Miguel Sano took about 10 minutes of swings on the field Tuesday, and fielded ground balls for about 10 minutes, the first activity he’s attempted in a week. It wasn’t exactly a strenuous workout, “but it’s better than nothing,” Paul Molitor said. But “he [moved] a little gingerly,” the manager added.
Sano is out of the lineup again, as is Eddie Rosario, both dealing with leg injuries. Tyler Austin’s bad back, however, seems to have healed, and he will play tonight for the first time since Wednesday.
“He had a good day yesterday swinging, and he felt good today, with no carryover effect,” Molitor said. “And he’s excited to play against the Yankees. I was looking for a DH, and when [head trainer Tony Leo] told me he was available, I stuck him in there.”
It’s Austin’s first meeting with his former team, which has won eight consecutive games against the Twins. Austin, acquired in the July 30 trade that sent Lance Lynn to New York, was in the midst of a 3-for-28 slump when he injured his back, but with the minor-league season over, there is no option to send him on a rehab assignment.
Tyler Duffey will “start” for the Twins tonight, assigned to face the Yankees for the first two innings before Kohl Stewart, the “primary pitcher” takes over. It’s the third time the Twins have used an “opener,” in hopes of sparing the starter from having to face the top of the order three times.
“We’re hoping the third time’s the charm,” Molitor said of the two-pitcher strategy. “The first two haven’t gone particularly well.”
Both teams are wearing special “We Will Never Forget” patches on their hats tonight, to honor those lost on Sept. 11, 2001.
Here are the lineups for Tuesday’s game:
Duffey RHP, followed by Stewart RHP