Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Who would replace Willingham if he goes on DL?

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB Updated: July 2, 2013 - 12:29 AM

 

A couple of notes from yet another Twins loss to the Yankees:

Josh Willingham has been playing with a sore knee for a month now, and he obviously thought he could keep playing while he heals. So he tried to sound optimistic after the game Monday, but you could tell he knows that the decision may have as much to do with the Twins' outfielder shortage as his knee's condition. In other words, if he needs a few days to let it heal, the Twins just don't have them.

So who would the Twins call up? The only outfielder at Rochester who's on the 40-man roster is Aaron Hicks, who is on a rehab assignment. Hicks is batting .190 (4-for-21) for the Red Wings, who were rained out on Monday, but bringing him back would allow the Twins to give Clete Thomas an occasional day off. Manager Ron Gardenhire and general manager Terry Ryan have been adamant that they want Hicks to produce at the plate before they bring him back, but this may disrupt that plan.

Chris Herrmann is another possibility; he was an outfielder before the Twins converted him to catcher, and he can even play center. Herrmann would also give the Twins three catchers again, which may not be a bad idea considering that Ryan Doumit has been limited by a hamstring injury.

It's also possible, of course, that Willingham's knee will feel better Tuesday and an MRI will show no damage. Maybe a cortisone shot will help again and the outfielder can convince Ron Gardenhire that he'll be good enough to play in a day or two.

But that wasn't the vibe in the clubhouse after tonight's game.

-- If you're coming to Tuesday's game and appreciate Mariano Rivera's contribution to the game, show up a little early. The Twins will hold a special ceremony at 6:50 to honor the game's all-time saves leader. And speaking of coming to the game, not as many did tonight as I would have expected. Attendance was only 29,619; only six home games (of 28 played) in May or June attracted a smaller crowd. Several messages on Twitter mentioned the Twins' flexible pricing as one culprit -- Yankee games are the most expensive of the season, and Twins fans don't like paying the premium prices.

-- The Twins' three-run first inning might have been even bigger, but for perhaps the worst call I've seen in a game this year. With nobody out, Justin Morneau tapped a ball to third, and David Adams double-clutched before he threw. Morneau clearly beat the throw -- replays showed the ball still five feet away when his foot touched the bag, and it was obvious to the naked eye, too -- but umpire Corey Blaser called him out. Not saying it would have changed the outcome of a 10-4 loss, but the Twins might have knocked Andy Pettitte out of the game early, considering he threw 41 pitches in the first inning.

 

Bottom 5th123456789RHE
Cleveland00001    130
Minnesota00010    130
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HR: CLE- Z.Walters (4) MIN- K.Vargas (4)

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Houston 0 Bottom 6th Inning
NY Yankees 3
Cleveland 1 Bottom 5th Inning
Minnesota 1
Detroit 0 Top 5th Inning
Tampa Bay 1
Arizona - W. Miley 3:05 PM
Washington - G. Gonzalez
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 0 Suspended
Chicago Cubs - WP: T. Wada 2
Atlanta - J. Teheran 6:10 PM
Cincinnati - D. Holmberg
LA Angels - M. Shoemaker 6:10 PM
Boston - R. De La Rosa
San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - T. Wood
San Diego - T. Ross 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - C. Kershaw
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Philadelphia
Carolina 8/22/14 6:30 PM
New England
NY Giants 8/22/14 6:30 PM
NY Jets
Jacksonville 8/22/14 6:30 PM
Detroit
Oakland 8/22/14 7:00 PM
Green Bay
Chicago 8/22/14 9:00 PM
Seattle
Tampa Bay 8/23/14 3:30 PM
Buffalo
Tennessee 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Atlanta
Dallas 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Washington 8/23/14 6:30 PM
Baltimore
New Orleans 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Indianapolis
Minnesota 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Houston 8/23/14 8:00 PM
Denver
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Arizona
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:00 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
Montreal 8/22/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Toronto 8/23/14 3:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Washington 6:00 PM
Indiana
San Antonio 8:00 PM
Minnesota
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