore right calf but will return to the mound on Sunday for Rochester.
Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki, understandably, has looked ahead a little bit to Tuesday and his first All-Star Game.
He has received an itinerary of where he needs to be and what time. He has talked to closer Glen Perkins about what to expect, especially the massive amount of memorabilia players have to sign once they check in.
“They just lay it out and there’s tons of stuff,” Suzuki said. “Everyone is telling me to sign everything first and get that out of the way. Perk was telling me you can’t move in that room because it is so packed.”
Suzuki said he will have about 10 family members and friends in for the game, including two buddies who are flying in from his home state of Hawaii. Suzuki and Shane Victorino are the only position players from Hawaii to be named to All-Star teams.
Suzuki didn’t start Saturday, a day after he fouled a pitch off his heel and Achilles. But he pinch hit in the eighth inning and caught the final two innings.
Poking fun at LeBron
All fans at Class A Fort Myers’ game Monday wearing a LeBron James jersey will be admitted for free when the Twins affiliate plays host to Dunedin.
As part of the club’s “Mourning Monday” promotion, fans will get to sign a giant thank you card for James. Special crying stations will be set up, along with free tissue. A hydration station will be available to keep fans from cramping. Goodwill will be on hand to accept Heat jersey donations.
Saturday, James signed a two-year, $42.1 million contract to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers after playing the past four seasons with Miami. And the Miracle couldn’t resist.