Miguel Sano, 2-for-his-past-18, will not be in the starting lineup today as the Twins take on the White Sox at 12:10 at Target Field. Max Kepler is also sitting out.
Logan Morrison returns to the Twins’ lineup, and he returns to first base, too. Morrison’s back stiffened up during Sunday’s game, and grew so painful, he had to miss Tuesday’s doubleheader. He’s OK again, but the Twins don’t want to take any chances of a recurrence during today’s game.
“With backs, you always monitor it, just because of the fact that it was nothing structural, it was just a spasm,” said Twins bench coach Derek Shelton. “It’s one of the reasons we wanted to have him in the field, just to keep him moving the whole game instead of having him DH, where he would have downtime during the game.”
Shelton filled in for manager Paul Molitor with all the pregame duties — lineup cards, injury reports, media sessions — because Molitor is attending the middle school graduation of his son Ben. The manager plans to be in the dugout by first pitch of this series finale.
Both Twins catchers are in the lineup, but not Sano, who is suffering through a 2-for-18 (.111) start to June. The slump is only a small part of the reason, Shelton said. The busy schedule this week — two games on Tuesday night, another one Wednesday and then a quick turnaround to today’s early game — played a role, too.
“This didn’t set up great for us,” Shelton said. “So it’s just a matter of picking the right guys today and then going with it, not only for our lineup today and the matchup, but also for the workload.”
That matchup is against White Sox starter James Shields, who probably isn’t someone that gives Twins fans a feeling of “Him again?” Yet today is the right-hander’s 12th start at Target Field, which ties him with Rick Porcello for most by a visitor in the stadium’s history. Jose Berrios is on the mound for the Twins, and the timing couldn’t be better, Shelton said.
“We’re really excited to have Jose pitching. As well as he’s pitched, especially recently, and the repertoire he runs out there, it’s a good guy to have, especially coming off last night’s game,” a mistake-filled 5-2 loss to Chicago, Shelton said. “They’re very aware we played sloppy last night.”
Mitch Garver (DH) and Bobby Wilson (catching) will be in the lineup with Jose Berrios pitching.
The Twins also activated pitcher Trevor May, who had Tommy John surgery 14 months ago, and sent him to Class AAA Rochester. Catcher Jason Castro (knee surgery) was moved to the 60-day disabled list to make room for May on the 40-man roster.
Here are today's lineups: