Greetings from Target Field, where the teams with the two worst records in the American League are about to meet for four games.
Phil Hughes will be on the mound tonight as a late replacement for righthander Kyle Gibson, who has battled a sore lower right back. Gibson was to be activated from the 15-day disabled list after recovering from shoulder soreness. That's not going to happen now, as the Twins monitor his health.
Gibson said his back started tightening up on Monday and carried into Tuesday. On Wednesday, it worsened. The Twins had Gibson checked out to make sure nothing serious is wrong.
``The training staff and Mollie and T.R. talked some sense into me because I wanted to pitch today,'' Gibson said. ``It's something I don't want to mess with.''
Gibson threw 40 pitches in a bullpen session on Thursday with no problems. Indications are that he will now head to Rochester to make one rehab start before the Twins activate him.
Hughes, if he gets on a roll, should be able to throw around 100 pitches.
Miguel Sano had an MRI on his left hamstring today, and the Twins are waiting for the results.
Glen Perkins is playing catch from 120 feet, and is close to attempting to throw a bullpen session.
Lefthander Matt Moore will start for the Rays. The Twins don't have a lot of experience against Moore, as Joe Mauer is 2-for-4 against him, Eduardo Nunez is 2-for-8, Brian Dozier is 1-for-4, Trevor Plouffe is 1-for-6 and Oswaldo Arcia is 0-for-5.
The Twins are coming off of a disappointing 3-3 road trip. After sweeping Seattle in three games, the Twins ruined a chance to build momentum by losing three games to Oakland. Danny Santana and Miguel Sano landed on the DL. Byron Buxton and Max Kepler were called up to replace them.
That led to an outfielder shortage at Rochester, so the Twins have signed former major league outfielder Logan Schafer to a minor league deal and assigned him there.
Brandon Guyer, RF
Brad Miller, SS
Evan Longoria, 3B
Logan Morrison, 1B
Steven Sousa, Jr., DH
Corey Dickerson, LF
Mikie Mahtook, CF
Taylor Motter, 2B
Curt Casali, C
Matt Moore, LHP
Eduardo Nunez, SS
Joe Mauer, 1B
Brian Dozier, 2B
Trevor Plouffe, 3B
Robbie Grossman, LF
Byung Ho Park, DH
Max Kepler, RF
Kurt Suzuki, C
Byron Buxton, CF
Phil Hughes, RHP