Willingham could rejoin Twins by Friday

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 7, 2013 - 5:04 PM
hide

Josh Willingham

Photo: Jim Mone, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

– Amazing what a four-hit shutout will do to the best-laid plans.

Josh Willingham’s scheduled Saturday return to the Twins’ lineup has been accelerated by a game, assuming all goes well during his four-game rehab stint with Class AAA Rochester. Assistant general manager Rob Antony was succinct about the reason for the change.

“Four hits,” he said.

That’s all the Twins managed against Royals righthander Jeremy Guthrie on Monday, making it obvious how much the team could use Willingham’s bat in the middle of the lineup. After all, he’s been gone more than five weeks, and not until Tuesday did Willingham surrender the Twins’ home-run lead, 11-10, after Justin Morneau’s first-inning blast against Kansas City starter James Shields.

“We need a little bit of a shot in the arm,” Antony said. “It might be a situation where he’s a better alternative than what we have.”

So the new plan is for Willingham — who played four innings in left field Tuesday and went 0-for-3 at the plate — to fly to Chicago on Friday morning, watch the first game and be activated in time to play the nightcap of the doubleheader against the White Sox.

Plouffe’s plummet

Trevor Plouffe survived his headfirst, top-speed tumble into a spectators’ “dugout” near third base mostly, he said, because he landed on a fan who kept his head from cracking into the concrete floor.

“Thankfully, I fell into someone,” the third baseman said. “There wasn’t much he could do.”

Plouffe knew the padded railing was there, but didn’t slow down as he approached it. That’s because he was desperate to do something right, since not much has gone right lately.

“I was just kind of upset with myself, so I wasn’t really thinking about anything but trying to help my team in any way. I didn’t do it at the plate or on the basepaths [Monday] night,” Plouffe said. “I really didn’t think about [the impact], I just went after the ball.”

He caught it a split second before his thighs collided with the railing, flipping him upside down as he fell. It looked dangerous, but Plouffe said he had no bruise a day later.

Still, he was out of the lineup after playing 19 of the past 20 games, and his health had nothing to do with it. Plouffe had gone 6-for-54 since the All-Star break, a .111 batting average that included only one extra-base hit (though he had a home run stolen by Lorenzo Cain during the last homestand).

“Mentally, he’s fighting it right now. You can see his swing — he’s so frustrated with everything,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “I think he was frustrated at first base, wasn’t paying attention and got picked off [after reaching on a fielder’s choice in the fourth inning]. So it looks to me like he needs a little bit of a break.”

Etc.

• Cole De Vries struck out four in three hitless innings Monday for the Twins’ Gulf Coast League rookie team, so the Twins will transfer him to Class A Fort Myers on Wednesday to begin a rehab assignment as he recovers from an elbow injury. De Vries will start for the Miracle on Sunday.

• Alex Meyer and Pedro Hernandez will begin their rehab stints on Friday in the GCL, with Meyer throwing two innings and Hernandez three. The Twins would like Meyer in particular to make a couple of rookie-level starts and then return to Class AA before the season ends.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
8:10 PM ET123456789RHE
DetroitR. Porcello (15-11)000
MinnesotaR. Nolasco (5-11)000
@theBallpark
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box

ADVERTISEMENT

Boston - A. Ranaudo 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - C. Morton
Toronto - D. Hutchison 6:05 PM
Baltimore - U. Jimenez
Washington - T. Roark 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Harang
Miami - N. Eovaldi 6:10 PM
NY Mets - B. Colon
NY Yankees - M. Pineda 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - J. Odorizzi
Cincinnati - J. Cueto 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - J. Arrieta
Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt 7:10 PM
Kansas City - L. Hendriks
Cleveland - C. Kluber 7:10 PM
Houston - N. Tropeano
Detroit - R. Porcello 7:10 PM
Minnesota - R. Nolasco
Milwaukee - W. Peralta 7:15 PM
St. Louis - L. Lynn
Los Angeles - D. Haren 7:40 PM
Colorado - T. Matzek
San Francisco - J. Peavy 8:40 PM
Arizona - J. Collmenter
Seattle - R. Elias 9:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Texas - N. Tepesch 9:05 PM
Oakland - S. Kazmir
Philadelphia - A. Burnett 9:10 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How sure are you that the Twins are on the road to improving?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close