UPDATE: Marwin Gonzalez has been scratched from the lineup due to tightness in his right oblique, the injury that cost him 18 games at the beginning of this month. It’s just a precautionary move, the Twins said. They’re clearly being careful, aiming to have everyone healthy 10 days from now.
Willians Astudillo will take Gonzalez’ place at first base, and will bat eighth, with Miguel Sano, Jake Cave and LaMonte Wade Jr. each moving up a spot.
DETROIT — The glove guy was in the Twins’ clubhouse today. It’s fun to watch professional ballplayers get excited like Little Leaguers as they pick out what equipment they’ll sport on the field next year.
Players took turns sitting down with a representative of Rawlings, looking over the catalogue, picking out new styles, new colors, new inscriptions for their 2020 gloves. I watched Tyler Duffey admire Lewis Thorpe’s glove, for instance, and order one that looks more like his. Thorpe liked the webbing in Duffey’s, and changed his model, too, and asked that instead of having “Thorpe” sewn on the thumb, he wants “Thorpedo.”
It’s all part of the season wind-down that takes place each year during the season’s final week, but the Twins seem a little more distracted than usual as they go through it. That’s because their season won’t end on Sunday — OK, Rocco Baldelli would never concede that, not until they’ve mathematically clinched — and so there are big games ahead to think about.
First, they have to get there, and the process of whittling down their magic number — which currently stands at three — continues tonight (a 5:40 p.m. Central time start) at Comerica Park. The Twins are sending Jake Odorizzi to the mound tonight, which is mostly notable because it means he would start Sunday in Kansas City, too, should the AL Central race somehow go down to the final day.
The Tigers, who at 46-109 are trying to avoid becoming the second team in the franchise’s 119-year history to fail to win 50 games (they won only 43 in 2003), counter with righthander Spencer Turnbull, a righthander who is 3-15 this year and allows lefties to bat .304 against him. So the Twins have stacked their lineup with seven left-handed batters (or switch-hitters) in hopes of cutting that magic number to two. The Twins have scored eight runs over 10 1/3 innings against Turnbull in his two previous starts against them, though he has allowed only one home run.
The Indians, four games out with six games to play, are in Chicago to start a three-game series with the White Sox.
Here are the lineups for the first of three at Comerica Park:
J. Castro C
H. Castro 2B
W. Castro SS