You know that look when someone is trying to make their eyes pop out of their head? That's the look I saw lot of tonight from the Twins after they learned of Ervin Santana's PED suspension.
The Twins didn't send over many regulars tonight, so we were unable to get reaction from the core players. But the ones who were at jetBlue Park looked stunned. So did the staff on hand.
One player walked past me, stopped, looked at me, shook his head and said, ``Damn," before walking away.
How can they feel any other way? Santana was why they felt like they could surprise some people this season. Now he won't be a Twins uniform until the Fourth of July.
``We'll deal with it,'' Twins manager Paul Molitor said after the game. ``There's adversity in this game all the time.'''
The Twins will be challenged to show they can overcome this loss. The spotlight falls on Ricky Nolasco, who now moves up into the No. 2 spot in the rotation and has to prove, in his second season with the Twins, that he was worth the $49 million investment over four years. He had a 3.97 ERA this spring and, I will admit, his stuff looked sharper and it looks like he's lost some weight.
``I've been very pleased with Ricky,'' Molitor said. ``We all know that last year, transitioning over here was not very smooth. I think he came in here determined to get off to a good start.''
Some of the spotlight has to saved for Mike Pelfrey, who was mad about being sent to the bullpen a week ago and now gets a chance to prove to the Twins why.
We'll talk more about the rotation tomorrow.
Eduardo, ``The Stick" Escobar was 2-for-4 with 3 RBI - and two doubles. To me, he should be starting against David Price on Opening Day. But Molly is leaning toward Oswaldo Arcia. I get it. Opening Day for the players who are going to start all season. Escobar is going to get a lot of starts too, but he won't have a position.
Molitor pointed out that J.R. Graham threw a first pitch slider today during his scoreless sixth inning. That shows he has learned his lesson after giving up six runs in one-third of an inning on Thursday.
Jim Thome, on vacation, was at the game Friday.
I will give credit to the Twins for not hiding from the news. They were out in front, with Terry Ryan and Paul Molitor answering the questions they could answer. No access issues on a negative day for the organization.
Long day today. See you tomorrow