ARLINGTON, Texas -- Alex Presley is in the building, and atop the lineup.
The Twins' new outfielder, acquired yesterday for Justin Morneau, will be given a long look in September, and Ron Gardenhire said he likes having what he clearly considers a true leadoff hitter on the roster once more. We'll see if he fares better than the last leadoff hitter to wear No. 1 -- Tsuyoshi Nishioka. (Presley said he normally wears No. 7, but didn't bother asking for it after he was traded here.)
"We're excited. He actually ate up our Triple-A team in a series recently, and our guys duly noted that," Gardenhire said of Presley, a 28-year-old Louisiana native. "We brought him over [because] we needed a leadoff guy. We haven't had one. We have [Brian] Dozier, who's been doing great, but I like him better in the two-hole. Or the three-hole," where Dozier is batting today.
One other new face is in the Twins' lineup: Catcher Josmil Pinto, who will make his major-league debut, after eight seasons in the Twins' system.
"He's catching [Kevin] Correia, who pretty much calls his own ballgame anyway," Gardenhire said. "Correia's going to do what he thinks he needs to, and hopefully the kid handles him just fine."
The Rangers have added seven players today, the first day rosters can be expanded to 40, and veteran Lance Berkman is among them. The Twins will wait until Rochester's season is over before adding any more; the Red Wings enter play today one game behind Norfolk for the International League's wildcard spot, with two games to play. Rochester holds the tie-breaker, so the Wings have a good chance of making the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
That race likely impacts the Twins, too, since they haven't announced a starting pitcher for Tuesday's game in Houston. Pedro Hernandez is here and could make that start, if he doesn't get into today's game, but Scott Diamond and Cole De Vries are on rotation to pitch Monday or Tuesday, too, so it's possible the Twins are waiting to see if the Wings are eliminated.
One other note: former Twin Joe Benson was designated for assignment today by the Rangers after hitting .215 with seven home runs this year in Class AAA.
Here are today's lineups for a game being played in 100-degree heat, and climbing: